We were fortunate to see the ballet Manon in the Teatro Colon. www.teatrocolon.org.ar/index.php
We bought “expensive” tickets as I didn’t want to sit in the nose bleed section of the theater. It was pouring rain. We arrived with time to get situated. As we waited in line to climb 4 flights of stairs (at which point I thought – hmmm – I don’t think our seats are correct – 4 flights of stairs?) we arrived to stand in another line to get to our seats. It appears that they had double ticketed a few seats, including our own.
As we waited for the “person in charge to arrive”, it was, of course, getting closer to performance time. So Rommel sprang into action. He had asked another young lady waiting how much she had paid for her ticket and it was a bit cheaper than ours. He asked to be seated lower and we down a level and the “person in charge” still hadn’t arrived. Rommel asked if one of the boxed seats “palcos” were available for now as the lights were blinking to indicate it was time to be seated. shop.tuentrada.com/Online/mapa_colon/mapa.html Now, we thought, according to what the girl at the box office had shown us that we had bought tickets at the first “palco” – so not orchestra seats but the next up. And as she was showing us this color coded map – there was different pricing for the 1st row, and the 2nd row, etc. VERY CRAZY. So we looked at our tickets later and they did say “cazuela”. Someone clearly screwed up!!! In the end, we ended up in great seats. They told us they were 700 peso seats. Which I had a hard time believing, considering that price wasn’t an option when I was buying them!! But maybe they aren’t available for sale!
Rommel did a lot of exploring during the 2 intermissions!!! He shot this pics from the “palcos” opposite us!
He found that there were 3 “cafeterias”. He went to the 8th floor ? – the very top – and said that the layout was VERY different than the lower floor. It seemed that as you descended from the “heavens” the cafeteria catered to that clientele. He told me of the champagne bottles on ice, with well dressed families at reserved tables!!!
The Theatre is still undergoing renovations. And I found it funny or out-dated – the pricing structure, the seeming opulence, the “security”.
Or maybe it has just been too long since I’ve been to an “older” theater, where the actual structure and design reflects the structure of the social classes. If you’re poor you sit as far away as possible fromthe ‘stars’ and can’t be seen bothering the rich!!!
Nevertheless, it was quite beautiful a theater. We walked down to the orchestra seat level after the performance and thus, were “allowed” to leave out the main entrance – now that was beautiful as well. What a difference than our arrival, where we entered from the side and missed this entry foyer that in itself was magnificent!! I could just imagine kings and queens being escorted into this grandiose entry chamber / reception area.
Not sure what else it would be used for!!! But it is very beautiful! I haven’t said anything about the actual ballet or the dancers or the orchestra!!! And well, there isn’t much to say, unfortunately. I didn’t think the dancing was anything out of this world. If seemed to be that the dancers took awhile to warm up. There was 1 pas-de-deux with “Manon” and her lover that was very lovely. But aside from that it was really just ok for me! It is always nice to have live music and to be able to see the orchestra and the conductor, which we could from our seats! The story is rather strange and well, depressing! It puts women in a rather dim light! “I’ll take the man who gives me jewels, because my brother has set me up with him and has told me to even after I’ve been with the man I am in ‘love’ with, and the man with the money and the power then takes me to his favorite bordello to play cards” – huh??? “Then ‘Manon’ encourages her lover to cheat at a card game, her brother gets killed, she goes to jail, the jailman molests her, she runs off with her lover to strange lands, she dies”…. ugh!!! I had expected more from the dancers – ie: higher, tighter, jumps. More clarity of lines. But somehow it just never came. Like I said there was 1 “pas de deux”, that I can’t remember where it was now but that I remember thinking, “that was lovely”. Strange to see dancers making out on stage too. WOW! That was a little abrupt for me!! ANYWAY!!!
Overall, etiquette was a little, well – Argentine!!! Yes, I know it’s still flu season but really? Lots of coughing! And the bugger of all – TAKING FLASH PICTURES! It says on the program – no flash photography. AND they made the announcement during intermission to huge applause. BUT nope – they didn’t seem to care or maybe they didn’t think they were being talked about, “flash photos? they can’t be talking about me… i’ll just take one more!” ANYWAY!!!
I was glad to go and the experience was great!!!