On Saturday evening Spanish students in Buenos Aires were invited to join locals and attend a free ballet that was hosted by the Buenos Aires City Government.
Avenida 9 de Julio, known as the widest street in the world, was closed to cars right up until the obelisco monument, situated in the centre of the avenida, in order to place a huge stage created especially for the ballet. This avenida is usually full of cars jostling to reach the lights quicker than the other; this had been quickly replaced by ballet fans attempting to find one of the 8000 seats that were available.
For those that weren’t lucky enough (or organized enough to arrive early…ahem..me) to find a seat, there was plenty of standing room available with two huge screens displaying the ballet so that nobody, of the estimated 20 000 people that attended, missed any of the action, even at the back.
The chosen ballet was La Traviata which is a based on the opera by Giuseppe Verdi and which stared Argentina’s very own Iñaki Urlezega alongside 84 other dancers and 70 musicians from the Buenos Aires Philharmonic Orchestra.
I was standing in the crowd with young and old, men and women of many different backgrounds who had come together to have the opportunity to watch these fine dancers put on a captivating performance. Considering it took place in what is usually considered be a bustling, fairly noisy area, you could hear a pin drop as everybody was entranced by the show. Two of the security men did make the mistake of having a conversation until the crowd politely but assertively told them to shut up – which they did!
After the show had finished I made many friends in the crowd who couldn’t wait to talk about their opinion of the ballet, all of it positive and of course in Spanish…what better excuse to practice my Spanish and learn some dance vocabulary!
The ballet was a complete success and was a great hit with the crowd. It was my first ballet and I have to say I’m now dying to see another one.