Laura’s Adventures in Montreal: Les Grands Ballets

Image by skeeze, Pixabay

One of the best things about doing graduate studies at McGill is the fact that it’s in Montreal. Unfortunately, due to the long hours in the lab, I often don’t take advantage of all the great things this city has to offer. I’m sure many of you can relate. However, in my struggle to achieve a good work-life balance, I do try and get out on occasion. So I thought I would share some of my adventures with you. Perhaps I can inspire some of you to get out and explore this city as well. Plus I’ll let you in on some of the deals you might be able to take advantage of.

My most recent adventure involved a trip to the ballet. I love the performing arts, probably in part because it’s so far removed from my wheel-house. Last week I went to see Les Grands Ballets de Montreal perform Romeo & Juliette. It was an amazing performance. Now I don’t pretend to know much about the technical aspects of ballet but from where I was sitting it was a stunning display of agility, physicality and grace.

It was a very interesting take on the classic ballet. I assume most people are familiar with Romeo and Juliet and the ballet was mostly faithful to the play. Except they framed it as a series of flashbacks from the point of view of Friar Laurence, a priest tortured by the part he played in this tragic accident. It lent an interesting perspective, emphasizing the carefree youthfulness of the first acts and making the deaths that much more heart-rending. Juliet’s death was particularly moving and beautiful, with Friar Laurence there to witness it and a blood red length of cloth against the stark whiteness of the tomb.

It was a mix between classic and contemporary. The set was modern, sparse and all white with smooth curved lines. But as opposed to detracting from the experience it set the imagination free to visualize all the splendor of Verona and concentrate on the magic created by the dancers. The costumes were also a mix of modern and period. But the music was the same classical score that I love, performed by a live orchestra and the choreography was very much classical ballet with a few touches of modern dance. It was a truly remarkable performance.

This was just the first of this season’s ballets. Les Grands Ballets is celebrating their 60th anniversary with an outstanding line up, including Swan Lake which is coming in February. If you’re interested in checking it out, or any of the other ballets, consider getting a Je me pointe card. If you’re 30 or younger the card is $15 and you save 40% on all tickets. It’s worth it, even for just 1 show.

Well that was my adventure for the month. Stay tuned to see what else I get up to when I’m not in the lab. And if you have any suggestions of things I should check out, comment below!

Banner image by GradLife McGill Instagrammer @skeeze // Pixabay

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