Going into a theater to see a ballet performance can be intimidating if you don't know what to expect. Fear not! Here are a few tips to help you behave like a true class act:
1. Do some research.
Ballet uses body movements and not words to tell a story so it's best to know if the production you're seeing contains a storyline or not. If you read up on the ballet you're seeing beforehand, it's easier to know what the dancing is supposed to mean and if you need to look for a theme and feeling instead of an actual plot.
2. Dress appropriately.
Match the glamour on stage with a trendy but casual outfit—evening gowns won't be necessary. If you're attending during opening night, the atmosphere might be a little more formal. Although honestly, no one is going to bat an eyelash if you turn up wearing sweatpants or pajamas—it's just that most people dress up out of respect for the ballet. Plus, it's fun to make an occasion out of this event.
3. Be early.
This should be a given since theaters have strict guidelines for latecomers. Arrive early enough to park your car, pick up your tickets, and find your seats. If you arrive late, you may be asked to wait until intermission to be seated.
4. Mind your manners.
Always put your phone on silent. Don't eat or drink during the show. Speak quietly and only applaud when it's appropriate. It's customary to clap at the end of each act—when the curtain falls and when the house lights come up, as well as each dance series—when the dancers will acknowledge the audience with a bow. Sometimes, the audience will begin to applaud during a dance where a dancer performs a technical feat such as the 32 fouettes in Swan Lake or a spectacular lift during a pas de deux. Lastly, the only way you can go wild is by screaming "brava (women), bravo (men), or bravi (everyone)" during the curtain call.
5. Buy tickets early.
Always check up on local ballet companies for their upcoming productions. Planning to attend a ballet is part of the fun. Make special occasions extra special with a trip to the ballet. For this month, The country’s preeminent ballet and contemporary dance company, Ballet Philippines, reintroduces internationally acclaimed classics of the company’s vast repertoire to a newer audience with The Exemplars. This production provides a rare opportunity to shed light on the long-unseen works that established the company’s signature style and identity as an internationally and locally renowned dance company.
The Exemplars will showcase the company’s classic works such as Alice Reyes’ Amada. It's one of the first pieces ever performed by the company. Amada is based on Summer Solstice by National Artist for Literature, Nick Joaquin. The other works to be performed are: Valse Fantasy, a neo-classical piece inspired by George Balanchine; Gener Caringal’s Ang Sultan; and many more.
The Exemplars: Amada and Other Dances will be performed from October 20 to 22 at the CCP Main Theater, and on October 25 at the Globe Auditorium, Maybank Theater, BGC Arts Center.
For tickets, call Ballet Philippines at (+632) 551-1003, the CCP Box Office at (+632) 832-3704, or Ticketworld at (+632) 891-9999 or Ticketworld.com.ph. You can also connect to Ballet Philippines online through Facebook or Instagram.