On Thursday night the six-year-old daughter who is keen on ballet is happily watching a DVD of Stravinsky’s Firebird. (Royal Ballet, Mikhail Fokine’s original choreography from 1910, Orchestra of the Royal Opera House; coupled with Les Noces in the original choreography of Bronislava Nijinska, sister of the more famous Vaslav Nijinsky who choreographed The Rite of Spring. Call me old-fashioned but I prefer to see ballet in the original, having endured too many “fresh interpretations”; and let us not get started on “director’s opera”. Anyway, it is a great DVD and Les Noces is a real palate-cleanser of a ballet and piece of music: four pianos with percussion. How austere is that?)
Where was I? Right, the six-year-old is watching Stravinsky. She is joined towards the end by the eight-year-old who has no interest in ballet at all, thank God.
When the performance finishes, the eight-year-old asks, “Daddy, can we watch that again?”
I don’t punch the air – I am too old for that – but I do think, gotcha! Good dance and good music. Result!
But then, this: on Friday night the six-year-old is in one room listening to Paul Weller and the eight-year-old is in another room watching a Hi-5 DVD.
Paul Weller. Hi-5. I feel such a failure.