Megan and I braved the stormy, twisty roads to head to the South Coast last weekend. Rain and wind lashed Wednesday, and even the fearless former ambulance driver had to concentrate on the road instead of the spectacular ocean and scenery. I was glad I wasn’t driving.
Our first stop was Anchor Bay Thai Kitchen, of course, where we loaded up on enough delicacies for both dinner that night and Megan’s long work week ahead, and then headed back to Point Arena. The Arena Theater was showing a recording of the Bolshoi Ballet performing The Nutcracker.
I showed Megan the bliss of the balcony, and she agreed that it was definitely the place to be. On the screen, there were images of the breathtaking Bolshoi Theater, built when this country was just getting started. I still remember the beauty of the buildings I saw when I went to Russia just after glasnost, especially the Catherine Palace and the Hermitage.
Megan studied ballet for many years when she was young, before her knee defects (an unfortunate family trait which skipped me but also plagues our brother) sidelined her. As we took our seats, she reminded me how I never missed her recitals and how much it meant to her. It meant a lot to me, too. And all these years later, it was an extra pleasure to watch what are probably the world’s elite ballet dancers with someone who was trained in that difficult, yet glorious art.
The Nutcracker/Prince was played by the very handsome Denis Rodkin, who had an incredible combination of power and grace. He was the best dancer, but the Mouse King, going into battle armed with nothing but a fantastic fashion sense, stole my heart with his purple, ermine-trimmed cape and huge gold star on his chest. The snowflake dance, set in a magical forest with a glittering white tree (much more elegant than the one in my living room), was our favorite part, though we also loved the Arabic dance.
All in all, it was a delightful experience, a wonderful combination of memories old and new. I love it that we have access to some of the world’s greatest artists here in our little corner of the world.