Skip to main content

Carmen

Sunday Activity

From one extreme to another; after that bad exposure to the Beach Boys last night, my wife and I went to today's performance of Carmen at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Center in downtown Orlando.

The performance was excellent.

We haven't seen any decent ballet in years; the last performance we attended in Orlando was over 24 years ago on Christmas of 1987, when Ballet Orlando (BO) attempted to perform "The Nutcracker." There wasn't anything good about that performance. The strongest memory I have of that performance was seeing the rope that was underneath the bed, pulling the bed from behind one of the stage curtains onto the stage. And it wasn't a smooth transition; you could see every pull on the rope as the bed slowly jerked its way onto the stage.

That performance left such a bad taste in our mouths that we never went back.

Which is probably our loss. We saw Carmen because my wife picked up two tickets through Groupon at half their regular price. In other words, "buy one, get one free." I was very ambivalent about attending this performance. My wife told me that if Carmen turned out as bad as Nutcracker, we could leave at the intermission. As it turned out, that wasn't necessary.

The performance was excellent. Even though we were sitting up and to the left, we had a clear view of the performance. The pacing, energy and flowing athleticism of the performers on stage was superb. There were none of the miscues and bad timing of 24 years before. Even the youngest performers who played the gypsy children performed at a level far beyond what I would have expected.

This wasn't classical ballet. During certain scenes the dancers stamped their feet (and in one scene, clapped their hands on the stage) in unison and following the beat of the music. It was reminiscent of River Dance. I found it a welcome touch; it added energy and interest to the performance.

The stage and costumes were a welcome change to the ascetic whites of classical ballet. The colors were a lusty mix of strong reds, oranges, and deep purples, almost a harvest color scheme.

Carmen lasted nearly two hours including intermission. I never felt it was too long or too short. When Carmen finally ended, as we were walking back to the car, my wife and I were discussing those aspects we liked about the performance. My wife is now talking about what performances to see next. There's the Vampire's Ball in October, just in time for her birthday. And then, in December, there's The Nutcracker.

Yes, I guess I'm going to attend Orlando Ballet's version of The Nutcracker. Hopefully after 24 years they've found a better way to move the bed on-stage. I actually think I'm looking forward to it.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

cat-in-a-box channels greta garbo

So I'm sitting at my computer, when I start to notice a racket in back. I ignore it for a while until I hear a load "thump!", as if something had been dropped on the floor, followed by a lot of loud rattling. I turn around and see Lucy in the box just having a grand old time, rolling around and rattling that box a good one. I grab the GX1 and snap a few shots before she notices me and the camera, then leaps out and back into her chair (which used to be my chair before she decided it was her chair).

Just like caring for Katie my black Lab taught me about dogs, caring for Lucy is teaching me about cats. She finds me fascinating, as I do her. And she expresses great affection and love toward me without coaxing. I try to return the affection and love, but she is a cat, and she takes a bat at me on occasion, although I think that's just her being playful. She always has her claws in when she does that.

She sits next to me during the evening in her chair while I sit in mi…

vm networking problem fixed

Over the weekend I upgraded to Windows 8.1, then discovered that networking for the virtual machines wouldn't work. Then I tried something incredibly simple and fixed the problem.

Checking the system I noticed that three VMware Windows services weren't running; VMnetDHCP, VMUSBArbService, and VMwareNatService. VMware Player allows you to install, remove, or fix an existing installation. I chose to try fixing the installation, and that fixed the problem. The services were re-installed/restarted, and the virtual machines had networking again.

Once network connectivity was established there was exactly one updated file for Ubuntu 13.10, a data file. This underscores how solid and finished the release was this time. Every other version of every other Linux installation I've ever dealt with has always been succeeded by boatloads of updates after the initial installation. But not this time.

Everything is working properly on my notebook. All's right with the world.

sony's pivotal mirrorless move

I'm a died-in-the-wool technologist, even when it comes to photography. I have always been fascinated with the technology that goes into manufacturing any camera, from the lenses (optics) through the mechanical construction, the electronics involved, and especially the chemistry of the film and the sophistication of the digital sensor. It's amazing that the camera can do all it's asked of it, regardless of manufacturer.

Of all the types of cameras that I've really taken an interest in, contemporary mirrorless (again, regardless of manufacturer) are the most interesting because of the challenging problems the scientists and engineers have had to solve in order to build a compact but highly functional camera. In particular I've followed the sensor advances over the years and watched image quality climb (especially with μ4:3rds) to exceed film and rival one another such that there's very little difference any more as you move from the smaller sensors such as 4:3r…