I just saw the very first ballet of my entire life* this weekend, and I am so incredibly excited about the rest of the performances in the National Ballet of Canada’s 2016/2017 season! Cinderella kicked off the season, and while I was sitting quite high up in the fifth ring and couldn’t see in as much detail as I would have liked – especially the costumes! – it was quite an exciting night nonetheless. I had no idea what to expect, apart from popular (read: stereotypical) notions of what ballet performances might consist of (stiff tutus? classic ethereal elegance?) and was very pleasantly surprised: various elements of the story were reinterpreted and the stepsisters fared very well as comic relief, there were zero stiff tutus in sight, in addition to which the transformation scene was quite well done, the forest coming to life in the process of conjuring & presenting to Cinderella the transformative garbs. Part of me does wish they went through the entire change onstage – as it was, a scarf/wrap took the place of the dress, changing up her plain dress for that scene only, and she arrived at the ball in a completely different dress – but I suspect it would have been rather difficult to orchestrate. Continue reading
Do you feel sometimes that you wasted your precious time for things that were meaningless and just time grabbers? Things like mediocre movies, articles, TV shows and books? They left us unmoved, tired and even with less time for important stuff. I bet that you also have read books and watched movies that you will remember forever. They left a mark, taught us something important about life, world and ourselves.
The books of French novelist Emil Zola don’t disappoint. They don’t steal your life but to the contrary they make you smarter.
One of the first novels written by French 19th century author Emil Zola “Therese Raquin” is about life of a young woman Therese who was brought up by her aunt. Her father a French sea-captain left little Therese with Madame Raquin after the death of her Algerian mother. Therese grew up with her sickly cousin Camille in the dull, sad house where life was about him, his medications and needs. Years were passing by and Therese’s aunt decided to marry her son Camille to Therese. The marriage, however, was passionless and uncomfortable. Young couple and Madame Raquin decided to leave Vernon and start a new life in Paris. Their life got “up-side down” when Therese met Laurent, her husband’s friend from work, a young energetic man who was captivated by Camille’s wife. The two young people began a tragic affair that led them to tortured and disastrous existence. Continue reading
Nobody has to be told that To Kill a Mockingbird is a classic and a literary mainstay of English classes and best seller lists and something that every well-read person has read. Full disclosure, I just read this novel for the first time last month, somehow I seemed to have missed it in high school and all the years after. No the occasion was not the passing of Harper Lee on February 19 at the age of 89, though that would have been appropriate. Rather it was the Forever Young book club at Dufferin Clark Library which provided me with this opportunity. After finally reading this beloved novel all I can say is I now know what all the fuss is about. If there is anyone out there in the same boat, who has never read “To Kill a Mockingbird” and somehow manages to bluff it at cocktail parties, throwing around the names “Scout and Atticus”, I urge you to read it, you will be enlightened and entertained. Then you will also be able to fully appreciate the recently discovered and published sequel Go Set a Watchman.
The next Forever Young Book Club selection is Anne of Green Gables at the Dufferin Clark Library on April 14, at 7:00 pm. Also a classic worth reading again or for the very first time.