The orchestra is warming up. I am at the front row, center stage watching them tuning with blow, pull, pluck and polish. The opera is empty and everything is still, except for the music. The random sounds are cacophony and create an invisible whirlwind around me. Sitting alone in front of an orchestra, like a maestro, I feel as if I am the attraction. The sentiment doesn’t last long as people start pouring in and I slowly drown in the crowd.
The anticipation in the air is palpable as the safety curtain rises and I get the urge to fasten my seatbelt. I am left floating by the absence of one. The silver modernistic safety curtain reveals a grand drape in the deepest scarlet with a grand valance and thus the tone of a romantic evening is set. If only I wasn’t alone.
It doesn’t take long for the grand drape to rise and take us into a little village by the Rhine at the time of the grape harvest. Hilarion, the game keeper is courting Giselle, but Giselles eyes are for Albrecht, a young nobleman disguised as as a simple peasant. They dance and I sway in the air they leave behind. The music flows through my entire body and it let’s me dance. You can’t tell by looking at me, but I am doing the most beautiful arabesque in my mind. Giselle shows me how to dance with your whole heart. As she finds out that Albrecht is a noble man betrothed to another she goes mad and dances herself out of life. The curtain drops.
The noise level rises and sinks again like a tide as the people scatter out for a break. The couple next to me didn’t understand anything and leaves to buy a program to read, while I’m left heartbroken by Giselle. Giving her life for dance and love, dying from a broken heart and a perfect routine. I connect to that perfect routine, that betrayal and the broken heart. I too have died that death. Not literal of course, but the kind that changes you so much you lose that person you used to be forever.
The grand drape rises again and the stage is set with fog obstructing the view of the ground which makes everything look like it is levitating in thin air. It is eerie, yet beautiful. Giselle returns as a Wili at the cemetery, they dance the life out of the visiting men and Hilarion falls victim to his love. Is that love? When we fall victim to our hears while our heads plead with us?
The orchestra plays the most intense and beautiful of songs and I remember that I had forgotten all about them, I am too engrossed in the movements. On the front row you can view every flick of a finger, every drop of sweat off a chin and every tremor of the heart of the dancer. This is the part where you loose yourself. This is the part where you have given yourself over completely and everything else fades away. This is the part where you are lost in the perfect storm of it all and you forget that you are here alone.
Albrecht is saved by Giselles love and by daybreak it is all gone. Curtain drop. Thrown back into reality, standing ovation. In the span of two hours I have explored a new world, fallen in love and had my heart broken and lost it all. I wipe my tears and head out into my world where I realize I just had a love affair, and like all love affairs that have ended, I know that I’ll be alright. So maybe that’s love, living completely in the moment of it for as long as it lasts, and surviving the aftermath knowing that you might love again.
I will love again.
I will love.