Crass Act

Yesterday evening I went to see the American Ballet Theatre production of “Giselle” at Lincoln Center with my friend Leslie. Leslie is a ballet dancer, so of course this was not her first time at a professional performance, but it was mine. The only ballet I ever saw “live” was when I was about six, and I witnesseed it from onstage, where I danced on pink tiptoe in a pinker tutu and did a perfect cartwheel (not a traditional ballet move, I imagine).
I am by no means an aficionado, but I have a smattering of knowledge about a few of the steps, thanks to Leslie and a ridiculous ballet class I recently took as part of a theatre program with which I was involved. Last night’s performance wasn’t the best, as Leslie confirmed, but of course it was still quite fascinating to watch. I know how much effort goes into even the simplest of steps, so it was awesome (in the truest sense of the word) to see these dancers make far more complicated and difficult moves look so damned easy.
As soon as the curtain fell at the end of the second act, and the dancers came out for their curtain calls, quite a few people in the audience actually started to leave, pushing their plodding way past others who were still seated and applauding in gracious thanks for the grand feat they’d just witnessed.
“These dancers just gave these fucking losers an absolutely precious gift for the past two and a half hours, and this is the way they show their appreciation?” I said to Leslie, who was as flabbergasted as I was.
Just then the guy to Leslie’s left, whom earlier she’d dubbed Truman Capote, and his female companion, started to impatiently shuffle past us to get into the aisle, which was to my immediate right. Leslie told him, in all her delicious fury, that he was just going to have to wait, but he insisted on shoving his carcass past the two of us, offering as an explanation, “We have to get back to New Jersey.”
“That’s right, Les,” I said. “New Jersey won’t be there in two minutes. Don’t you understand? If he doesn’t leave right now, New Jersey will not be there.”
Don’t these people get it? Don’t they know how incredibly rude it is to walk out during a curtain call? Would they leave a dinner party as soon as they set down their dessert spoons? Leave the bed as soon as they are “done”?
You were just given something beautiful, you cretins. You were presented with an exquisite two-and-a-half-hour gift. The least you could have done was hang around for two-and-a-half minutes to thank them for it.