Students in the TASIS England boarding program can suggest evening and weekend activities that they are interested in. Catarina, Grade 9, specifically requested a trip to the ballet in September when she had only recently joined our school. She writes here about this experience of a lifetime.
“The TASIS trip to the Royal Opera House was really a dream come true for me. Growing up in the world of ballet, I had always heard names and stories about amazing performances by outstanding dancers, but I could never really grasp the true feeling and high of witnessing a performance like that until I saw it through my own eyes. Having joined ballet at such an early age, it was incredible to see a dancer such as Natalia Osipova – who I consider one of the greatest ballerinas of this generation – performing techniques that I personally understand but could not imagine how much control and balance is used.
This trip was definitely something that I will hold on to for the rest of my life and will never forget as it was truly an experience of a lifetime. Not only were we in the presence of two amazing dancers like Natalia Osipova and Reece Clarke but we were able to watch the tragic ballet of Romeo and Juliet which, combined with the outstanding skill of both dancers and the amazing music of the live orchestra, brought me to tears several times
Beyond being moved from the performance, walking through the building itself was a whole experience on its own. Getting to see exhibitions of costumes I recognize from incredible prior performances and ballerinas was one of my highs from the trip. As if the display of costumes and pointe shoes was not enough, the hallways were full of beautiful posters from my favorite shows and performances, hung from the corridor wall in a beautiful arrangement which very honestly made me smile from ear to ear in recognition and exhilaration from simply being there.
Witnessing such an amazing performance really made me proud of the sport I have been practicing for so long and made me feel recognized. Ballet is so very often seen as something little girls do for a few years and later grow out of when, in reality, it is really a test of mental and physical strength and the lengths that you are willing to go for your love of the art. Watching Natalia Osipova and Reece Clarke dance truly changed my life.”