A few weekends ago we spent a lovely afternoon in Munich. We arrived early for a lunch at Brenner Grill. A few months back at the same restaurant, we had been seated near Pep Guardiola, the coach for our favorite soccer team, Bayern-Munich, and were hoping we might have another Pep sighting. Alas, not this time, but the food was great and there is always an energetic atmosphere. Also interesting is that there is a play area for kids, manned with two babysitters in the back of restaurant! Our little mouse is too little yet for that, but we will certainly remember it for the future.
Our day in Munich was based around the fact that we had tickets to the Bavarian State Ballet’s performance of Paquita at the National Theater. What a treat. Here is a view of the stage from our seats.
Perfect seating on the first balcony. And these tickets were only 45 Euros each. The theater was full. This opera house is gorgeous on the inside. Too big to be called intimate but too small to be enormous, it seats 2100 people.
The ballet company itself is world class, wonderfully charming and truly up to each challenge. Having performed Paquita a handful of times, it’s usually only the wedding act. Well known for it’s elegance bravisimo, Paquita’s wedding act is often featured as part of gala works. I had never seen the full length Paquita so I was pretty excited. Turns out it’s a fun, sweet story. It’s not that long and it’s easy to understand. I took a friend, who had never been to the ballet before, and this was the perfect production for a first-timer.
Instead of printing and handing out a program to every person, a small amount of background and story telling was projected across the stage in light, before the act began. This abbreviated synopsis was set to the music of the overture and told us just enough so that we knew what we were looking at when the scene began.
One of the most exciting moments was the children’s mazurka in the wedding scene. It sounds silly I’m sure, but in all seriousness, it was so impressive. They were probably 10 years old and charged with difficult musicality and partner dancing in addition to staying in straight lines, navigating circles and various other formations.
Students (University of Music a. Performing Arts), ensemble, Paquita, Bavarian State Ballet,photo W. Hoesl
The only disappointment was very small. In this version, the ballerina does not perform the 32 fouettes during the finale. This is an artistic choice and it’s clear that it was well thought out as this production was a revival of sorts from the original. You can read more about the details of the production in this review from a few years ago. We saw Ivy Amista perform. She was darling and captivating, had beautiful ballon and I was excited to find out that she is from Sao Paulo, Brazil. Brazil is always close to our hearts and I get very excited for any connection between here and there.
Meanwhile, while I was at the ballet, Thorsten was around the corner at the world famous Hofbräuhaus with our little mouse. Like a parade of countries, the Hofbräuhaus was an international audience for our little one, or so I heard. She apparently charmed every passersby, making friends with people from Romania, Spain and Germany, old and young. Thorsten was moved that so many people from so many different countries, backgrounds and languages could meet and enjoy a few hours together in the Hofbräuhaus’s gemütlich ambiance.
Munich is always great. Most of the time when we visit, I imagine moving there, but then I’d be writing a blog about becoming a Bavarian and not a Franconian -an entirely different ball of wax. Certainly would open the doors to a lot of cool job opportunities whether it be at a garden or at the ballet, but a conversation about jobs is for another blog post.