The Amarillo Pioneer

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Rosser's Ramblings: First Time at the Ballet

The following article first appeared in the Amarillo Pioneer on February 23, 2018

by Trent Rosser

When my wife and I first got together, I told her “I will take you places!” When I said that I was just trying to get her to like me. I was acting like I was a little more sophisticated than what I really was. I was serious though, I was going to take her places. Just the places that I was talking about was more of places like…… McDonald's and Burger King, and of course, BINGO! After all, they are places, just not what she might have been expecting. I am sure she was expecting places like Hawaii or New York City. As with all couples, we talk, and I did find out that she wanted to go to the symphony sometime. I myself have never been to one of these things call symphony. I do know about them, the heavy metal band “Metallica” did an entire album with a symphony and it was a great album. So, I know very little about them. I did what everyman would do. I looked her deep into her eyes and said, “Maybe someday you and a friend can go?” Now that I think about it, maybe that wasn’t the right thing to say?  I am amazed that I am still married. So, with all the shenanigans that I pull and all the stupid stuff I do, I knew it was time to do something special for my lovely wife. The ballet was performing so I set out to get us there. After a few calls, I was able to secure 2 tickets to see “Legends and Love Stories” It was the premiere by B King Hill with Vicki McLean as the artistic director.

It was about 5 Texas women. Molly Goodnight who was married to Charles Goodnight that settled in the Texas Panhandle and her love of the Buffalo. Emily West, a folk heroine who distracted Santa Anna before Sam Houston attack at the battle of San Jacinto resulting in Texas freedom from Mexico. Cynthia Ann Parker who was kidnapped by the Comanche, learned the Comanche way and was also the mother of the famous Comanche Chief Quanah Parker. Susanna Dickerson whose husband was killed at the battle at the Alamo. Santa Anna released her to tell of the Texans of Mexico’s strength. Last but not least, was Frenchy McCormick. She was a saloon dancer that fell in love and moved to Tascosa (now Boys Ranch). I wrote about her before in this column, titled “Love Story”

What do you wear to a ballet. All the ones that I seen on the movies and TV the audience is in high dollar dresses and tuxedos, and all the men are usually asleep. Ha, yea right. No way will I be in a tux. We can’t afford that, so we decided to get into our Sunday best. My nice shirt and new jeans and my wife got all fancied up! We had to stop to eat, but I was a little too nervous to eat. I wanted to make sure that we did not stand out too bad since we were not in a fancy dress and tuxedo.  We of course had to park across the street due to it being opening night. Walking up to the building, I was relieved that no one was in a tux, except for the ushers. They held the door open and we felt like royalty.  We were handed a very thick program and they took us to our seats. When we sat down I buried my head in the program to learn about the dancers and everyone with the Lone Star Ballet, and to see if there is anything the I can do to not look out of place. It was about this time that I heard my wife say, “That’s mine!”  “What’s Yours” I ask? “No, you numbskull! In her hand, it is wine! They are drinking wine! You really need your ears checked.” I actually heard that last part but ignored it. I looked over and seen what she was talking about. It looked like a lady was sipping wine from a clear plastic cup. Hmm, I wonder if they have Dr. Pepper and a Kit Kat. Then it hit me, these are not the snobby uppity people that I thought would be there. They were everyday normal people.  Then the curtain raised up and the show started.

To say it was a good show would like to say a nice juicy rib eye steak is just a piece of meat. This show was excellent. They did a narration before each segment and then the dancers would take the stage. There were jumping and twisting and sliding and hooping an hollering during the Indian dance. Each segment told a story by the dancing. Even the death scenes the dancers did an amazing job. Now it wasn’t always just one or two people out there, at certain times it looked as if the entire crew was moving about and dancing. During the celebration dances I could not see how they did not run into each other. There were also props! An Indian dancer came out with hula hoops and made himself look like an eagle flying around, as the story untold it was the Spirit Creating life, during his dance the hoops were flying around his feet and I felt for sure that he would trip, but at the end he created a ball out of all the hula hoops. It was amazing.

Now there were a couple of issues, a couple of the dancers did lose their footing and fell, but that is the beauty of the whole thing. They were back up and back in place without missing a beat. They even had a smile on their face afterward. No one running off stage because they might have messed up, the show never stopped except for intermission.  The dancers ages varied from what I could tell, and even the younger ones that looked under the age of 10 did an amazing job. To me, it was a huge success. At the end of the show everyone with the Lone Star Ballet received a well deserved standing ovation.

After all is said and done, I know that we will be going back to see another ballet. I think that everyone should attend at least 1 ballet in their life, just remember to at least try to dress in decent clothing. Even though we were not underdressed, I believed that any clothing will do to attend. But lets be realistic, do not show up wearing a tube top and drinking moonshine from a mason jar!

With this experience I have decided that I will start trying new things. I will not be so judgmental and set in my ways of trying something new. Maybe join my wife at the symphony, Next week I think I will break the news that I will take my wife to a new place. Maybe a trip to Paris! Wonder how mad she will be when we arrive in Paris, Texas?



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