Sunday, February 20, 2011

Swan Lake @ Bristol Hippodrome

On Friday, I took my daughter to an evening of ballet at the Bristol Hippodrome.  It was my surprise birthday gift to the daughter who is a hopeless romantic.  At the same time, mommy was also keen to see the show!  Hehehe!

I have always wanted to take her to a ballet.  Thanks to those Barbie movies, both of us have become fans of Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake" and "The Nutcracker" suite.  So, when I heard that the Russian State Ballet and the Orchestra of Siberia were planning a UK tour in 2011, I quickly scoured their schedule...

What luck!  The troupe was to perform in Bristol from 14 - 19 February!  They would start off with "Romeo and Juliet" on Valentine's Day, followed by "Sleeping Beauty", "Don Quixote" and "Swan Lake".  My heart was thumping when I read that there would only be 2 shows for "Swan Lake" - 18th & 19th February.   Just in time for Amani's birthday (19 February) :).  I quickly made online bookings then (November 2010) and managed to secure good seats near the centre aisle.  Yeay! 

The ticket price was not too expensive.  46.25 pounds for the two of us (child and student).  That would come to around RM 230.  Not bad considering that we had paid much more to watch musicals and orchestra performances in Malaysia.

On the eve of Amani's birthday, I asked her to dress smartly.  She was a bit curious as to why we had to dress so formally.  So I told her that I might take her to fine dining.  Co-incidentally, Jamie Oliver's Italian  was scheduled for opening soon, so she bought that !  Hahaha!  Luckily when we arrived at Jamie's, furbishing work was still being done.  Macam tak tau!  Hehehe! So, I persuaded her to walk downhill towards the Hippodrome.  Once there, I broke the surprise :). 

There were many people waiting to see the show.  Most of them came in smart attire, but some wore casual clothes (jeans, too!).  Yeah, there was no written dress code, but I did read on the net that ballet performances were supposed to be formal, so we came in our best clothes.  Better be safe than be turned out! :).

Eventhough cameras were not allowed in the auditorium, I did wish that somebody would break the rule so that I could follow suit :).  Forgive me, but I'm a blogger maa!  No such thing though ... Huhuhu!  I forgot that people here do things by the book :P.  I remembered how people back home shamelessly took pictures in shows like this, their flash blinding other people, too!  Malaysia Bolehlah, kat sini tak boleh! :P

Curi-curi tangkap pakai Blackberry :)
The show ran for 2 hours and 25 minutes, with an intermission in between.  Both of us enjoyed the impeccable ballet performances but above all, we loved the music :). 

#1. Swan Lake Overture

# 2. Dance of the Little Swans

# 3. Spanish Dance

# 4. Swan Lake Waltz

Verdict:  Worth every penny.  Can't wait for them to come back next year.  Perhaps, "The Nutcracker" next time??
Well, enough of Tchaikovsky for now, back to Vygotsky:).

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Discover Islam Week 2011 @ Bristol

Lately I haven't really been up and about.  What with my studies and the rain...  However, today KKin and I did make time (yes, Jimbo! :)) to go to the Discover Islam Week exhibition at the Wills Memorial.

Organized by the University of Bristol Islamic Society (Brisoc), the event runs from the 10th to 18th February 2011.  Besides the exhibition which is open from 10 a.m till 8.00 p.m. , there are daily talks at 6.00 p.m.  From 10th to 15th February, talks are held at the Reception Room, Wills Memorial Building (BS8 1RJ), while from 16th to 18th February, talks will be at Powell Lecture Theater, Physics Building (BS8 1TL).  For the list of talks, visit the Brisoc website.

This event gives Bristolian a chance to know more about the religion and its civilization.  Some Coolpix snapshots of the exhibition (too lazy to lug my D5000 now that I've got tons of books to haul :P)...

Contrary to popular belief, Arabs make up only 15% of Muslims.  The most populous Islamic nation is actually Indonesia.  62% of the world's Muslims live in Asia compared to 20% in Arab countries.  In fact there are more Muslims in Germany than in Lebanon, and more in China than in Syria (Yeah, I 'wikipeed' these :)).

The Quran describes life in its earliest form ...

the purpose of life...

The afterlife ...

Well, these are only some samples of the posters at the Wills Memorial Hall.  There are also  paraphernalia on display and multimedia presentations that might just interest you.  Go see for yourself! :).