So I’m walking home from The Bubonic Play and Llysa called; the Simpletons were trekking down to the banks of the Torrens to watch the dress rehearsal of Il Cielo che Danza. I rang Lesley, she packed a bottle of wine or two, and down to the Torrens we went.
Sitting just downhill from the rotunda, we bumped into Monique, and settled in to watch the rest of the spectacle (we rolled up 15 minutes into the first rehearsal). Lots of colourful planets were floating through the air, many of them suspending dancers who span and tumbled as their ground crew towed the planets on their paths. A bevy of bouffanted ballerinas pranced along the southern bank; a clutch of cyclists coursed across the northern bank. A ship sailed skywards from one bank to the center of the lake; boats towed another floating orb over the river; people ran inside further orbs down the surface of the river; and all the while, a stilted voice rang out across the Parklands informing us of the progression of the plot.
The grand finale – a dancer suspended under another floating orb, dragged by four men running full-boar down the southern bank – was pretty spectacular; even more so because there were only two hundred people max there that evening.
Yep, you read that right – two hundred.
The next night, estimates put the crowd between thirty and fifty thousand.
Same with the night after that. And the night after that.
I wandered by, sometimes through, the general vicinity of Elder Park on all three nights to catch a glimpse of those big floaty balls again on all three “performance” nights – it was sheer fucking bedlam. The crowds were stupidly huge, crammed in on top of each other, and there was a fine mist of irritability hanging over everyone.
So I feel pretty blessed to have been able to kick back with acres of personal space, my beverage, my beauty, and great friends, able to watch this spectacle in picniccy comfort.
And then they started the second dress rehearsal for the evening.
Blessed, I tell you.
(A few days later I was waiting to get into Stau; I did my usual evesdropping thing for my own entertainment. Two well-dressed men talking:
Man1: “Yeah, I went to the opening night. Huge crowd.”
Man2: “Right, right… what’d you think?”
Man1: “Well, it was about an hour too long, I reckon. There’s only so much shit you can do when you’re hanging from a balloon.”
Apart from the fact that the performance was only 45 minutes long… what a complete cock Man1 was. Next he’ll be claiming that Shakespeare wasted his time, because we already had a book called “The Dictionary”.