My previous post covered the actual dancing, but as any audience member knows, it's the people in front of the stage that are as important as those on or behind. Like any good twitcher, one knows to look for certain species that appear in the audience on any given day. Here's a list of what I saw.
1. The Old Bald Guy with Ponytail. Kids, don't try this one at home; adults, do NOT leave home with it. This is a reminder that some bad hairstyles just never die.
2. Proud Parent/Grandparent. At last, the years of watching their darling suffer for their craft will be rewarded. If the child hasn't received a contract from a Good Ballet Company by now, clearly people just don't understand how good The Artiste is. Conversely, this is a way to wind up Their Darling's ballet career, as The Dancer morphs into The College Student (with luck, on their way to a good, paying career).
3. Bemused Other Family Member. They just don't get it: how can you dance to something that lacks a good beat? And just look at what it does to your feet! Isn't it just a little gay to wear tights like that?
4. Resentful Other Family Member: All those years of sacrificing so that The Dancer gets training and this is what they end up with?
5. Balletophile: How does this year's Workshop compare to last year's? What about a revival of a well-known work? (I actually heard one person say, "Well, when [well-known dancer] danced this it was so much better"... Uh, sir, this was a student recital not a professional performance - close as they may seem to the untrained eye).
6. Balletophobe: Only here because they have to be. This year we had a refugee from Duran Duran/A Flock of Seagulls two rows away, sighing loudly during the breaks (could have been a Resentful Other Family Member but more likely a Roped in Supportive Friend).
There were, of course, proud teachers (both academic and ballet) and other normal types scattered throughout, as well as dancers from lower levels hoping that someday they would be in Workshop. Still, those 6 species were enough to keep the intermissions lively!