To: Guy Who Screamed Obscenities at the Ballet the Other Night:
Date: 2007-05-07, 11:59AM PDT
It was Don Quixote, a rather fun full-length ballet, nobody dies like in the dreary Giselle or Swan Lake.
Another fantastic performance by the SF Ballet. I know you enjoyed it. Our whole section knows you enjoyed it. Every time a dancer would perform a particularly impressive jump, or a series of 3+ pirouettes, you would say, “Whoa!” or “Jaysus!”
This, I didn’t mind. As a former dancer and now a season-ticket holder of our City’s fine company, I get a kick out of hearing others’ excitement for an artform I hold dear. Much better than the guy next to me whose head started to fall like a kid in an 8th grade math class.
So, the curtain falls. The end. Applause.
Curtain comes up and the dancers begin to take their bows. You notice a few people standing up. Was it an ovation? NO! They were LEAVING! These people could not WAIT to get to their cars (they were obviously not MUNI riders, walkers or cab-hailers like most of us in the City)! They had no time for CLAPPING! They had to get out now!
It was then you yelled, in your beautiful gray-haired old crotchety man voice, “WILL YOU PEOPLE SIT DOWN AND LET THE *POLITE* PEOPLE SHOW THEIR APPRECIATION?!,” slight pause, “YA ASSHOLES!”
Now, I have seen dozens of ballets in my relatively short lifetime of 25 years. Never, not once, have I encountered a fan of ballet quite like you. At the ballgame, sure, that kind of yelling is par for the course. At the ballgame we eat peanuts and leave the shells in piles at our feet.
Sir, this was THE BALLET.
And for your outburst directed at the people who think somewhere in their tiny brains that it is even remotely acceptable to get up and leave during the curtain call, remotely acceptable to not even clap for the world class artists who just performed a most difficult and worthwhile ballet for our enjoyment (artists whose salary is about that of a standard office receptionist), remotely acceptable to WALK OUT while the house lights are up and we can all (including the dancers) see…
Kind sir, for your outburst, screaming at these “assholes”, I thank you from the bottom of my art-loving heart.
I’ve been wanting to say that for a long time.
And WOW! They sat their asses down, didn’t they?! A few were even clapping.
You are the BEST.
Fellow Supporter of the Fine Arts in San Francisco