Behind the scenes at the ballet

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On Feb. 26, I went with my sister, Elizaveta, and my 4-year-old neice, Klava, to see the Joffrey Ballet’s production of The Merry Widow at the Auditorium Theater.

This comedic ballet is about the love story between a widow, danced by my favorite Joffrey member, Victoria Jaiani, and the handsome Count Danilo.

Set during the turn-of-the-century in Paris, this costumes and staging of this production were stunning. Everything was so intricately detailed, it reminded me more of an opera than a ballet. I especially loved the costume that Victoria wore in the final act, which was a glamorous white wedding gown complete with a cape made out of white feathers.

What was even more exciting about this particular performance was that Elizaveta, Klava and I were invited to go backstage just after the curtain closed and hang out with our friends from the Joffrey as they were taking off their costumes and makeup.

We had told Klava in advance that we would be going backstage, and as soon as the ballet finished, she ran up to the orchestra pit so she could climb on the stage. We had to explain to her that you have to go around to get backstage.

I love every time I am able to get a glimpse of what happens behind the scenes, in ballet or any other type of artistic production. A few years ago I saw the Kirov Ballet performing Sleeping Beauty at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and I was allowed to view the entire performance from the wings. To this day, it remains my most beloved ballet memory.

I hope Klava enjoyed seeing the dancers and their costumes up close as much as I did!