Thursday, 27 February 2014

Streetiquette, Continued

Trams tremble along on their ancient tracks, immune from all this. Since no steering is needed, all the operator must do is decide whether to brake--done by cranking a horizontal wheel counter-clockwise--or let the wooden tram move forward, as its electrical motor wants it to do unless told otherwise. But braking is necessary for every curve and descent and intersection with other tracks--all frequent--as well as for red lights and stops for passengers, so the operators are busy.  Just dealing with tourists keeps them busy enough, in these heavily photographed old attractions. Part of their charm is the tramtrack of metallic groans and cracks and hums with which they (the trams, not the tourists) announce themselves, and the hard ringing that tells any double-parked vehicle to move along or I'll keep ringing. But who'd want to block a tram.
As for the Bolshoi, filmed in glorious high-def audio and visual in their home theatre, I can't begin to express the beauties of "Jewels", the Balanchine-choreographed ballet to music of Faure ("Emerald"), Stravinksy ("Ruby") and Tchaikovsky ("Diamond"). However, I note that the dancers do, in fact, make noise when they land; that for "Ruby", Balanchine has Stravinskyesque fun by making the dancers walk heels first at times; that the Bolshoi Theatre features a sprung floor; that the snub noses of the women's shoes look scuffed and a little comical when not en pointe.
All in all, very little slouching throughout, and legs that could kick your ears off.

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