Friday, September 30, 2005
The One with an Austin Favorite Part 6
One of my favorite activities is to go see performances at the UT Performing Arts Center, whether it's theatre, ballet, or opera. Traditionally before I go to a performance, I have dinner at Hyde Park Bar and Grill, one of my favorite Austin restaurants. They have a very eclectic menu, and a small, but excellent wine list. They are famous for their french fries which are served with Hyde Park sauce, a sort of aoli. My favorite dish is the fried artichoke appetizer served with a Chipotle Ranch sauce. They are like little bites of heaven! The Wom Kim's Peach Pudding was also to die for.
Tonight, I went to see Ballet Austin's Carmina Burana. This is normally performed as just an opera, but Ballet Austin has added dance and are taking it on tour to New York. You may not recognize the name Carmina Burana, but I guarantee that you have heard it. The music can be found in about a million movies. It is especially common in battle scenes and is practically a requirement for any movie about Arthurian legend, such as Excalibur. Carmina Burana was composed by Carl Orff from Germany. It is based on a set of poems and songs from the 13th century that were discovered in 1803 in Munich. The set was very dark and sparse, almost elemental. There was a large metallic sculputre, very geometric with harsh angles, that seperated the dancers from the chorus. The dancer's costumes were modern in muted earth tones with just a few interjections of color. Both the dancing and the music were incredible. The music and vocals in this piece are so powerful with a long buildup to a climactic ending. It was thrilling to experience it live. Goosebumps! No one has ever put dance to this piece before, and I thought it was very creative and entertaining. I had a wonderful evening!