A Night at the Boston Ballet with Megan Forsythe

I cannot think of a more sophisticated and posh pastime than spending an evening at an opera house. When my Her Campus editors offered me the chance to attend the opening night performance of the ballet, Coppélia, at the Boston Opera House, I felt both honored and over the moon with excitement.

The last time I saw a ballet I was around 13 years old, and I am almost positive it was a steampunk version of Sleeping Beauty. I may have taken two years of tap, but I have never considered myself a dancer. However, I’m friends with lots of passionate dancers and I have always loved supporting their performances, so I couldn’t wait to see what the talented professionals at the Boston Ballet had in store.

What I did not realize about the night was that I was in for not one, but two treats. Namely, I made a new friend. The Her Campus team scored two tickets to Coppélia, so I was to be accompanied by a fellow staff writer. As I got inside the Rich Hall elevator to meet her, I realized that the person standing next to me dressed in a vintage grey overcoat, a striped dress, and a pair of sneakers was the woman in question.

Megan Forsythe is six feet of sunshine and energy. Her bubbly personality made it so simple for the two of us to click immediately. We grabbed a quick bite together before heading out to the show and chit-chatted the whole way there. The sophomore Journalism and Poli-Sci student from Orange County, California loves chasing news stories and finding niche events to cover around Boston.

Credit: Rosalie O'Connor (courtesy of Boston Ballet)

The two of us bonded over being west-coasters, since I’m from Los Angeles, and we discussed what it was like being raised in totally polar opposite political communities. Although she grew up in one of the few uber conservative populations in California, she believes she left her Catholic school bubble unscathed and was able to form her own opinions separate from her peers. When she arrived at Boston University, she met people from all kinds of backgrounds and finally felt like she had found her groove.

As she described some of her friends, I could tell that most of them seemed to be the artsy CFA-types. Megan laughed as she realized that this was the case and gushed about how she loves to promote her friends’ artistic talents and always asks them to show her their latest creations.

I asked whether or not she considered herself an artist, and I was met with an aggressive head shake and a firm denial of her artistic abilities. I found this hard to believe since on the car ride over she had described the vintage camera she purchased from a flea market in London over spring break.

I also found out that Coppélia was going to be Megan’s first ballet. This made the experience feel even more special, and call me cliché, but the thought of being able to witness this milestone moment gave me the warm-and-fuzzies.

Coppélia is a comic ballet about Dr. Coppelius and his life-like dancing automaton. A young man in the village named Franz becomes infatuated with this doll when he spots her “reading” on the balcony of Dr. Coppelius’s home even though he is meant to be married to his betrothed, Swanhilda.

Credit: Rosalie O'Connor (courtesy of Boston Ballet)

The rest of the story is somewhat convoluted and not that relevant since the dancing is what’s most important after all. I’m no expert in any sense, but my point is that even if someone walked into that theater without any idea of what they were about to see, they would still thoroughly enjoy their time.

The two of us got so giddy as the lights dimmed down and the romantic, Eastern-European inspired overture swept over the room. I heard Megan whisper “wow” as the curtain lifted and she took in the splendid set. I must have absorbed some of her newcomer spirit since I had the exact same reaction.

The costumes were even more superb than the set design, and watching the dancers twirl around like dancing doilies floating across the stage filled my heart with awe. It brought me back to my very first ballet, The Nutcracker, and the total amazement I felt watching these talented individuals somehow elegantly raise themselves to dance with their pointe shoes.

Watching Coppélia I was instantly transported to a little nondescript Eastern-European village, where the sun always shone and the women’s hair was always woven into intricate braids. I left all my worries and stresses at the door as I fully immersed myself into this beautiful performance.

Megan and I would turn to each other between acts and rave over every detail we saw before us. We could not get over the way the dancers' skirts looked like flower petals as they twirled, and how the dancer playing Franz seemed to defy gravity with each of his leaps. At one point a giant group of young ballet protegees took the stage in their sweet pink and white tutus to support the soloists. We couldn’t stop silently screaming at each other, “This is too cute to handle!!”

Credit: Rosalie O'Connor (courtesy of Boston Ballet)

When the dancers took their final bows, Megan and I shot up to our feet to give them a standing ovation. I turned to her and asked what she thought of her first ballet and we both agreed that it was jaw-droppingly gorgeous.

On the T-ride home, we continued to enthusiastically talk about the show and got to know each other a little more, only to realize we had a lot of similar interests. I felt in my gut that this was one of those defining moments in life when you find someone and it feels like you’ve known them for years.

 

I’m so glad I took this opportunity to leave the BU bubble, if only for a Thursday evening, and go explore the city. Meeting someone as cool and kind as Megan was just the cherry on top of an overall great night. Now I feel more inspired than ever to seize every chance I get to take in the amazing variety of cultural experiences that Boston has to offer. Consider my ticket to the next ballet show at the Boston Opera purchased.

 

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