The other evening, my friends and I had the brilliant (brilliant!) idea to go and see a professional Georgian dance performance. And I’m sad (very, very sad) to say that this idea was a total bust and a waste of 20 lari. One of the major telecommunications companies, Magti, sponsors Georgian cultural performances at the Tbilisi Philharmonic for reasonable prices. We were trying to get tickets to see the Sukhishvilebi–the premier group–but when we got more information on the performance, it didn’t seem like the tickets we could afford would be worth it. So we went for a performance by the Metekhi ensemble instead. It should have looked like this:
Unfortunately, it didn’t. Well, maybe it did–we couldn’t see anything below their waists. (It reminded me of a skit on the late night talk show Vano’s Show where they comically depict the future of Georgian dance–performed on Segway scooters). We thought that in the Tbilisi Philharmonic, there would be a decent performance space, but it turns out we weren’t in the real Philharmonic, but in the Event Hall, which is a terrible place for a dance performance. As my friend and I noted, our high schools had better performance spaces than this (and I went to the single public high school in my town, not some fancy prep school). In addition to the visibility problem, the room was SO smoky. I’ve learned to expect and deal with public smoking in Georgia, but this was particularly bad. Compounded with the fact that I’m recovering from a cold and one of my friends is recovering from pneumonia, we decided this wasn’t a good setting for our poor abused lungs and left early, quite disappointed.
Never fear, though–it didn’t ruin my weekend (my weekend was great!) and I even got to see some Georgians get up and dance at the restaurant Taghlaura (თაღლაურა) (Though if anyone at Magti or the Philharmonic happens to read this, my friends and I wouldn’t mind a refund)