From my first car ride through the city of Paris, the monument I remember the most vividly is the Palais Garnier, or Opéra Nationale de Paris. The architecture of this building is absolutely stunning; the gold trim and gold angel statues watching over the building, the plentiful columns, the magnificent arches.
I knew that as soon as the opportunity presented itself, I would have to come to a performance here. Lucky for me, the opportunity came a lot sooner than expected. Thanks to my amazing college (I love you, Smith), my friends and I were able to watch a performance by the ballet de l’opéra, Joyaux.
The performance was choreographed by the father of American ballet, George Balanchine–which I think is all I have to say to convey how amazing the choreography was. I have always wanted to see ballerinas in real life (childhood dreams never really die, do they?) and I was absolutely blown away by the beauty and grace of these dancers. As a fan of classical music, I also loved seeing a professional an orchestra perform right before my eyes.
The costumes were absolutely incredible as well. The performance was divided into three sections, with each section pertaining to a specific jewel/color. The first part of the performance was Émeraudes, and the dancers wore emerald green tutus . The second part was titled Rubis, during which the dancers wore shimmering little red dresses. The final part of the performance was Diamants, and the dancers wore white, jeweled tops with a white tutu. Both the costumes and the choreography got better as the performance progressed.
All in all, I was mesmerized by the amount of creative minds it takes to put on a performance like this.
Before this performance, I had only ever seen the outside of the Palais Garnier. Though hard to believe, the inside of the building is even more incredible than the outside is. I definitely took my time coming out of the amphitéâtre after the performance to just admire the architecture, and I wasn’t the only one. I also loved admiring what others wore to the performance.
Me being me, one of my biggest concerns with going to a performance at the Palais Garnier was what I was going to wear. I knew I had to be well-dressed, but nothing in the limited clothing I brought with me to Paris was opera worthy. (or maybe that’s the excuse I used to buy a new dress). I spent weeks looking for the right dress, and was so happy when I came across this black and white bell-sleeved shift dress from Primark.
The dress only cost 16 €, but definitely looks like it’s worth more. I received compliments on it all night! Not only is it fancy enough for the opera, but super comfortable as well. I love buying black dresses because they’re a good staple to have in your closet. Though this one is a bit fancier than a typical LBD, I think I can easily wear it again for other occasions.
For the opera, I decided to pair it with pearl-stud earrings and these trendy slingback pointy flats from H&M. I love when I can wear fancier dresses with flats. I tend to avoid heels as much as I possibly can.
Though I have called Paris home for over a month now, I sometimes tend to forget that I’m actually here. Watching a ballet performance was one of those moments that served to remind me that I am definitely not in the U.S. anymore. I am so grateful I was able to cross an item off my bucket-list of things I want to do in Paris. I’m already looking forward to the next time I can dress up to go to the opera.