(1311-04-04) Zombies at the Ballet
Summary: Drake takes Philomene to the ballet
RL Date: 4-04-2019
Related: None
drake philomene 

Opera de Marsilikos

Three sets of double doors allow entrance to the grand foyer of l'Opera Marsilikos, where gold-veined black marble floors greet patrons with an air of opulence. A fountain ringed by benches is the focal point of the foyer, its water trickling from a shell held aloft by a dancer with a flute to her lips. The walls are a series of gilded pillars and mock arches which frame trompe l'oeil paintings of Marsilikos and its port, whilst the ceiling above depicts cherubs and clouds against the background of summer's sky. An area of seating situated to the left is waited upon by several of the house's staff, with a variety of the finest wines and liquors sourced from Eisande accompanying a more conservative offering of freshly made sweetmeats and fruits. A sweeping staircase with gilded rails rises beneath a glittering chandelier to a galleried first floor, where access to the auditorium is to be found.


Drake is taking Philo out to the opera! Even though it's early in the day and there aren't all that many people around.
 
Philomène is overjoyed by the fact, as can be evidenced by the way she hasn't stabbed anyone since Tuesday.

"Ah how nice of you to join me." Drake greets the woman when she arrives in the fancy foyer of the place. "Have you ever seen an actual show here?"

Today when she hobbles her way in, there's a cautiousness to Philomene's step, eyeing the foyer with mistrust. "Well, no, I've never felt theurge to sit through an entire evening of people singing when they should be dying. I would imagine it's more your sort of thing, though?"

"Yes, I'm rather fond of the opera.", Drake replies, "The Caerdiccians are -excellent- at opera, so I saw rather a lot of it in Tiberium. It's not just singing though. There is also dancing. Come along…" He begins to lead her further into the building and, yes, indeed, up the big bloody marble staircase.

Philomène takes a deep breath, gripping the banister hard with one arm until her muscles flex beneath her ubiquitous brown riding jacket and practically hauling herself up each step. "Dancing when they should be singing, or dancing when they should be dying? It's a really very confused concept."
 
"Dancing without singing, expressing themselves through movement.", Drake explains and, once he's reached the top of the staircase, executes a fairly decent twirl. He wouldn't make Nureyev weep with envy but clearly he's had some dancing lessons at some point. "And the dying thing… well, people love a bit of tragedy.", he shrugs and walks on to a gilded door which he opens, stepping aside to let Philomene pass.
 
More dubious looks to that twirl, and then Philomene is content to hobble on through the door into the theatre's interior, the foot of her injured side scraping wide hoops in the lavish carpet as she walks.

It's a box of course, not that there's anything official going on at the moment. Most of the vast auditorium is empty. Only a few seats in the front stalls below are occupied by theatre people. On stage a bunch of young dancing girls in floaty dresses are twirling about, rehearsing something. The box is dark-red plush and gild and holds a total of six very comfortable chairs. "Have a seat.", Drake offers one of the three chairs in the front row, then plonks down beside Philo.

Philomène settles into the indicated seat, folding her arms initially, but as the dancers continue to rehearse and her attention is slowly drawn to become increasingly more rapt, one arm goes up on the edge of the box, leaning forward in her seat so she can watch. For perhaps the first and only time in her life, she's silent.
 
Drake makes a mental note of this. He, too, seems content to what the graceful dancers doing their thing on stage, twirling and leaping about like they had no truck with gravity at all. For some reason the elderly lady watching them like a crow isn't happy, barking things here and there, before finally calling a general break. Giving Drake a chance to look at Philo to see what she thinks.
 
As the dancers break, so too does Philomene, leaning back in her seat and folding her arms again. "Nice place," she mentions, giving the richly upholstered seat beside them a nod. "Probably cost a few ducats to build, eh? I mean, how much velvet does any one building really need?"
 
"I do not know what the building cost, but surely the Duchesse can afford it.", Drake replies with a shrug and pats the armrest of his chair. "And it's all rather comfortable isn't it. What do you think of the dancers?"

"I don't have a frame of reference," Philomene confesses dourly, lips pursing a little as she glances back over towards the stage. "From where I'm sitting, they're definitely dancing. Or they were. Was it good? Bad? I'm no connaisseur."
 
"None of that matters. Did you ENJOY it?", he asks, "You seemed to enjoy it." Though it's hard to tell with her. Down on the stage one girl for some reason has decided to go solo while the others are resting and does a row of rather insane twirls all around the stage. One fears she might bang head-first into the back wall at some point, but she doesn't.

Philomène casts a half smile at him, raising a brow. "Did you enjoy it?" she counters. "I would imagine it's right up your street. Young ladies in tight clothing, showing off their flexibility, hm?"
 
"Of course I like it. I'm a fairly regular visitor here.", Drake replies with a little smile, "To be honest, I find it far more relaxing to sit back here and enjoy their dancing than all the fuss with the courtesans and their interaction." And, still trying to get an answer out of the woman, he says: "I'm thinking of hiring them for the wedding."

Philomène stretches her arms upwards, interlacing her fingers then bringing both hands behind her head. "Where will you put them, though? It's not as though you'll have a stage for your wedding, will you? And I thought you wanted… you know. Traditional dancing. Couples. Music."
 
"Well there's space in the Ducal Palace which we have been offered. They would be dancing on the dance floor. To entertain the guests for a while. While we're still on the desserts and the drinks We'll dance later. It would be something… special, don't you agree? I'm commissioning a little ballet for them to act out. They call it ballet. That kind of… dancing…", he explains, gesturing vaguely towards the stage.
 
"I imagine it'll go down well," Philomene agrees, closing her eyes for a moment and looking for all the world as though she might just take a nap right here, comfortable in the opulence of the box and supremely confident that this is where she ought to be.
 
"Well!" Drake straightens a little, perhaps taken by surprise. "If YOU like something, I'm sure it will go down a storm with everyone else. It is decided then. There will be a dance at the wedding. I'm planning a retelling of the story of Draguignan."
 
Philomène's lips quirk into an amused smile, eyes still closed. "What do you mean, if I like something. I like a lot of things. You don't have to act so bloody shocked." She cracks open one eye to peer at him. "What story's that? You were born into a good family, and your family grow wine. The end. Short story."
 
"You don't like my new pool.", Drake points out. Which is the first thing that springs to mind. Others would follow but he's already moving on. "Not MY story. The story of Draguignan, the dragon and the saint. It should make for a lovely story."
 
"I think your new pool is a waste of good money and good gardens," Philomene corrects. "But it's not my home, and not my business."

"Yea well, and I think it will make my wife very happy. And me. So, case closed. Anyway, if you like this, you should accompany me to a proper performance some time. I believe the next performance of their ballet is in three days. Until then it's opera."
 
Philomène unfastens her hands from behind her head, leaning forwards again to look down at the stage. "Well, what's the story of this ballet, then? I'm not going to be able to follow it if I don't know ahead of time what the fuck's going on."
 
"It's about a beautiful maiden who falls for a nobleman in disguise. When his identity and the fact that he's engaged is revealed, she dies of heartbreak. But she rises from the grave and joins spirits who force evil men to dance to their death. But the girl doesn't want her nobleman to die, so she goes to set him - and herself - free. She's one of the two dance the lead.", Drake explains with all the flair of the connoisseur and points at the girl who had been twirling about solo earlier, but is now sitting cross-legged on stage.
 
Philomène rests an elbow on the edge of the box, chin resting on her hand as she subjects the young lady sitting there to considerable scrutiny. "She sounds like a right pillock," she scoffs. "You don't die of heartbreak, you let that chap have a kick in the goolies for leading a lass on, then you get the fuck on with your life." She snorts. "I suppose a man wrote it, did he? What does the nobleman do to deserve to be saved? I suppose he's just awfully pretty, is he?"
 
"Of course he's awfully pretty.", Drake confirms dryly, "And that's romance for you. Hey, I didn't write it. But it's very popular. And at least she doesn't die. There's another very popular one that ends with the lead girl dying. And she takes just as long about it as the singers in operas."
 
Philomène turns to eye him, a brow raised. "She doesn't die? Drake, not two minutes ago you said, quite clearly, that she dies of heartbreak, which is a damn fool reason to keel over in anyone's book just to begin with. Just because she rises as some sort of dancing ghoul thing just to save the unworthy hide of some pretty but ultimately useless nobleman doesn't mean she didn't die in the first place."

"Well, yes, I guess she dies.", Drake concedes, "But she comes back to life and does her thing and when she goes back to her grave it doesn't feel like dying. Anyway, I'm not argueing the finer points with you.", he snaps, "It's a lovely story and great dancing by all the floaty girls there. I wouldn't mind them dancing me to death…"
 
"What you're imagining them doing you to death," Philomene insists, tone dry, "is not dancing."
 
Drake's cheeks flush a little. Luckily the break in rehearsals is over just then, saving him the need for some lame excuse. "Let's watch a bit more.", he suggests instead and turns his attention back to the stage, where the pretty girls resume their twirling and leaping.
 

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