Through wind and sleet I toiled to the tram stop where there was a family of six little girls dressed in pink with parents going to see the balet Beauty and the Beast, as was I. In the opera house there were more little girls... not all in pink, fortunately.

The choreography was by Javier Torres. The sugary sweet sets by him and Annukka Pykäläinen reminded me of the Finnish film Sleeping Beauty by Edvin Laine (1949), and Erika Turunen must have had fun designing the costumes. But I looked forward to the music of Ottorino Respighi, which one hears far too seldom, except Fountains of Rome, of course.

The Beauty was Eun-Ji Ha and Frans Valkama was the elegant Beast. It was a real pleasure to watch Eun-Ji Ha's sensitive expressiveness in this role. Otherwise it seemed that all the dancers of the National Ballet must have been on the scene, and half the Ballet School.

The first half contained much pointless prancing, but also a couple of fun bits: the rabbits' dance and the dance of the armours. The boy sitting next to me - dressed in turquoise and grey - was bored. After the intermission the ballet improved, for a while there seemed to be even some psychological depth, and also the boy seemed less bored... However,  I found myself wishing I had seen the musical and the animation film for comparison. As a whole it was somewhat too pretty for my taste, but it got a good and enthusiastic applause.