I will never forget my first visit to the Bolshoy Theatre. It was ages ago, but this stands out in my memory quiet vividly. My mother bought beforehand two tickets for a matinee performance of the ballet "Sleeping Beauty" by Chaikovsky. We came to the theatre long before the performance began. A sign at the entrance of the theatre said that "house full". Many people were standing at the entrance of the theatre asking if we had an extra ticket.
We left our coats in the cloak-room and bought a program from the usher to see what the cast was. I remember we were glad to see that Ulanova was dancing the main part. When we came into the hall the orchestra were tuning in their instruments. We found our seats which were in the stalls and went exploring the theatre. My mother showed me the boxes, the pit, the dress-circle, the tiers and balconies. At 12 sharp the lights went down. The conductor appeared and the performance began. After the performance the curtain went up. I was in raptures at what I saw on the stage. I have never seen anything more wonderful. The scenery and the dancing were superb. The ballet seemed to me a fairy-tale. When the last curtain fell, the house burst out into applause. I applauded so much that my hands ached. The cries of encore sounded all over the theatre. The dancers got many curtain calls and were presented with many flowers. The performance was a great success with the public. It was one of my brightest memories.