Although we've always thought of ourself as a fairly cultured person, there are certain gaps in both our knowledge and understanding of, not to speak of our utter indifference toward, certain domains in the arts which gaps give effective lie to that admiring picture of ourself. We speak here of the domains of art (lowercase "a"; i.e., painting) and the ballet. With regard to the former, we readily recognize the skill involved and appreciate the execution of art of all periods from the truly astonishing cave paintings at Lascaux to the abstract expressionists and even to the pop stuff of the Sixties, but none of it touches us emotionally and we're dismayed and appalled repeatedly and invariably by the absurd, even lunatic, prices paid regularly for paintings at art auctions and galleries worldwide. What makes our native insensitivity to paintings genuinely strange is that we've a quite refined visual sense (we made a very good living for a number of years as a professional photographer of architecture exclusively), but as assiduously as we've tried over the years to get at (or, rather, just get) the emotional power of paintings, our every attempt ended in miserable failure, the reason of that failure maddeningly beyond our ability to comprehend. Our antipathy for the ballet is perhaps easier to explain. Again, while we readily recognize the skill involved and appreciate the execution, the actual dance leaves us cold emotionally. Worse, the dance, no matter how brilliant the execution, always strikes us as a distraction from the music at best, and at worst, a positive annoyance. Given our background and training, that at least sounds plausible, even in some measure excusable, albeit somewhat benighted. Yes, it's quite true we were captivated entirely by Margot Fonteyn's dancing of Juliet in the video of the Royal Ballet's 1966 Romeo and Juliet with partner Rudolph Nureyev dancing the Romeo (who merely impressed us as opposed to captivating us). But still, for us, it's always the overriding power of Prokofiev's music that's responsible for providing this ballet its emotional and dramatic wallop, never the choreography, the dancing, and/or the dancers; the music the thing responsible for making this ballet worthwhile of our time, the dancing, all of it first-rate in this particular performance to the extent we're competent to judge such things, little more than tolerated, Fonteyn's stellar performance notwithstanding. If all the above seems to suggest that, at bottom, we're no better than a regulation philistine, this next will leave you in no doubt upon the matter. Operating under the misguided and ill-informed impression that we were some sort of high-culture maven, we were years ago asked by a would-be connoisseur of the arts what might the very best thing about the ballet be. Our answer: the photographs. If you imagine that answer to be flip, off the wall, and totally over the top, we suggest you go to Google Images, type the single word "ballet" in the search box, and begin scanning through the resulting images at random.