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Posts Tagged ‘Performances’

And That’s A Wrap

On Sunday– exactly 8 months from the day that I started at the summer intensive– I wrapped up my first season with the new dance company.

I’ll admit; I had been nervous as heck all week about the show. When we did some marking/spacing on stage the morning of, I felt even more nervous because of how much my body was hurting (my left ankle had been giving me trouble for a while; and I seemed to have pulled something in my right quad). But when we circled up for our pre-performance ritual, our directors gave us a talk along the lines of “Just relax and have fun. It’s just dance, not brain surgery. This is going to be a great show.” After that, I went to my dressing room, grabbed my prayer beads, and gave myself the following pep talk:

“You know these dances. You’ve been practicing like crazy even outside of rehearsals. Just smile and do what you have to do. Trust your brain, trust your body, trust YOURSELF. You got this.”

Amazingly enough, that WORKED. I had so much anxiety due to medical issues I’d been having  (which I still haven’t blogged about; honestly I don’t think I even want to), but I relaxed and had lots of fun with the modern piece. I was a little more apprehensive about the 16-minute neoclassical ballet, but it went much better than I expected (except for one small mishap near the very end, but other than that I was happy).

Then it was time for Firebird. After I changed from pointe shoes to flats and put my dress on, it was time for The Headpiece. After spending some time getting the crown just right and pinning into place, I got to work on the braid– three or four safety pins holding the fall to my own hair, then I jammed some safety pins sideways through the bobby pins. That thing wasn’t going anywhere. Then I helped some of the other princesses with their crowns and hairpieces.

I was confident in my princess dance, so I just went out there and enjoyed myself. It was over before I knew it, and I watched the Kotschei scene– between the lighting and the creepy costumes, it looked amazingly spooky.

The last scene was the wedding, then it was time for bows. When the curtain fell, there was much hugging, cheering, and congratulating. Our associate director got our attention to give us instructions for strike, then added some exciting news:

In the hallway by the dressing rooms, the walls are painted with shows that have been performed there, with signatures of the cast members. She told us that our company had been invited to sign the wall! So after we packed up all the costumes, one of the dads (a talented professional artist), drew our company’s logo, and we passed around sharpies and took turns signing our names (my handwriting is still terrible; even on walls). Then we all departed, most of us to a post-show celebration in “The Marketplace”– which I thought was some kind of street fair, but I was told no; it’s like that every weekend. Oh, San Antonio; you’re a neat city.

It was the perfect way to cap off my very first season with the company.

Here’s to many more.

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Curtains

Tell me, where does all the magic go
When the curtain falls to end the show.
Do the clowns always cry
When they pack up the paper sky?
When the champagne is being poured
And the lock is on the old stage door…

I just came from the final public showing of Godspell JR.
It was the best performance of them all. No technical glitches, no spacing/logistical problems, all the props were in their proper place and everyone hit the right notes and nailed the dance steps. All of us on the production team were very happy and very, very proud.

After the show I went around to hug the actors and congratulate them on a job well done. Several kids thanked me for working with them (and not just today, either. These are some very gracious kiddos, apparently). I told them all I was proud and that I hope to work with them all again next summer. A few of them are going to be my students at the dance studio this coming year. 🙂

The director said something very wise to the cast before the show: “If you’re striving for perfecton in yourself, you need to let that go. Strive for excellence, yes. But none of us are perfect.” I’m going to remember that for my dancers this coming season.

Godspell was a fantastic, fun, and challenging experience from start to finish. I’m so thankful I got to be a part of it–I’m already looking forward to next summer.

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Now on to my next project: preparing for the new dance year. The fun never stops!

Lyrics from “A Clown in the Sky” from  Mystery Science Theater 3000by Best Brains, Inc, 1991

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Last night was the opening of Godspell JR. Craig came with me and we sat in the audience– a first for me; I’ve been backstage for every show I’ve worked on.

The first performance went well, although there were  few technical glitches (stage lights didn’t quite make it to their full brightness at the beginning, some of the wireless mics dropped in and out randomly and made the occasional feedback noise), a few props went awry and the actors looked pretty cramped on that small stage with that big set. I was still not quite fully out of rehearsal mode,and sat on the edge of my seat looking at spacing  (Let it go, Butterfly, jeez!). Still, it was a nice show: The scene where the cast says good-bye to Jesus one at a time (“On The Willows”) was really moving, the actors nailed all the timing on the funny scenes, and the littlest cast members were ridiculously cute. The audience really enjoyed themselves (including Craig!)

Before tonight’s performance, the director commented to the cast  that “The first performance is kind of like a really good dress rehearsal with an audience,” and things would go more smoothly this time. He was right– the lights so shined before men bright and beautiful, the props were where they needed to be & the actors seemed much more comfortable/less squished on the stage. The mics still had a few glitches in the second act, but everything else was spot-on! The dance numbers looked fabulous and were very high-energy (the applause went on for a while after “O Bless The Lord”), and this choreographer finally sat back and enjoyed the show. 🙂

The audience had a great time. Since many of the kids have a great sense of physical comedy and timing, there was a lot of laughter in the house. My favorite scene was the “Prodigal Son” parable in Act Two– it’s where some of the funniest kids really get to shine.

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There’s more to write, of course, but I’m tired and my words are starting to fail me.

One more performance.

It’ll be a great one.

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