I've been performing in student matinees (where the students take a feld trip to the theater to watch a performance) since I was twelve, and I've found that the older I get, the more fun and enlightening the experience becomes. After every performance we've been doing talkbacks with the students-- we introduce ourselves briefly, and the students ask questions about the performance, the dancers, and the process of dance ("How long do you rehearse? What made you decide to do a dance about xyz? What inspires you to dance?"). It's really nice to see how interested and curious they are. So far we've had all great crowds-- respectful, generous applause, etc. Our second performance today had a beyond-packed house and we got a standing ovation.
One of our frequent questions is "How long did it take to get ready for the performance?" The answer? Six weeks. We pulled together a two-hour performance in a total of six weeks, one of those being entirely spent on There is a Time. It's inspiring to me, as a rookie company director, to see a full-length show set and polished so quickly. I want to have that sort of efficiency in myself for my dance ensemble.
My buddy V remarked today that "we've been performing a lot, we're all a little tired, I think the emotions are running high." I've tried to be conscious of that, sure that my lighthearted chatter and joking might get grating to some. I don't feel particularly emotional per se, just more conscious of myself in movement and in appearance. My joints-- particularly my old injuries-- are getting a little creaky, but I'm combating that by stretching and doing strengthening exercises when I'm not dancing.
I can't believe there are only two performances left. One student matinée, one public evening performance. I realized today just how happy I am to be dancing in this company. The process wasn't easy for me, but it made the stronger...it was a push; I had to work harder with all the different styles of choreography, learn faster to compensate for my travel-related absences. I'm grateful for it.