Photo Credit: Phil Wayes

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Notes from our performances: Student matinées

I scribbled some stuff down during our final two performances yesterday so that I could give you lovely folks an inside look at how a performance happens. Enjoy!

1. I didn't dance anything in pointe shoes for this production, but I got to wear bonnets. It evens out.

2. Sabbath Day is the most fun ballet ever. EVER. The end.

3. As a result of Jimmy's absence, I am dancing in the sections of Sabbath Day that I was removed from due to my injury. I had the best time dancing those sections,.... yet I felt a bit guilty enjoying myself so much because of the circumstances that put me back in those ballets.

4. The corps' exit from the third movement of Sabbath Day is a series of turning jumps and leaps.... which is fun in and of itself, but even more so in a long and twirly skirt.

5. During the "shadowplay" scene in which R shoots me,* he looks amazingly creepy. After he blows me away, he exits doing a stoic and stiff-legged movement (while putting away the "gun"), and since he's wearing a top hat and his fancy-looking slave-master outfit it looks like something out of a music video by The Used. From my close-up recently-shot perspective, IT LOOKS AWESOME.

6. As I've said before, the Douglass piece began last year with the "Slave Machine" quartet. I
just want to tell you that it is WAY more fun to dance in a fancy hoop dress and a frilly bonnet.

7. Call me a hack if you will, but if there's one thing I love more than dancing it's dancing while wearing a pretty outfit. I'll plead guilty on all counts of Vain, but it's how I roll.

8. Did I really ust say "It's how I roll?" *facepalm*

9. During our second show on Tuesday, we were nearing the end of "Slave Machine" and I thought "This might be the last time I dance this, and that makes me sad." I had a great time dancing it.

10. Again: Jimmy's absence from our fold caused us to do quite a bit of re-arranging in terms of casting. For Tuesday's performances, I got to do the "Silver Trumpet of Freedom" (another shadow sequence), which I enjoyed.

11. It's worth mentioning that our director originally did that section; and to me, getting to dance one of her parts is pretty darn cool (even if it is , like, only thirty seconds long).

12. I always forget that we're supposed to be barefoot for Freedom, so I end up having to yank off my ballet shoes about eight counts before my entrance.

13. It is entirely impossible not to smile during Freedom. It's so uplifting.

14. Originally, I had an exit where Jimmy and R lifted me over their heads and carried me offtstage. It always caused me to want to say "Whee!" With Jimmy gone, we re-worked it so that R picked me up in a double attitude and swirled me offstage...and I honestly have to say that it's even more fun than our original lift. It's like being on a roller coaster, but on a stage and in a dance costume. During the final performance yesterday, I found myself whispering "wheeeeeeeeeee" as he carried me offstage.

15. With both incarnations of that lift-exit, I always wanted to close my eyes for fear of having a painful encounter with either the wing or the lighting boom. It was a little scarier with the new lift, because I was being spun around really, really fast...but then I realized "Dude, I've been dancing with this guy for over a year and he has NEVER hurt me, dropped me, or slammed me into an immoveable object." And then I felt really lucky for being able to dance with such a good partner. Props, dude.

16. When we lined up to make our final Freedom enterance during our last three performances, every single time I'd forget what had happened and think to myself "There aren't enough people in our line. Where's Jimmy?" And each time, it saddened me in a big way.

17. It was a really great show and I'm bummed that it's over. I hope we get to dance these ballets again, because it was such a great experience. Allow me to send some major love to the [Awesome People] Dance Company: It was a tremendous pleasure, and I love you all.

P.S. Tomorrow is Bill Hicks Day, so stay tuned for a big-time tribute. Check out Hicks' work in the meantime, especially if you haven't heard of him before. Big-time props to Mr. Sozeberg for introducing me to Hicks last fall.

*Let me clarify that during that scene I'm portraying a slave and not the slave mistress. The scene portrays how a slave master could shoot an errant slave in cold blood-- in front of the other slaves!-- and none of the slaves who witnessed the murder could report or testify the murder. Awful. Makes me hate America, a little bit.

1 comment:

Shan said...

I hear bonnets are making a comeback.