I was at the theater for the matinee, and watched part of the show from the audience. It was neat to see it from the front-- I saw a bunch of things that I never really noticed from inside the action.
When I got to the theater for the final show, I was a little nervous. I sewed myself into my pointe shoes and tacked down my wig, then joined the rest of the company onstage for our warm-up.
While A was nervous before the opening performance, I was nervous before the closing show-- to the point where I kept reminding myself to "JUST CHILL OUT ALREADY, CASSIE." I paced around onstage, ran though choreography, and exchanged "Merde[s]" with other dancers. After we circled up to do our pre-show prayer I was much calmer, and when I took my place at downstage left I had a smile on my face. I was ready.
I could not have had a more beautiful final performance. I felt my energy go through the roof, A and I really connected and played off one another's energy-- it was probably my strongest performance of Amahl that I've performed. The kings were magnificent, E and Frank were just a-dorable in their pas de deux, and before I knew it, it was over. My last time dancing Amahl, my last performance with the company.
We had our talk-back with the audience after the show, where we discussed what performing in the show meant to us and what we felt some of the "lessons" of the ballet were. Afterwards, the dancers cheered and exchanged high-fives and congratulations-you-were-awesomes. Our director told A and I that she had been sitting in the back of the theater and "could read everything we did" and that it was beautiful.
Back in the dressing room, we talked excitedly and exchanged hugs. I thanked our director for letting me dance Amahl again and for all the opportunities she has given me in these last three seasons. I also told E-- my long-time partner in crime-- that I would miss her like crazy.
I felt emotional and almost sad saying goodbye, but the thing is-- and I never really told anyone this, until now-- I have known since October that Amahl would be my last show. I won't go into my reasons, because they are too personal to blog... but I wanted to go out on the show that I came in on, and I wanted to go out on a good note. My final performances of Amahl were the best I could have asked for, and for that I feel both thankful and blessed.
I stopped to visit Sozeberg on my way home. He asked how the show went (Me: "Fabulous!") and said "So you're done, huh? The end of an era." I said "True. But a whole new one will begin in a few weeks. It's a transition, all right."And now, here's your moment of Zen:
"That's what SNL was for me, it was a giant hair shirt. Don't get me wrong-- I had some great times there, God bless them...This is how I encapsulate it: I feel like the Native American who accepted the pox-infested blanket from the U.S. Calvary. 'For me? Thank you! ...uh, I don't feel so good.'"
~ Janeane Garofalo, 1995