Show Time

My recital finally happened! Now that I’ve had a couple days to think it over and digest it a bit, here’s some thoughts (organized in a somewhat random fashion, just as I remember). This time I’m going to leave this post public, and stop being so paranoid about people figuring out who I am or where I dance (the last recital post was private, but I realize not everyone who reads this has the password or is too shy to email me for it – hey, I’m shy too!).

First, background info: Unlike our last recital last December, which was a multi-genre all-evening affair (of which our half-hour ballet piece was a part), this recital was entirely ballet – classical and some contemporary. We had 5 pieces in which the entire corps de ballet danced (excerpts from Giselle, La Bayadere, Swan Lake, and an original piece) as well as about a dozen solos or dances in small groups.

After  our first big corps piece, we had to quickly change out of our tutus and into our ballet skirts to go back onstage for a piece with just three of us – and by quick I mean quick (more about that later). This piece in particular (Nikiya’s entrance, from La Bayadere, with three dancers instead of one) was one that I thoroughly enjoyed rehearsing, and I had rehearsed it so many times that by now it was almost automatic, just my body responding to the music without any need for conscious thought or planning. It starts of relatively slow, with a lot of pique sous-sus balances, a half turn and balance in releve retire, and beautiful arms, with a lot of bourres. I remember at the moment right before the music picks up for the fast part thinking “Oh crap! I’m exhausted and the fast part is barely coming up! Got to pull it together!” And somehow I did – the faster timing, the bourre turns, the soutenus, finishing in time with the music. Although I haven’t seen any video from this dance I heard from some people watching that we did a good job – and I think I’ll choose to believe them.

Immediately after this there was another costume change to get back into a tutu, and we didn’t make it. I remember I was putting my tutu on in the wings with the help of a classmate and I see the corps run onstage for the next piece and I was like “I got to go – I’m onstage!” and tried to run onstage with my tutu not fully fastened (my classmate held me back, and probably kept me from making a complete fool of myself as my tutu came off onstage, so much belated thanks to her (though at the moment I was like “LET ME GO!!!” lol).  Once the tutu was finally on, we planned a strategic entrance for the latter half of the dance. It was like that scene in The Turning Point (which is on Netflix, and if you haven’t seen it and enjoy ballet, you must) when Leslie(?) is shoved onstage by that other lady in the middle of Swan Lake (except, you know, we weren’t drunk, though that would have added to the hilarity, I’m sure). Anyway, from what I heard our entrance wasn’t as obvious to the audience as it was to me. I’m sad I missed dancing the first part of that dance though 😦

Our two next corps pieces (Entrance of Wilies from Giselle, and entrance of swans from Swan Lake) went off without a hitch (at least as far as I know. Well, actually, there were a couple small mistakes, but nothing too noticeable.) It was beautiful – all of the pieces dancing in the corps were beautiful, all of us in our white tutus completely filling the stage. So lovely! I think this time around I had more of an opportunity to actually enjoy it while being onstage instead of it being over before I know it. I mean, when you look at the time length of each piece, these dances are short. But I do remember having the memory of looking out at us moving in unison to the music and my heart just filling up with all the beauty of it. Yes, all the hard work, all the struggles, and the stress – it was worth it.

Then, the low point of the show (for me). We missed our cue for our duet. This time, we were backstage putting on the finishing touches  when I hear our music start. Crap!  I ran to the stage, having already missed the first 10 seconds or so (of a 1 minute and 50 second dance), and immediately after entering the stage realize that my costume was incomplete – I’d left part of it backstage. There was nothing to do but just keep going, so I did. The late entry to stage and my missing pieces of the costume had me feeling so off my game, and I don’t even want to know if it was very apparent. From this dance there were a few videos, but I haven’t watched them (by choice) because honestly I am so disappointed that it went this way (and that I missed my stage cue – again!). I’ve heard this dance called “the weirdest pas de deux in ballet” before, so even if done right I knew it was odd. But with this dance the costume was a big part of the visual appeal, so I am sad that it failed. To make matters worse, this was the last piece I was in for a while (until our finale), so I got plenty of backstage time to beat myself up over it.

Something I really liked this time around is that we were able to watch the parts of the show we weren’t in from the wings, which was really nice. Last recital we’d had to go all the way backstage and downstairs when we weren’t due onstage for the next piece, and I had been really sad that I didn’t get to see all my classmates dance. This time I got to see it all, and it was wonderful. So many beautiful and inspiring dancers, I sometimes feel like I have to pinch myself to see if it could really be true that I get to dance with them. From when I first started ballet I wanted to perform but it seemed so unlikely that I’d get to so I didn’t dare say it aloud. Now it’s happened twice, to some of my favorite scenes, and it’s incredible.

I think the worst part this time around was that we only did one show, unlike the recital last December in which we did four nights in a row. There was no time to iron out the problems (like those superquick costume changes), or to tell myself that I’ll get it right next time. My feelings keep switching from being happy that we pulled it off and I got to dance (again) on stage in a real theater,  to being sad that I messed up on my duet (and the other missed stage entrance). As far as the messing up, I mean the late entry to stage and the incomplete costume, other than that I remembered all the steps and didn’t fall or fall out of my balances or anything, so I really should be grateful. But I am really bummed out over the costume.

Ok, I was supposed to be a cat. Who’s ever seen a cat with no freakin’ ears?! Arrgh!!!

Anyway, that’s all I can think of saying about the recital for now (though if anything else pops into mind I’ll probably edit and add on). I’m also done with school for the summer so I’ll probably be posting my random rambles a little bit more as I try to catch up on everything I’ve been too busy to write about – or not (my offline journal and other online blog need love too).

3 thoughts on “Show Time

    1. kit Post author

      Oh my gosh, was she onstage?
      Coincidentally, I overheard one of the other dancers backstage asking if anyone had a spare pair of shoes, but in all the chaos I forgot all about it until now.

      1. Trippmadam

        Yes, we were onstage, she lost her shoe, stopped moving, I almost fell over her … it was chaos, but don’t worry: we all survived 😉

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