It’s been almost 2 weeks since the SJDT performances, and the euphoria and the crash have both subsided. It was so hard to go back to work after that week, I felt like it was stepping into a different life. Maybe that’s part of the magic and the charm that keeps me coming back.
Had I known ahead of time that we’d have rehearsals every Saturday and Sunday for almost 3 months, I’m not sure I would have had the heart to sign up. It was grueling at times not having a day off from work or rehearsals, especially since work this time of year tends to be busy, but I think the attention put into the production really helped. Putting together a whole new production with new choreography was a big undertaking, and I’m just so impressed that the SJDT community pulled it off. Given the tough circumstances, a lot of us had more roles than we might have deserved (or wanted!), and being cast in all the shows was certainly rough during the performances. But the board and the others working behind the scenes also poured their hearts into getting everything working and getting the seats filled, and I think that’s equally impressive and deserving of respect. Even if I didn’t personally dance all that well, it’s hard to say the shows weren’t ultimately a success for the company and for the school. I think Linda’s tenure as artistic director is off to a good start.
My body’s almost healed up from the abuse of theatre week and performing, not to mention the cold that plagued me and a number of others throughout that week. I managed to pull a hip muscle in one of the Saturday shows, and it’s slowly getting better, but I have a feeling it will be one of those persistent injuries. Somehow, my right ankle survived with just a little tenderness.
I normally don’t get nervous for shows because I really have nothing to lose, but that first time stepping on the SJCPA was rather intimidating. The stage is so much larger than the others I’ve been on, and it has an air of seriousness that surpasses those of a smaller theatre such as MVCPA. Of the four “real” shows, I think two went well for me and two didn’t go so well. I still cringe a little remembering how I completely missed an entrance on the Friday night show, after making the same mistake in the Thursday runthrough. I could chalk it up to being sick and exhausted from the week, or that it’s kind of weird to have that short appearance of Russian in Waltz of the Flowers, but it was definitely an embarrassing lapse. Good thing it wasn’t critical to the ballet; still, stupid me. Live performances are never perfect, but sometimes I wish there were a reset button.
It wasn’t an easy decision to do a different studio’s Nutcracker this year, and it was sad to bail on my old ballet family and not able to see the WB show. I really wish I could have seen some of the girls in the roles they got this year, but alas, the shows were all on the same weekend. In the end, though, I think it was worth it: some old friends, many new friends, and another learning experience. I tell myself that I’ll stop ballet when I stop improving or learning, and this was a great opportunity that reinvigorated me at a time when I was close to quitting (although maybe I say this every year as well). Being able to work with new choreography was also great, and now I can say that I’ve had a soloist role made for me. I hope I’ve improved my partnering a little bit, and am grateful to have had the opportunity to have the roles I got, especially Marzipan. It’s been a magical ride.