What Just Happened?
This is the question I asked myself Monday morning as I crawled out of bed; and then it hit me--we’d just had a weekend of successful shows. The week leading up to a show is always full of anxiety and questions, none of which seem to have answers.
I personally spent the week finishing and putting the final touches on costumes, while the dancers worked their day jobs and poured their hearts out each night as we worked to perfect the pieces. It was a week in which we worked in overtime. This show was a first concert as a company, there was a lot of ‘newness’ for this Artistic Director. It was the first time that I had attempted two longer works, and changed up my creative process for the piece ODD Behaviors.
Our "Tech Week" began on Wednesday night with a final run of the pieces in rehearsal--which went swimmingly. With successful runs at rehearsal, we went into our tech night with a good amount of confidence. Of course, we all know that tech rehearsals never go as planned... you end up behind schedule, don't get as many times to run the pieces as you would like, the wrong music plays, everyone is tired--essentially it does everything but settle the nerves! Then came Friday, a day dedicated to making sure I had all of the costume issues fixed, completely forgetting that I had to have something to wear myself, and plenty of unbridled ‘freaking out’ in general. Then came that moment--the one, ultimately calming moment where I found peace.
I was running warm up prior to the show on opening night when it hit me. While watching the dancers and enjoying how stunning they were, I thought to myself, "I can't believe I get to do this." We were doing tendus to a song called ‘Breathing Underwater’ and there is a lyric that says "Is this my life? Am I breathing underwater?" That was the best description of how I felt. It was all very surreal. I have been working for a substantial amount of time to own a dance company and direct concerts; and in that moment, it all came together. I felt settled... for a little while at least. :)
The whole weekend continued as a whirlwind of warm ups, dancing, meeting people, discussing dance--and repeat. It was a definite dream come true! We were all so excited to share the stories that we had been creating and developing. The best part was each and every one of you who came out to share in the experience with us!
As a company we have stressed from day one that we are passionate about making modern dance more accessible and approachable. Every member of the audience was great at starting those conversations with each other and with us. We are overwhelmingly grateful for all who came out to support us this weekend! We received such an open and positive energy from the audience, which only enhanced what we were able to do on stage.
As I rolled myself out of bed Monday morning I was sore and exhausted, but the nerves that had been with me over the course of the weekend had been pushed out. In their place, I found myself filled with an excitement for what is yet to come...