We had our end-of-school-year production this past weekend.
As with all shows, the prep seems to take forever, but the event is over in the blink of an eye.
Thankfully (?) it’s only a few short days until auditions for the ballet company’s summer production (actually, it’s today… I started writing this a few days ago!).
Before we fast-forward to that, though… time to sit back and let the fun of this show soak in.
This was my third such production with the school. Talk about time flying! I couldn’t help indulging in a little reminiscence.
Two years ago I was feeling a bit unsure about this whole thing. I was still one of the new girls. Now… people will start telling “remember when” stories and if I say, “Oh, that was before my time,” will look shocked and tell me that they can’t remember when I wasn’t a part of it. The friendships I’ve made have started to outgrow the studio and I am pleased to count many of these people in my circle of support.
Beyond seeing my own growth as a person and a dancer, though… is seeing the growth of some of our other dancers, particularly the younger ones. During dress rehearsal I got to watch the opening scene in which the younger versions of Cinderella and her step-sisters set up the story. In the first show I did with the ballet company over two years ago these three children were playing adorable little sheep in one of our pieces. Now they’re playing characters with a degree of technique and artistry that makes your heart ache. Snif!!!
Then there are the tots that, seemingly yesterday, were crawling around the studio waiting for an older sibling, not even walking yet… and today are wearing tiny orange ballet slippers of their own and dancing as chicks with their pre-ballet class. Eep!!!
Bah! I could keep doing this for hours! Enough emotional sap! Moving on to the show!
Will have to wait for the DVD to come in the mail to finally see all the elements, but from what I saw I daresay this is the best recital production to date.
First up we had some pretty sweet set design. A new backdrop for the village scene (not sure if this is one we own or if we rented it… haven’t seen it before now) AND some cool projections onto the scrim — one at the beginning of the show announcing the start of the production and another later in the show of a castle, right before the ball scene opened. It wasn’t overdone, just enough to add another dimension of professionalism to the show.
The show was also cut down in length a bit this year. It was still a hair over two hours, including intermission, but there was actually time to go out for lunch between shows, which was nice. Seemed a smidge less hectic backstage, too. Still lots of quick changes, but seemed smoother than last year.
My dances all went well, I think. I didn’t lose my bread in the lyrical “Baker” dance (we had some bread mishaps during dress rehearsal involving crumbs scattered across the stage warranting a craft shop’s worth of hot glue to resolve). My fairy wings stayed intact during Winter Fairies. I was mostly successful in my transition from that to a Princess vying for Charming’s heart (though I missed my entrance at the beginning of the ball during the second show because I was still backstage getting hooked into my bodice… not sure if that was better or worse than the incident in the first show when I realized I had brought up two right-footed pointe shoes… not a huge deal since there wasn’t much pointe work in the dance, but embarassing to have the knot on the wrong side of my ankle!). After Cinderella arrived at the ball I scooted off to put on dance sneakers and my hood and shield for my hip hop class’s stint as guards (interesting transition, that one!) followed by my fastest change of all back into a tutu and slippers to become a townsperson at the royal wedding.
Nice finale for the school year. Oh, and one final sap note… my grandmother was in the audience for this show. The last time she saw me dance was at least 20 years ago, I’d say. She’s been living a few states away, but is into her 90s now and recently diagnosed with dementia, all of which prompted a move closer to family. My parents brought her with them to see the show and she LOVED it. She ascribed perhaps a bit more technique and artistry to our dancers than we truly have, but who am I to contradict her? I saw her again just yesterday and she was still raving about the show. So… that was special. After all, what’s the point of having a passion for dance if you don’t get to share it?