Monday, January 19, 2015

Le Grand Continental: Rehearsal 21

I'm writing this just after getting home from our penultimate rehearsal at the Roundhouse, as I need tomorrow morning to catch up on class prep. All of this community dancing was bound to catch up with me eventually, and on top of a cold and incrementally increasing pre-performance jitters, PuSh opens tomorrow! So we must steal time where we can, preferably with a big glass of wine to hand (cheers, Hilary!).

I tested out my second costume this evening; the loud orange and red theme seemed to past muster with most of my dance peeps in our corner. That said, I did have a few second thoughts when Sylvain cautioned at the end that the brighter and more flamboyant one's costume, the more eyes focused on one. Hmmm... It's not that I don't know the choreography by now. But I'm still making the occasional mistake. And tonight those mistakes cropped up in the oddest of places, in moves that have previously been rote and that I've had down for weeks now. I blame the cold medicine. And those mounting butterflies in the stomach.

Not that it's ever too late for fine-tuning and clarification. Pre-rehearsal I confirmed with Caroline the counts on the backwards and forwards shoulder shimmies leading into the cape move in "Gogoprado," as I always seem to be early on the latter. And who knew that my lead into the shhhh lunge in "Ima" had been incorrect all this time? It's not a free-wheeling twirl, as I've been doing, hoping I land with the right foot forward. There's actually a step forward with the left leg, followed by a pivot and a transfer of weight to the right leg, and then a very logical, and I must say far easier, lunge forward with the left leg that coincides with the arrival of right index finger to lips. To paraphrase Stephen Sondheim, it's these little details we discover together that make all of this worthwhile.

We concluded the rehearsal with a complete run-through, including our entrances and the intro section, and on through to our concluding bows (which are still a bit messy). I had the odd stumble and brain fart here and there, but on the whole Sylvain was very pleased, including with the level of energy that we maintained throughout. The key, he reminded us in delivering his notes at the end, is to maintain that energy across all four performances on Saturday and Sunday, especially during "Cumbia" and "Champagne."

That will definitely be a challenge as on top of our final rehearsal on Wednesday I am out at a show every night between now and then, and also following our first two performances on Saturday. It all sounded doable back when I planned this in November, and when a new semester of classes still seemed remote.

All of which is to say sorry to my students if this week's classes seem a bit slap-dash. Because, truth be told, I'm far more comfortable winging a lecture on The Bacchae than trying to mark my way through 30 minutes of choreography.


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