After missing my second rehearsal last week due to a conference in Ottawa, I dutifully arrived early for extra practice last night, having also done my best to review the final "Open Your Heart" choreography via the video created by Jessica and Hailey. However, we actually spent the entire three hours working on "Spiegel im Spiegel."
Not that this wasn't welcome. It's the first and longest section--and the hardest to count. Jessica spent a lot of time drilling the counts around the waltz and duet sections into our brains and bodies. This was especially helpful for Suzie and I, as it's been ages since we've had a chance to work on this together. Once we actually figured out on which side of each other we were meant to stand things became a lot easier! There was a little futzing with the positioning of the waltz quartets and which duos are meant to move outward from the column leading up to the duet; we practiced that last bit several times as we were taking too much time following our cue from Tracey at the front.
We were lucky to have the musicians there with us, as without the piano from Part's recorded composition one must listen more closely for the downbeats in order to maintain the counts. And I find I really need to keep counting throughout this opening section as I can't always or intuitively hear the musical cues that mark specific movements when Jessica points them out to us. It was a bit nerve-wracking when we got massively out of sync with the music (and there were a few such moments), but Jessica and Hailey and the musicians were very patient with us, and by the final run-through we pretty much nailed it.
I'm still worried about the last piece though, as I've yet to practice it with the group. I hope we get a chance at one of the impromptu extra rehearsals organized by Jane and Judy for this evening and tomorrow. Because after that there's only one more rehearsal next Monday, and then it's performance day the Sunday following. If the evening on the 21st is anything like it was last night, it's going to be gorgeous.
I just hope our dancing will be equal to the weather and setting.