Second Rehearsal: Between a Mat and a Green Elephant

The second rehearsal for the modern recital started off with name-calling during warm-up.

People from two classes take part in this particular rehearsal: my Monday modern class and a Friday modern contemporary. Today, I got to meet the Friday teacher and it was… weird. For warm-up, she had us walk around the studio, make eye contact with everyone coming our way and introduce ourselves loudly, clearly and repeatedly. After a bit of this she had us say the name of the person we met instead.

At first, I thought it was very strange. But it really helps to drag you out of your shell and into the studio and connect you to the people you’re sharing it with. Communication becomes easier and the dancing gains a kind of togetherness. This will serve us well, since we’re all stuck with each other for the following months. Plus, the teacher can yell «Klothilde, stand behind Arabella!» and everyone will know what’s going on.

After that, we, or rather our teachers, tried to figure out the hand-over between the two groups. Not only do we have to run in and start dancing at the exact same time as the other group finishes up and runs off, but it would also be ideal if nobody fell off the stage or danced behind the curtains. The studio is a tad longer than the stage we’ll be performing on, so a green stuffed elephant and an equally green yoga mat were used to denote the backstage areas. (There are a lot of stuffed animals in the studio. They live on the window sill behind the barre and are presumably there for the kids’ ballet classes.) We had some trouble fitting and centering everyone, but in the end, despite the teachers saying «I’ll just cut our slide» and «No, no, I’ll cut a part of my choreo instead» all the time, nothing needed to be cut and it did all work out in the end.

I’m growing fond of the rehearsal atmosphere, which is both more focused and more relaxed than the usual class. In class, you never get to dance with your back to the mirror while the teachers perch on the window sill with their feet on the barre and shout instructions and counts at you like drill sergeants. The studio is longer, but narrower than the stage, so we’re a bit confined in the front-back-axis, making the front of the class a dangerous place to be.

Oh, and I got placed in front. Did I mention that? I. got. placed. in. front. I wonder if that will last. TBH, though, our group consists of only six people, so it’s two in front, two in the middle and two in the back.

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