Rehearsals Eight and Nine: O-M-Gym!

Only a month is left until the recital and it’s all coming together. The teachers are having us rehearse barefoot since that is how we’ll be dancing on stage. Fortunately, I have found a way to tape off my stupid heel without sticking to the floor or dropping little bits of bandage everywhere I go like a poorly made mummy. Since I never wear shoes at home, the soles of my feet are fairly indifferent to anything the floor can throw at them. The backs suffer minor floor burn, but I can live with that.

The eighth rehearsal on Friday went great. Getting up on Saturday did not. I woke up at 5:30 am in pain from a super-stiff neck. My neck and shoulders are chronically tight, which might have predisposed me to this. The fact that I decided that I absolutely need to learn to do a handstand might not have helped, either. Or it might just have been a screwed-up sleeping position. A day of ibuprofen, tennis balls and light housework relieved the pain to the point where I could turn my head without screaming. That was very, very fortunate, because…

Today, we had our first gym rehearsal! Since the city theatre has a busy schedule, we hijacked a school gym to rehearse «to scale». In order to really show us the dimensions of the stage, the wonderful organisers marked the stage, the curtain and the wings with various pieces of gym equipment. A good thing, too, because our studio is tiny compared to the stage. It would, for example, be completely impossible to fit the entire ball in there.

The ball was rehearsing right before us so we got to watch and it was amazing! The evil stepsisters were just perfect, our Cinderella was beautiful (the pas-de-deux brought people to tears) and the rest of the ball was a charming mix of dance styles and wonderful costumes. A couple of people were definitely sniffling by the end. (Yes, including me…)

Our part is called «The Way» and takes place right after the ball. It shows the travels of the shoe while everyone searches for the prince’s mysterious love. We start by running across the stage in ones and twos and threes and boy, did we have to run. In the studio, we barely have time to accelerate before we have to either slow down or crash into the barre, since there’s only a metre and a half of space left on either side after the width of the stage is delineated. The wings in the actual theatre begin with about two metres’ worth of semi-transparent curtain. We obviously have to start running before that, adding a total four metres to the running distance. That’s actually a good thing, since we’re expected to run full-tilt for the entire time we’re visible. This way, no one can casually jog across the stage – there’s definitely no time for that.

We also had to work on our placement a bit and start further upstage, otherwise our choreography will take us halfway past the proscenium arch, which is not a thing that should happen. We wore our costumes for the first time today and they too, need some adjustments. Our floorwork includes a shoulder stand which sometimes exposes a bit more than it should. After waging a minor war with my leggings and my tank top, which were trying to get as far away from each other as possible, I ordered a unitard. I hope it fits – it would definitely make my life easier!

The costumes have been taken away again. They need to be dyed and our teachers want to try a different type of belt. We should have them in two weeks, at the latest: That’s when the next gym rehearsal takes place. I’ll try to remember to take a picture then!

Want to see the stage we’ll be dancing on? Look here.

Featured image: exteriour view of the theatre by JoachimKohlerBremen, retrieved from here, CC BY-SA 4.0.

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