Summers always fly by but this one has rapidly gained speed with each passing day. I cannot believe week three of Maine State Ballet's summer workshop has concluded, bringing us halfway through the summer... But at least it ended with crashing cymbals, flying Italian pas de chats, and spidery grand battements. What could we possibly have been doing? A fantastic assortment of George Balanchine choreography, beginning with our choice of two variations from Donzetti Variations as well as an excerpt from The Four Temperaments, and concluding with an original piece by our own artistic director, Linda Miele, Bach Concerti.
A challenge it was, the Friday performances always are, but I haven't had that much fun on stage in a long while. Learning and retaining the steps of The Four Temperaments was certainly the biggest challenge what with music that is virtually impossible to count, but once the tempo had been engraved into our brains (which I can't believe it was with less than a week of rehearsal) it was more than easy to let go, enjoy the uniqueness of the steps themselves while playing with the neoclassical choreography.
In pas de deux class this week we took a stab at the infamous white swan pas de deux which I'm pretty sure is why my back has been so sore all day. But who doesn't love learning a good swan excerpt? I'm eager to continue working on it next week in between Coppelia rehearsals, which are finally starting to come together. After a run-through of act three on Thursday afternoon which circled beginning to end a total of three times, I'm finally feeling myself settling into the role. Once I'm comfortable enough to actually envision myself performing during a rehearsal, lights, costume, false eyelashes and all, I know it's truly coming together. The nerves are ever-present but at least I expected that going into this. Having only ever performed Sugar Plum in The Nutcracker for lead roles, this is somewhat uncharted territory, but the process is the same which offers comfort.
Finally, my week was topped off by parking my derrière in a deck chair and embarking on some bunion therapy with some gel toe stretchers... Strangely relieving yet aching at the same time.
Shish kabobs with the family for dinner and a long, rainy weekend ahead offering plenty of time to sew pointe shoes, relax, and contemplate which variation I'll decide to perform next week with the choice of Don Quixote's Mercedes' variation, Kitri's entrance, or the Dryad Queen... Life is good.
Enjoy your weekend, readers! <3