Friday, March 11, 2011

All the Stage's a World

Being in the theatre is like walking into the middle of outer space....time exists, but not really. The performers are surrounded by darkness; we feel our way through the vast emptiness, slowly discover lights, and our place within the madness. It is tedious, it can be tiring...then there is the exhausted laughter and various distractions. The powers that be are calling cues, asking the dancers to go back & do that "again."

The notes during this time become more detailed...the work is never done. The pieces continue to evolve: notes on performance quality, focus, & intention are mingle with specific directions on spacing, or remembering to stay "in the light." Offstage the dancers worry about being seen from the wings...remember your sight lines. Fatigue is fought on all sides...from after lunch drowsiness, to recuperative catnaps in hidden spaces in the theatre, stretching & of course idle chatter helps keep us on our toes (no pun intended).

The premiere, or the performance, of any work is like watching a bird attempt flight for the first time. Then, as the lights go out and the dancers take their places; we are all faced with that challenging leap of faith and we ask the audience to take that journey down the rabbit-hole with us. Hopefully we all leave unscathed, more aware, and maybe even moved.


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