Sunday, June 8, 2008

Ah, the Met

I have decided that I think I would be perfectly content to move in and just live at the Metropolitan Opera House for the rest of my life.


Yesterday for the intensive we had a lecture and tour backstage at the theater and, of course, it was amazing.

First the was with the former head stage manager of ABT, and the artistic & executive directors of Career Transitions for Dancers. First they spoke about that company and their services for older dancers and then they went into discussing the behind the scenes work they do for their annual CTFD gala performance at City Center. The point was to talk about what it's like to work on a gala and what production aspects must be considered.

I went to the CTFD gala 2 years ago when Liza Minelli was hosting and it was great!

Anyway, their conversation/lecture was really interesting and got me thinking of all kinds of stuff. I guess it was like trying to show other options besides being a dancer but still being involved in the dance world, and the two options presented were director and stage manager. As I was listening my head was spinning with ideas...I always do that - I hear someone inspiring and I think, oh my God, I want to do that, I could do this and this and this...and an imaginary future rolls out for me. That fantasy lasts just about as long as the lecture, haha, before I remember I have another life (2 or 3 actually) already going on and headed for an exciting future.

But whenever I'm in a highly creative period (aka right now, and not just with dance but with my writing as well) I become inundated with ideas for projects to pursue. If only I had the time to see them through!

After the lecture they took us all backstage. Like when I was lucky enough to tour State Theater last week, they only took us in the immediate backstage area, like in the wings of the stage. Of course it was amazing. Though not as amazing as when I was back there as a super for ABT's Romeo & Juliet last year. THAT was incredible because not only could I experience the stage but it was in action with the company warming up and stagehands at work and so forth. Wow.

Where there once stood beautiful scenery for R&J in the wings was lots of "quick change booths" for the dancers. Our tour guide (the former stage manager) said it was because Twyla's piece had a lot of costume changes. The rest of the gynormous backstage was crowded with scenery for Don Q next week, and last week's Swan Lake set being prepared to load out on Monday.

Then we got to go out onstage.

That theater is the best place on earth.

It was totally empty, as was the stage because the program (Etudes & Tharp) didn't call for that extravagant scenery. Beautiful. Not nearly as exciting as when you look out when it's dark and anonymous faces fill those ruby seats and lights blind you and dancers whizz past and the orchestra lulls in live performance. But still, beautiful.

And my awe really doesn't have anything to do with dancing (well, not entirely anyway). It's more just the vastness of the stage and the theater itself.

I was practically born in a theater, performing since I was, like, 2. And I think it's the only place I would call home.


After that wonderful morning I stuck around and saw the matinee of Etudes & Tharp. Formal review to come for ExploreDance (when I ever get a moment to write much writing to do this weekend and NO time), but: Etudes was pretty save for a few minor mishaps. And Tharp, I loved it! I've made a point not to read anyone's reviews of the new piece yet, which has been hard because that's usually part of my routine, but once I write my review I'll see what others thought. I thought it was great.

One more insane week to go. I have 2 BIG articles due tomorrow (eek) in addition to reviews I need to catch up on, plus school work, and of course the intensive. Craziness. And next weekend I'm headed to Washington, DC (never been there!) for the Dance Critics conference, which sounds very exciting according to the planned schedule.

Hopefully after that I can rest a bit later this month :)

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