Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Music & The Mirror

For those of you who don't know, the title of the post comes from a beautiful song of the same name from the musical A Chorus Line.  In this number the lead character declares "God I'm a dancer - a dancer dances!" and explains how the only things in life she ever needs are "the music, and the mirror, and the chance to dance for you."

In that moment, I feel for Cassie.  I understand exactly what she means - because I feel the same need, the same urge to move that has my feet tapping and my heart racing and my very bones aching if I sit still too long.  If I go overlong without singing enough notes, I can feel my throat tighten and I get grouchy, listless, bored.  Without a character to painstakingly create and build and loose myself in, I become so antsy I irritate even myself.  I was nervous at the thought of a summer spent this way - with no "home dance studio" anymore, no money for voice lessons, and not much access to theatre where I live, it didn't seem likely I'd be performing or creating very much.

But my fears were proved wrong by a wonderful chance to perform!  I'm part of a community theatre's production of "Aida."  It's a beautiful show and a talented cast and a well respected theatre, so that alone is a great opportunity.  I'm part of the Trio of Dancers in our production, who like the Trio in the Broadway production narrate and enhance the story through dances to instrumental music through out the score. The Trio often take the lead during the ensemble dances, and portray various ensemble roles.  Additionally we're part of the Prologue and Epilogue sequences, set in a modern day museum with all of the key characters intermingling and forming connections.  During the Prologue, the audience doesn't realize the crowd is composed of the lead characters - but when the Epilogue comes, they've met everyone and are aware of their roles/connections/etc.  It's one of my favorite bits of stage magic and I'm quite excited to be a part of it!

And perhaps even more excitingly, I have been given a wonderful opportunity to perform a solo in this production!  The way our director has decided to stage one of the dance sequences, it will be danced by a soloist in an exotic costume, en pointe.  I almost cried I was so excited when he informed us at the Read Through that soloist would  be me!  Me, my pointe shoes, and a live band alone on the stage. . . what more could I want? Because stereotypical as it is to say, performing is my life. The practice studios and rehearsal halls are my home, with their cool barres and familiar smells of rosin, tea with lemon, tiger balm, and honey, the ancient creaking of floors a thousand feet have danced on, the solemn black music stands waiting to be burdened with librettos.  The dark curtained wings are my horizon, a strange mix of heavy red velvets and blinding yellow lights - and beyond them lies my entire world.  The stage.  Without songs to sing and steps to dance and characters to breathe life into, I am certain I'd have gone mad.  Now, I am going home instead.

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