Azlan dragged out "Anxious Moments" yesterday, but I guess it makes sense chronologically to add to "Anxious Moments #2."
Many years ago, I was in a modern ballet in which the women wore floor-length skirts. Standing in the wings, I did a last-minute check of my costume and hair, and everything seemed OK. Everything went along fine in the piece, until my partner and I had to sit on the floor, in profile, with the right leg extended to the front and the left leg bent up. I was leaning back slightly on one arm, and the other arm rested on my raised knee, pointing directly to...my right foot, which, to my dismay, was adorned with a raggedy striped tube sock with the toe and heel cut out!
We had to stay in that position for about a minute while everyone else danced, so I had time to try to figure out what to do (besides ignore the muffled snorts coming from my partner). My first thought was to simply take off the sock and throw it into the wings. But I thought that would spoil the mood. Then I figured I might as well, because the mood was already ruined by having this ridiculous thing on my foot. Then I thought the audience might think it was part of the costume, my rationale being that my character was supposed to be estranged from the group, and this tube sock could be a valid reason for being cast out...no, it was obviously not part of the costume, because the costume was deep orange and the stripes on the tube sock were royal blue.
Then a story that one of my ballet teachers had told me popped into my head. He'd been in a children's ballet in which he wore a bear costume. He wasn't very familiar with the costume and had to change into it in the wings, which were poorly lit. There was a gasp when he went onstage, and he soon realized he'd put the costume on backwards, so the tail was sticking out in front, very suggestively. Luckily, the kids apparently accepted his being a male bear, because there was no laughter. But when he finally was back in the wings, he quickly reversed his suit, and when he came back onstage, then the audience broke up.
Back to my predicament...the lesson of the bear suit indicated that I shouldn't remove my sock. But I had a somewhat dramatic solo coming up in a couple of minutes, and the idea of doing it wearing a tube sock was unbearable. So at the first opportunity, during a chaotic section before the solo, I managed to get offstage and remove the stupid thing. There was no laughter when I returned, and the rest of the piece went just fine. But I was amazed at how many thoughts could go through a person's mind in such a short time.
I didn't feel too bad about this mishap, as it gave me something in common with Merle Park, who, in a performance of the Nutcracker pas de deux with Nureyev, wore a fuzzy, gold mohair leg warmer onstage. I don't know whether she didn't notice it any sooner, but she didn't remove it until near the end of the adagio, when she and Nureyev split and circled upstage. Park suddenly wasn't onstage, and then she came back from the upstage wing, minus the legwarmer -- very smooth.
<small>[ 08-21-2002, 03:00: Message edited by: djb ]</small>