CriticalDance Forum

Anxious Moments?
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Author:  Ballet Fan [ Sun Nov 07, 1999 8:10 am ]
Post subject:  Anxious Moments?

I am curious to hear about anxious moments from dancers. Ever get into a situation where you panic because something has gone wrong during a performance or just before the curtain goes up?

Author:  shag [ Sun Nov 07, 1999 11:03 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Anxious Moments?

While I'm not a dancer, my wife is and the company we are involved with just returned from our first international tour and the technical aspects were the most ... um ... enlightening, you might say.<P>Maximum Dance is a small company, so we decided to use a local stage manager. One of our two Art. Dir., Yanis Pikieris, is from Colombia and we performed in two of his old haunts, Bogota and Medellin, where he was raised.<P>To try to not bore with too much detail, we did a mixed program with six different pieces and the "local stage manager" never materialized. As an aside, apparently latin American audiences expect longer programs.<P>For the first 5 works, Yanis and his cohort, David Palmer as well as Lara Murphy (my wife) who is David's and Yanis' assist (not assist. AD, but rather assist to the AD)call cues from the wings while doing costume changes. Rumour has it that many stage hands got a few "flashes" but what could we do?<P>The real drama came in our finale, Adiemus, which had the entire company and is approx 30 minutes long. People would run off the stage after a pdd or solo or whatever, pick up a headset, shout a cue and rush back on stage! This was particularly funny for the non-spanish speakers in the company. I don't mean to make us sound rag tag, because I don't think it's accurate, but suffice it to say Yanis' faith in his former theaters was misplaced in the stage manager department (everything else went very smooth) and we will be touring with our own stage manager in the future!<p>[This message has been edited by shag (edited 11-07-1999).]

Author:  Azlan [ Sun Nov 07, 1999 8:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Anxious Moments?

Ed Villella, in his autobiography, talked about how he had to step into a role at the last minute -- his cue was having another dancer push him onstage.

Author:  Bomablurina [ Mon Nov 08, 1999 2:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Anxious Moments?

Getting a good luck ritual.....If I don't get that tummy turining feeling in my stomach I do terrible...getting nervous is a good thing...It's reassuring Image

Author:  Cygnet [ Wed Nov 10, 1999 2:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Anxious Moments?

Actually, one time, Hector Montero slashed his knee open at a Nutcracker show in Caracas back in the eighties. He was just coming backstage after performing the solo for the Tea Dance! You could see right to the bone. My friends and I were to perform the Flutes and you can imagine we were almost ready to "phone Ralph"!! Thankfully someone's mom calmed us down and we did just fine. But boy, what an awful sight!<BR>

Author:  shag [ Thu Nov 11, 1999 9:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Anxious Moments?

I can't tell you how many dancers I have heard say that they have been injured in the wings. "I stepped on a cable and rolled my ankle", "The was a prop where it ought not to be" etc. Younger dancers need to learn this lesson early.

Author:  Lucy [ Fri Nov 12, 1999 11:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Anxious Moments?

Once during a performance of Rodeo I took an entire light boom on stage with me. It had caught on a rip in my costume. I could not understand what was preventing me from making my enterance in the Hoedown, so I pulled with all my might and heard the loudest crash of glass. I guess I was alot stronger than I thought. I had been asking them to fix that loose hem, needless to say they got right to it.

Author:  Michael [ Sat Nov 13, 1999 9:05 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Anxious Moments?

Lucy,<P>Good for you - nothing stops you from dancing your role. Those light booms are extremeley heavy, and weighted down to keep them put. It takes two men just to lift one without the weights. I know that ballerinas' petite size is belied by their strength, but holy smoke! Remind me to call you when I need to move furniture.<P>That's a remarkable story. How did everyone react?<BR><p>[This message has been edited by Michael (edited 11-13-1999).]

Author:  shag [ Sat Nov 13, 1999 9:27 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Anxious Moments?

Lucy<P>I have to tell you, I read that post soon after you put it up and I haven't stopped smiling about the mental image. That is classic.

Author:  Lucy [ Sat Nov 13, 1999 4:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Anxious Moments?

Well after I got the look of shock off my face (all the while wondering if I had to pay for this?) I ripped myself loose from the other half of my dress(the bottom ruffel, my partner grabbed my hand and said "after an enterance like that baby WHAT are you going to do for an encore?" Does this give you some idea why I was nicknamed Lucy? <p>[This message has been edited by Lucy (edited 11-13-1999).]

Author:  pidge [ Sun Nov 14, 1999 4:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Anxious Moments?

<BR>I have a friend who got a phone call from a choreographer she ahd worked with before, and he needed a replacement for a run of his new piece. She had to learn it in four days... and it was a full evening piece, and she still had to continue her full time job with another company. Her first show consisted of waiting in the wings and everybody else telling her when to run out, and which section it was. I saw the show, and needless to say, she was fabulous.<P>pidge

Author:  Azlan [ Sun Nov 14, 1999 5:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Anxious Moments?

Lucy, pidge,<P>Thanks for such wonderful stories. Yes, Lucy, I too will have to keep you in mind when I have to move. Image<P>I know Cygnet has a few horror stories to tell as well. Cygnet?

Author:  Cygnet [ Thu Nov 18, 1999 9:35 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Anxious Moments?

OK, here goes another. (You got me started).<BR>It was our full-evening performance of the Sleeping Beauty. Our 'Aurora' broke her toe during the Rose Adagio and couldn't keep dancing, her pain was such that she couldn't even stand up after dropping on the floor backstage after the curtain closed. "What are we going to do????" Well, maybe after the Rose Adagio, Aurora stays asleep forever...<BR>Luckily, someone had spotted our 'second' Aurora in the audience. So she was called during intermission to take over!!! Could you imagine? Everything was done in 15 minutes: make up, warm-up, hair, she had to borrow shoes, tights, etc. What an awkard situation. And there she went! She danced a beautiful wedding Pas De Deux. I have never been placed in this situation, but I must say she kept her cool. <BR>

Author:  Azlan [ Fri Nov 19, 1999 9:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Anxious Moments?

Cygnet, was this the company where you were Asst. Art. Director at? But what about you yourself? Surely, there must have been some awkward moments? Or do you always have things in control?!!

Author:  Cygnet [ Fri Nov 19, 1999 10:55 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Anxious Moments?

LOL<BR>I am a FREAK!! I usually plan so far ahead, that I have never had to run very much at the last moment. But under other circumstances however, things that I can't control, I have been rather lucky. And I always understudy everything, even if I haven't been asked, just in case! <BR>Yes, that story was also at BMC.

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