Another creative piece. Yup. Not big on this one.
I am sitting in a theatre, twirling my hair around my finger, wondering when this performance will get under way. The girl to my left won’t stop snapping her gum, and I wonder how hard I will have to smack her to shut her up. No matter how wonderful the dancing is, I never really like going to these things. It makes me miss performing too much, and I want to be the one back on stage getting ready. The auditorium lights dim, and the audience hushes.
The curtain begins to open and I hear the sounds of a song that doesn’t ring as classical. “Isn’t this supposed to be a pointe piece?’ my mind wonders. Suddenly the dancers float on stage, and I see that they are wearing pointe shoes and a maroon costume with a skirt that follows their movements. The skirts just seem to float after them. The dancers all look so peaceful and engrossed in their dancing.
The piece seems to fly by, with the dancers flowing on and off the stage in complex patterns. At the end, which comes far to quickly, one dancer flies into the air, and the others catch and throw her. The audience around me gasps, and I have to admit, the throw looks perfect. The stage lights dim, and I stand with the rest of the audience to give my applause.
“You good to go?” Katie says next to me. “Yeah,” I reply, swinging my left leg to loosen my hip and nervously shaking out my hands. “Let’s do this shit.” I reach down to check the ribbons on my pointe shoe one more time, making sure they’re all tucked up when I realize that I forgot to rosin the satin today. I glare out at the stage, begging it not to be too slick. Dancers line up ahead of me, and Katie is to my left as the curtain comes up and the first strains of Underture from The Who’s album Tommy floats over the audience.
I count under my breath and through my smile as I wait for my cue. I feel a bobby pin sticking too tightly into my head and once again a nervous sensation runs through my empty stomach. Finally my cue comes and I head on stage. It’s too late for learning or thinking now. For performances it’s all muscle memory. My mind is blank but my body keeps dancing. My skirt swirls around my legs and catches for an instant. Just when I think all is lost, it lets loose and I complete my leap. I duck off stage to wait for my next cue and stop to adjust my pointe shoe again. Who ever came up with the idea to have a pointe piece choreographed to a ten minute long song by The Who? My teacher Rob, and he winks and waves at me from his vantage point in the wings.
I turn back out onto the stage again. The moment of truth is coming closer, I can feel it. We go through what Rob calls “the fight sequence.” Everything goes as planned, and my kick goes right over my partner’s head, as hers does mine a second later. We go into another series of leaps and I feel the end coming. I am past thinking and can only summon one word to my mind “please.” I start my run, heading straight at the double lines of girls. They look as tired as I feel and as I head towards them I repeat it again, “please.” I take one last step and leap, committing totally to the jump, knowing if they don’t catch me, no one will. They do. One more toss in their arms and they throw me down in time to collapse and hear the music end. The curtain closes. “Hell yeah,” Katie whispers.