Well, it is finally here – show week! The cast has now gone through all of the tech rehearsals and one dress. Now all we have left is two more dress rehearsals before the actual show on Wednesday.
Saturday we had a long dress rehearsal that followed a master class given by dancers from Doug Varone, who was in town for a performance with TITAS at McFarlin Auditorium. I have unfortunately been ill and so had to watch the class and rehearsal that followed. It was a long Saturday of dancing for everyone, but I think we handled it very well. The SMU dancers in the class were excited to be there and eager to learn a new style, especially since this year’s Hope Show focuses mainly on our school’s strengths, which are classical ballet, Graham technique and classical jazz.
In watching the dress rehearsal, it is clear how prepared we are for this show. Sometimes when a show goes into dress rehearsal, there are a few pieces or sections of dances that the dancers are nervous about working out onstage. This semester’s Hope Show is very ready, though. Nothing was unstable, and all of the dancers seemed comfortable and ready to perform. This is such a good thing going into performance week. It gives us a chance to add a little creativity to our expression, which is what being an artistic performer is all about. Even in a group piece like “Primitive Mysteries,” we have to constantly explore that group dynamic and feel each other presence onstage in order to get the “magic” Yuriko is always talking about.
It was quite an experience for me on Saturday to watch a dance that I was supposed to be onstage in at that moment. Erica, a fellow “Primitive” dancer, covered my spot, on the spot, quite well, thankfully. I think what made it even more of a memorable moment was that I sat in the back of the theater with Yuriko and got to hear her talk about the piece as it was being performed. She pointed out many things as it happened, like when the tempo was too fast or how good it looked when the whole group breathed together. I loved watching everyone get into the piece. The cast did a great job of really performing the work instead of just going through the motions of the steps, as is prone to happen on a Saturday when you’re tired.
Look forward to a very strong performance from us this semester. We are ready for Hope Show, with a beautiful, romantic ballet duet, classic Graham and a fresh new jazz piece set to Duke Ellington to close. The show is quite an adventure, and each act takes you to a new place! It starts Wednesday and goes through Sunday with performances at 8 p.m., except for Sunday at 2 p.m. Hope to see you there!