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Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States

I am a dancer with Minneapolis based James Sewell Ballet, a small, contemporary ballet company. I also choreograph independently.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Notes from the Joyce

James Sewell Ballet is performing at the Joyce this week in NYC. After a minor flight set-back last night, we arrived safe and sound in our new digs: the dorms of the General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church. My room is about 9’x9’, shared with N. We have a sink. Clean showers and toilets are down the hall. I’m actually used to it already. Hey, it’s three blocks away from the theater, and we’re never there anyway. Twin beds make for cozy comfort.


Took morning class w/ Gelsey Kirkland, one of the most famous ballerinas of all time. She’s subbing for David Howard at Steps this week.

Going to Steps for class is always a production: getting uptown, waiting for the puny elevator, lining up to pay for class ($15 pro-rate!), negotiating cramped dressing-room quarters and bathroom stalls. This is just the preliminary. Once in the studio the space negotiation continues. Barres usually have a couple people too many. Hands vie for just the right spot. Angles are compromised. A view in the mirror is fleeting.

Today, however, the class was blessedly not over-crowded; it even dwindled as dancers had to leave early for respective rehearsals. I felt “in-body”, comfortable, relatively myself. I decided in advance not to take center en pointe. Good to remove a level of stress, especially since I had company class again later anyway.

The theater greets me like an old friend. This time, however, I find that I am on slightly different terms with it. I have a different spot in the dressing room, and I’m finding the floor to be slippery. Good to know. Tomorrow I will know what to anticipate, what to “get over” fear-wise.

All my dancing for this show feels delicate, as in threading a needle just so. I feel as though I have less room for error than usual. And yet at the end of the day, if I’ve done well, I am so self-satisfied. And so I buckle down my mind to do my utmost-best. (But there’s the catch, I don’t want to buckle down my mind at all. I want to free it, along with my heart, to pierce the core of the moment. To thread the needle of the moment, not just of the dance.)

The last rehearsal of the day had me watching James’new solo. It’s been fun and an honor, to weigh-in on my director’s latest effort for himself. I feel as though I’ve been helpful, if only in a moral support kind of way. But no, I’ve helped physically too, with a deepening of a plie here and an inserted jump there.

I wind down with dinner with an old friend, then calls to my mom and boyfriend. Shower, chat with N, book, bed. Tomorrow, we open.


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4:40 AM  

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