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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.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Notes from the Joyce


I am in the middle of our day. So far we have had: class, dress rehearsal, a photo shoot, and notes. Now we are breaking, for about an hour and a half, before we have class again and open this week of shows. I’m getting excited. Today’s dress went well enough for me to feel better about the show than I’ve been feeling, but not so well that I’m suspicious. (Never good to have too good of a dress.) I am at peace with my costumes, my body, my new calf strain. Already today I’ve received a gift backstage and flowers, plus several well-wishing emails. My community surrounds me, near and far.

So now a cat nap, a change of wardrobe, a pre-show coffee. (I’ll save merde cards for another night.) Looking forward to the champagne reception after the show. Looking forward to the show. Looking forward…


The magic of this company never ceases to surprise me. The show was beautiful.

James’ solo was exciting in all its raw newness. He looked deep in his legs, solid on the ground.

The second piece, Schoenberg Serenade, had gotten most of the kinks out in the afternoon. For the most part, we were able to bravely tackle our highly technical requirements with artistry and animation. My solo went pretty well. I was happy with it, though it wasn’t perfect. It rarely is, with its extremely technical quirkiness en pointe. I use the shoes in all possible ways, from cocking my feet and turning with bent knees, to balancing doubled-over in a parallel sous-sous and rising to upright, hands flexed above my head.

After intermission came Opera Moves, our final offering. Many sections long, we each get a chance to shine. The opening section, an new, inherited part for me, went the best it’s ever gone. J and I finally figured out how to negotiate our arms prior to a tricky turn. We nailed it. I also promenaded in arabesque steadily; this is generally hit-or-miss. I heard the audience breathe a collective sigh as the lights lowered after that section. Satisfying.

My duet with S also went well. Some tricky partnering here too, this time en pointe. I screwed up some steps by myself, but at least not at her expense. I’ll figure that out before the next show. But the gestault of the thing was there, in full force. We were giddy with pleasure in dancing with one another; she’s intoxicating.

The final section has us all re-emerging, morphing characters we’ve just portrayed. We also borrow from one another, both in movement and in costumes. I get to wear one of the romantic tutus, still with the wreath in my hair from my dance with S. I look like a girlish Puck. My final moments, back with J, are indeed fairy-like and drowsy.

Old friends in the lobby. Champagne. Dinner in groups. Combining new and old. Life is full and rich and good. Solid again now that I know what this particular show’s about. Until tomorrow…


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