Day 29 - 9 days until the performance
I’ve had a good Labor Day weekend. It felt like a vacation, but then I realized I didn’t really get a day off, on Saturday and Monday I worked in the office, and on Sunday I was den mother at Wigstock for Shasta Cola’s and Girlina’s dancers. I didn’t realize until I cracked a broad grin helping Matt ballet master Girlina’s number Saturday evening how refreshing it was to be helping out on something that was not my problem. Interesting though to be in a room containing several dancers from the Cunningham, Morris and Graham companies, to say nothing of White Oak or American Ballet Theatre, all being chorus boys. I make a very good parent. “Who needs water, I brought water!” “You do what you need to, Matt, I’ll lace him up.” “Not a problem, I brought safety pins!” “You don’t have black shoes? I’m wearing black shoes, are we the same size?” [further comic aside – at the moment I am busy unlacing my shoes to switch them with a dancer, a man in a red ball gown with a microphone in his wig and a camera crew trailing behind him sticks another mike in my face, exclaiming that he loves my shirt. I am torn between the desire to promote my show and the need to get these shoes on the dancer.] All goes well and I discharge my final duty of the day. “You danced very well. Here’s a cookie! You danced very well! Have a cookie!”
I think I’ve had a bit too much hubris over the organization of the performance, because the gods fired two warning shots across the bow. On Monday, there is a message on the answering machine in the office from the production stage manager, explaining awkwardly that for personal reasons he cannot do the show, and he is busy trying to find a replacement. I call Jeff, the lighting designer, and offer him the position first, which I think is a better solution, because it allows Jeff to be better compensated for the extra work he’s already put in. Chuck and I work on Aubade first, primarily dealing now with acting issues. It’s tiring, but there’s no question he can do the solo, although when a guest walks in late halfway through it to watch, he shouts out jokingly in mid-leap, “I’m not running it again!”
We run Horizon, cleaning the outer movements before the run, but Frances comes up to me, red faced and exhausted after the run and the second warning shot is fired. “There’s no way I’m going to be able to make it through three ballets. Please take me out of Scherzo.” I think about it for a moment, she’s not just talking from fear. She’s come off of an injury, and isn’t built for stamina. I ask her if she’s sure, and if she realizes that at this point that her decision would be final and she says yes. I do what I’d usually do in a situation like this. I grab Mary and ask her advice. She knew someone who had said they’d be happy to get thrown into a ballet in case, but Mary suggests that rather than trying to teach someone new the ballet, we see what it looks like as a trio. Instinctively, I know she’s right, there were crowding and traffic problems in the quartet, and this may even solve more problems than the immediate one.
After a run-through of Armature, we set to work on making a trio out of a quartet. It’s surprisingly short work; all of the sections with four dancers in them are in unison, the effect is much the same with three dancers as with four. Because Morgan had missed a few rehearsals for the central section, she wasn’t onstage for much of it, and was available to step into Frances’ sections. I will miss Frances in the ballet, but thankfully, the effect of the work as a trio is very much like what it was as a quartet.
I have cast on and am mostly finished knitting a warm winter hat for a charitable drive for Russian orphans, the gods must be appeased. I’m just hoping they are satisfied with warning shots and don’t fire off a salvo I can’t handle.