Daily Archives: May 20, 2006


So, today, it’s recital day. We go to morning yoga, as a sort of usual thing, but also today in lieu of the warmup class that Jessica’s going to do before the show. We get home and I plug in the video camera, to charge the battery. I haven’t used it in a while, but it says that there’s 32 minutes of battery life left, so I could live with that, but any extra will be gravy.

When the battery’s all charged, I pop in a brand new tape and record a quick intro. “Hi, this is me. This is the St. Mark’s recital tape.” Then I pack up the camera and put it by the door. We leave the house around two-fifteen, to be there by three, for the recital at four. I of course forget the video camera.

The studio is packed with people, just finishing up the warmup class. Ann from the Thu 7:30 class is outside looking in, saying it was just too crowded to join in. Then folks start running through their pieces. Some have the music, some don’t. It’s funny running through with people watching. I’m more nervous I think than I’ll be in the actual performance, having peers watching me. I love seeing other pieces, though. I won’t be able to watch, as our class is almost last. It’s my only chance to see Dawn with her pointe class, with Renee, Rhonda, and Sally. Dawn is so great, so lovely. She’s totally the best.

Dawn and I get a chance to run through our duet. I feel like I screw up holding her on her first sous-sus, but later she tells me that she didn’t make it all the way up until I grabbed her and helped her up. The other students watching give us a big hand, whooping it up, when we finish. They’re nice.

I still haven’t got on my costume, and I won’t have it on until the actual performance. This worries me. It’s funny how it seems like such a little thing, what I’m wearing, but those little things can totally throw you. Last week was the first time we did the piece with Dawn in the dress that she’s going to wear, and it’s totally a slippery fabric and changes how I need to wrap my arms around her to lift her. And at one point I’ve got her lifted and I have to shift her from one arm under her to two arms, and I have trouble with the slippery fabric. Or even the difference between doing it over and over in the studio, and then going down to the actual performance space. The first time we went down there it was like I couldn’t remember a damn thing, it threw me off so much. So I’m glad that we’ve rehearsed there a number of times now. But the costume, I’m just going to have to deal.

Miss Jessica is in street clothes, not her usual ballet clothes that she teaches in. And she’s in total babe mode, with bright tight short dress with tall boots. I’m really glad that she’s here. I thought I had heard that she couldn’t make it to the recital. She had some sort of pilates training or certification last year and couldn’t make, and I thought there was something going on again this year. But she’s here and I’m glad.

I have time to read some Horatio while we wait. I’m plowing through the Hotspur book. I’ll probably finish it tonight.

The recital starts, with Dawn’s Wed 7:15 pointe class going first. Seems like they’re back upstairs so quickly. Rhonda and Renee both say it went well. Dawn’s gone to change for our duet, so I don’t see her for a minute. We’re up fourth.

And seems like the next two pieces go by too fast and we’re suddenly on. Everything’s happening so fast that I don’t have time to be nervous. I don’t have much time to enjoy it either, though, going by so fast. But, I try and take some time; there’s this point where I slide to the floor and then wait several beats until Dawn slides down next to me. I close my eyes as soon as I’m seated, trying to just be in the moment, until I hear her right behind me and then I open my eyes. I do this also for effect, having been thinking about what I should do, besides nothing, while I’m sitting there and I can’t see her. I feel like it’s sort of an awakening kind of move, that I’m there but not there until she arrives. Then she’s down beside me and we’re up again and there’s no time to think again. Except that my co-worker and dashing young protege Kate is here, so I make sure to give her a smile as I go by, on my way to catch Dawn at the end. It’s a modern piece, so we’re not really keyed to the music necessarily at any point, except for the end, where I’m supposed to have lifted Dawn and then dip her at one musical cue and she throws her arms out at the final drumbeat. I think I get her down at around the right time, but she totally flashes her arms out perfectly as the last beat crashes.

Then we have a while to wait upstairs, as our Thu 6:15 is not on until ninth. But I’m alone in the studio for a moment, which is good since I have to whip off my white shirt that I wore for the duet and put on a black shirt for the intermediate class piece.

When we’re finally about to go on, I’m standing at the end of our entrance line, wondering where Ayanna is, since she’s supposed to be at the end behind me. No, really, we’re like going into the church now and where is she? She slips in behind me at totally the last second. (She’s been in a number of other pieces with the St. Mark’s Dance Company, and they’ve been changing in the library, is why I haven’t seen her.) It seems like an agonizing wait for the music to start. And then it kicks in and we’re off.

It goes by in a real blur, except that I find myself at the end farther to the right and middle than I’ve ever been before, and Jessica B., whom I usually key off of, who’s usually just ahead of me to my left, she’s way up towards the front. We’re like in places we’ve never been in rehearsal. But, this is also a modern piece, more rhythmic to the music but not so rigid that we can’t just be wherever we are and just space ourselves apart. So we are where we are, and we finish.

And it’s been great fun. I always think of my brother at these times. He plays guitar and has been in bands and has performed a lot, certainly a lot more than I ever have. But he’s never had to do it in tights, I suppose. But anyway, here I am, up in front of people. It’s funny how exciting it is, before and after, exciting to think about doing, even if there’s no time to think while doing.

After the show there’s food and wine. Kate joins us, as do Becky and Aida. We all sit and chat and eat and drink, although there’s music playing and I find it hard to hear. Aida is in her seventies but doesn’t seem to have any trouble hearing, but I guess she never used to listen to Kiss really really loud through headphones. I mean to do more mingling, meeting Jill’s boyfriend, and Jessica B. seems to have a boy here as well, but I’m all wrapped up in our little group and never do mingle. Aida leaves first and then a little later we all get ready to go.

Dawn and Becky and I walk Kate to her car and then walk over to Tortilla Coast for margaritas and dinner. I show the hostess the flowers that Kate gave me, and I tell her that I’ve just come from my dance recital. She’s clearly and utterly not interested in hearing it, and disdainfully shows us to a table. We’re seated next to two large groups, the first being cops, Capitol Police, in all black and leather and utility belts and guns, and the other group five girls and three boys, Mennonites, seems like. The boys are in general young person street dress, while the girls are in Mennonite garb, pretty dresses plus wraps or covering jackets, as well as caps. I wonder why the girls have to dress traditionally while the boys don’t. None of them has any drink other than water.

Dawn drinks a frozen margarita while I have plain on the rocks, and Becky just has iced tea. We are next to the window on Second Street, and there’s a constant stream of colorful people walking by. There’re elderly people with name tags. Younger women with too-short skirts and not the legs to pull off said too-short skirts. A little girl charmed by a dog. Guys in tuxes. We snark on everyone, especially women who can’t walk in their high heels.

We see Becky off to the Metro across the street and then walk home. And by this time it’s pretty late, and we pretty much go straight to bed. And then I do in fact finish Hornblower and the Hotspur.

(And although I remember to set the VCR to tape Saturday Night Live before going to bed, I end up taping an hour of the ABC Family Channel and only the last half-hour of SNL. Seems like the satellite box has somehow screwed up daylight savings time. Grr.)