The day after an intense run of performances is an interesting one. The physical fatigue is almost enjoyable (my colleagues might be thinking I'm crazy right now), because you don't have to fight it-- it's a reminder of hard work, well done, and it can be indulged. There can also be a little bit of melancholy and anti-climax when you're faced with all the details of everyday life that have gotten ignored over the preceding days (the laundry, the dust bunnies, the groceries, the bills) but all you want to do is soak in a hot tub, stretch out a bit, and eat good food. Candace Bouchard, who danced Eden's Gates (very impressively!) and Slaughter last week, eased into her one day off before heading back into the studio to start work on OBT's next project:
"Coming off the American program, where I danced a quirky, quick role in Through Eden's Gates, and ran around doing high kicks in character shoes in Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, I have thoroughly enjoyed my one morning off, delighting in a slice of ham quiche and some Stumptown coffee at Ken's Bakery while writing a bit and reading The Fountainhead. Already, I'm looking ahead to both our upcoming performances of Rush for White Bird's 4X4, and the Russian program. I'll be glad to be back in pointe shoes all the time. I miss being able to really stretch and use my feet as I dance! Rush has been beating us up on occassion over the last two weeks, when we can find time to squeeze it into the rehearsal schedule around performances of the American Program. We spin on our knees several times throughout the piece, and I have the bruises to show it! A small price to pay for two nights of dancing with PNB, San Francisco, and Eugene Ballet, though, not to mention our upcoming week at the Kennedy Center. Moving on to the Russian Program, Rubies was the first ballet we worked on my first day with OBT, as an apprentice almost five years ago. Revisiting it as the current version of myself rather than the both excited and frightened young dancer I was then should be quite a treat. I love being able to dig into something classical every once in a while, and the regal refinement I'm sure Yuri Possokhov will demand from us in Raymonda is a welcome challenge. Also, I'll be wearing the first tutu made specifically for me when we perform Raymonda, so that adds its own elegance and expectation to the experience. The only downfall to all of this is the unrelenting awareness that this is the last program of the season, and our exciting trip to Kennedy Center is followed by more than two months of far less dancing for us all. I plan to thoroughly exhaust myself over the coming weeks to culminate in a series of performances so vibrant and exciting, I'll actually welcome a rest over the summer!"
That's sort of how the life cycle goes for a ballet dancer. After pouring your body and soul into one very intensely focused piece of work, as soon as it's over, it's over. And then attention turns to the next item on the agenda, which is to start with a clean slate and sense of yet-unknown possibilities.