A little bit about me: My name is Steven Houser and I am currently a Soloist at Oregon Ballet Theatre. This is my 3rd year as a full company member. The year before that I was an apprentice, and the year before that I was in the school. I was born and raised right here in Portland, OR (not too far from the studios actually) and couldn’t imagine a better city to grow up in.
Anyway, I thought I would tell you all a little bit about my day today and yesterday. Yesterday began with class at 10 am at our studios, as it does most days. Christopher taught, and I felt like I had a pretty good class. After that I had an hour of rehearsal for the corps of Rubies, the Balanchine ballet that is coming up in our Russian Program. It’s been really interesting learning Rubies, because the last time the company did this ballet I was in the school. I remember going to the show and thinking “Wow, what an incredible ballet!” Ever getting to learn and dance something that great seemed like somewhat of a pipe-dream at the time, so being in the studio learning it now is really a bit surreal.
After Rubies I had a long break (12:30-3:30), so I went up to my apartment and got to work on sewing some leotards and shorts that have been waiting to be put together for some time now (Brennan Boyer and I have a smallish dancewear business and finding spare time to work can be very difficult). After that was finished I had a little lunch and then made my way down to the studio for a 2 hour RUSH rehearsal.
RUSH is the Christopher Wheeldon ballet we are performing here in town for the White Bird “4x4” show this Thursday and Friday and again at the Kennedy Center for their "Ballet Across America" program. Our current challenge with the ballet is fitting the somewhat large cast onto the smaller stage of the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. At times it feels a little bit scary, but I think that in the end all of us doing the movement in a smaller space is really going to make the ballet jump out at the audience a lot more than it would at the Keller Auditorium.
After RUSH I went home and finished Adrian’s shorts and Anne’s leotard. (pictured below)Also, a shot of my little sewing table:
I finished off the day by hanging out with my friend Adrian Fry and some friends of his on the Eastside Esplanade enjoying the nice evening.
Today was pretty similar to yesterday. Our Ballet Master Lisa taught class, followed by an hour and forty-five minutes of RUSH, a two hour break, forty-five minutes of Rubies corps (and some very intense counting thanks to Mr. Stravinsky), and a short company meeting discussing some changes being made to our contracts for next season.
So, after a quick visit to the Physical Therapist (nothing serious, just normal wear and tear), here I find myself sitting at home and writing this! I’m not sure what to write about other than my daily life as a company member of OBT. I remember when I was growing up I always wondered what life was like for professional dancers, and I think that something like this would have been absolutely fascinating to me. If anyone has any questions, feel free to post them in a comment here and I’ll be glad to answer them. Now, I’m off to go fold some laundry, make dinner, go over choreography, hopefully read a little, and then go to bed.
Have a wonderful evening!