Although I hope it will be the last time, last night I once again had the experience of watching my colleauges and friends from the "civilian" perspective. The performance was glorious in every way. The costumes that Mark and the entire wardrobe crew have slaved over for so many months now looked truly heavenly, and of course the dancing was more than wonderful. I think I was better able to understand what the typical ballet-goer experience is like than I usually am, because of being so unfamiliar with the three ballets on this program. (I know Rubies well, but hadn't seen a single second of Tolstoy's Waltz and only one rehearsal of Raymonda). Usually when I've seen performances from the front I've gotten caught up in watching tiny details that are only visible if you know they're there, and therefore miss catching the overall impression and the impact of the piece as a whole. Last night I could only sit there and enjoy it. And so I did, with the usual amount of awe that I feel at watching my friends become superhuman artists up there on stage.
I've been off long enough now that it's getting hard to imagine myself actually executing those steps and choreography. I do remember this feeling from previous injuries--- after a certain amount of time away from dancing, it starts to seem incredible that you ever did that stuff, and that you will do it again. The neat thing is that all it takes is one step back into a studio, a few plies and tendus and port de bras, and though getting truly back in shape takes eons, that feeling of being a dancer comes right back. Also, as much sadness as I have at being on the other side of the footlights right now, it is also a wonderful way to re-motivate and reinspire. Exercises and rehab are boring and dry and it's easy to start to wonder if they are doing any good at all, so getting a reminder of what I'm doing them for is a really great morale boost. Got to get back in the race!