Sunday, February 22, 2009

Exhilarated and exhausted

OBT's cast of Ash from Sunday, February 22, 2009 pre-curtain. Dancers: Yuka Iino, Chauncey Parsons, Grace Shibley, Brian Simcoe, Martina Chavez, Adrian Fry, Olga Krochik, Matthew Pippin, Juila Rowe, and Christian Squires.

What a week!

We are fresh off our opening weekend of Lambarena, our winter rep program. I am thankful for a little R&R after an intense week.

This is a very difficult rep for the dancers. All three have scores that are tricky to keep up with and each has it's own style of movement. The second half of our season is such a brilliant contrast to the beginning. From September through December we floated through endless scores of Tchaikovsky, stood in very neat lines and wore a few tutus. The second half of our season, this show in particular, involves grittier music and the entire company trading in their "swan-bonnets" for red leotards/shorts, and scooting across the floor in a bug-like fashion. It's an excellent contrast, and as Mia said, I think it's wonderful that this rep is showcasing our contemporary talents.

The highlight of my weekend was definitely premiering Rite of Spring with my wonderful partner, Anne Mueller. Anne and I and the whole company have been working with Christopher for weeks and it all came to an amazing and inspiring fruition on Saturday night. It felt unbelievably electric. I gave Anne her merde-gift before the show, and in her note I wrote, "Now let's go cause a riot," referencing the riots that ensued at the ballets original premiere. I was overwhelmed by the enthusiastic response of the audience. At our opening-night-champagne-toast that night I talked with Kim Dawson (see OBT blog archives for June 2008: Kim stitched all of those beautiful Raymonda tutus back in June for our Russia Program) about the premiere. She was blown away and couldn't say enough about the piece. She said that it was such a relevant program for the current economic times that we're in. She was so inspired by the on-the-edge dancing, the pushing of the envelope and and the vulnerability that the cast represented vividly. And the beauty that can ensue when people take a risk and be vulnerable. I thought her words were very encouraging and inspiring to hear that the work that we've put so much into in the last few weeks is reading loud and clear. I can't wait to continue doing this work next weekend and hope that you can come see it a few times to enjoy the layers that this ballet has to offer.

I really hope you make it out to the show so we can share the work that we love to do. This is an exhilarating program that I am honored to be a part of. And REMEMBER: if you see the show a first time and can't get enough, you can take your ticket stub to OBT's box office and receive 50% off another ticket. Which is a wonderful deal. (more details at

See you at the ballet.


  1. Bravo! I thought the dancing was excellent from the start of the program to the finish. This means everyone! You were all so good that I hesitate to single any one dancer out, but I have to say this about Anne - I have watched her dance for many years, and she has always been very good, but in ROS, in my opinion, she was virtuostic. What a great company you are!

  2. I absolutey agree, Susan!

    Since we're naming names, though (see my comment under "Fun Facts" below), I'll bet a small donation to OBT--loser pays--that no one can watch Kathi in "Lambarena" without breaking into a smile before she's finished.

    So, how about it? Anybody think you're up to the challenge? ;)