I think we of OBT rested for about 24 hours, at most, after the amazing events of Friday night before hitting the ground running again. Dance United was, as had been predicted and promoted, an unprecedented dance event in the city of Portland. Judging from the responses from the people of this city and the dancers of this country, it may have been the first but may not be the last time such a beautiful celebration of dance takes place in Portland.
It was easy for me, as a performer that night, to forget about the real reason why we were dancing. Surrounded by previously unknown colleauges (all dancers have an invisible bond that stretches across time and distance), all of us concerned with our reason for being--- performing--- it seemed only natural that we were together, putting on a show. That's what we do. The fact that it was a performance put together in a flash, bringing together dancers whose paths may never have crossed otherwise and putting new choreography and dance styles together on the Keller stage seemed secondary to the bottom line. At the end of the night, it was a house packed to the rafters with people screaming for the love of what they had just seen, and wanting more. It didn't seem to be about the money, it was about the art.
So, a great success and an unforgettable experience for all of us involved, but we're not in the clear yet. Our beyond-dedicated administration and staff are still working feverishly (though hopefully not 24-hour shifts anymore). We all are.
There have been so many touching stories over the past few weeks. Mia's grandmother parcelling out her donations to OBT every week because she can't afford to give a lump sum. The wait staff from Carafe donating their tips to OBT after the show on Friday night. Our stage crew making personal donations to help us stay afloat.
These stories are humbling, but also energizing and inspiring. We have to succeed, so those who have shown their support of us will not be let down!