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Sunday, June 13, 2004


Lights! Curtains! Action!

These past four days, I've been under the employ of La Maison de la Danse, a dance studio owned and run by the family of my darlin' Nicole. They put me to work as curtain puller, for the Wednesday rehearsal, Thursday dress rehearsal, and the Friday and Saturday recitals at Hammond High School. With somewhere around 75 to 100 children age 3-18 performing some 60 numbers, a lot needed to be done by Nicole's mom, grandmother, grandfather, sister, and (my count) three uncles, two aunts, five cousins, of course Nicole herself, I, and dozens of assistants and parents. It was a fun, (to-me) very novel experience, filled with some memories that will stand out. Here are a few:

-Opening curtains, right on cue, is a rather thrilling experience, no matter the size of the venue. Try it sometime, but maybe you ought to wear gloves. Then again, maybe I just have sissy hands; I think I do, as they scald when placed under an even moderately-hot running faucet. But that's neither here nor there.

-The choreography, seen up-close and from a unique perspective, was fantastic. There were some really smashing tap and jazz numbers, like "Little Shop of Horrors," "That Is Rock and Roll," "Newspaper," "They're Playing Our Song," and quite a few others whose titles have slipped my memory. Oh, "Smooth Criminal" and "Love That Man" were definitely suitably funky; bravo to the dancers on those especially. As for ballet, while I'm in no way an expert or aficianado, I enjoyed the sheer elegance of "Belle Waltz," "Les Troyans," "Memory Waltz," and the competition team's vigorous finale, "Hedwig's Theme." (Is that from a movie or something? Harry Potter? It was quite familiar to these ears, but I couldn't put my finger on it.) The most memorable duo was the combo of 8-year old Evan and a female partner, whose name I apologize for not remembering,* was of just a slightly younger age; their piece, including a couple of instances where she was carried by him for a few steps, was captivating and made to look practically effortless by the talented pair.
*Her name is Amanda. Bravo! Thanks Nicole, my dear copy-editor, for the reminder, and for correcting the embarrassing gaffe in the next paragraph...

-Kudos to the little kiddies, especially Nicole's three-year old brother Glenn, the youngest in his two classes; he nailed his numbers, the applicable "I Was Born To Dance" and "Let's Go Fly a Kite,"** and was deservedly proud, as were his parents, when Friday night's show concluded.
**Edited from original posting, which read "Let's Fly a Go." Really. I was trying to remember at whatevertimeitwas a.m. whether the song was titled "Let's Fly a Kite" or "Let's Go Fly a Kite." I guess my mind decided on a compromise unconsciously.

-I also shared with Nicole on recital nights the extra duty of selling flowers ($5/bunch... 2 for 10, 3 for 15, I joked) outside the auditorium before the show, during intermission (read: halftime, for all you football fans out there), and after each performance. Yup, lots and lots of flowers-- we started with about 700, wrapped five of them with a fern in bouquets on Thursday with my mom and brother, so I guess we ended up with about 140 bunches, kept in buckets of water. No major incidents (theft, haggling, or whatnot), except to note that against the school's edict, on both nights people tried, successfully on a few occasions, to turn on the soda and snack machines and purchase goodies, a major headache for those of us who had to clean the aisles after the show. My idea: in two years (recitals are semiannual [or is it "biannual"?]), booby trap the vending machines, so that they produce a little electic jolt when attempts are made to purchase unauthorized wares, and display a scrolling message on the little screen reading, "What is it about 'No food or drinks permitted' that you don't understand?"
As if that will stop them from trying.

-Wiggly Woo. 'Nuff said.

Thank you all for inviting me to help out; I did the best I could and I was just glad to be there to assist and learn. You all are such a talented family, and you put your artistic gifts to wonderful use. Congratulations on a hard task completed, and best of luck on your further endeavors. :-)

NOTE: Comments are now enabled on my blog, so please, all are encouraged to correct my song titles, etc. listed above. Or just to start petty arguments with me, whatever you wish. ;-D



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