Dearest BFan fanatics,
Last weekend was one of the best whirlwinds of my life. Touring Cinderella: A Rock Opera Ballet to three towns in three days was intense, but well worth the exhaustion. I feel that the whirlwind began when James Fuller, a company member with Ballet Austin, arrived in Eugene to learn the role of the Prince. James was such a trooper! Learning such a demanding role in less than one week is no easy feat, and a special thanks must go to his incessant smile. There was literally not a single moment in which Mr. Fuller had a straight face, let alone a frown.
Last Thursday we had our first run through of the show with the band since our performances at the Hult back in May. I felt, that considering James had just learned his part, and we were all a bit frazzled, that the run went swimmingly. There is something truly magical about performing to live music, and I personally feel that it allows me to throw away my inhibitions and just get into character. After rehearsing with Shelley and Cal and their band, I felt ready to tackle three towns in three days.
First stop: Florence, Oregon! We arrived in Florence knowing the environment- we had performed Beatrix Potter at the Florence Event Center during the holiday season. We marked through all of the pieces, warmed up, and became situated with the stage. We had such a receptive audience! Nothing makes me happier than the laughter of an audience while portraying a comedic character. Thanks for laughing, Florence!
The ride back to Eugene that evening seemed to last forever. We were all exhausted, and could barely keep our eyes open by the time we arrived home. The BFan dancers and crew quickly fell asleep and recuperated as much as possible before our warm-up class at 9am the next day. I’m not going to lie, I could hardly move during that class. I can’t attest for everyone, but I think that the majority of the BFan dancers were hurting that morning. Our bodies were tired. After class, we packed up, grabbed a cup ‘o’ jo, and headed to our second stop: Noti!
Noti was certainly a smaller venue, but with a lot of heart! Everyone there was so immensely friendly. They provided us with delicious fresh fruit, snacks full of protein, and ice cold bottles of water. This was also the sweatiest show of the weekend! It was about 100ºF outside. We performed in a gymnasium, which had our marley floor laid out (thanks to many of the BFan boyfriends). We had to accomodate ourselves to the new layout, which surprisingly took no time at all. I literally saw Ballet Fantastique become a versatile touring company right before my eyes! Noti also provided us with a delicious bbq chicken feast! I would use the word “taste-tastic” when describing that meal! Thanks for your hospitality, Noti!
Most of the BFan crew left for Portland that evening after the Noti show around 9pm so that we wouldn’t be stiff from a morning car-ride right before the Sunday show. We had some very hospitable friends and family in Portland who were willing to house us for the evening. Arriving at Lincoln Hall on Sunday morning was fantastic! We had an enormous amount of space in the dressing room backstage, and the theater was just beautiful in general. I felt quite relaxed and ready to give it my all that day. However, about two hours before the show, I became jittery. I think it was just the thought of performing in my hometown, where I had no idea who might be out in the audience. After the first couple of pieces though, I realized that it didn’t matter who was out there- I’m dancin’ ’cause I love it! In the end, the Portland show was amazing! The viewers seemed to really enjoy the performance, and everyone was incredibly receptive!
Whew! What an experience! Now, I sit in my room up in Portland, writing this blogpost, still recuperating from the tour, and thinking to myself, “Where will BFan go next?!”
Amelia (a.k.a. Meelz)