Hello all! After a crazy, long, and stressful week, I’m back to tell you about my awesome experiences in my first Muhlenberg production, Moving Stories! This past week consisted of long hours of dress rehearsals, cue-to-cues, and lots of practice, which all came together in an overwhelming success. Before I get to that though, I’m going to start at the beginning.
Beginning late last week, dress rehearsals and tech began on our Baker stage. Each night, a few dance pieces got an allotted time slot to test out their spacing, experiment with stage lighting, and run the dance in costume. This was the time to fix any problems, whether it was a late lighting cue or my ill-fitting pants. While not on stage, the rest of the cast had some time to relax in the lavender lounge (Muhlenberg’s version of a green room) and bond before the show. As any dancer could guess, this time was filled with lots of jokes, songs, and of course back massages.
Once Thursday rolled around, this relaxing backstage atmosphere was transformed into a bubble of excitement. Before the show, I was introduced to many of the Muhlenberg dance traditions, including gift giving, kiss the cast, crew dance, pass the squeeze, and “the shakeout.” An hour before the show, all dancers were calling onstage for a fun warm-up led by professors Jeffrey Peterson and Teresa VanDenend Sorge, or Meredith, our Muhlenberg Dance Association president, to calm our nerves. We were then sent back upstairs, where we put the finishing touches on our hair and makeup and got into costume.
Before we knew it, it was show time. Every night of performances, the audience filled the theatre and the dancers were ready. Each performance went incredibly smoothly, and every dance piece looked even better on stage than it had in rehearsals. The piece I was in, “Self-Mediation” by Sean Vanin ’13, was third in the show, giving me just enough time to enjoy the rest of the performance.
Although shows ended Saturday night, I was lucky enough to get one last chance to perform Sean’s piece… in New York! Sean and Emily Ancona’s pieces were both chosen to go to a College Connect dance showing in the city at Dance New Amsterdam. At 7 a.m. Sunday morning, our two casts boarded the bus for a day filled with dance. After watching and performing pieces, all of the dancers and choreographers gave feedback on each other’s works and suggested improvements.
Quite obviously, my week was filled with dance, but it’s not over for me yet. Now that I have checked Moving Stories off of my to-do list, I am moving on to my next show, the informal dance concert. Come check it out in December! I’ll keep you updated on all of my dancing news, but until then, here are some backstage shots from Moving Stories!
Left/Top: “Self-Mediation” cast practicing their “virus” pose.
Right/Bottom: The freshmen in Moving Stories! (minus Tommy)