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Saturday, April 14, 2018

My Theatrical Performance in Swan Lake

Given the interest in recent films on the subject of ballerinas, I thought writing about my experience as one would be enjoyable for many. I know I was in the middle of a series. Going behind the scenes of a production of Swan Lake is another behind the scenes experience that is a part of show business. May celebrities we all like have experience in working in amazing theaters for crowds of fans. Ballerinas are actresses who transform through acting and movement. My first important dance performance came in the production of Swan Lake It was at the Patriot Theater in Trenton New Jersey. I was so impressed when I arrived at the theater since I am a big fan of the beauty in architecture and fine details of carving or moldings as well as the rich red curtains and tapestry blew me away.
 It was a performance with my dance school and the teacher was very well known for her talents in choreography, instruction and keen eye for talent. Miss Beverly , I believe, was her name. I recall she was hired to script and teach us the dance for another production I was in called "Oliver". In that production , she was not the only hired talent. The teachers in charge of that show had hired talent for certain roles like Fagan since they wanted the show to be a hit. I was cast as Nancy in the show which as we all know is the female lead. That shows was when I was in middle school and it was very well thought of as I heard for years the video from that production was shown throughout the  district for all ages up to and including the high schools.
I seem to have lost my direction when I was speaking about dancing in Swan Lake. As I mentioned the arrival to the theater and getting ready backstage was a huge high point. The excitement of a production and seeing each class of ballerinas fully dressed in their costumes was intoxicating. I love the thrill knowing the audience is out there waiting for my fellow dancers and myself to begin. For me, dancing on stage is a familiar event. I began dance instruction and recitals since I was a preschool age child of maybe 4. That show involved a simple yellow costume and it was "Itsy Bity Teenie Bikini" .The famous song was so cute for dancing . I recall seeing other students perform that song as my years of dancing wet on.
Toe dancing was something I had always admired and dancing in Swan Lake was a highlight. Since it  is such a beautiful production so well known, I learned the steps with even more pride than usual. Every year getting the costumes was a thrill. They were always so beautiful. My costume in Swan Lake was white with silver weaved on the bodice. It had beautiful layers of folded fabric along the torso. I still have the costume somewhere. When I last saw it, it was in my kids costume box along with my gowns from other events. They don't wear them anymore but they once enjoyed playing dress up.
Swan Lake has such beauty in the choreography. I was so excited when our turn came up. My class lined up backstage and we got ready to enter the stage. I recall making my first movements on stage and the pure pleasure of the movements before the crowd. When a performer enters the stage there is a switch that goes on and the momentum of the dance combines with the portrayal of the character in such a way that time stops and all you are aware of is a freedom of spirit. The transformation from ballerina backstage to performing is done in an instant. I find I lose all other thoughts the moment I take the first step. I don't recall the exact dance steps any longer but I m sure if I tried they would come back. For me I just recall the high of the performance in such a magnificent theater and the blue dark lighting of the stage. I remember the beautiful feathers in our hair, our makeup and almost glowing in the white we wore.
Here are two pictures of inside the Patriot Theater in Trenton, New Jersey.As you can see it was a gorgeous place to dance on stage.

Miss Beverly was famous for her productions so even people who were not in attendance of her Dance School came and bought tickets. This was something special since most of her classes did not get a chance to be involved with the ballet.
Lots of people wonder what it is like to be a ballerina in such an elegant ballet production, I can tell you it is amazing. The right theater does set the tone of elegance as it enhances your performance and the audiences perception. If we had danced in a high school theater , some of the regality of the ballet would have been lost. Miss Beverly was known for her detailed mind and her location was perfect.
At some point in the future I might release the video of a toe dance routine I choreographed to a unique song. I have one already shot and another dance with the steps complete. I keep my toe shoes in my closet with my typical dance sheer wrap skirt.
Its not exactly my dancing hair or make up but it is sure fun to play with Spring colors. My latest selfie :)

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