Posted by Rebecca King on 07.24.2011
I cannot believe that it has come time to write this post. Our Paris tour is over. These past three weeks were truly the highlight of my career and I am sure that every other company member would agree. Three spectacular weeks, 14 ballets, 17 shows, amazing audiences, and packed houses every night. There were lines out the door and around the corner for last minute tickets for our final shows. Miami City Ballet really was the talk of Paris.
Last night brought our final Parisian show, stirring up a mass of emotions. Not only were we sad to bid farewell to this wonderful experience, but we also were mourning the loss of friends who were to dance their last ballets that evening. The day was already off to an emotional start as Edward Villella spoke to the dancers before class. He reiterated the pride he felt as he watched us dance from the audience every night. He was choked up as he said, “I love you guys. I am the proudest guy in this whole place.”
The tour ended as it began, with Balanchine’s Ballet Imperial. Even after the way Paris reacted to this piece on opening night, we never could have imagined the reception that it would receive on the last. The sold out Châtelet audience rose for a standing ovation that lasted over 10 minutes. It felt as if the city was praising our dancing as a whole over our entire Paris season.
After we finished bowing for Ballet Imperial, the staff and the rest of the company, joined the cast on stage for a final bow. As we looked into the audience, confetti fell from the ceiling and the festival unfurled a banner above the stage that read, “See you soon in Paris.” Tears were shed and hugs were shared as the lights were brought up in the audience. There we stood, staring our new Parisian fans in the face. We clapped for them, as they clapped for us. It was such a surreal moment. Inevitably, the final curtain had to fall. As we were separated from our audience for the last time, the audience waved at us, and we waved back.
Au Revior Paris. Thank you for the most exhilarating and inspiring experience that we could have asked for. See you in 2014.
Click play to watch our last moments in Paris, including the scene described above.