Posted by Rebecca King on 07.06.2011
July 5, 2011
Today was our first official day of work in Paris. We started the day with another wonderful hotel breakfast; the French take their breakfast very seriously, and I completely support that. It was time to head out for class, so we took the Metro under the Seine to the right bank, and we arrived at the Châtelet stop. Near our exit, or “sortie”, there was a band of seven men singing and playing instruments. They had trumpets, accordians, and a base, among other things, singing joyously in French. It was a great way to begin the day.
Class started as if it were any other day. We all assumed our usual “theater places” at the barre and warmed up in anticipation of class. In most theaters in Europe, the stages are “raked”, which means that floor is at a slight angle. This is meant to give the audience a better view of the stage. But for us, it feels very strange! Sometimes it feels as if you are dancing up a hill! This will surely take some adjusting to.
Rehearsal started with Symphony in 3 Movements in full costume. That was my only rehearsal this afternoon, so I found a small “brasserie” around the corner from the theater with free wifi and, no big deal, a view of the Eiffel Tower over the Siene. Ah, Paris.
The rehearsal this evening was in full costume and makeup as photos were being taken. We also knew that there would be some people in attendance as it was and open rehearsal, or a “cours public”. When the curtain rose on Ballet Imperial, we found the house full up to the top tier. Panic ensued; we all had no idea that this would end up being like a performance! This is the first time Paris is seeing us…. I sure hope that they know this is the first time we have danced this ballet on this stage. They remember that this is a rehearsal, right? Well we have heard that if a French audience doesn’t like what they see, they will actually boo the performers. We were happy to hear cheers erupting from the house.
We open in Paris tomorrow night with Symphony in 3 Movements, Afternoon of a Faun, Tarentella, and Ballet Imperial. I know it will be a night to remember. I am beyond excited for Paris to see what we can really do.