Posted by Rebecca King on 07.11.2011
Our first week in Paris has come to an end, and what a week it was. We could not have asked for anything more. Last night we enjoyed a fabulous dinner at a New York Times recommended restaurant, “Chez Julien” near Notre Dame. We sat outside in a cobble stone courtyard next to an old church that was covered in ivy. Every building in this city looks as if it is a piece of art; built with extreme care and crafty hands.
During dinner, while enjoying delicious French wine, we reflected back on the past week. We all commented on the company’s current sense of community. Miami City Ballet has always felt like a big happy family, but in the midst of such a thrilling experience, we are finding ourselves growing closer together. Every success is our success. We are a team.
We discussed Edward Villella’s touching reaction to our performances. Every morning before class he tells us how happy he is with us and how thrilled he is with the way our Paris season has been going. It means so much for dancers to hear these sorts of things from their Artistic Director. We are all so happy to make him proud and to be dancing under his direction during this historic landmark for the company that he created from the ground up.
It is also beginning to sink in more and more that the repertoire that we are executing for audiences in the City of Light is very grueling. We are rehearsing and performing like mad. This is going to be a very difficult tour for us, but we are all in this together; we will cry together and triumph together. We all agreed that there is one very specific aspect of this tour that will bring us energy: the Parisian audience. As much as I love to dance all these ballets, every day I look most forward to the curtain falling on each ballet and the audience reacts to what they have just seen. Even if I am not onstage, I run down from my dressing room just to hear the applause. They send such a warm appreciation through their applause and cheers that it often brings tears to our eyes. Never have I been a part of a performance where the curtain needs to be taken back up for more bows because the audience simply will not stop clapping.
So Paris, if you are reading this, we adore dancing for you.