Well, the curtain came down at the Touhill and preparations for our four city tour were on their way. A few blinks, a few congratulatory pats on our backs and back to reality.
Thirty-five excited dancers arrived on time at the South side of Macy’s at the Galleria to board a bus that would take us to Columbia, MO. Actually, only 34, the 35th was on the South Side of Macy’s Downtown; no one is perfect. Unfortunately the bus was not there either. They misread their logs and thought it was 9 PM. With our downtown dancer aware of this, we all got back into ten cars and drove to Columbia, a two hour drive. Thank heaven for cell phones. Its easy to keep taps of everyone if they are together, much harder if they are all driving themselves.
No one was missing when class started in the large studio of Stephens College’s dance Department. Carol Estey, the director, and her students were invited to watch (I have been teaching them for the past two years in June). A fascinating experience as dancers from four different companies with four different styles and four different ideologies, gave up their ego to prepare for what was coming. Already the Touhill performances had broken all barriers and immense respect had been born between them. Even new friendships.
Our crew, led by Tracy, Andy and JC were at the theatre with Lynette preparing to treat any ailment dancers might incur, recall or imaginary. If they have someone to look after them, dancers always have pain, if their is no one, they cope with it. Better to have someone though.
After extensive rehearsal, the show went on. Those attending were marveled by the experience and this incredible diverse group of dancers performed with a commitment and professionalism I had not experienced in many years.
By 9PM the show was over and back in our cars we headed to get a night sleep.
Following days saw us driving to SIUE in Edwardsville, where we were performing at a beautifully reconstructed Vaudeville Theatre in historic Edwardsville. The first impression was, Oh Lord!!, how are we going to manage this, but once in the theatre we met the challenge and because of the intimacy of the place I felt that last night’s performance was somewhat special. I was able to notice nuances, details and experience emotions I had not had before. The only piece that did have difficulties was MADCO’s because of its sweeping scale of movement, but they made adjustments and as we have come to expect, audiences rose to their feet and danced along with all the dancers.
A magical mystery tour that has three more shows to go. I love it. I love the dancers, their energy, their focus and their joy to be able to do what they are doing.