Schwanensee

Sunday night was my first performance on stage with the Dresden Semperoper Ballet performing Aaron Watkin’s Swan Lake. It felt like a dream.

My day started like any other with a ballet class for an hour and 15 minutes. I had no rehearsal that day because of the show so most of the afternoon was spent lounging around. At 4:30 I returned to the theatre for my makeup call. Every single dancer has an assigned makeup call. They were written out on a list earlier in the week. The women were split among 6 makeup ladies, the men among 4. At my assigned time I walked into the makeup room and sat down at Claudia’s station. The room was set up just as one would expect a makeup room to be. There were two narrow rows lined with mirrors and barbershop chairs on both sides. Laid out on the counter in front of me was a tray with about 12 different shades of blush. Behind that was a tackle box filled with assorted hair pins. Headpieces were hanging from a cabinet overhead. There was a cup of various brushes in the corner. Foundation sticks and clean sponges were randomly hanging out in many places on the counter. Claudia started with my hair. She brushed it out, sprayed it with an incredible amount of hairspray and neatly combed is back into a low ponytail with a center part. From there she twisted it up into a bun. My only involvement in this whole hair/makeup process was holing bobby pins over my shoulder so Claudia didn’t have to reach to the counter every time and fiddle with untangling them. After my hair was tight and neat she moved on to my face. After looking through al of the shades of foundation she used the last one she picked up to cover my forehead, nose and cheeks. I think she used a slightly darker shade for the lower half of my face but I am not positive. My eyes were closed a lot of the time. Next came the eyeshadow. A pinkish color on the inside of my lid and a darker shade on the outside. Every time she sipped the brush in the powder she put two colors on at one time. I don’t know what that accomplishes at all but it was rather intriguing. Eyeliner next. Liquid. Applied using a brush that was dipped in water then in the pad of black liner. Then came the fake eyelashes. First she measured the width of my eye and trimmed a little off of each end, applied the most perfect thin line of glue and delicately placed them on my eyes. One at a time of course. Once those were successfully attached she finished up by brushing rouge on my cheeks and a little bit of brown shadow along my hairline and under my cheekbones for come contouring. I looked great, if I may say so myself. I wish I could get my makeup professionally done all the time. What a way to be pampered!

Warm-up class started at 6 and lasted for a scheduled 30 minutes. The teacher offered an extra 15 minutes of center work for anyone that was willing so I stayed just to ensure I was on my leg and fully warm. Mission accomplished. I headed back to my dressing room to change into my costume and headed back into the studio to put on my pointe shoes, review the choreography, and keep warm. My first entrance is not until the 2nd act (of the 4 act ballet) so I got to watch the first act from the TV that was turned on in the studio. Before I knew it, it was time to go backstage. If I wasn’t nervous before, I sure was now. Standing backstage looking at all the other swans marking choreography around me just made me lose were I was for a minute. I had entered another universe where even though there are dancers all around me and an entire house full of attendees I am the only one that exists. It is a rather funny feeling that I am having slight struggles describing. The best description I can come up with is that I feel acutely aware of myself and what is around me yet at the same time seem to feel nothing. The ballet went by in a blur. The corps de ballet was praised for a job well done by the director after the curtain closed for the final time. I got out of my costume, took off my makeup, took out my hair, showered, and that was that.

It didn’t sink in that I had just performed in 2 acts of Swan Lake until I woke up the next morning. How unreal.

Time to do it again!

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Epic Win

Today was a great day. With our first performance of Swan Lake in two days we were doing everything but rehearsing. But really, that’s the truth. It’s a little disconcerting for me because that is not what I am used to but I’m sure it will end up to be just fine. Most of the company has performed it yearly for quite some time so if I ever get lost I can just look around and follow someone who knows it like the back of her hand.

I had rehearsal for one hour this morning. I was dancing for about 20 minutes of that then just sitting and watching a part I was not in for the last 40 minutes. Quality. Once my dancing day was finished at noon I went out to lunch with some friends. We went to a local establishment that serves up a local specialty. There are many different names and varieties to what I am about to explain. (The version I got is called doner). Essentially they are the insides of a gyro stuffed into different carbohydrate exteriors. Mine was in a crunchy flatbread type pita. I have never encountered anything quite like it before. It was delicious though. Fluffier than normal flatbread but still somewhat dense. Then toasted to get that little crunch. (The other options were a large tortilla type bread, a smaller round bread with a bit of cheese crisped on it, and of course a bread-less option for the carb conscious). Inside was shaved lamb (mmmmmmmmmmmmm), tomatoes, onions, shaved lettuce, and 2 different unknown sauces, one red and one white. So there you have it. The German Gyro.

Fully stuffed and satisfied, we moved on to the next activity. Shopping. But don’t get too excited yet. On our way to the large outdoor shopping street something happened that made my day. No, probably my week. I got approached by a street fashion scout. She came over (dressed in her model-esque outfit) and put her head right in front of mine. The first question she asked was what language I spoke. Once we got that out of the way she continued to explain to me that her team was out there with Grazia Magazine looking for people on the street that are fashionable. She said I look “pretty fashionable” and asked if they could take my picture. “Of course”, I responded calmly. I was truly freaking out and jumping for joy on the inside. It has been a dream of mine to be stopped on the street for such a purpose for a few years now. I mean… it is only Dresden, but who really cares.┬áDreams can come true! I filled out a short form with my e-mail and such. I now am entered for a chance to win tickets to Fashion Week in New York. How exotic. At least there is an exciting activity to add to that gift. My picture was taken a few times, I was handed a copy of their magazine and that was that. That’s when I kind of hyperventilated a little bit. No big deal.

The day continued with some small purchases, a little down time, some burnt rice, and a roller blading street party. Yeah, about ten minutes ago I heard loud dance music coming from outside so I looked out the window. Down on the street were a few cars with flashing lights (not police cars I think) and blaring music. Behind them followed a mass of Dresdeners on rollerblades. I couldn’t see the end of them. Gotta love it.

Overall this day has been an epic win. Except maybe for the burnt rice. I was really looking forward to eating that but was way too lazy to make a new batch. Oh Well. It’s the big picture that counts.