Tomorrow’s The Night

It’s almost time to go back.

It’s been awhile since I’ve been on stage and I’m ambivalent. I’m nervous about my own self-critique; I will never be as good as I want to be. Once again, perfection is never enough. But I’m going to stick it out and deal with it and try to do better than my best.

Tonight is the last rehearsal for the Philly Dance Collective taking place tomorrow at the Painted Bride. I can’t help but to be nervous with stage fright and because the piece is way under-rehearsed. I kind of like it that way, it is a known fact that most people perform best under pressure. One of my dancers has a busted foot thanks to her sprightly, jovial and carefree nature, always looking for adventure. I could punch her of course, but I won’t. My only worry is that it’ll be a distraction more than anything. She, along with many of my dancers have performed through injuries before, it’s part of the game. Maybe I’ll find a way to work it into the choreography. I’ve done it before.

There is fabric strewn all over my apartment along with the remnants of thread and notions that come from the fervor of making costumes. There is some finishing that needs to be done but I won’t know until after the fitting today that takes place during the short rehearsal I scheduled. They came out pretty well. It was hard to keep them simple because I have the habit of overworking things sometimes, always keeping in mind that someone has to dance in them. It’s all stretch fabric, so it shouldn’t be a problem and I have one or two Plan B’s to work with. I have learned the hard way (from years working with Burlesque) that it is imperative to have that “dress rehearsal” to avoid any potential wardrobe malfunctions on stage during a performance. It can really make or break a show.

Also, a representative from Dance Advance, the grant administrators, will be doing a site visit. I’m really not in the mood for them to be there, my head is already crazy trying to get the gist of my ideas into the choreography for tomorrow, so I really don’t need the distraction or the worry about impressing them. I’m going to just try and zone out and get done what it is I need to get done.

I have another show coming up the first weekend of December. I had an idea that I already scratched. And on top of that, I should just use stuff I’ve been working on, but I have a lot more free reign in this venue and I can do something a little more freakish if I want. Of course one of the dancers I want to use is only available 2 separate days before the performance, so once again I will have to throw something together. The good part is, she has the memory of an elephant, so she will pick up the choreography quickly and will remember it better than I ever could.

A while back I attended the fringe show performance of someone I worked with who put together a really great dance piece. One of her dancers, Kellie, really caught my eye and I went right up to her after the show and told her she was mine. Months later, she was in the studio with me and I immediately thought of Melissa (with the elephant memory) who was one of my burlesque muses a while back. They have the same stature and style in their movements and they are both ridiculously flexible. They are both tall and have dark hair and while they don’t look exactly the same, they have similar features. I got to thinking about doing a freaky twin number where they are dancing the same movements yet struggling to be unique at the same time. I thought that I would make a costume where their legs would be tied together, almost as if they were Siamese twins. Then I got to thinking of vaudeville and circus acts and it all hit me at once that I wanted to do something to that effect: circusy, weird, creepy, entertainment.

I’m now searching through my music to find appropriate pieces and sure enough I had already put aside some music to match. I keep a list of songs on my ipod that I hope to choreograph some day or that inspire me otherwise. So far I have “Freakshow” by Ani Difranco, “Get Your Freak On” by Missy Elliot, “Clown” by The Flock, “Me, Myself, and I” by L7, “Rich Man’s Frug” from Sweet Charity Soundtrack, “Clown Dream” from Pee Wee’s Big Adventure Soundtrack, “Don’t Pass Me By” by The Beatles, “Ending of a Show” by TV on the Radio, “Earth Intruders” by Bjork, “Perpetuate Yourself” by Sufjan Stevens, “Ballade de Melody Nelson” by Portishead, “Little Sister” by Nico, “Little Miss Strange” by Jimi Hendrix, “Street of Dreams” by Esquivel, “A Little Game” by The Doors, “Jeux D’Enfants” from Cirque De Soleil Alegria Soundtrack, “Strange Desire” by The Black Keys, “Good Sister/Bad Sister” by Hole….

The show is going to take place at the CEC in West Philly at the Etc. Series that is a hodgepodge of different media but ends up being mostly dance. I have 20 minutes to work with, so it’s a slippery slope because I can get rather zealous when it comes to expressing my ideas on stage. I already have a million ideas.

So maybe I should get through tonight, with all it’s intricacies and preparation. The finishing costumes, doing a million sit ups so I don’t look fat on stage, contacting people about tickets, burn a couple CDs for the show, packing up everything I’ll need (don’t forget the safety pins!), going to tech, being a total bitch and yelling at the girls about what needs to be fixed, review the choreography a million times, doing make-up & hair & costumes, biting my nails off, getting on stage and moving on to the next big thing…

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