It’s happened! Sleeping Beauty has concluded… What a great production!
I have lots to tell about, but this post will be about the final performance in my hometown. Guess what? The tickets were almost sold out! Here’s how this fun Saturday evening began..
The day was gorgeous, so my dad grilled Carne Asada. I’m writing a post soon on Las Brisas steak salad, and re-creating it on the grill at home. After munching on an early dinner (including pico de gallo we normally only make in summer) we were off to the stage! This time, my mom and I only had to drive 5 minutes, unlike commuting through rush-hour to the venue a weekend before. Both venues are great, hometown and ½ an hour away. The hometown stage is a lot smaller, so it was especially difficult for Mother Ginger and her big skirt in “The Nutcracker”. However, it’s so much more convenient, even though it’s sometimes fun to have an adventure away from home! That’s why the more stages and performing, the better!
As soon as I reached the dressing room backstage, I spotted my friends starting on their makeup. It’s harder than it looks to paint layers of makeup on your face, so you can be seen under the bright stage lights! Also, when it comes to the fake eyelashes, you not only transform into looking more like a doll, but they can be very itchy if you place them incorrectly!
Along with blending the foundation cream down to my neck, I’m always very aware to not blend too much into my blond hairline. Otherwise, you have drastic color changes from natural color, to an orange-y shade. After finishing with my makeup, and getting help for the eyes, it was time to put on the beautiful costumes!
By that time, after getting all dressed and stretched out, it was about ½ an hour until we went onstage. The progression of getting our faces ready, to our clothes ready, to our nerves settled was always fun! I just love the feeling of being able to be one of those dancers, one that gets to experience the adrenaline, but good nerves that are mostly just from being excited!
The flower scene is towards the start of Act 1 in the “Sleeping Beauty” production, and I was to watch Acts 2 and 3 with my mom and a friend from the audience’s perspective.
When we had about 15 minutes until entering onstage, we rushed into the hall, grabbed our garlands, and divided into the left and right sides.
As the other girls and I were getting ourselves positioned in the wing, I glanced over and noticed somebody stretching… It was one of the guest artists! She played the part of Aurora, and she looked beautiful, danced beautifully, and was so flexible, it was easy to be amazed just watching her warm up! Lot’s of hard work I’m sure, you could tell she had a real passion.
The Knitting Ladies had just finished their part, and our joyful music began. After the older girls entered onto the stage in pairs, the 8 younger garland girls (including me) scurried out.
We began with doing a move called Pas de basque, travelling down the center of the stage, while the older girls danced around us. Next, we split into stage right and left. I think I’m finally getting the theatrical talk…
Downstage means come closer to audience
Upstage means move away from the audience
Stage right resembles the right if you’re dancing, the left if you’re in audience
House right stands for right if you’re in the audience, left if you’re dancing
With that in mind, I was mostly in the center and stage right, upstage as well as downstage, and house left. Whew! That can be a little confusing sometimes…
After doing one final series of bourrees, we lined up for the final section and bows. I was able to faintly see into the dim lights shone on the audience, but from what I could tell, the seats were pretty packed!
Once I quickly peeled off the fake eyelashes, wiped the blush and lipstick off, and changed into a cute spring dress, I met up with my mom and friend.
After getting settled into seats in the audience, with the music playing, I gradually became mesmerized by the graceful dancing. The flexible girl, with amazing balance, that I viewed warming up in the wings was flowing to the music, dancing better than I could ever have imagined. The prince had curly dark hair, and played as her partner, and he was amazing as well! Together, they did a series of steps 3 times where she would twirl, and he would hold her in a pose that needed to have balance, strength, flexibility, and all the above for the girl and guy! As if the position she was sustaining wasn’t enough, (he was holding her body just inches from the ground) he did it with no hands! I could sense that the whole room was as breathless as I was.
During that act, the Nymphs entered. They wore green, flowy costumes. As I watched the 15 or so girls dancing in sync, I was able to distinguish many as level 5.2’s and level 6’s that I know. It’s a great feeling to watch an outstanding production by your company, that you participated in, that features amazing people you maybe even know!
I laugh thinking back to dress rehearsal, when us garland girls were in costume backstage, conversing back and forth with Carabosse. Yes, Carabosse was indeed decked out in makeup, bright red wig, fake long nose, and everything else to make him ready for his part.
After intermission, the last act represented the wedding of Aurora (the girl who Carabosse cursed, and the Lilac Fairy changed the curse) and her Prince. In the wedding, there were multiple short and sweet variations. This included the Bluebird and Princess Florentine, the Wolf and Red Riding Hood, a girl/boy cat for Puss and Boots, as well as 4 older girls playing as Jewels. When I danced in the YAGP competition in January with two of my friends, we danced one of the Jewel’s variations. That was a great experience!
I felt so ecstatic when, at the end of the performance, people were standing and clapping. This was a standing ovation! I can’t believe I was in a show, set up by my hometown company, that was worthy of a standing ovation. Now, that’s how I’m ending this blog post!