After a two-weeks break, we picked up the performances of Lightfoot again at Palais Garnier this weekend. My first appearance in the ballet Speak for Yourself also took place yesterday! For that, we had one extra dress rehearsal Saturday afternoon which was the second and last rehearsal on stage that I had before the proper performance…. Fortunately, it went okay which was reassuring. It was also the first time that I got to rehearse with the water. Indeed, in the last 15 minutes of this ballet, “rain” comes down the stage which creates a very beautiful scenery, and the dancers have to dance on a wet, slippery and raked floor, which is rather challenging.
In order to prevent the dancers from catching a cold under the rain, we were told that the water had been heated up to 70 degrees. So I was expecting warm drops of water. But no, it was surprising how cold it was! The water probably had more than enough time to cool down and when I had to roll on that wet floor, it was in fact freezing!
The D-day eventually arrived and yesterday was my turn to perform in Speak for Yourself. The nerves were there and as regular performers we constantly learn to live and work with it. Unlike in Saturday’s rehearsal, there were no major slips or mistakes. The presence of the audience naturally brings a certain pressure and we tend to perform accordingly. During the rehearsal, I could enjoy it more, trying out steps and spacing, experimenting. Whereas in the performance, the fact that I tried to impress and to do it well made the whole process less pleasurable. However, perhaps this is rather normal for a first performance, a public “Générale” (dress rehearsal) would have been much appreciated and would be a nice transition from the experimenting phase to the showing-off phase.
Three more performances in Speak for Yourself to cherish. It is an exceptional opportunity to be doing this solo-part with an amazing cast. Spring seems to be back in Paris, finally, the flowers are blooming, the Eiffel Tower, smiling.