Just back from a roller-coaster weekend in Nancy. We had two performances on Saturday evening and Sunday matinée. The preparation of this gala had been especially complicated, we only had two weeks’ time to rehearse, a program that we were supposed to do in March 2020, but it was then cancelled because of the lockdown in France. The studios in the Opera were closed, we had to find other places to do the rehearsals. We even did it once in a park, and attracted a lot of attention of the passers-by, the other times we had to rent a private studio.
A few days before our departure to Nancy. We were nearly there! We had been extremely cautious, and adopted strict hygiene measures to minimise the risks of the spread of Covid-19: masks, gel, distances, windows, tests…. Unfortunately, despite our efforts, some of us were tested positive…. this means that we had to change the choreography, try to find other pieces for replacement in order to maintain the duration of the show until the very last minutes…….
A few hours before the start of the performance, no one was certain whether we could perform, or we should simply cancel. If we were to do it, finding replacement materials, rearranging the group parts, fixing the lightings and the musics were to be done. Was it safe enough to perform together on stage without a mask? We had little time to make the decision, and finally, we all thought at least we should do it as in the past rehearsals, with a mask.
Dancing with a mask is quite a challenge for the stamina. But we did it, both performances, with a mask on most of the time. Following in the strictest manner the sanitary guidelines. Is that what we should do for the next performances? “Once upon a time, we performed with our face uncovered”.
Now I am back, very happy to have been part of this adventure, and hoping that the protocol was enough to protect me from coronavirus. Also I was asking myself, while waiting in the wings this afternoon,
Could this be the last performance in 2020?