In the past week, we performed twice the “Soirée Jeunes Danseurs” at Opera Garnier. Due to the current sanitary restrictions, the two performances took place with an almost-empty audience. The first show (Friday evening) was only open to 150 to 200 members of the Paris Opera. A new “lockdown” in Paris was announced just the day before and the new reinforced measures were in force from Saturday. As a consequence, the second performance of the Soirée Jeunes Danseurs on the following Monday took place but with an empty audience, not even the members of the company.
Still, it was a precious opportunity to perform on stage ! The whole preparation process had been very unpredictable…… My first cast got injured a week before the show so I had to dance with a new partner in bluebird pas de deux, our ballet master caught Covid-19 and wasn’t there for more than 2 weeks, in the contemporary piece “Les Indomptés”, my second cast got a terrible back pain a week before the show and I was preparing myself to replace him and perform on both nights where as the day before the Première my partner got injured and so I couldn’t perform that night…. etc. Well, it was quite an experience !
After such a long time, I almost forgot the feeling of being nervous before a show. This time, in addition to being physically exhausted because of all the changes and rehearsals besides, I had a terrible stage fright…… Simply we are not used to it anymore!
We had two days of rest after the first performance on Friday evening, before the second performance on Monday matinee. The first one didn’t go so well for me, that weekend was necessary to find back the motivation and to understand what could be done better in the next show. The Monday matinee went better and I was relieved, in the same performance I also performed “Les Indomptés” with a new partner. This contemporary piece is such a joy to dance! The music, the movements, the mood……. Everything about it is soul-soothing. I really wish I could perform this piece again somewhere, someday.
The next day, Tuesday, we moved to Opera Bastille and started the stage runs for Roland Petit’s Notre Dame de Paris, a challenging ballet for the corps de ballet! Despite the multiple restrictions, it seems like the Paris Opera Ballet has never been working so hard!