After Our Christmas Show

I have to confess, I was both physically and mentally exhausted after our Christmas show!! It took an incredible amount of organisation for a number of reasons, the most obvious was, there were more students taking part than ever before which meant more costumes, but also the technical content of the show was huge with lights, snow, fans and props. Now I’m not saying it wasn’t great fun and I had lots of really great help from the mums and some volunteers. Also, the challenge of organising such a performance was hugely gratifying, but by the time Christmas came, I really needed the break. 

After the show, I had to start thinking about Christmas and organising “things” for my 4 children, so it was St. Stephens Day before I could really slow down. I remember thinking when I woke up that morning (really late) “I have nothing I have to do today, absolutely nothing”. Of course, I did loads of things, but the beauty was, I could choose!!

There were plenty of days of “doing nothing” but I couldn’t help myself, I started to listen to music, potential show material, and so the process started. I got hooked. I really love when I listen to music and it comes to life in my head. I get the glazed over look, but I can be transported onto the stage. It might be just a few bars of music, but a picture emerges, a small image, and before long a whole ballet unfolds.  It mostly happens when I’m alone, in the park walking the dog with my ipod on, in the car listening or sometimes just out of the blue.  I sometimes feel I’m not in control of this unfolding process. Often, I have made a decision to do a particular piece, then I hear something else and my heart starts racing and my mind flows with images, lights and costumes.  Sometimes it’s like a series of pictures in a gallery, sometimes it’s only one or two, but something drives forward and it just happens.

It doesn’t of course always happen. There might be 1 piece of music that absolutely has to be included, but just doesn’t inspire me. I have to listen to that piece dozens and dozens of times and eventually (thankfully) the music makes up the dance itself.

Even after I know for sure what show we are doing, I listen to that music non stop for weeks and weeks.  I need to know every single note, every crescendo, so that the dances match. With the very little students, it’s hard to get them to focus on the music, but the senior students are very musical and can usually join me in the magical journey.  I say it’s magical because the process is unique and we have to work in sync together.  We do spend a lot of time talking and discussing what is needed and I always try and take their opinions on board so that they feel connected and more importantly, a key part in the process.
I feel this is why they always “smash it”. It’s their work, I just facilitated it. 

I find myself saying after the show, I can’t believe I never need to listen to that music again, but the truth is, I miss the music, yes even “Let It Go”.
I’m 90% sure what show we are doing this summer.  I don’t want to announce it until Solstice can confirm the dates I’m looking for. But I can guarantee, I will work just as hard, if not harder (if this is possible), to make this show worthy of the Navan School of Ballet’s hard earned reputation. I’m really looking forward to starting all over again, and watching the idea’s still in my imagination, come to life!!!

Michelle :)




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