Sunday, May 15, 2016

Wine Down Week at Ballet Magnificat

Things are winding down at the Ballet Magnificat studios. Do you like the word play I incorporated into the title of this post? Wine down/ WIND down! ^_^


So I don't actually drink wine, but if I did this would be a most appropriate celebratory time for doing so! The Omega company has finally returned back home to America from spending nearly 7 weeks in Europe, the touring season is over for the next couple months, and the School of the Arts and Trainee Program has finally come to a close for the school year! Company, staff, and students are now granted some time off, to some capacity. We company members are given two weeks off. I am actually in flight, headed home to Pennsylvania for my two-week vacation right now as I write this! I do not have anything planned for the next upcoming two weeks but one thing I will be sure to do is rest! This past week alone has been quite a full, busy, exhausting, action packed week; The final push!


A Brief Weekly Recap :


 The Previous Weekend

Last weekend, with knowledge of the impending busy week, "show week" that was to follow, My housemates and I set aside some time to intentionally enjoy one another, all together for the last time before summer break. Saturday evening, we spent our time conversing over dinner which was Korean BBQ that one of them had prepared, and then we had a sweet time of singing random worship songs by the piano, story sharing, game playing, and then we finished our night with watching the Kentucky Derby on demand. 

For a great Korean BBQ recipe click HERE.



Monday and Tuesday

The first two days of this week were fairly normal days for the Alpha company. We took class and rehearsed 'The Arrival' and 'Deliver Us'. Excitingly, Monday and Tuesday were the last two normal '9:30am-3:30pm' days for us for the [school] year.


Wednesday

The rest of the week was very out of the ordinary and borderline chaotic! In this synopsis I will leave out mentioning the evenings when I also worked my second part time housekeeping job, but instead will just stick to only sharing with you what my schedule with Ballet Magnificat entailed. The Alpha company had been designated the task of assisting the School of the Arts and Trainees with the preparations for their grand end-of-the-year productions that were to come (that took place this past Friday and Saturday evening at the Jackson Academy Performing Arts Center). We began our Wednesday morning loading up the Ballet Magnificat white truck with all the costumes, sets, and props that they would be needing for their shows. Then, after collectively deciding to skip taking ballet class and have brunch instead at the amazing Crossroads Cafe, The Alpha company then met up with the truck at the Jackson Academy Performing Arts Center (JA) where we would spend the rest of the afternoon unloading and setting up the stage. Some people like our tour director and the School of the Arts Director were at JA as late as 11:00PM setting and cueing up the lighting.


Emma and I at Crossroads Cafe.
Setting up at Jackson Academy

           
Hanging up the backdrops

Thursday


On Thursday, the school and trainee's were scheduled to have dress rehearsal. After the Alpha company completed our daily ballet technique class in the morning, we headed back to JA to finish setting up. Later that evening we join the school and trainees for their dress rehearsal and assisted them backstage with any quick changes, hair and makeup, and such. We also had an opportunity to watch the rehearsal whenever we weren't busy. We rarely get an opportunity to see the school and trainees dance since we are usually on tour and/or out of state around the same time they have their end-of-the-year shows, but when I did get a chance to steal a glimpse of their rehearsal this time; boy! was I blown away by the beauty and quality of the presentation!

Even simply the bows were epic! ^_^





Friday and Saturday

It's show time! The Trainees and School of the Arts presented a fabulous production called "The Emperor and the Nightingale" both Friday and Saturday Evening at 7pm. I believe the ballet was based off of a story written by Hans Christian Andersen. The show featured music from the Disney film "Mulan", as well as some classical scores written by the composer Delibes originally from the ballet Coppelia. "The Emperor and the Nightingale" was comprised of both original choreographic works as well as some impressive traditional variations pulled from a number of classical ballets. The little ones in the School of the Arts presented their short recital pieces earlier in the day at 10:00am and then again at 2pm. During all the shows, I was in charge of selling the merchandise. I manned the product table from 9:00am to 10:30pm on Saturday. It made for a LONG DAY, but I am happy that I was able to help out in that way. After the last performance on Saturday, after everyone exchanged their hugs and kisses and congratulations and goodbyes, The Alpha team (with the help of some volunteers) tore down the stage, packed up all our equipment, and striped the premise of any evidence that Ballet Magnificat was ever even there, loaded up the truck, and called it a night!

WE DID IT! We made it to the end! I've finally reached the light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak! During the home stretch it felt like I would never reach the end of my responsibilities, but now having plowed through a LONG week of bouncing back and forth between JA and the dance studio, cleaning houses in the evenings, and getting little rest in my bed when time allowed for it, finally I have reached the end; freedom; a two week long summer break!

I finished off my Saturday night attending a goodbye party for a few of my good friends who are moving on to bigger and better things in the new year. We had a great time playing card games and eating pizza and cake. I managed to get home and be in bed by a little after midnight.

Some trainees and I backstage

Me with a friend at the Goodbye Party (and yes, I am eating my piece of cake off a cutting board)



Above is a slideshow and below I have included some footage of the Trainee One's performing their piece "The Lotus Fan Dance" for the 2016 Mississippi Chinese New Year Gala at Thalia Mara Hall earlier in the year, but it is originally from "The Emperor and the Nightingale" so check it out!





Sunday

...Which brings us to today! Aside from the three Alpha Company members that I know of that will be traveling abroad for their two-week vacation, most of the rest of us are leaving Jackson this weekend to travel to our respective hometowns around the country, spending our two-week vacation visiting old friends and family.


 Pennsylvania, here I come!



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