Since January, we had prepared an adaptation of Cinderella for our end of the (scolar) year ballet performance.
I’ve been chosen to perform the Fairy Godmother.
And this moment has finally happened. My first ballet is now behind me. And I want to tell you all about this incredibly magical journey to my first show performance en pointes !
12th of May, 9 am o’clock.
The day began at 9am o’clock. Almost everyone was early, probably because of the stress beginning to grow in each of us. We arrived in the theatre, took the time to discover the size of the room, its red sits, its great stage, its backstages… our loge, too.
That was a pretty incredible moment. I knew this theatre before because I had already played a drama here. But I had the impression of discover it with a new eye, the fresh eye of an adult beginner who, in a few hours, will be on stage, en pointes, in front of the public. At this moment I was absolutely stressed out, even anxious. That was an unpleasant moment, my stomach hurt so much, I even had some difficulties to breath correctly. Then, I talked with my friends, about our source of stress, our fears for tonight… and it relaxed me to see that I was not the only one who stressed.
We installed the costumes and accessories in the loges, and the room was quickly full of tutus, petticoats and princess dresses.
Then, at half past nine (am), we began to warm up. When we felt warm, we had a few minutes to do a spotting of our placements on the stage, that is way much wide than our studio. And the, the true work begin.
Quarter to 10, am.
Our teacher take the microphone of the theatre and sit in it to direct us, correct our placements, chose the different lights… we did the first rehearsal on flats, and that stressed me to not feel the stage en pointes.
At 1pm o’clock, we had one hour to lunch. Everyone was hungry at this time, and we all went to the supermarket next to the theatre to buy some food. We spent the pause talking about tonight, the quick costume change, how it will be prepared in the backstage, where to place each accessories… we talked about our precedent shows, for whom who already had done some… that was a cool moment, with a lot of jokes and laugh to exorcize the stress.
2 o’clock, pm.
In the afternoon, we were not supposed to rehearse the choreos anymore, just do some adjusting on the placements, lights, accessories, costumes changes, and preparing the final of the show. But, not confident en pointes, I asked to do the Fairies appearance one more time. We were only two to dance en pointes, Cinderella and I, and so this was the opportunity for us to test the stage en pointes.
The stage was so sliperryyyyyyyy. It add to the stress I already had… and at this moment, my teacher get the magical thing out of her bag : the rosin !
I have to say that even if the moment could seem insignificant, it has something magical to me. Putting my pointe shoes in the box, press the rosin under my box and on my shank… it was close to my imaginary of the ballerina in the backstage, preparing her entrance.
It was way more difficult to dance en pointes on the stage. The feeling of the floor was so different of my habits at the studio. But it went good. I was a little bit relaxed.
The rest of afternoon flew by, without I had the time to realize we were already half past five. With my friends, we decide to ate at this our, to not be hit by the attack of exhaustion due to digestion in the evening. So we ate, and then, that was the time for stage make up !
6 o’clock, pm.
We had a planning for make up because there were only 4 mirrors and we were like, 25 or 30 dancers. My turn was at six o’clock. You probably don’t know it, but I suck at make up. I don’t make up very much in my everyday life, and even when I try, most of the time I fail brilliantly. I just made my complexion, and a friend made my eyes – and beautifully, I have to say. Then another girl – who danced in cabaret, not ballet – put my false eyelashes on. I have to say that this intense make up was pretty pleasant to wear. The stage was getting closer by each minute passing by.
7 o’clock, pm.
We were here. One hour, only sixty minutes before the curtain raiser. OH. MY. GOSH. I was in a state of stress absolutely impossible to explain. Actually, during the day, I had some stress assault coming every now and then. And then it went. It was very random. At this moment, we went back on the stage to warm up. And we heard the voice of spectator already here in the theatre. That was a pleasant moment, even if stressful.
A half past seven, pm, we put our costume on. This probably was the peak of the stress. We went back on stage with my friends and went crazy, « dancing » around like dislocated puppets to exhale all the tensions. And it worked, because I felt way better after it.
Ten minutes before the curtain raiser, our teacher made us a little speech, about enjoying every moment on stage, give our best and be beautiful. We all felt connected at this moment, and this was a beautiful « MERDE » that we whispered all together behind the curtain.
8 o’lock, pm.
The music begin. I’m not on the opening scene of the ballet (they were just Cinderella, the step sisters and the step mother), so I watch it from the wings. I see my friends and my teacher (she was the step mother after the person who was supposed to do it gave us up), smiling, dancing, playing their role on the stage. In a few minutes, I’ll tread the stage’s floor with my pointe shoes.
The first apparition I did was not in pointe shoes and not in the role of the Fairy Godmother, it was in a contemporary choreo where Cinderella dreamt of friends who would help her to wash the home. It went good, and was pretty fast over.
Then. It was the moment. In the backstage, I had only a few minutes to change of costume, to put my tiara, take my magic wand, and, most of all, put on my pointe shoes. This time was as short as an eye’s blink, and, a few second later, I was in the wings waiting for my entrance. No sooner said than done, that was my moment.
This magical moment. Me, en pointes, on stage. I’ll never forget this feeling of the public’s eye on me, of the tutu gently balancing while I was dancing, of my magic wand flying around Cinderella to transform her in a beautiful princess, and of my pointe shoes on the stage.
All the rest of the show went good, despite a little problem to put on my ball dress, but nothing of a big deal, really.
Cinderella appears on the stage in her magnificent ball tutu, she waltzed with the prince, and then it was already over.
What a magical night.
I’ll never forget these moments. During the finale, all the applause, all the smile on the face of my family and close, and the smile on the face of my teacher, the pride in her eyes, about this beautiful ballet she created and we danced all together.
Really, what a magical night.