So here I am, walking on wabash....the season at Joffrey is finally over, but with a lot of tears and sorrow in our hearts. Calvin Kitten and Suzanne Lopez finished their careers at the Joffrey today, each with nearly 20 years committed to this company. Today they took their last stand on the stage at the Auditorium Theatre. I opened the show with Victoria dancing Reflections, and was very happy to open and not have to dance between emotionally difficult pieces.
There is so much going through your mind when you see collegues retiring, giving all they have during their last moments on stage. It's so so painful. You have to understand that for us dancers, it is not a job, but a part of our lives. We commit to this art form because it is a part of us. It is our home, our freedom. We give most of our lives for this. And before you know it, it is suddenly taken away. Our careers are so short, for multiple reasons...age for the strongest of us, our body when it's injured for the unlucky ones. It is what it is.
For Calvin and Suzanne it was a perfect ending. Both are leaving on top with amazing careers behind them. Maybe some readers do not know who they are, but believe me when I tell you how incredible these two are, as dancers and as people.
The Joffrey is glowing more than ever. It is, of course, because of all those that came before us that set us up for this. But it could have been very easily thrown away, wasted. But to the contrary, the Joffrey stands stronger today than ever before. But it's so important to put this in the context of our start, 5 people and a station wagon as our birth...and today having evolved into one of the strongest dance companies in the world.
It is very exciting to see the company open new doors and to see Chicago growing with us, understanding what we're all about. But this is only a beginning and ten weeks from now we will begin anew again. Now if only we could get some government funding...maybe :)