We left Chicago last Monday but unfortunately spent much of the day at the airport because of terrible weather. I will say that things happen for a reason because as soon as we arrived in Washington it was like I was rewarded. It was beautiful outside and decided to take a nice walk. It was very nice to be able to breath warm air...sorry Chicago, but yes, you have turned into your very cold self. I did some grocery shopping at the Trader Joes, made dinner, and passed out watching the Conan O'Brien show, lol. I was incredibly tired, but Conan is my favorite show...gotta stay awake for it, lol.
The following day we had our warm up class at noon. The studio was so hot that getting your muscles warm over the usual hour and a half class actually only took ten minutes, lol. The hard part of having to work out after a day after traveling is that your body still feels swollen and stiff from the plane ride. For me it's like being in a pool and trying to run, lol. But the best part of the entire day was meeting the Nutcracker kids. They are always so excited to meet the company and to participate with us in this Nutcracker production. "The Joffrey Ballet Nutcracker is the best one" is what most of them tell us, and it always makes us smile. And in truth, smiling is not something the company is doing easily these days, not for lack of enjoyment but for simple lack of energy. We came out of finishing the Fall program and jumped head first into the new Ed Liang piece (premiering in the Spring), all the while trying to put Nutcracker together. You can only imagine the immense workload on an already exhausted body. But there is no time to be exhausted, especially when putting together a brand new work. But I should say that we are fortunate to be overworked, to have such a schedule, considering the economy and how many are without work. We complain, but truly I see it as a gift and feel lucky.
In truth, our director, Ashley Wheater, is devoting every ounce of energy to make the Joffrey shine. The company is pushing and pushing to make things happen, and it is is such a critical time for us to show our strength as a company. We have so much discipline and commitment...it's our passion that gathers us all together to deliver to you, our audiences, the best is such little time and on often such tight budgets. We still stand strong, proud, with our chins held high at the work we put out there for you.
The renowned New York Times dance critic, Alastair Macaulay, is coming to the show....this is a very important moment for us. We all know Alastair's work and we are so proud and honored to have the review. It's such a great name for the company and it could be a major turn over for us. Here's hoping there are only good things to say, lol....but in all seriousness, it's so important to be supported by our critics, even when critics find fault, we still need them to turn people onto our art and make people want to come see our shows with their words. We need our critics to be our allies in promoting the arts. Read his article here. Read our review in the Washington Post here.
We move onto St. Louis after finishing our 7 shows in DC, and then finally head back to Chicago to perform for all of you at home. Hope to see you there. More stories and pictures to come....Fabrice :)