Contributed by: Catherine
April, May and June have been most remarkable! I began April considering the symbolism of wild boar hunts in mythology and Baroque opera, Handel’s Atalanta to be precise. This was a beautiful production. It included a fantastic cast headed by Dominique LaBelle as Atalanta, Nicholas McGegan conducting and ended with fireworks on stage designed by an experienced rock music pyrotechnic artist.
Our performances continued through mid-May. Then it was time to go home to the family, attend Edward’s graduation from 6th grade and pack for our summer trip to the Catskill Mountains. Our 3 week residency with the dancers and my family popping in and out from excursions to the Herkimer Diamond Mine began with rehearsals in a picturesque barn occupied by a family of racoons. In fact, this was the perfect setting for our pastoral ballet to Handel’s Ariodante. Nature inspired us with spontaneous thunder storms, more fire flies than you can imagine and a night sky brimming with stars.
In June we went from the barn to the palace theater of Frederick the Great in Potsdam. I had confidence our show was incredible so when I was told we were not invited to the reception after the private performance for the Nobel Laureates and the President of Germany, I just smiled. That evening I was dressed…just in case… and, yes, upon leaving the stage door we were met with an invitation to the reception in the Shell Room of the Neues Palais for champagne and h’ors d’oeuvres! I spoke to President Kohler and his lovely wife for over 20 minutes about dance, architecture and our changing culture.
For me, the other highlight of the trip was to have our company perform in the theater whose very floor boards were touched by the feet of celebrated 18th century ballerinas:Marie Salle, Catherine Roland and Barbarina. In my own performance I felt an electric tie with the past. In watching my dancers I was transported to the timeless beauty of our art, proud of their accomplishments and proud to be living the life of a dancer.