What a day yesterday! Everyone was in high gear. Opening night for Shadows, Raincoats, and Monsters is a week from this Friday. In a stroke of fantastic timing, Whim W’Him was also recently invited to perform in a featured program at New York’s City Center on Saturday evening (Jan.8) after the day’s A.P.A.P. (Association of Performing Arts Presenters) Convention meetings. A marvelous opportunity to make contacts with presenters, but a huge extra dose of pressure on the company!
Director/Choreographer Olivier Wevers and dancer Lucien Postlewaite, his husband and right hand man, have been up most of the last few nights working on press packets for Whim W’Him’s exciting New York engagement in City and a myriad other final-week urgencies. Text messages, emails and phone calls came in and had to be fielded throughout the day.
All the Monster dancers are getting ready to fly off to New York, where they will be met by Annabelle and have a chance to work a little more on her new piece. Wednesday morning Kylie arrived back in the studio from the holidays direct off the plane. Melody Herrera, along with son Isaac, landed at the airport after getting just two hours sleep and leaving Houston well before the crack of dawn.
And of course Andrew and several of the other dancers have full Pacific Northwest Ballet working schedules. (Good thing the Whim W’Him rehearsals are taking place at the PNB studios!) Others are in college or dancing elsewhere too—or both.
First up was a rehearsal for Olivier’s This Is Not a Raincoat. The ensemble segments, the Chalnessa Eames/Ty Cheng duet, and the jazzy, groovy spirit essential to the piece, are finally sparking into life.
Addiction, was next up. With each reiteration, this piece becomes deeper and more harrowing.
Yesterday was also the first time since summer that Melody and Lucien had been able to work on Monster/Relationship. I had never seen it in person before, as I was away for last summer’s initial rehearsals. Although (unlike my husband, Gardner), I don’t cry easily in movies etc., this brought me near to the edge.[Thursday afternoon note: G. and I just came back from the first run-through of the entire three-part Monster at the studio, and I too have to admit to real tears.]
In my car, after the final wrenching Relationship was run last night, I had just turned down Mercer St. with a migraine coming on, when I got a phone call from my 4-year old grandson; I’d emailed his parents earlier to get his definition of a monster.
“Monsters,” he said without preamble, “are green. They have scary faces.”
“And what do they do?” I asked.
“They love you and hug you, and then they don’t love you and hug you any more.”
Out of the mouths of babes…
•Today the last rehearsals before the Monster cast flies out Friday morning.
•More rehearsals in New York, then the performance there Saturday night.
•Back to Seattle on Sunday.
•Then Monday begins the final stretch…