Last night I walked into the rehearsal for the Owen/Cox Nutcracker show and saw dancers in bright costumes, bending and leaping about the stage. It was an unexpected explosion of physical and creative energy amid the hushed mood of a cold, winter's night.
Annabelle and I had just driven across town through the snow to get to Union Station, where the rehearsal was. The streets were slippery and traffic moved slowly. We had entered the mammoth building from the back end, which seemed ghostly and deserted. The glass door to the City Stage theater was propped open with a door-stop. We let ourselves in and wound our way through the foyer. I could hear the music to Dance of the Snowflakes, which was the part Lilah sang. It had taken so long for us to get there that I was sure Lilah would be waiting impatiently for us to pick her up. But instead she was still at the mike, singing as we entered the auditorium.
And then I saw the dancers.
Jennifer Owen was yelling out corrections. They were too close together, they needed to create more space. One dancer was letting his arms hang down while he was running. He was urged to maintain proper form. Dancers fascinate me, and usually appear so weightless, that to catch them in the act of cleaning up their moves was more interesting than any performance.
I’m hoping to watch them again tonight. There are two more rehearsals, and I'll be picking Lilah up early both times, since she is only in the first act and doesn’t need to stay for the whole thing.