I’ve done this dance/theatre producer/presenter thing for almost 20 years now. Year after year, I experience euphoria at the conclusion of the final performances of the residency. It’s intense and can be contagious. Unfortunately, euphoria is unsustainable, but the work created here has been born and will have a life. That’s the big picture. For right here and right now, we’ve embraced our shared humanity, celebrating the arts. For a time, the generosity of the performers and the generosity of the audience has become one big love fest.
I’d prepared myself on Friday for a small house that evening as ticket sales had been slow. The theatre is a big one for a small city and we rarely fill it with our performances of contemporary dance. So, as a presenter, unless you’ve got a big headliner on tap, it’s hard to know what to expect in terms of ticket sales. I’ve learned to tap down expectations as much as possible telling myself it’s not about the numbers. Which is only partially true, but a convenient little white lie to repeat when you’re getting panicky about such things. I need not have been concerned. The dancers gave it their all and the ultimately large audience responded accordingly.
Saturday’s performance had an even larger crowd. The performances, which began as a concept in the mind of the choreographer a little over three short weeks ago, had taken shape and become a work of art. For me, the process is nothing short of miraculous. But here’s what it took: Hours and long days of rehearsals. Hours of lighting cues. Determination. A supportive staff. Grit. Talent. Stamina. Boundless energy. Enthusiasm. Teamwork. Vision.
I’m always slightly shocked when something I’ve anticipated for months, finally arrives and then is quickly over. It’s life’s story, isn’t it?
But, it doesn’t really end. Relationships have been born. I let go with the knowledge that the art will continue, inspiring some, perhaps generating controversy, but always enriching our humanity. This, I believe. I think it forms the basis of that happy feeling.