I walked onto the stage yesterday afternoon. Instead of bare risers where we had been using our imaginations to fill with musicians, there were chairs and muisc stands, mics and cords. The boom was down and William (sound tech) was stringing the mics that will fly over the band. The set was dressed – the cabaret tables & chairs in place. It looked suddenly vry real – what I had been seeing in my minds eye was now right there in front of me. The dancers arrived and we began our technical rehearsal. Andrew (light tech) in the booth and me in the house on my headset mic with the amp on stage so the dancers could hear me without shouting. Such a lovely relaxed way to run a rehearsal in a big theatre. Andrew is a magician. At a production meeting before the show, I had described my vision for the show and talked about the types of lighting requirements specific to Middle Eastern dance (as they differ from ballet, for instance). When we arrived for our first rehearsal the lights were perfect. Bang on. First time. (Light on the torso and face, not highlighting the knees & feet as in Western dances). He also attended both of our on-stage rehearsals and was very prepared to create a fabulous light design for us. And oh my, did he create! The costumes, the colours, the music, the shimmy and swirl – I am so excited – how I wish I could be in the audience! I do hope the video turns out so we can all enjoy the show ourselves, afterwards!
Later, when the band arrived, we did the sound checks on all the pieces. Adjusting the levels in the monitors, checking the balance, walking through the band’s entrances, running the solos. Running through the cues and transitions. I ran one of my solo pieces that the band is playing – oh my! To be on that beautiful theatre stage with my dancers sitting in the house cheering, my beloved swing band behind me – my dream come true. It is quite an amazing thing to be dancing on a stage with a 15 piece powerhouse behind you, let me tell you! Sitting in the house, I watched my dancers in front of the band – all of them on the stage together. I felt like jumping up and down. I felt like shouting at the top of my lungs. I felt like singing. I felt like crying. There it was. Bellydance and Big Band.
Rockin’ the Casbah. Only one night. Tonight.