Dreamt of waiting for the results of the tryouts with Julie D. The tryouts were for a huge production that featured modern dance and live musical numbers. The tryouts were very competitive and both Julie and I were excited to be picked for the ensemble — a group of background dancers that would have minor roles. We were also both equally shocked that I was picked for a solo dance performance, which I’d have to choreograph myself. I immediately called Yuko-hime to tell her the news, and she wasn’t surprised at all. “You are a much better dancer than you give yourself credit for,” she told me.
The themes of the show were love and sexuality. Our costuming, for the most part, was skimpy to non-existent, with some pieces requiring partial or full nudity. In one piece I had to dance around an older woman suggestively while she sang, wearing nothing but a shear body suit that sparkled. My movements were clear and evocative, and some of the doubts that I and others had about my abilities began to melt away.
Throughout the development of the production, Julie continued to pester me with questions about my choreography, but I really had no idea what I was going to do, never having choreographed anything before. “I’m just going to wing it,” I told her, much to her dismay.
My solo piece bled into a large ensemble piece, which was to be frenetic and chaotic. It was the night of the show and I still had no idea what I was going to do. The music started. I walked onto the stage with slow, steady, steps, trying to make each step as precise and clear as I could. At certain points I’d gesture with one or both arms into the distance, reaching for something, pulling something back. The calm intensity of my simple movements contrasted sharply with the building energy of the music. I could feel the stillness of the other dancers as they waited for their cue. Then the stage exploded with activity and the music and dancers unleashed everything they had.
After the show, the producer called me out of the congratulatory crowd and, in front of everyone said, “That was perfect. And that’s exactly why we picked you for that solo.”
A party broke out backstage, with music and celebration and dancing. As I moved, I noticed how strong my posture had become, and how smooth my footwork was. My movements were so powerful that it felt like I wasn’t even touching the ground.