Sunday, February 6, 2011

Dear Sanna - Egos

So the sporadic performances of the story ballet where I have a variation continue. It is annoying because there are always large gaps of time between performances of this particular show, and most people don't really need rehearsal, plus we are busy working on other things. So if I want to rehearse the variation, it is up to me. I ask to run it after class or if there is a break during the day, but not only is it difficult at times to motivate myself, but there is not always time or I feel timid about asking. It also happens that I can't stand the ballet mistress who works with me on the variation, so I am less enthusiastic to ask for a rehearsal, but she was absent this week.

So I asked a principal in the company (who is trying to make the transition into ballet mistress herself) for some help. Well I thought it would be hard work, and I was exactly right. We worked for hours throughout the week, but I love the way the variation looked with her help. I was really happy to actually work on it and see results. Unfortunately, I knew the evil ballet mistress would not be happy with the changes. Once again I was right. In the run of 1st act, the director was also there. She started yelling out her corrections, as usual, and distracted me a lot in the end. I did it again, and we worked it out - the director told me the beginning was very nice until there.

Then the evil ballet mistress came to correct me and started belittling me, telling me what a shame it was that we worked so hard and I forgot all the corrections and changed everything. She asked how I would feel if I was sick for a week and came back and they had rehearsed somebody else for my part. I answered that that would be completely normal, because of course somebody should fill in for me if I am sick! How could I return 2 days before the show after a week out sick and perform? She is such an ego maniac she doesn't understand anything! I could barely control my temper - it's so frustrating to be happy with my performance and then hear such negative things! I don't think she cares at all how well I do the part, just how well I listen to what she says and take her corrections. It is infuriating.

I decided that I will be as respectful as possible towards her, but I am going to dance the part to the best of my ability, whether or not that incorporates her corrections. As an artist in a soloist role, I cannot let her push me around and have me dance less than my best! In the corps de ballet I will dance how I am told, and even in a soloist role I normally would listen to my ballet masters, but in this situation I do not at all trust or agree with her. She tells me things that I know are not congruent with good ballet technique. Anyway, in today's rehearsal she appeared to have forgotten the fight. She is one of those people that has to instantly forget a fight, because if she held any grudges she wouldn't have one single person to talk to.

On the bright side, it was great working with the dancer/teacher and I hope tomorrow's performance will show that, not the negativity I encountered.


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