My foot hurts. I shall ice it.
Today was our last performance of a weeklong run in New York City. We put on seven shows in six days. My company, the Mark Morris Dance Group, appeared at the wonderful, and quite small, New Victory Theater, at Times Square. It specializes in children’s programming. It is a beautifully renovated jewel-box theater with 499 seats. We were entirely sold out for all the shows and received some fabulous press previews and reviews.
Here are the hardest parts of a week like this: 1) the day before the opening, when we rehearse on stage, spacing the dances, musical coordination, sound balance, lighting and technical cues, and all last-minute adjustments; 2) the last four performances, which seem so close together—Friday at 8, Saturday at 2 and 8, Sunday at 2. It’s like you never really make an exit.
A painter, after watching the show, asked me, “Do you ever think visually?” (Is that a yes-or-no question?)
A composer friend, when I doubted his stated age, said, “Cut me open and count the rings.”
A kid passing by the stage door where I was smoking: “Daddy, I want to see The Lion King, now!!”
The tune that I couldn’t get out of my head today: “Hard-Hearted Hannah”
The book I’m reading: The Diaries of Dawn Powell, 1931-1965.” (I’m up to 1947.)
A particularly emotional day: Two dancers of long devotion performed together for probably the last time, at least for a while. Bill W. has been with my company for 12 years. He will be going back to school to prep for premed studies. And Tina F., who has danced with me since Day One, 20 years ago (!), is leaving the performing arena and will continue with the company as Rehearsal Director, Assistant, and Expert.
It is sad to do any kind of last show. But we go on, and it is a fun, interesting, and complicated life. Isn’t everybody’s? I hope so.
I’m going now to Tina’s party to celebrate and probably drink a little. So I’ll close.
Something Gertrude Stein wrote: “considering how dangerous everything is, nothing is really very frightening.”