It smells like sawdust. After walking through through heavy soundless doors and carpeted staircases, the space behind the Segerstrom stage is a warehouse. Huge theatrical props are everywhere: from a giant baby body without its head attached, a candy-pink carriage, to a dog-sized puppet of a bumblebee.
It's relatively quiet, so the tinkling of a piano and the muted patter of pointe shoes can be heard from the rehearsal room. An artist touches up the paint on a prop. A few men help guide a reversed truck towards the wall-sized garage door. Members of the corp rush to the stage, with some ladies from the costume shop not far behind.
In the wings, principle dancers are practicing with a giant interactive set piece. Other company members watch and giggle as they struggle with the clumsy wooden doors. The choreographer offers some solutions to help with the weight, shifting his weight from one turned-out foot to the other.
On stage, the stage crew tests the smoke machine. The pianist is shuffling his sheet music, while some dancers sit and stretch.
It all seemed so mundane, just another day-in-the-life.
But for me, I was soaking in every detail and trying to remember every sound.
Not unlike other little girls, I wanted to be a ballerina. However, because tickets are so expensive, I have never been able to see a professional ballet company perform. Although I've grown and developed other dreams, I put seeing a full-length ballet on my bucket list for another time, when I'm older & hopefully not gray.
Journalism fell into my heart by chance. I was always fond of reading and writing, but coming to UCI, I never thought I'd be able to marry my passions of dance & journalism. However, last week, I was able to go backstage and be a witness to a ballet-in-the-works. I passed by Misty Copeland, shook Stella Abrer's hand, and stared in awe at the Segerstrom stage.
But this week, amidst finals and the madness that ensues with them, I will get to see the world premiere of American Ballet Theatre's Whipped Cream. This post is gratitude to OC Weekl, for giving me the opportunities to pursue my interests during my internship, and for allowing me to indulge in the dreams I've had since I was 5-years-old.
To view the photos I took for OC Weekly, click here.