Don’t take it personally…

It’s 8th of March today, and I am procrastinating. I have two rehearsals for tomorrow for which I should be preparing for. I have to work out details with my bank, paypal, and finish working on a sponsor letter for one of my projects that I hope one day to bring to life. To be fair 8th of March is a big holiday in Russia, and maybe am just feeling the effects of a holiday. Still I thought today would be the perfect day to get a lot of work done on the computer.

So am in Ekaterinburg. It’s 8th of March and spring is really coming, as the roads have been cleared of snow, and the rest of the snow is not so white or pretty anymore. Still it’s not -30 degrees anymore and I can survive going out on the streets now. Today my husband is dancing in two performances of Nutcracker at the Opera House. Yes, I know it’s March, but in Russia it’s quite normal to show Nutcracker during the year as well. After the performance, he promised to bring me a bottle of Lambrusco to celebrate Woman’s day. Meanwhile, back to work.

These days am choreographing for two different competitions. One for The XIII Russian Open Ballet Competition “Arabesque–2014” named after Ekaterina Maximova, and another for the International Ballet Competition of “Shelkunchik.” What have I learned from preparing for competitions? One, anything can happen before and during a competition. Second, don’t take things personally. Two years ago I choreographed a duet to take part in the “Arabesque-2012” competition. I had dancers from Mikhailovsky Theatre of St. Petersburg, and they had already been granted permission to fly to Perm on their day off, and be back the next morning in time for company class. Four days before the competition the director decided not to let them go. There was to be a performance for the press on their day off, and he said they had to be there. I cried. 

For this years competition, I asked dancers way back in December to take part. Since then, I’ve had the guy who was supposed to dance replace his partner, and the ballerina wanted to dance another choreographer’s work. Moved on to choreographing a duet for two male dancers who are taking part in the competition, only to be told this past week that the director hasn’t allowed one of the dancers to go to the competition. So my duet will now have to be changed to a solo. A month to go before Arabesque-2014, and we will see what else will happen. Rehearsal is tomorrow and I still haven’t rethought the duet now solo.


Am choreographing two other dances for a dance school. They need two ensemble pieces for 12 girls for a competition. One dance is already done to music by Olafur Arnulds. The other is to music by Gershwin, and tomorrow I have a rehearsal at 1230. Have realised choreographing to teenagers takes a lot longer time than choreographing to professional dancers who learn the choreography a lot quicker. Younger dancers also don’t have their technique perfect yet, so the choreography comes along with being a teacher and make sure they do the steps cleanly and correctly. Professionals usually work by themselves to make sure they are dancing through every position. Students still need to be told by their teachers and pointed out their mistakes.

The good thing is that I am choreographing. So now need to get off the computer and prepare for rehearsals tomorrow. Whatever happens (injuries, difficult or lazy dancers, directors not letting the dancers go, jury not liking my choreography), I will try not to take it personally.


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