Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Exhausting Toy Shop

WOW! We just received Madison's final rehearsal schedule for her rapidly approaching performances of The Enchanted Toy Shop.

Our only prior experience with "ballet" was at the community school. It wasn't even called ballet, but "Creative Movement". Madison's classes at the community school culminated with a "performance" where each of the different classes would appear briefly on stage and dance a little jig. Camera bulbs flashed. Camcorders whirred. Parents smiled proudly, approvingly, for having witnessed the fruits of six frustrating 30 minute episodes of trying to find parking at the community school.

Sara learned of a new ballet school that is located much more conveniently for us and with better class scheduling. The cost difference was negligible. In addition to her actual instructional classes, Madison also wanted to participate in the school's Winter production, The Enchanted Toy Shop. She landed a role as a Curly-Haired Baby Doll.

This meant she had one additional one-hour session per week outside of her normal classes. This additional session was to learn her specific routines, not just ballet technique and skills. None of this has been much of an issue up to this point - until today.

In the two weeks remaining until her performance, Madison must be at an additional four, four and five-hour full dress rehearsals at both the ballet school and the performance hall. She also must arrive a full two and a half hours early for each of her three performances. I expect I'll be able to catch up on my back issues of Wired and Portfolio. 

We were obviously not expecting all of this. The community school required virtually no commitment whatsoever. This new school, however, is life altering - at least for the next couple of weeks. This is the real deal - just a small step beneath the Moscow Ballet Company, I'd wager. Madison is easily the youngest and least experienced ballerina in the production. There are several career dancers and hard-core recreational dancers. There are full costumes, hair and make-up. It wouldn't surprise me if there were a live orchestra in the pit, although I'm pretty sure all of the music is prerecorded.

I'm not saying that having known what lay ahead we would not have enrolled Madison in her new ballet school; but I certainly wasn't prepared for this level of involvement.

I'm not even exactly sure when we'll be able to get the Christmas decorations or get our tree. Saturdays are full. 

If you would like to support Madison, her school, and her fellow ballerinas, here are the details:


The Enchanted Toy Shop
A Holiday Ballet for All Ages

December 19th, 7:00PM
December 20th, 1:00PM and 7:00PM

Jackson Auditorium
Old Oregon City High School
1306 12th St., Oregon City, Oregon

Tickets, call 503.974.9235
$12.00 Adults, $10.00 Seniors
$10 Children 12 and younger


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