There it was watching me haunting me. That 4 foot by 4 foot cavern in the stage floor daunted me with every pirouette and every chace. In my head, I knew the orchestra pit was stationary but it seemed to follow me all over… upstage, downstage, stage right, stage left like a shadow taunting my every move.
When I joined the DuSable Dance Company in Chicago 3 months ago I was thrilled. While I danced for years, this was my first professional dance company. That’s where I met him. The Danseur. He was tall, muscular and just gorgeous. With every step, he moved with the grace of a swan gliding across the boards as if aloft. I have to admit in my daydream state, my eyes see him dancing as if perched on a floating cloud.
My first few performances in the dance afforded me the vantage of watching him from my upstage ensemble view. As if on autopilot, my feet danced, but my eyes couldn’t leave him. I breathlessly gazed his every step and each adagio. A few times, I nearly summoned the bravery to talk to him. But every time, my voice left me. I couldn’t utter a word.
Then the prima ballerina broke her ankle and they ask me to go on for her. I couldn’t believe it. I get to dance with him in the Pas de Deux, the dance for two. My head was so high in the clouds it could have hit a rainbow. I will be in his arms. We will dance as one. Then we’ll look into each other’s eyes and he’ll fall hopelessly in love with me. I was locked in my own fantasy. It was like falling through a trapdoor.
First lift. I am in heaven soaring with gilded wings. All I can see is him. 2nd lift. Perfection. All I see is his eyes. I am drowning in their blue pools. 3rd lift. He’s starting to swoon. We’ll be engaged by the curtain call. And now for my final big Grande Jeté leap…aaaaaiiiiiieeeee. I was so lost in the rapture I created, I fell right into my nemesis, the orchestra pit trap door. A broken leg and arm will give me plenty of time to replay every one of those moments in slow motion. A cautionary tale. Don’t fall in a lovetrap on stage or you could fall into the trap door, literally. When your head is in the clouds, you can’t see where your feet are.
(c) Copyright Suzanne Rudd Hamilton, 2021