Touring is always an exciting time for a dancer and performing in Brisbane is no exception. This is the shortest and furthest tour I've ever been on with The Royal Ballet.
I'm here for 8 days and doing 2 shows of 'Becomings' in 'Woolf Works'. It's a hard and very strenuous role I do, so the flight and inevitable jet lag was playing on my mind. A long haul flight (13 hrs to Singapore & another 8 hrs from Singapore to Brisbane) is not desired for anyone especially not a dancer. If you are a Principle with the company then you get to fly Business Class, other dancers are not so lucky. But that's ok, we've got it all under control. You will see a lot of dancers at the back of the plane,( by the toilets !) stretching, doing some pilates, reviewing what films they've just seen, to keep inflammation and tightness at bay. A lot of us also wear recovery socks or tights or both, and suck on zinc tabs to keep our immune systems up.
We had 2 days off to recover from this flight ( we usually have 1 ) but I did the optional class on the 2nd day as I needed to keep my stamina and strength up for my shows at the end of the week. My body didn't feel too bad but the jetlag was on a whole other level !
It's really exciting to visit your new theatre for the first time- check out the stage, your dressing room , see what's cooking in their 'house' canteen. There is alway a great buzz in the air, apart from when people start to get lost!! Before a full call rehearsal of Woolf Works I have a photoshoot and interview with Brisbane's 'Courier Mail' newspaper. I felt incredibly lucky to be part of promoting the company in this way.
It's really tempting to go out in your free time and explore the city, but sadly my achilles tedonitis has really stirred up after the flight so it's physiotherapy for me everyday and rest when I can.
It can be frustrating at times to travel somewhere and only see the theatre, your hotel and local restaurants but it's a sacrifice you make to get the best shows you possibly can achieve when you're there. It's not every tour that this is the case. But for me, this tour is short with an intense workload.
Jetlag hasn't been kind and it's incredible how it can effect your dancing. Woolf Works 2 is incredibly exhausting at the best of times but after my stage call it felt 4x harder. I felt like I had been hit by a bus, I vomited after - I think through sheer exertion.
I found out the day before my first show that one of my dance partners has fallen ill and won't do either show. Edward Watson steps in ( he does first cast ), we have a swift rehearsal working out lifts and details ( every cast has slightly different ways of doing what looks like the same choreography. It's group coordination more than anything else. )
After the opening night of 'Woolf Works' the theatre, QPAC, held a lavish black tie party for the whole company! Champagne, sushi, DJ, it was a truly wonderful event. My first show was the next morning so I felt like it wasn't my time to celebrate, I didn't want to jinx my show. I decided to be the 'photographer' for the evening and created a blog instead of joining the fun ( 'The QPAC party' blog ). Usually I love nothing more than a pint of champagne but I don't like to drink the night before a hard show.
I finished my last show this afternoon and I'm at the airport about to fly home tonight. I was happy (and relieved!) that both my shows went well, it was electric out there on stage, a fantastic energy from everyone. The audiences were incredibly warm - we even got a standing ovation! Brisbane you have been a blast. Till next time....