Yesterday, as I pulled into Griffith Park for our performance with Independent Shakespeare Co, the skies opened and down came the rain. and yet. . . the dancers were backstage warming up, laughing and chatting with our ISC friends.
The air was thick and the ground was damp. and yet. . . there were a couple hundred audience members on the hill and my parents were there merrily handing out wine to everyone.
The stage was slick with water and just enough mud to make the wild partnerwork we do really dangerous. and yet. . . there were people sitting in the rain, drinking wine, and there were dancers, in costume and open to whatever adventure I concocted, and my philosophy is you never do nothing when something can be done.
We couldn't do the planned choreography, so we asked audience members to name their favourite Shakespearean characters. Each dancer was given a character, and created a movement based on their defining traits. We ended up with a phrase of Juliet-Hamlet-LadyMacbeth-Prospero-Katherine-Mercutio.
And I turned on Elvis's "Pocketful of Rainbows", and the dancers did the phrase together and then each improvised a solo based on their character, and then the phrase again as the music ended perfectly on time. Jubilant cheers, laughter, a sense of completely shared unique experience.
A lovely woman said to me afterward, "It was magic - you made something out of nothing!"
and I laughed and told her, "I had everything. I had beautiful and creative dancers. I had the best kind of audience members you can get. I had a generously shared stage. The magic is that we had everything we needed!"
Then we got to watch one of the best productions of Romeo and Juliet I've ever seen, and the actors - the same actors who cheered for us while we danced - brought their characters to a vivid and truthful life.
I was sad we didn't get to perform our planned piece yesterday. and yet. . . we made something out of everything and it was magic.
(and you can catch the rest of the Invertigo performances for ISC on August 14-16, when it will probably not be raining http://invertigodance.org/isc-2015 )
(and if you haven't seen ISC's Romeo & Juliet, you have one more weekend and should absolutely go http://iscla.org )