I was used to learning the steps at the back of the studio. This is a first time for me to have actually rehearsed the ballet and had a few stage rehearsals before performing on stage. What a privilege! I felt well prepared and was excited to perform on the stage of Palais Garnier, until yesterday.
When the time finally comes and on the day of my first casted performance, the nervousness comes naturally. There's always this desire to please and to impress others. It was a matinee show, and I knew that Herman Schmerman will only start at around 4pm. The feeling of being nervous and tensed up was familiar. After all, I had a solo to do on this HUGE raked stage. It is funny how it feels different from a stage rehearsal, yet it's the same stage, same lightings, same costumes, same atmosphere. I kept reminding myself to just do my work, to dance freely and to keep a calm mindset while dancing.
I end up feeling satisfied with my first performance. Indeed, it felt very differently than in stage rehearsals. Unconsciously, I put much more energy into the movements which made it more challenging for my stamina to finish the ballet. Once the show is over, a feeling of satisfaction filled me up.
It was an intense day yesterday, physically and emotionally. I ended up loving my profession in ballet even more than a day ago.
Chun Wing LAM