The staff finally looked at me and came straight to me. His expression was severe, as if he was going to tell me something unbelievable. That really reminded me of how another staff announced to me that I was going to replace in the "Elfes" soloist role in "La Source" back in December 2014 when I was still a student of the Paris Opera Ballet School. That staff had more or less the same expression! So what was he going to tell me!!??? Here's our conversation:
"Chun Wing, you are going to replace Julien.", said the staff. (Julien was another dancer who performed in Opus 19/the dreamer and Theme and Variations)
"In Opus 19??", I replied curiously, as I was already going to replace in Theme and Variations.
"Oh.... okay..... Hang on, tonight!!???"
"Yes, are you okay with that?"
It was only 1h30 before the start of the show!!! And I had to replace a ballet that I have never danced! Yes the understudies could only watch at the back during the rehearsals and never get to really dance the choreography. I was very nervous about this replacement. And it's actually a quite difficult ballet! Finally, it went quite well thanks to the help of several other dancers. However, I slightly twisted my ankle on stage! That was a difficult situation because by the time I have finished this second ballet I had to get changed and get ready for the other ballet! Theme and Variations!! I was confused. Should I continue and finish the show with an injured ankle? Or should I protect my body and let somebody else replace me? Finally I decided to finish the show. There was an inner voice in me saying "Show must go on!" So I did the third ballet. Without hurting my ankle even more.
Now I have nearly fully recovered from my injury. I restarted dancing today. I learned a lesson: When you are an understudy, be ready for everything. You will never know what we are going to ask you to do!