Are We Still on Tour?
We've arrived at the final stretch of our 2012 season. Soon we'll return to New York and rendezvous with our other two companies.
Actually, during this year's tour we often returned to New York. Moreover, after we completed our Lincoln Center shows, we had no more shows for two weeks, so we stayed at our headquarters in New York. We were living in our own rooms, having dance class in our own studios, and eating meals at our own cafeteria. I often wondered: Are we still on tour?
That's one of the peculiarities of touring North America, like my group has been this year, as opposed to Europe (last year) or Asia-Pacific (who knows, maybe next year?). We get opportunities to go back to home base once in a while, either due to a gap in our schedule or because we're performing close enough to stay at home. That's not quite possible when you're in, say, New Zealand. Our New York Company, for instance, left for Asia in February and is only due back this weekend.
On the one hand, being close to home means we get chances to replenish our tour supplies, whether it's grabbing a new pair of dance shoes or replacing a tired stage prop. We don't have to worry about airport regulations when packing our luggage‚ excess items (like tennis racquets or liquids over 3fl oz) can be stored on the bus. If we forget something important (which we try not to), we can still have it easily delivered to our next stop.
But, on the other hand, sometimes it doesn't really feel like tour. Perhaps it's because it's my first time touring North America, and I'm still accustomed to previous years' experiences. In my mind, leaving for tour means not returning for months. However, when this year’s tour began, it didn’t feel like we had really left at all.
The first few cities—like Waterbury, Philadelphia, and Boston—weren’t far away, so we found ourselves coming back after every show or after we finished performing at that city. We also came back before and after Washington DC, and after spending a hectic week in Canada. We performed at Lincoln Center twice—and came home after each of our 12 shows there. And then we had the two-week hiatus after our second run of Lincoln Center shows.
The only period that resembled tour, as I knew it, was when we were on a cross-country marathon around the U.S. during February and March. This year’s tour was like a three-course meal at a French restaurant—the appetizer (January), the entrée (February, March, mid-April), and dessert (mid-April till now). And it only took a little longer than a French meal. I think I'm more accustomed to downing a footlong sub in one go.
Staying at home for two weeks had its side effects. It felt like tour was already over, even though we knew we weren't done. We spent the second week of wait further fine-tuning our dances. Though this is something we do constantly, usually the moves come almost automatically with so much repetition. But this time around we actually had to think and recall some of the movement sequences and formations. Luckily, we recovered quickly, and come dress rehearsal we were basically back in our “performance mode.” Now we’re ready to go to Philadelphia and Buffalo—the last two bites of our dessert.
Hopefully we’ll finish the season and head into the summer with a nice, sweet aftertaste.
May 7, 2012