The End, or Just the Beginning?
The 2012 season is no more. In half a year, Shen Yun traveled thousands of miles through dozens of cities, performing hundreds of shows for hundreds of thousands of people around the world. Now it’s all over.
Although this is my fifth time touring with Shen Yun, it wasn’t any easier than previous years. I experienced the same pressures of ensuring a perfect show, the same fatigue from long travel days (and nights), and the same joy and relief that overwhelm us after we complete our final show of the season. We’ve completed our mission and returned triumphant.
Our final hurdle is our biannual dance examination, after which we’ll be set free on a two-week vacation. Finally—a break from tight schedules and endless dance classes and physical fatigue and mental pressure… Or, is it?
The truth is, dancers never have a real break. Even a few days without training can set us far back from our optimum state. So although we’re free for two weeks, we’re supposed to maintain our dance training, stretch every day, and try not to gain too much weight. Of course, trying to do this during vacation is another kind of challenge. So usually once break is over, it takes me a while to get back into full dance mode.
What’s more, our upcoming summer schedule is already jam-packed. Our choreographers and composers are already creating new dances and scores for next year’s season; as soon as we get back from break in early June, we’ll be diving headfirst into rehearsals. Many of us will also be preparing to participate in the much-anticipated NTD Television’s International Classical Chinese Dance Competition in New York. This involves choosing dance themes, choreographing our own dance routines, finding music, and lots of practice.
The next round of busyness is already waiting—and to think we just finished touring. We’ll be hitting the road again before we know it.
Life as a dancer is tiring, but that’s why it’s also very rewarding. After all, without bitterness, there would not be sweetness. After months of hard work, it’s gratifying to be able to finally relax and unwind. The break allows us to reflect upon the path we’ve traveled, and prepare us for the road ahead. To quote the ending of The Forbidden Kingdom: “As one tale ends, so another begins.”
May 30, 2012