Blog by PNB dancer Cecilia Iliesiu.
PNB’s opening night was magical! There had been a few rough rehearsals with tired bodies and swift musical tempos, but once that curtain went up Wednesday evening, we just danced!
My favorite moment of opening night performance was the curtain rising on George Balanchine’s Square Dance. As a 5′ 10″ tall dancer, I thought I could only dream about performing this ballet. Premiered in 1957 on the City Center stage, Square Dance is meant for petite dancers with speedy and accurate footwork.
At five minutes to curtain, the seven couples (including the principal couple) marked a few steps, stretched and chatted. Our stage manager Sandy, called “places” — six couples took their spots on stage and whispers of ” merde” (good luck in the dance world) went around. My heart started to race, not because of nerves, but excitement that I was actually performing Square Dance. Not only was I dancing on the stage that it was originally premiered, but I was dancing in New York City as a member of PNB. Dreams really do come true!
Next, was Balanchine’s Prodigal Son. PNB brought along our makeup artists to help with looks for Prodigal Son and Emergence.
Finally, Balanchine’s Stravinsky Violin Concerto.
Rehearsals for the Contemporary program this afternoon, but I can’t wait for the second Balanchine performance tonight!
Featured photo: Leta Biasucci in Balanchine’s Square Dance. Photo © Lindsay Thomas.