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Friday, April 22, 2011

Intimate performance at Weill Recital Hall

Our rehearsal for the show started at 4:00 pm yesterday. When I entered the Weill Recital hall at Carnegie Hall, I was surprised that the size of the theater of the Weill recital hall was so small. Even though I checked out the size before I attend the recital, it looked smaller than I could imagine.

The huge Steinway piano was sitting in the middle of the stage.
First of all, my first impression at the theater was, how could I perform my dance in such small space? Secondly, I have to make the point that the theater was built for music recitals, not for dance theater. Even though the piano was pushed to the left side of the stage several feet after the first ensemble piano and violin, my performance space was just the half the size of the stage.

I guess I choreographed the dance for Zen music to perform in much bigger stage.

I was instantly thinking when I saw a big piano sitting the middle of the stage, I thought hmm, how could I dance or how I can entertain the audience sitting in front of the piano, something like that.

When Zen music has started, I usually enter the stage slowly as possible, like Noh play, and I rehearsed many times at my home studio with 12 steps, however, I had to walk even more slowly and enter the stage with 8 steps instead of 12 steps. It worked more effectively than walking 12 steps, amazingly.

When I reached the center and turned my left foot to the front and turned my body slowly to the audience, I felt good since the stage was so intimate to the audience, and close to the stage I could see every face in the audience. It was an awesome feeling that everybody seemed to breath calmly and focus on one spot.

After that, I didn't care about the huge black piano sitting on the stage and my performance space just half of the stage,  I just performed as big as I possibly could and entertain the audience, from the left corner to the right corner.

I was filled with joy and satisfaction that the audience reacted to my dance in a positive way. I actually have fallen in love with the music called Zen. The Zen music soothes my soul each time I perform with the music. That is what Zen is all about, isn't it?

At the end of the performance, I was wondering whether the audience felt the same way I did. I hope so.

Each member of the cast of the Chamber Opera in One Act of Hana were great. Everyone stood by next to the side door of the stage and stood by the entrance to the stage, they looked so focused and handsome. I loved the moment each of yesterday's performance. It was a truly exciting moment for me to perform Okinawan-style classical dance with great live piano and violin music on a prestigous stage.

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