Friday, February 16, 2007

Alvin Ailey! Alvin Ailey!

The world renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre is performing in Toronto this weekend and I’m going to see them tonight! Rob bought me tickets for Valentine's Day! Can you tell how excited I am?! Just look at all the exclamation points!

I had the opportunity to see the company perform only once before, when I was living in Zurich. You remember that story, right? No? Well, you see – Alvin Ailey was touring all around Europe. I tried to get tickets but they were both very expensive and sold out quickly. The week they were in town, I met a friend at the gym for a game of squash over lunch and happened to notice that the gentleman standing next to me also trying to purchase a day pass had an Alvin Ailey backstage pass clipped to his bag. I casually asked him if he was one of the performers, and found out that yes, in fact he was. He was at the gym to warm-up and train a bit on their day off. Well, I practically gushed all over the guy. I congratulated him A LOT on obtaining a position with such an illustrious group. And, I offered to help him with his difficulty in communicating with the gym staff by forcing my (bilingual) friend to translate for him, as I repeated everything that was being said. Can you picture this? Awe-inspiring-dancer-guy says, “Can you ask them how much it would cost just for a day pass and if they’ll sell me one”. And I say, while elbowing my friend “John, John, ask them how much a day pass costs”. And John says something in German, and the counter lady says something in German, and then John says “It’s 10 marks an hour” and so I say to the AIDG “It’s 10 marks an hour”. And on it goes. You can see that it was really good that I was there, right?

Anyway, AIDG asks me if I’m a dancer and of course I can only reply “I try”. So, then he asks me if I’m coming to the show and I have to confess that I’m not, ‘cause it’s sold out. SO THEN HE OFFERS ME TWO FREE TICKETS… IN PRODUCTION ROW! I’m pretty sure by this point was a quivering mess of meltiness. I sent him a bouquet of flowers to say ‘thanks’. The show was the following night and it was spectacular. The theatre was so small, the dancing so powerful, and the costumes so beautiful.

Incidentally, the German speaking counter lady had figured out, mostly from my freaking out, that somehow this guy was famous. She asked my friend who he was, since she clearly didn’t recognize him and was worried she was missing something. John said, “Some dance person. I don’t know. I guess he’s popular in Canada”. It was Vernard Gilmore.

I can’t wait to see the show. Tonight, the company will be performing “Night Creature”, “Solo”, “Love Stories”, and “Revelations”. Each of the three shows they’re doing while they’re here will include “Revelations” and then a collection of other pieces from their repertory. I think Susanna is going to more than one show so she can see more of the pieces.

Time to get ready for the show!

Talk to you later,



kristin said...

how was it?

Kevin said...

That is a great story... I don't think i ever heard that one.

Karen and Dion said...

ditto Kevin's comment