Stage Fight

The music from The Nutcracker is still running through my head. On Monday, I was feeling some post-show letdown after the excitement of Saturday’s and Sunday’s performances. When you  have so much fun being in a production, you hate for it to be over.

My dance partner, Jenny Collins, and I have been allowed to add some schtick to our scene. My ballet wife, as I call her, is a natural at physical comedy. She is also a prima ballerina, who dances multiple roles in the show. Jenny has been with the Oak Ridge Civic Ballet Association for twenty of its fifty seasons, yet she’s still in her twenties. She joined the group as a child.

When my character starts to misbehave during the party scene in Act I, Jenny grabs me by the ear and pulls me away. This year, when I took two wine goblets off the tray and hid one behind my back, Jenny kept trying to get around me to see the extra one. She makes outrageous facial expressions as we wildly dance off stage. Her crash landing is just as spectacular as mine and, of course, all her movements are perfectly timed to the music. I like everything about our on stage interaction but I think I especially like the silent screaming match with our faces only an inch apart. We resemble a baseball manager and an umpire arguing a call.

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