Hiatus and the Opera House

Tchaikovsky played from the suspended speakers. The performers gracefully leaped into the air, to land balancing on their toes. The set was beautiful and changed as quickly as the dancers moved.

I went on a trip with a group from my university to see a production of The Nutcracker by the Texas Ballet Theater presented in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House. It was spectacular. I was inspired—and put to shame.

Between focusing on the ballet, I pictured intense rehearsals of a time-honored art form. I thought of people holding bags of ice to their ankles, rising with a smile, and starting again from the beginning. I imagined greatness and witnessed it.

I like the word “hiatus”. To me, it sounds edgy. As if some exclusive project is gaining momentum behind doors that you don’t know about. In my case, hiatus meant procrastination. It meant rumination. Past mistakes that snuck in into the present to bombard me with self doubt. It meant I wasn’t creating anything.

I have gone weeks or months without drawing at times. I don’t like giving my sketchbook the “hello darkness, my old friend” look, and not “talking” to it again. I want to work on that. I looked through the program, at the profile descriptions of dancers who started training at as young as three years old. I daydreamed of a work ethic like theirs.

I admire their efficiency, precision, and resilience. I can’t wait to see the TBT again in the future, and to see what else I can learn from them.


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