January 20, 2012 - Keelan Whitmore

Posted on Friday, January 20, 2012 at 11:35AM

It’s 6:15am on January 20 and I’ve been up already for about two hours. The lioness, Jet Lag, has frequented my sleep since the start of this tour. She had me fooled the first couple days, as we had a nice flight that left SFO around 7:30pm and arrived in Zurich around 3:30pm, but now she has me sleeping on the wrong side of the meridiem--am to pm instead of pm to am. As opposed to a full-grown, ferociously protective mother of a litter of cubs found in the wild, she appeared as a cute little domesticated kitten, who purred and nuzzled her little wet nose on my face. It may sound cute, but I’m allergic to cats!

Nevertheless, there is work to be done. There are ballets to tech, performances to be performed, papers to be written, research to be organized, and books, books, and more books to be read. Somehow that ‘mind over matter’ thing has come in handy, as we have already performed five of the 14 shows on this tour. As I wrap up my studies with St. Mary’s LEAP program, I realize it’s going to be a fierce sprint to the finish line, as I’ve deemed this race needs to be OVER! It’s been three years of Caroline, Ashley and myself multi-tasking between rehearsals, Home Seasons, touring, school, and personal life. Those ladies have kept me going (“Keelan, did you do that assignment? Did you register for that class? What did you think about this week’s reading?”), and I appreciate them, but I know we’re all feeling the strain. We’ve come so far...it’s only a matter of time before we get that expensive piece of paper that opens up so many more possibilities to experience later on in life.

I don’t have very many illustrations of the cities we’ve visited so far. My schedule has kind of been theater, hotel, theater, bus, repeat. I’m sure I’ll break the monotony once I get my body clock in accord with the rising and the setting of the sun. However, Luxembourg gave a little surprise as we learned that the language they speak is Luxembourgish, which, as Selby pointed out on her facebook page, is a combination of eight dialects (they’re doing a lot...). Meredith was confused. I kind of wanted to take cover, as we listened to the crew loudly figure out, in their native tongue, how to stop a leaky roof whilst Bob and Selby made announcements before our warm-up class. It sounds a bit like a German-French-Russian mixture with a pinch of Spanish and a massive dollop of Hebrew. It’s quite intriguing.

The biggest highlight so far has been reconnecting with old friends, one of whom I danced with in Kansas City Ballet. As Meredith, Ricky, Caroline, and I sat at the dinner table in Winterthur with our friend Lateef and his colleague, Mattheu, I smiled as I realized how the equation of our six worlds added up to one. There’s something that is very heartwarming in seeing how people in your life can converge in combinations you never imagined. It’s a love/support system that reminds me of family.

Speaking of family, it’s been great staying in touch with Laurel, Brett, and Corey. As we were about to embark on this journey, many of us received texts, emails, and facebook messages wishing us well for this five-week endeavor. Skype dates are a delicacy and can go on for a solid length of time. It means so much to keep this connection, especially because they were such inspirations, while they were with us and still are as they are far from us. I often channel them for a good laugh or inspiration during rehearsals and performances. They are missed, but, of course, never forgotten.

Off to the next city!

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