Through Adji’s Eyes: The thing about live performances…

By Adji Cissoko, written on April 29, 2016

There are many positive things about performing live in front of an audience, but what happened during today’s show made me wish for a “take 2” option!

It’s home season time for LINES Ballet and the new creation SAND by Alonzo King has been a great success so far. During our first week of performing at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts we were lucky to have live music thanks to Jason Moran and Charles Lloyd. Now that we’re starting our second week of shows we have to do our best with a recoding. The ballet has multiple pas de deux performed by different artists every night. It’s great to have so many casts for each section…it definitely keeps it interesting!

A little too interesting in this particular case. My partner Jeffrey and I were having our premier in one of the pas de deux today and since we hadn’t done it before we weren’t prepared for what happened when we were just about to start. At first everything seemed normal , we walk upstage center giving each other the “let’s do this look” when out of nowhere the scrim comes down hitting me right on the head. For a split second I was in shock but luckily my arms reacted quickly and lifted the quite heavy scrim off my head and shoulders before it went all the way down to the floor. In that moment I realized that Jeffrey and me had been separated and were now standing on opposite sides of the see through curtain.

What to do now?! I hear the music cue to start the pas and therefore just go into the first shape by myself hoping that my partner will make his way to me as soon as possible. And he did! Rather than bothering to exit the stage and reentering in front of the scrim he crouched down and lifted the bottom part of the scrim just enough to crawl underneath and catch my hand right when I was supposed to fall into him. That’s when I knew things were going to be alright. Accidents happen but the show must go on …and it did! The secret is to recover quickly ! Letting go of the dramatic moment right away helped us to dance through the rest of the ballet as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened.
That being said, I will never forget tonight’s performance!

To be continued… Adventures in pink!

To read more about Adji Cissoko, visit her personal blog:

Cover photo by Chris Hardy