[Isabel, who is one of two girls from the Alameda Ballet Academy playing Clara in this winter's Nutcracker, is blogging about her experience preparing for the show. This is her second post. Her first, about auditions, .]
After arriving home late Saturday night after rehearsal with my feet cold, my clothes wet and my hair as frizzy as it gets, the realities of the holiday season set in. Once again, the only thing on my mind was a hot cup of cocoa and a slice of warm pumpkin bread. I hadn't been this cold since a rainy day on a visit to London. The warm California weather that I so proudly extolled to the British has abruptly abandoned our Island.
Three weeks ago, a magical thing happened. We were rehearsing when a mysterious man appeared in the doorway. He hovered there for awhile and ducked out. Two minutes later, he returned. Finally, we brought him to Ms. Abra's attention. She introduced him to us as "Oliver Freeston," we grinned at each other. Here was the Nutcracker prince.
A week later, he returned for his first rehearsal with the Claras. LiLi and I were formally introduced and his British origin was confirmed. In our first rehearsal, we were asked to do a presage (a lift in which a woman is lifted above the man's head in an arabesque) and end in a "fish," another lift in which the woman ends in something like an upside down passe.
Within the hour of our introduction, I found myself suspended in the air by the Nutcracker Prince, and then suddenly pulled back to the ground when I failed to execute the correct posture in the dive. I felt like a fish out of water.
By 5:15 p.m., the Prince and I had wandered through the forest, danced with the snowflakes, and waltzed with the roses. After a magical evening, I was returned to my bed, or rather the couch, and fell back into a deep sleep... the question remains, was it all a dream?