It’s been a while since I’ve found myself running anywhere as a dance critic. This is because you learn a thing or two over the years, like always bring a back up pen and some chocolate in your purse (this has negated the need for last minute sprints to CVS). And that time I actually showed up at the wrong theater? Psshht. That was years ago. I was still dating TWD at the time, and that particular mistake (like the man in question) has become a thing of the past.
Saturday afternoon, however, found me and my date sprinting down Locust Street towards the Curtis Institute to catch the world premiere of PA Ballet II’s The Jungle Book.
A brief note about PA Ballet before we begin: those of you who read one of my “reviews” a few months back, (which was titled A Racist Looks at The Nutcracker as a Form of Historical Dance) may recall that it was a bit… critical. I was pretty sure, in fact, that their PR folks would never invite me back again.
As such, when I got a call on my cell phone the day after I got out of the hospital in January from one of the company’s administrators, (who began the conversation with, “First, I’d like to talk to you about your Nutcracker post…”) my first thought was, “Oh God. Here is comes. They’re going to ask me to take it down and never invite me to the ballet again.”
But it wasn’t that.
“We loved it,” the voice on the other end of the line said. “And we’d like to hire you to write the program note for our February series.”
You could have knocked me down with a feather. (Of course I was already lying down, and very doped up on painkillers at the time. But I wasn’t dreaming.)
So we set up some interviews and my very first post-convalescence trip out of the house was to PA Ballet’s rehearsal studio on North Broad.
It wasn’t my most glamorous moment. I had to wear a pair of “sensible” flat boots, carry everything in a very un-cool backpack, and set up shop in the front of the studio with my trusty lumbar support pillow. And even though I wore one of my new designer dresses from Rent the Runway to try and, you know, look a little less octogenarian, I wasn’t fooling anyone.
Still, I wrote the piece, everyone loved it, and I got invited to review the company’s newest venture, an all-dance children’s version of The Jungle Book. And I decided to take my nephew. But more on that tomorrow.