Tricia’s take on Open Barre

Post by Tricia Albertson

The ballet dancers you see on stage have spent most of their lives training to make the barely possible seem effortless. Because there’s such a big gap between appearance and reality, it comforts me in our regular theater performances to imagine that because I can’t see the audience, the audience can’t see me. Of course I know this is not true, but when I look out into the darkness, I can imagine dancing for anyone. Definitely, I imagine dancing for my (less critical) friends. It’s a nice illusion, and it helps me to be calm.

In our studio theater, this is an illusion I can’t rely on. Every time we do a series in our studio theater, I get a bad case of nerves. It’s easy to feel vulnerable. The audience is so close. I imagine being put under a microscope. Every step, every effort, every expression is visible; it feels like there is no room for error. So, I start out a little anxious. Then, the first show comes to an end and I hear the audience applaud, and I realize that I’m not under a microscope. I’m at home!

The studio is where I spend at least 35 hours each week. These studio theater shows may be our most appreciative audience; certainly, in the studio, I feel that our closest friends and family have come over for a special showing, a showing at which I’ll have the chance to share a piece of myself. Here, in person, is the audience I have so often imagined watching in our regular season. In the end, I value our studio theater shows as an opportunity to perform in an intimate setting that allows me to more directly connect to the audience.

See Tricia perform this weekend at Open Barre.