By Aline Machado
Hello! My name is Aline Machado, I’m a ballet dancer from Deborah Colker Dance Company and I’m very glad to have been invited to write to you about our UK Tour 2010. It’s a pleasure to be able to divide with you my travel experiences, and I really expect you to enjoy it as just as I will.
Our tour began on April 23rd, when we left Brazil. After the flight we came by bus from London to Truro. It was a nice trip, with a brief stop for lunch on the road. So we arrived in Truro on April 24th, a Saturday evening, a little bit tired and anxious to rest. I think our journey begins only now.
On April 25th I went to my first working day here in the UK. It was in “Carrick Sports and Recreation Center”, and at 10 am I was ready to start. In order to get rid of the jet leg, Karina Mendes, our dear rehearsal coach, gave us as a gift a stretching class, something like 30 minutes that can save a dancers life (lol)… Our first ballet class was a wonderful surprise. Teacher Terry Etheridge (or Terry, the Terrible, as he presented himself) understood exactly our needs and limits on that day, so he made that moment become a great pleasure, a true meeting between me and my body. Only dancers know how disagreeable can be the body consequences of a trip… But when we are lucky, the ballet teacher helps us to cross this page and enter in the tour with the right foot. That’s what happened.
After our ballet class and rehearsal in the studio, I was free to go to a walk around the city. Me and my friends had a wonderful surprise when we found, very near the studio, the Victoria’s Garden. It was an amazing moment, taking lots of photographs (please check them), appreciating the nature, and enjoying the peace on that place. It was a beautiful sunny day.
On April 26th I woke up prepared to make a happy day again. To tell you the truth, it’s part because of my very comfortable bed in Mannings Hotel, I was shocked about how deeply I could sleep there… So I went to have breakfast, and I got curious to try the British taste. I asked for something I’ve never eaten before: beaked beans. In Brazil beans are part of our culture, it’s always in the lunch or dinner, maybe in both usually together with rice, which is the Brazilian “unbeatable couple”. It seemed to me as a pasta, like the “nhoque”, mainly because of its sauce. It tastes good for me, but I think I won’t get used to eating this for breakfast. For lunch, maybe, it seems better.
The ballet class was amazing again, I’ll always remember teacher Terry saying “lovely!” when we finished well each exercise. He’s really funny, and makes us laugh many times… We had rehearsal on the stage of Truro Hall for Cornwall that day. Everything passed normally, and we got prepared for the première on the following day.
April 27th was the day. I stayed in hotel in the morning in order to rest a little more. We had the usual rehearsal and before the performance I had a surprise. Our producer, Gledson Teixeira, asked me to make the announcement, the brief speech before the show start. Well, it’ll be a different experience, I thought, and accepted the challenge. It’s not really simple for a dancer to use the voice, it’s not our work tool, and I only realized how exciting it is when I had the microphone in my hands and heard my voice’s sound aloud. After the première we had an answer and question session with the audience. Our première was great and we were acclaimed by the public. Their feedback was amazing, just as our “talk show” was.
On April 28th we had the second performance, I think almost we all were more relaxed than the previous day, and everything was good the same way. Lots of clapping in the end, and again the feeling of a well done job.
April 29th, we’re back on the road. Goodbye Truro, it was a pleasure dancing here. And now, how the Liverpool guys used to say, it’s a long and winding road… High Wycombe, here we go!