My parents are incredible - in the 10 years that I have been a professional dancer/choreographer in New York, their friends and our family often ask "When will we see Melissa on Broadway?"
Beatifically my folks (they've practiced I think) say (I am paraphrasing of course) "Melissa's work isn't that mainstream, it may be in those venues eventually, but thats not her goal."
So why, after years of poo-pooing the Great Disney Way - was I so DAMNED excited when my sweet Zoe and Daniel were up on the stage of the freakin' Lion King bringing down the house with grace and feeling?
A few reasons that I can fathom -
The lovely cast of Hairspray sang an amazing R&B version of Bridge Over Troubled Waters in memory of Leslie's (a cast member) father, Kelly McDonald, who passed away in the AIDS blackness of the early 90's - this work meant something and they did an amazing job vocally.
Two days in a row, thousands of people were seeing a dance I had built
(quickly, and with Daniel and I saying "um ok, what next? oh you like this lift? great lets do it" being sure to keep it in the character relationship that we really wanted (father/daughter) and then me improv-ing until I had found just the right movement for Zoe...teaching it to her, re-working a little and then calling it DONE - Not the most process oriented of the works I have ever built!)
The stage is HUGE - gigantic, enormous, and even... ginormous - I was proud to see our dance weaving through the vocalists - with the dancers taking up the space, owning and inhabiting it....
And in a larger sense, each of these things assured me that if the chance occurs for me to create something in a large traditional venue (note: I don't think I had a big concern before) I can do it - and I can do it keeping my sense of aesthetic present - I will make the dance take the space it deserves and use gestures small and large to express the sentiment needed to get the point across - oh - and big ol' theater? no biggie -
Guess my Leo sense of Where I Belong is quite intact.
I had thought I would be a little cowed by the size.
I felt very matter of fact as I was in the moment of each part of the situation (rehearsals w/ the cast, tech with the b'way tech folks, etc)
Perhaps because it wasn't really that big of a deal, or all that different from what I normally do, and maybe because it takes a lot to star-strike me anyway...but it was just a first, and there will always be firsts...
However, I wonder if I would feel the same at venues I truly revere and have in my goals as a choreographer, like BAM, The Joyce or City Center...
I guess I'll just keep workin' towards 'em and I'll let you know when we get there!