Sunday, July 3, 2011

Molly Brown makes history in Leadville!

Molly and JJ Brown

I just got back from touring to Leadville, Colorado with my dance company. This town (which you probably have never heard of unless you are a history buff) was where the famous "Unsinkable Molly Brown" got her start in life. She moved there, began working as a seamstress, married for love (JJ Brown) and later on became famous for surviving the doomed Titanic voyage and championing womens rights in the early 1900's. 

Street view of the historic Tabor Opera House

We had the amazing opportunity to perform at the historic Tabor Opera House. Apparently we were the first ballet company (or even dance in general) to ever perform there! So the fact we were able to share our ballet "Avoca: A Tale of Molly Brown" was quite appropo and touching-- not only to us, but I believe also to those watching who had grown up hearing about Molly's beginnings in Leadville.

The stage of the historic Tabor Opera House

Even in the first moments we drove into town, I began imagining where Molly had walked (through the mountains, up the street to go to the drugstore) and the significance of our performing there began to hit me. This made the entire experience very meaningful to me, and I think to the company as a whole. From when we first walked into the historical theater to prepare for rehearsals, to the final bow at the end of the show filled with "bravo!"s and "brava!"s (thanks to the very entertaining master of ceremonies, who taught and encouraged the audience beforehand where and when to cheer for us :)) it was an experience Ballet Ariel is not likely to forget. These are the moments that dancers and performers live for-- when your performance means something special historically, emotionally, and artistically to yourself and to the audience.