About Susan

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Dreams of Marriage (onstage, at least)

In contrast to Lady Yuji's suffering discussed in the last post, this dance was all about the realm of happy possibilities. A young girl envisions the man she'll marry and plays everything out in her imagination. She's embarrassed even to herself about thinking of such things but her curiosity wins over. This has got to be the hardest acting lesson I've ever had, because I've never done "cute and girly" like this before - it's from the Chinese opera style "Hua Dan" (花旦) role, portraying a flirtatious and vivacious girl. I don't think this comes naturally to me, but I tried my darndest. I was encouraged when, after one of the shows, some audience members told me they loved the way I "teased" my imaginary fiance/husband.

Actually, that was one of the most difficult points for me. During the course of rehearsing this dance, I worked very hard on this "teasing". It seems simple enough; I toss my red handkerchief outward, but getting it just right was a challenge! At one point my teacher even told me to picture someone so my actions would be more real, more natural. Oh boy. Somehow, eventually I just let myself dance and she was satisfied enough. I should still work on it, though.
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