Guest writer: Soloist Sharon Teague
(Read Ms. Teague’s bio…)
Right now I’m in my dressing room located on the basement level of the Wortham Theater, thinking about what’s been going on the past couple of weeks. I performed in The Merry Widow last weekend as a can-can girl in the 3rd act. I loved being a can-can girl, who wouldn’t? I got to wear a wig, garter belt, and frillies that I flashed to the audience when I kicked my legs up.
In the other cast I played Valencienne—one of the lead characters in Widow. She is by far one of the best roles I’ve gotten to dance onstage. As the story goes, she is a retired can-can dancer who is married to the old Baron, but is having an affair with a young French man named Camille. Ian Casady was my Camille. It was awesome to work with Ian because we got into the company around the same time so we have a sweet rapport. He’s an excellent partner, and he’s handsome! As Valencienne I got to wear a red wig (I’m naturally blonde), and my first scene was danced in a pink negligee with Camille. The rest of the ballet I wore beautiful dresses—one pink, one purple, and one gold—all with sparkling jewels and matching tiaras. And in the end my husband accepts my affair, and I get both men. I love it!
I’ve been rehearsing a lot on the triple bill titled The Four Seasons. Stanton has chosen me to dance the “Spring Girl” in the 2nd cast of his new ballet. I’m totally psyched. I’m supposed to portray a teenage girl who finds her first love and loses her virginity. Stanton’s choreography is always challenging to me, but now I must act—really act—not mechanical acting that is used a lot in ballet that is loaded with gestures and highly animated facial expressions. It’s a totally different approach. To help me with my interpretation of the role I go back in time to my own experience; I try to remember how I felt. I was vulnerable, nervous, curious, awkward, innocent and timid, but I also was filled with passion and desire. I was overwhelmed with the whole physicality of the moment. Luckily, I’m paired with Jonathan Davidsson who I’m completely comfortable with. We have a great connection, and I think we look good together. I hope we’ll be dancing more together in the future. He’s totally one to watch this season.
Petite Mort rehearsals started out rough for me. This is the first ballet in my career I’ve danced barefoot, and the first Jiří Kylián ballet I’ve performed. I had some confidence issues, but ballet mistress Dawn Scannell has been patient with me and helped me become confident with it. We had our first stage rehearsal the other day and it went smoothly. I actually felt like God was dancing through me as I rehearsed that night. Petite Mort has stretched me as an artist and has raised my creative ceiling higher. Meanwhile, the works I’m more accustomed to are becoming more colorful and natural to me because of this experience. These are some of the most exciting and happiest moments of my life!
Image below: Sharon Teague in Petite Mort. Photo by Amitava Sarkar.