Guest writer: Brian Walker, production manager
April 25: We’ve survived the first week. It’s Saturday night, and we just finished our show in Pamplona. This was show #4 this week. We arrived in Pamplona this morning at 11am (having left Santander this morning at 8am after performing a show there last night). Our advance team started working yesterday to get the show set up. It was a pretty major push to get the things that are moving with us in the air and to finish up the focus of the lights and check the light cues. The dancers had a short rehearsal on stage due to the travel time in the morning. All in all the show went well. We had a couple of technical glitches, but considering the pretty monumental task presented to us, it all went really well. So far this week we’ve been in Vigo, A Coruña, Santander and Pamplona. By the end of the day Saturday, the production staff will have worked over 60 hours. The crew has worked really hard, and I can’t say enough about how great the guys have been. Everyone has jumped in to help get the show up and to make sure we do the best we can. Tomorrow morning we drive to Murcia. It’s about a 9 hour drive, but fortunately for the crew, we don’t have to go to the theater until Monday. Basically, we’re looking at the travel day as a free day even though we’ll be on a bus for such a long time. We’ve gotten through the hardest part of the tour, so hopefully next week will be a little easier…though we have a really tough travel day between Murcia and Oviedo.
April 27: It’s a new week and a new theater. After a 9+ hour bus ride yesterday from Pamplona to Murcia, the crew is relatively rested and ready to start again. This week is organized differently than last week in that we only do 2 shows and we have some time in between each. We are loading in today (Monday) and performing the show tomorrow night. We travel and load in to Oviedo on Wednesday and do a show Thursday night. The main problem this week is going to be that Murcia and Oviedo are on opposite sides of the country, so we will be getting up at about 4am on Wednesday to catch an early flight to get to Oviedo in time to do the load-in that morning. Needless to say, we’ll be a little tired after loading out of Murcia until midnight and then turning around a few hours later to get on a plane.
But enough about what’s to come…we had a great trip across the country to get here. Even though it was gray and rainy for a lot of the ride, the hours that we were awake (we definitely caught up on our sleep), we saw some amazing scenery. We got to Murcia around 7pm, so we were able to enjoy the rest of the evening and have a nice meal.
I can’t say enough how proud I am of the Houston Ballet crew. This has been a really rough tour so far and everyone has really worked hard. Everyone has really gone above and beyond to make these shows work.
More to come later. Pictures of the bus trip here.