This weekend was a career highlight! I was invited a few months ago to perform with the James Sewell Ballet company. We discussed my singing a few songs for their ‘Romance Dinner’ and whether I would be comfortable also singing on stage while they improvised to some of my songs.
It was a surreal conversation, and I even noted at the time that it was like a conversation I had imagined having, but didn’t truly think would come true. James asked if I knew the song ‘Crazy’ sang by Patsy Cline and I laughed telling him that not only was it one of the few covers I play but truly one of my favourite songs of all time.
Months went by and I didn’t publicize the show as I wasn’t 100% sure of how things would turn out and my level of involvement, but the week drew closer and it all started to fall into place.
I had one run through with the dancers and James on Wednesday. We still didn’t even know what songs to choose and I had to work out shortened versions somewhat on the fly, to see what worked best.
During that first run through the dancers were welcoming and engaging and interacted with me as I played. It was so fun and slightly terrifying at the same time. The only song that was already choreographed was ‘Crazy’. This was challenging as my version was a little fast and so we worked it out together.
I have always loved dance. especially ballet. It’s such an elegant art form and so physically impressive and inspiring.
The night came and I tried to be as relaxed and loose as possible.
I sat and watched the other pieces the dancers did that night. They included amazing dances to a Dessa tune and a snippet from the very funny Garrison Keillor show they did last year. Then James introduced me. We did three of my original songs, and the dancers improvised. My highlight of the night was ‘Loud’ a love song from my next record. They performed it as a duo. Principal dancer, Chris Hannon danced so beautifully and it all worked together so well. Next up was a group piece to ‘Little Voice’ and lastly was ‘Next Year’. This one involved audience participation. They threw out ideas and themes and really got the dancers energized. It’s the only time I have howled at the end of a song! (It felt right!)
My last song of the night was Crazy. I was nervous but it was beautiful to collaborate and watch them dance as a I sang.
I promised myself that whenever I have the opportunity to do something really great that I will live in the moment. Not think about what it could lead to, or have any expectation of anything more Just to feel grateful, step up to the opportunity and let myself take it all in.
I am so happy to say that I did that and if I can do it, anyone can x Happy Valentines