by Assistant Artistic Director, Lorna Hernandez Jarvis
What an exciting way to close our tour in Poland. We left early morning to the bus station in order to travel to Lodz. We got to Lodz at 10:30, and arrived at the theater shortly after that. We had 2.5 hours of free time so we all walked to a mall (about 1.5 miles). The dancers wanted to buy gifts and souvenirs since there has been no time for them to go shopping. We were back at the theater by 1:15 had lunch at the cafeteria and then had class. This was followed by a 2.5 hour rehearsal, with 40 minutes to get ready for the show. For our last performance we shared the stage with four soloists/principals from the Polish National Ballet. They were amazing! They dance several pas de Deux (Sleeping Beauty, Tristan, Chopiniana, Don Quixote, and a male solo contemporary piece). Our dancers stepped up their game since they were performing with such incredible dancers. This really was MBA dancers’ best performance in Poland! It was even more challenging since Breanna and Maria danced the bridesmaids’ variations of Don Quixote with the professional dancers, and Corinne danced Swan Lake with Eduard Bablidze. Julianna did a wonderful job dancing dying swan. All of this with very little rehearsal. Our dance students looked great. The audience received the performance well, and there was lots of clapping at the end.
After the performance we got rides back to Warsaw and made it to the hotel a little before midnight. Our dancers were all up late since they still had to pack so we could come home the next day. Everyone is sad that this amazing experience is over. I know each dancer that came on this trip will remember it for the rest of their lives. It was fun, exciting, stressful and a wonderful opportunity for each of them to grow as dancers and as individuals. I want to thank each of the dancers for working together so well, representing the school well, and working so hard. Thank you for your patience and dedication. Thank you to Nikoloz for arranging this tour. Thank you to Darla for being a wonderful chaperone, and of course to Eduard Bablidze for everything he did for us during our time here. You are fantastic, Eduard, and we love you. We also thank Ana and Elene for allowing us to keep Eduard away from them for 17 days! We will miss the Bablidze family and Poland!
ps. We could not complete our travel without more adventures! When we got to the airport in Warsaw we checked in for our flight and were told that our flight was 2 hours delayed. Around 11:30 our group was told that there was no way we will make our connection to Chicago. So the group was rebooked on Polish airlines LOT on a direct flight from Warsaw to Chicago. We hope the new flight arrangements work well for everyone.