Blinded by the Lights

Summer Institute participants warm up before tech rehearsal yesterday

When I saw the actual stage that we would be performing on at American Dance Institute, I’ll admit, I panicked a little. While I was excited about how intimate the space was, I was immediately overwhelmed by the blinding lights and the added pressure of constantly hiding behind curtains when I wasn’t dancing.

The first run felt like trying to perform the material in a confusing night club. Eventually my eyes adjusted and although I was still terrified I was able to reorient myself and perform for the most part like I had been in the studio. Towards the end of rehearsal I was even able to bask in the gorgeous landscape that our sound designer, Stowe Nelson, and lighting designer, Jason Wells, had created.

That morning it occurred to me that I haven’t been on stage since I played Margie (or was it Alice?) in my junior high school’s rendition of Bye Bye Birdie. I am both pleasantly giddy and scared out of my mind. I’ve been dancing all day (and literally in my dreams) for the past week and tonight I will dance for an audience.

Come and see the show at the American Dance Institute in Rockville tonight at 7:30pm and Sunday at 2pm, and if you can’t make it: send some good vibes.

Editors note: Bimbola Akinbola, a PhD student in the American Studies department at the University of Maryland, is blogging daily about her experience as a participant in this year’s Summer Institute.  You can read her other blog entries here. –S.L.

About Bimbola Akinbola

Bimbola Akinbola, is a doctoral student in American Studies at the University of Maryland, and currently engages with Dance Exchange on a number of projects and events, giving voice to the process through documentation.