#tourlife: An Inside Look at RDT on the Road
By Lauren Curley
October 3, 2016: Fresh off a weekend of shows, we meet our Artistic Associate Nick Cendese at the Rose Wagner bright and early and hit the road for Laramie, WY. Later that day Jaclyn and Justin teach a master class for the University of Wyoming students and Nick begins choreography with them. The rest of us get unpacked and head to rehearsal. Our tour show is slightly different than the one we just performed, so we wanted to take a little time to refresh some stuff.
October 4: More master classes, choreography, and rehearsals today. We’re performing at the brand new high school in Laramie, but we didn’t double check the address before leaving so we ended up at the old abandoned one instead. We’re the first to perform on the new stage, a beautiful theater with reclaimed barn wood everywhere. Tech rehearsal goes well.
October 5: Performance day! Efren, Ursula, and I took the morning to drive out to Vedauwoo for a little hiking and exploring before teaching another master class at the University. We performed “Dance with Three Blankets,” “Jack,” “Bolero” (all by Shapiro & Smith, and Joanie Smith), Noa Zuk’s “By the Snake,” and William “Bill” Evans’ “Crippled Up Blues.” The university dancers who worked with Nick performed their piece as well. After the show we got dinner and drinks with some of the students before heading back to the hotel to get some much needed sleep.
October 6: Driving day. We make the drive out to Rapid City, South Dakota and get settled into our rooms before checking out a local brewery for dinner. We’re here to participate in the Dance Network of South Dakota‘s annual convention.
October 7: We have an amazing day of outreach working with adults with disabilities at the Suzie Cappa Art Center. We teach a movement class and do a lecture demonstration and then head back to the hotel. Tyler and Lacie lead improvisation classes for two groups of students at the convention and then some of the dancers head out to see Flutter Productions’ presentation of “Able: The Disability Chronicles,” an amazing experience featuring performers both with and without disabilities.
October 8: Each company member and Nick have two convention classes to teach today before we perform tonight. In our free time we kind of lay low, either wandering out to grab coffee or napping. We perform “Blankets,” Jose Limon’s “Mazurkas,” “Crippled Up Blues,” “Jack,” and “Bolero” for the convention students followed by a great Q&A. Afterwards we all check out a local pub to unwind with drinks and appetizers.
October 9: Each company member teaches a repertory class in the morning, then we all drive to Mount Rushmore. After taking in the sights we hit the road again, this time heading for Bozeman, Montana. It’s a long drive, so our car keeps the energy up by singing Alanis Morissette at the top of our lungs.
October 10: Another driving day. We wake up early and hit the road again for Moses Lake, Washington. This is the last stop on our tour and after 16 hours of driving we’re more than ready to relax a little.
October 11: This morning the company splits up. Jaclyn and Lacie head to a neighboring town to teach while the rest of us go to a lecture demonstration at a local elementary school.
October 12: Today is another show day, our last one of the tour. We perform “Blankets,” “Mazurkas,” “Crippled Up Blues,” “Jack,” and “Bolero” again, then head back to our hotel. We brought a crock-pot with us and had been taking turns cooking, so tonight we hung out and ate pulled pork sandwiches that Ursula made.
October 13: Today we scatter around town, either exploring or teaching master classes. It’s our last day of tour, and everyone is excited to get home to their families and dogs. Nick makes Indian food for our final dinner and we lay low playing games in our rooms.
October 14: We’re ready to head out at 6 am to make the long drive back home. After fueling up for lunch in Boise, Idaho, we finally make it back into the city. We all head back to our respective homes to enjoy the rest of our weekend before we gear up to get back in the studio on Monday.
A Massachusetts native, Lauren Curley has been on the RDT Company since 2014. She was a scholarship student at the University of Harford’s The Hartt School, graduating summa cum laude with a BFA. In addition to RDT, Lauren is a faculty member at several pre-professional studios through the Salt Lake Valley. You can read more about Lauren, and watch a video of her here.
Thank you, Lauren! This is quite wonderful! You offer the reader a glimpse of what life on the road actually entails for RDT dancers! Cheers! –Rick Nobis