There is never a dull moment, even during my lazy summer holidays. One week in and finally enjoying some days off with my family in London, looking forward to the next two weeks of summer, a phone call changed all my plans.
❝I had NO pointe shoes❞
Just as we were sitting down for a coffee my phone rang, flashing my previous employer’s name, Birgit Keil. ‘Mum Frau Keil is calling me’. Just seeing her name on my phone suggested something was going on and something was definitely about to happen.
Upon answering she told me all about the big dilemma she was in regarding a ballet gala in Japan and how desperate she was to find a dancer to replace someone who had suddenly dropped out at the last minute. Hence the call to me – trusty Harriet.
I had previously declined the invite to dance at this gala due to my change in job and not being able to commit because of unknown starting dates. But desperate times call for desperate measures.
What to do now? I had a holiday planned with my husband for the last week, the only holiday we have had in over a year, so much needed. My first day of work could clash with the return flights. I had NO pointe shoes – they are already sitting in boxes in my Salzburg apartment (trust the first time I don’t have shoes with me this would happen!). And I would have to learn some new choreography during my holidays (ended up not being too much). Was I really going to give up my perfect summer to help someone out? Well, I would for sure try.
❝It may be a trip around the world that will let you know otherwise❞
My head was spinning, as were those of my family. But as the shock settled, and we started to piece solutions together it seemed like I could make it possible. My husband was with me all the way and would come along so we could make a holiday out of it. My Japanese friends – already in Japan and taking part in the gala, would order me a few pairs of pointe shoes I would get when I arrived. An ex-colleague would collect and bring my costumes from Karlsruhe. An express delivery order on some leotards, ribbons, ballet flats and toe pads (great excuse for some nice new dancewear), and a search for last minute flights to Tokyo. Within two days all was organised.
I still can’t quite believe we are going but I am very excited to be able to take part. I will perform the beautiful Romeo & Juliet balcony pas de deux once more, and a great choreography from Jonathan Dos Santos, a piece I have already performed but have to step in a few places to fill the missing gaps.
It will be amazing to be in Tokyo and we will squeeze in as much sightseeing as possible along with the rehearsals and two gala performances. A great opportunity has fallen into my lap and I am so happy I can help a lot of people by doing this while trying to make as much out of it as I can. As I have said many times before, you never know what is going to come your way and just when you think a calm few weeks at home is all you need, it may be a trip around the world that will let you know otherwise. Stay tuned to see what we get up to in Tokyo.
“Living in a world such as this is like dancing on a live volcano.”