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Nouvelle arrivée

 
This forum is locked: you cannot post, reply to, or edit topics.   This topic is locked: you cannot edit posts or make replies.   printer-friendly view    Red Dragon Inn - Dragon's Mark Forum Index -> The Catacombs -> RhyDin's Ballet Troupe
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Maja Andrevna
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 5:48 pm    Post subject: Nouvelle arrive Reply with quote

((Slight liberty taken with the theatre; hope that's ok..!))

Maja had given herself a few days to get her bearings (and to wait for the world to stop gently rolling from side to side, after several weeks on a boat). Within her travel sack of now rather creased clothing, she'd also packed a navy-blue leotard, her trusty long skirt, and a pair of flat, scuffed practise shoes, once peach-coloured but now grubby and brownish. A pair of off-white knitted leg warmers, so well loved as to have become felted, were balled up together like socks in the bottom of the sack. All these she shook out onto the floor of her little room in the inn and contemplated for a moment.

The strange coin she had changed on the ship to use in this land would last her for a month or so, but it would be better to find a place sooner rather than later. She also needed some other work as well as a company to join - realistically, there was not much chance of her being able to earn her living by herself. She was a good dancer all right, but there was always someone better. Someone who had a lower centre of gravity and didn't wobble so much en pointe; someone whose legs actually were perfectly horizontal in a grande jeté; someone whose arms drifted effortlessly into position rather than flowed like treacle.

Still. Her arms had been complemented once by an old choreographer back in the old country ("Such emotion! As if she carried the weight of the world!"), and grande jetés happened so quickly that only her instructors knew about her difficulty with it. And her otherwise irritating tendency to improvisation had won her some admirers... But there lay a fresh scar, and Maja forced herself to stop picking at it. She stuffed her things back into the sack and pulled on her boots.

~

Outside the snow had pushed off, leaving thick grey clouds settling down over the city. A brisk wind stirred up the litter and banged the shutters as the dancer set off, through streets that were becoming more familiar by the day. A few wrong turns and doubles-back later, and she was standing before the looming front of the theatre and opera house.

The doors were shut, with a piece of paper pasted on one of them, but in the middle of the morning she had expected as much. There must be someone inside, surely. She mounted the steps and pushed at the right-hand door.

Nothing.

She pulled. Still nothing.

She tried the same thing with the other door, and stood staring for a moment before the entrance in stupified silence. "Hggh... I don't get it..." Why would it be locked?

Only now did the strange alphabet on the poster dissolve itself into strange words, made intelligible by hours of sulky lessons. "CLOSED until further notice."

Transforming for a petulant second into a six-year-old girl, Maja stamped her foot and swore in Russian.
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Katarina Smith
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 2:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Off-key whistling had accompanied Katarina in her relaxed walk to the theatre. Even though it wasn't as early as she normally started her day, there was no rush to her movement or haste in her step. The snow was white and beautiful, making the day seem brighter, even with the grey clouds. She hoped for more snow. It brought a gentle smile to her lips and a small bounce to her step.

Reaching the long stairway to the theatre, she looked up and was surprised to see an unfamiliar face just standing there. She picked up her pace a bit and stomped a little as to not surprise the newcomer. Katarina's cheeks were pink from the air, but with her simple peacoat over her tea-length sweater dress, black leggings, and boots, she didn't seem nearly bundled enough for this weather. "Good mornin'! Is there...?" Her question ended as she noticed the sign on the door. It made her roll her eyes and mutter, "Bloody, off-key morons." She ripped off the sign and grinned, "Sorry 'bout tha'. Th' Opera group likes ta play pranks, yeah?"

Fishing in the pocket of her jacket for the keys, she took a moment to study the woman before her. Even under the clothing, Katarina could spot a dancer's body from a mile away. "Nah many people here durin' this month. Tends ta be quiet an' go inta hibernation, yeah? 'Specially Sundays." Sticking her key in, it took both of her arms to open the door, which she held for the woman, before stepping inside.

"So, wha' brings ya by? Dunno much 'bout th' workin's and technical bits 'round here, bu' I do know th' righ' people." She started going around and turning all the lights on in the lobby, "Name's Katarina Smith, by th' by."
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Maja Andrevna
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The emphasised tred of boots on the steps did indeed attract her attention, and Maja whipped around to see who was approaching. Her long navy skirt followed the movement of her long body, her dark-haired head following in a manner that would give her away as a dancer to anyone who was familiar with the classical head turn.

'Good morning,' she managed to reply, in a voice with a naturally lower pitch than one might expect from such a tall, lithe woman. 'Yes, I...'

She could only watch in astonishment as the bright-haired woman marched right over to the door and ripped the depressing piece of paper off completely. Maja was so surprised that the explanation the woman gave failed to make it past her brain's translation system. Not only was the woman's attire something she had never thought to see on an adult female, but she was behaving in a way she had never thought--

Oh wait, she had keys to the place...

Maja chased her judgements to one side and went inside as she was gestured. Electricity was laid on in the building, and Maja discreetly stamped the snow from her boots as her companion hit the lightswitches. She discovered she was struggling to comprehend the woman's accent. Her own words, when she spoke again, came out blurred with the red-gold sound of her native Russian. At least, Maja thought of it as red-gold. Doubtless others only heard snow in her voice.

'I um... Yes, hello, my name is Maja Andrevna. I arrive recently in city, and I am dancer, and so I thought I should see someone about possiblity of joining theatre...'

She glanced around at the end of her phrase, and her plain features were illuminated not just by the light, but by a genuine expression of appreciation at the interior of the lobby. Okay it looked a little rough around the edges, but that just meant it had a history. Maja's dark eyes widened and blinked, then she remembered herself and returned her gaze to Ms Smith.

'Um, you are dancer too I think, yes, Ms Smith? Maybe you could help me... But I don't want to ah... erm... to take up time, if you are busy, I can come back.'

She smiled shyly, the first since the conversation began; the strong mouth softened on top and drew in the chilled skin of her cheeks.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2012 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Ain't so busy tha' I kin't help ya ou'." With the task of lighting the interior of the lobby, she brushed her hands together. Posters of previous shows shown at the Theatre and Opera House were displayed around the spacious room, including productions with the opera, theatre, and ballet groups. She found her face and features dominant in several ballet featured posters, such as Carmen and A Midsummer Night's Dream, and discreetly stepped away from them.

"Well, if you're a dancer, 'n ya hav' a few options, based 'n yer background and specialization." It didn't cross her mind to slow down or alter her accent to help the lady understand her. She also didn't seem out of place with their rather different attire. It was just another day in a very eclectic place.

"If ya specialize 'n general dance er jazz, there's differen' employmen' opportunities through th' theatre. If ya do ballet, 'n there's a' ballet troupe o' th' opera group tha' use these facilities. We also offer jazz an' ballet classes an' workshops."

She started to undo the buttons of her coat as she continued, "Now, I personally 'm a member o' th' ballet troupe, an' hav' worked wit' th' opera group a coupla times. Some o' our dancers will do both. I'm nah too familiar wit' th' theatre group here, bu' I do hav' th' righ' contact information ta send ya 'n yer way."

"Th' ballet troupe's takes January off from working 'n performances, bu' come February we'll be back at our regular routine. We dun turn people 'way.." she thought that over, and tried again, "meanin' we dun hav' closed auditions. I kin arrange somethin' fer Madame Hasbrouck if yer lookin' ta audition."
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Maja Andrevna
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

'Oh, er... I am ballet dancer. I have almost seven years dancing with er... great company, where I come from. I prefer little roles. I will not be looking for spotlight...' she added with another small smile.

She made no move to take off her coat, but she did pull off her gloves, revealing long, sensitive hands with gnawed unpolished nails. Now in the growing light she did notice the resemblance of the woman's face to the publicity posters on the walls, and her eyes went wide for a flickering glance.

'Ms Smith, I think I would like to audition for you. What pieces have you performed this last year? I think I saw poster for Carmen, is this so? What other things do you do? Ah I forget to mention, I also have experience in being teacher, so I can help there too.'

Maja shoved her gloves into her skirt pocket, the ball bulging awkwardly out from her hip, and rubbed her hands together, letting her gaze travel upwards again to the decoration of the entrance hall. Yes. She could get used to it here... It was just a matter of persuading Ms Smith to help set an audition up for her...
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 9:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Well, las' year wasn' too big fer us, 'cause we did a lot o' small group tours ta try an' get some people ta audition an' help us grow. We expanded a lot bu' dun mean we ain' go' room fer more." As she started talking, she walked to the back entrance to the ticket booth, raising her voice so that it could be heard, "We did big groups o' Moulin Rouge, Dracula, an' Peter an' th' Wolf. It was a bi' o' an experimental year fer us."

The sound of rustling papers could be heard as she continued through the opened door as she gathered information for the Russian woman. "In th' pas', we've done more classical numbers too, like La Baydere, Th' Nutcracker, an' A Midsummer Nigh's Dream. Carmen was unique 'n tha' we performed wit' th' opera group. We've done a few new numbers too. Guess we kinda go' a bi' o' everythin' goin' 'n. Good place if ya always wan' to do somethin' differen', whether it's new er nah."

Once she was finished gathering whatever it was, she exited the room and smiled for the woman, leaflets in hand. "We tend ta do four big productions a year. They las' fer maybe a month er so an' las' year was th' firs' time we had rotatin' shows, meanin' differen' main performers fer differen' days."

She offered the small stack of papers, explaining each, "This here is just a general thin' we hand ou' tha' talks 'bout the troupe an' all. Madame's comm information is there, an' tha's probably th' bes' way ta contact her. 'Less ya dunno how ta use a comm, 'n maybe comin' 'n a Tuesday would be bes' fer her. Then she'll set ya up wit' 'n audition, and myself an' a couple otha principles'll be there."

"Now," she was on to the next leaflet, "These ar' th' listin's o' different teachin' an' workshop opportunities. Madame tends ta be 'n charge o' those. I dun tend ta teach myself 'less she asks, bu' my understandin' is tha' she could use th' help 'n tha' area. You'll jist hav' ta talk to her 'bout tha'." Finally, she gestured to the last brochure, "Tha's somethin' fer Th' Shanachie Theatre. Now, even though they're a bi' o' our competition 'round these parts," her lips quirked up into a grin, "we hav' a good workin' wit' their dance studio. They gotta lot o' younga students an' we collaborate an' attend their senior recitals an' all. They may be good people ta git inta contact. Dunno tha' Riley ova there has any position fer teachin' stuff, bu' ya neva know."
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maja followed at a distance when Ms Smith went across to the ticket booth, and waited just outside while she gathered the papers. 'Mm, a mixture of things sounds like good idea. It must be very interesting.'

Four productions a year, that wasn't too different from the schedule back home; if anything there would be more chance of work here since she was getting the impression the troupe was relatively small. She looked over the information as it was presented to her, and pulled a face at the mention of a comm. 'A what? Ah... Maybe I will just come in on a Tuesday then... I'm sorry, where I come from is very.. different...' Seeing electricity all over the place was something she would have to get used to very quickly, at least. Not to mention the strange, yet encouraging behaviour of most of the women she had come across here. She was beginning to peak over some of her cultural boundaries and to realise that the grass might actually really be greener on the other side.

Ah, the competition. Maja met Ms Smith's smile with a knowing one of her own. 'Ah, is good you have friendly terms with them. I think perhaps I will remain here (if I pass audition) for the current time, but I will keep leaflet.'

She flipped through the sheets once more and folded them in half the better to tuck them into her coat pocket. 'Thank you so much, Ms Smith, you have been great help. Er... You have dance here for a long time?'
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Been dancin' jist 'bout as long as 've been walkin'." It was her own way of stating the length of her time dancing without mentioning the length of her years. "Was dancin' halfway 'cross th' 'verse before I came here coupla years 'go. Ballet was th' only thin' tha' soothed my soul an' I haven' looked back since, shiny?"

"If tha's all tha' ya need, then I look forward ta seein' ya 'n Tuesday, settin' up a' audition, an' goin' fra there. Now, dun hesitate ta come back here if ya eva hav' questions. I know ya dun hav' a comm, bu' th' theatre here knows where 'm a' if ya need ta send me a message er anythin', righ'?" She sent the woman a long signature Smith smile.

"I've gotta put 'n some time 'n th' practice rooms. Feel free ta walk 'round th' theatre if ya like." She jerked a thumb down a hall, "I'll jist be down th' way." She paused, before giving a nod and a wink, "Bes' o' luck ta ya, Maja. Welcome ta Rhydin."
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