Saturday was the last show at the Herald Theatre for our dance group but it was a special one. First of all it was on the weekend and the whole city seems to change during the weekend: Everyone’s out and about in Auckland’s restaurants and bars, girls dress up and wear high heels, there’s lots of laughter in the streets and everyone seems to be in an even happier mood. Secondly, every group performing at the Dance festival knew it was probably the last show and it seemed liked everyone went that extra mile in their performances. For us that meant completely freaking out on stage and I had trouble not laughing while performing and watching my fellow dancemates on stage.
Also the audience seemed to be way funnier than during the week and we already got a feeling for that when they occasionally laughed or clapped at our crazy moves. Once our performance was over we stayed in the backstage area where you can watch the other group’s performances on a TV and we particularly enjoyed the piece “Who’s Dance is it anyway?” – a parody of a casting show which heavily relied on impro-dance such as integrating the audience’s feelings into their choreography. Hard to describe the concept – you probably gotta see it – but watching these talented dancers and their creativity was very inspiring to all of us.
Once the show’s over it’s time for curtain call – which means every dance crew getting on stage again for bows and applause. For me that was the best part of the show every night: Everyone gathering in the tiny backstage area, good music & good vibes, running out on stage and getting all that positive feedback and applause from the crowd for your dance performance.
After Saturday’s show and to celebrate the last performance we went up Sky Tower – at 328m it apparently is the tallest structure in the southern hemisphere. The base of the tower is Sky City – a glitzy place that has it all: Casino, night clubs, bars, restaurants and all the fashionistas and supermodels of Auckland. We skipped that part and went straight to the lift that takes you up to the observation decks. Its floor is made out of glass panels so you get to see how fast you seemingly “fly” up to 220m high. On the observation decks there’s glass flooring every here and there too and it is a weird feeling standing on those….
It was already night-time when we were up there so we got a 360 degree view of Auckland’s city lights, the ferry terminal, the harbour bridge, the Viaduct harbour, the main roads and highways and probably best of all: Seeing Eden Park Stadium from above. Just while we were watching from above a very important rugby game came to an end at the stadium – New Zealand against France. We enjoyed the views a bit more and when we were down in the city centre again we immediately found out that New Zealand had won. Great atmosphere all over Auckland – and some sad French faces running around. Dance has exhausted us all that week and we opted for a midnight snack at Burgerfuel – in my eyes the best Burger restaurant in New Zealand. It was probably the biggest burger I ever had in my life but it was so needed after all that dancing. And a brilliant good-bye to a week in the life of a dancer.
PS: We didn’t make it to the gala finals – and I was not too sad about that. It was a rainy and ugly Sunday and I was quite content not having to go to the Theatre but staying at home, having a fire, cuddling up on the couch and having pancakes with whatever I liked (my favourite: half Vanilla ice cream with raspberries, half chocolate ice cream with chocolate sauce. You can never have enough chocolate.)
PPS: If you are interested in what the other dance groups performance have a look at the pictures on the festival’s facebook page.