Every year the Zig Zags create a show to put on in the spring. It's usually a fairly organic process with some pieces being created as the year progresses which are then fit into the story while others are created to make the story work. This year, it was a little different, as they had all these pieces, but no overarching story...at least until about two weeks ago.
Prior to then, the show was going to be called something like "Pieces of Ourselves: A Self Portrait." I'm sure I got that a little bit wrong and Davan will scoff at me later, but that's more or less it. Suddenly, though, a story was created, pieces were subtly altered as needed to fit the story and it all came together as "The Ride."
The Ride premiered last night to a sold out audience (which was kind of a whew moment, as ticket sales hadn't been as brisk as one might have hoped as of a couple days ago). This week was busier than usual with some extra rehearsals and meetings, but the Zig Zags don't have the luxury of a tech week. The shows don't actually make enough money to be self supporting, much less enough to close down the school for the week in order do show prep. In order to keep prices down for parents and audience members, all of that is done in snatches of stolen time here and there.
They did have, as usual, a dress rehearsal Friday night and I got to go and take pictures. While parts of the show had been leaked to me by Davan and Lena in a variety of ways, I didn't know the whole story. I have to say that I wish I'd gotten to see it whole for the first time without picture taking, as, while I was able to follow the story, I wasn't really able to appreciate the artistry, being rather consumed with getting the shot.
It was sort of fun to take pictures, as I've really been enjoying getting a lot of Davan and Lena in action this year, but it was also kind of stressful. Thankfully, they had two of us taking pictures, so I was able to not stress as much, hoping that if I wasn't able to get good shots of a particular piece, maybe the other photographer was.
I got there while they were still setting up, organizing and warming up. The set up is complicated by the fact that there are Saturday morning classes in between dress rehearsal and opening night.
Davan and Lena were the first Zig Zags there and sat in the lobby, studying their show order and lines while waiting for the last class of the day to be done.
Wendy always sets up a board with the schedule for rehearsal, so the performers all spent some time checking that out.
While I got pictures of everyone and some great shots of kids who don't belong to me, I'm going to mostly share with you Davan, as I feel most comfortable plastering her all over the internet. I've given myself permission. Well, and you'll find several of Lena, as well. She's given me permission, too. :)
Davan and Lena are loving the whole process.
They did a run through of a piece before starting the full dress rehearsal. I was trying to figure out what settings were going to work for the camera. While all I got for this one was blur, I still think it's kind of cool looking.
If you're going to see the show, the rest of this is going to contain spoilers, so proceed at your own risk.
The story is told from the point of view of a teenage girl in the summer just before her senior year of high school. Her sister, who is also her best friend, has just left for college. She decides to take a bike trip from Portland to the coast. She writes in a journal along the way and we get the story from each of the Zig Zags reading the journal in parts in a reading nook.
There is a bike of sorts.
The journey, of course, has it's ups and downs. There is a lot of reflection. There is interaction via letter with her sister. Along the way, she meets another solo rider, who is a little older than she is and an exchange student from Switzerland. This part was a jolt to hear for the first time, as much of what's said there is taken from Davan and Lena's friendship. It was very sweet for it to be part of the show.
Davan is takes part in Do I Dare, where she falls backward off of this two high.
She is in a ring trio.
My favorite piece is a duet she does with Lena. It's sweet and challenging and wonderful. I say that after watching it at opening night, when I really got to enjoy it. Mostly on dress rehearsal night, I was worrying that the light was such that I couldn't get good pictures.
Davan's least favorite piece is call Breaking Out of the Crowd and I can see why, but it's really fun to watch.
Speaking of funny, I Whales in the Boardroom brought tons of laughs from the audience. I'll share a picture even though Davan wasn't in that one.
Lena was in a ladder piece that totally looks like kids playing at the park. As it's when the two bicyclists stop and play at a playground, it's perfect.
The two seniors in the troop did a lovely and playful piece.
Davan in the nook.
There was a bike solo, a bike duet and a bike group piece at points throughout the show.
There is a big group tumbling piece at the end, which is great, but didn't photograph well. It's actually done is bright colors, but the while blurs at the top of the post are from it's not dressed run through.
And the final bow.
What a great group of kids.
During dress rehearsal, there were a few glitches and stumbling points, but opening night was fantastic. Everything went really well, all the pieces looked great. It really all came together.
Davan and Lena after the show. Davan went home with Lena to spend the night after we fussed over them for a while.
Davan with one of the adult students - Dave. Dave is a great guy who recently had a major operation and has been taking a break from classes. He and Davan are buddies and she was really glad to see him at the show. He is also the dad of two prior Zig Zags.
Davan and one of her two biggest fans.
I'm looking forward to seeing the show again today when I'm ushering. Well done Zig Zags!