A Humble Student in Paris

Salut!

At day 15, my month here in Paris is officially at its halfway point. The month of June has always been my least favorite because of how slow it seems to pass, but this year, in this place, I am very grateful for the reluctant way in which the month is going by. If one word were to encompass my past few days since my last update, it would be: “humbling.”

In the past three nights, we’ve gone to see three large, prodigious dance companies perform works in such a way that left our jaws on the floor for the entirety of the performance and hours afterward. We started this week’s performance series with new works from the Paris Opera Ballet on Tuesday, continued with Batsheva’s “Last Work,” on Wednesday, and finished the week with Hofesh Schecter’s world premiere of “Grand Finale,” on Thursday. All of these performances acutely demonstrated the very concepts we’ve been learning in our classes, both in codified dance technique and in the elusive art of speaking to an audience without actually conversing. The dancers in these companies and the choreography they so skillfully performed also served as a well-needed wake up call to all of us in the program. As students of the world of arts, we all subconsciously know how imperative it is to always be improving upon your craft and constantly going for more than you think you can give, but watching all of these performers do what they do presented a tangible and urgent reminder that personal greatness is something we should be intentionally reaching for with each tèndu, each jeté, each head roll.

In closing, the first half of my study abroad program has shown me the truth of where I am, but has also encouraged me to keep going. As always, I continually look forward to what my future in dance, in life, and in performing has to bring.

À bientot!

Hannah

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