Welcome to Barre None, my new video blog exclusively on Huffington Post. I'm Sara Mearns and I hope to be your tour guide into the world of classical ballet. You might ask yourself, "Why a video blog that goes behind the scenes of a classical ballet dancer's daily life?" Because what you see on the stage does not begin to capture what ballet or our lives are all about. You see the performance, but what you don't see -- the rehearsals, the costume designs, the frazzled nerves, the learning of a new ballet, the constant travels around the world, the injuries and the oftentimes long, painful road to recovery that lead us to wonder if this is the injury that can end a career -- it's all a part of what we do and who we are.
I'm only one dancer, but I hope that by giving you a window into my life as a principal ballerina at New York City Ballet, a door will be opened to more interest, curiosity, and enthusiasm for this artform that I, and so many others, love and work so hard for. So come on in, pull up a seat, and join me every Friday. You'll have a great time. I promise. Barre None.
The Artist Collaboration
Who would have thought a year ago I would be in a studio working with puppeteers, world class musicians, conductors, dancers, filmmakers, photographers, choreographers, and a director that not only has done operas, but also does sculptures, theater, and architecture? This is the definition of an artist collaboration. How is it possible that this will all come together seamlessly? There isn't a guarantee any of it will work but one thing we know is this type of project has never been done before.
You must be thinking they are crazy to put all those artists and personalities in the same room! And you're right, it is bonkers! But so far, after four days, it seems to be working. There have been tense moments where nothing seems to be working but somehow we are still friends by the end of the day.
I have been looking forward to this adventure for over six months now, knowing this will be an experience to never forget. I walk into the studio everyday and there are new props, new cameras, new puppets, and best of all, smiles on everyone's faces. Everyone knows how lucky and exciting this is and only positive energy will accomplish the extraordinary project we have carved out for ourselves. Ambitious would be the word to use.
The key to a successful collaboration is respect of the other artists' opinions and ideas and to never judge or dismiss any idea that comes to mind. You never know what crazy idea might turn into brilliance. One must have an open mind and an open heart to everyone involved. Who knew I would be acting on camera with actual speaking lines? Who knew that I would love it? I didn't! This group of incredibly gracious people has allowed me to explore stories within me and to go beyond my comfort zone and maybe make a fool of myself! It's the most liberating feeling!
Life will always be a litte more dull after these three weeks are over. The light this collaboration has brought me will never fade and will only burn brighter as the years pass me by. This will open new doors for me beyond my wildest dreams. This is my dream, the dancer's dream.
Check out last week's video blog here.
You can find Sara Mearns on twitter here: @nycbstar2b.