Hello to anyone out there reading my blog, I’m really sorry it has been a while since I have posted anything!
I am currently on tour across New Zealand with the Glenn Miller Orchestra from the United States. It is a massive tour over 30 days. So far we have performed in New Plymouth, Palmerston North, Hamilton, Rotorua, Taupo, Tauranga, Whangarei and Auckland.
Every show we have had packed houses, some shows sold out within minutes of tickets being available and it is just fantastic to perform for so many people and hear them clapping, cheering and enjoying themselves.
Today we have arrived back in New Plymouth for a performance tomorrow night – we are all enjoying a well needed night off. Our schedule has been very hectic, travelling around in a crazy zig zag across the North Island. We have been going back and forth on the bus, we travel for hours a day and sometimes arrive just in time to get to the theatre and start hair and makeup for a matinee show.
It is tiring with all the travel, but it is so much fun to be touring the country with such a great bunch of people. The opportunity to see more of N.Z and explore what’s in my own “back yard” is so wonderful, the other dancers and I are really enjoying being the local tour guides for our new American friends.
Some of the Orchestra members having a Jam Session after our shows in Tauranga.
The Orchestra members and Singers come from Los Angeles, and are some of the friendliest people I’ve met. Right from our first rehearsal on stage before opening night, Rick Gerber – the Orchestra leader – was checking on the tempo of each song that we danced to. It was such a lovely thing to do, and we were all blown away that he would ask us if the tempo suited us to dance to.
In my mind I was thinking You’re the Glenn Miller Orchestra, I will dance to whatever tempo you want me to!
The shows have been so much fun to dance in every night. Some days we have two shows per day, so we all enjoy the days when we can rest our bodies. We are all dancing Swing which is very cardiovascular, and Simon Watts and I also perform a Tap duo. Each night the shows are getting better and evolving as we get further into the tour.
As we get to know the Orchestra members better, our chemistry on stage grows too. We now have more moments where we interact with them during our dances and it makes each show different and special.
Dancing to such an amazing live Orchestra is just such a wonderful honour every time. To have all those musicians and all their energy with you on stage is a great feeling. They are all very genuine in their performance for each show, and it’s so touching to meet the audience members after the show and hear how much they enjoyed it.
Last night I had the privilege of meeting Harold Clague, a gorgeous 85 year old gentleman who was the Jitterbug Champion in 1942!
He had tears in his eyes as he told us that W.W.2 was a time of good music and we had brought back memories for him. Moments like that I will remember forever.
My Husband, Aunt and Uncle, and some of my dance students have come to see the show, which is so wonderful to have their support. They all enjoyed it and the music brought back different memories for each of them. With the mix of Singers and Dancers the show is very much a celebration of the era and there is something in it for everyone.
We are very lucky that we have been well looked after on the tour. Our Promoter has organized fantastic accommodation, and there is always a hot meal for us at the theatre. With over 20 Musicians, 5 Singers, 4 Dancers, and 5 Crew, that’s no small task.
Well, for now that’s where I will love you and leave you. I need to catch a Nanna-Nap while I have some free time this afternoon.
More shenanigan reports from the Glenn Miller tour to follow……