Updated: Jan 28, 2021
"Oh Sh*t" I exclaimed under my breath as I dipped her, my lips inches from her's. I was supposed to kiss her but the pain was intense.
It was probably the 20th time I'd danced this role - Lead Hungarian Officer in Macmillan's Mayerling - Let me set the scene....
Imagine a European brothel...drinking, smoking, the smell of sweat permeated the air. Mitzi Caspar had just finished her very seductive solo and it was my turn to spread political seduction.
The music was fast that night and I was rehearsing 3 leading roles during the day. My current director and future director were both in the audience so even though I was tired tensions and adrenaline were high.
I must have taken more energy for my final saut de basque then I usually do because when I landed....if you could call it that....there was a searing pain as my foot bent in a direction it shouldn't have been able to.
No time to think I had to run to the centre of the stage, I had to kiss the girl, but instead "oh sh*t"
As quickly as I had dipped her she was standing and I saw the fear I was feeling reflected in her eyes.
I walked as best as I could back to the side of the stage...it was only a matter of time before I would be needed again but I had to assess the damage.
The pain was growing, the throbbing of blood to my foot masked by the crimson leather of my boots. I could hear the music but I couldn't, adrenaline coursing through my body, I don't remember how I made it to the opposite side of the stage.
"buh buh buh buh" the intro to the Mephisto waltz began to play and we were dancing again. The show must go on as they say and without the 4th wheel - me - our next vehicle would have been as broken as my foot was though I still didn't know at the time.
With each step, each jump, each turn and each landing my quadriceps were working harder to support the bone that was no longer attached properly and yet the show must go on.
I finished that scene, whispers behind me wondering what was wrong as rumours spread around the stage like the wildfire of burning now engulfing my leg. I handed my gun to Mitzi and she passed it to Rudolph and the political death had been sealed, my part complete for now, the story delivered painfully, but in tact.
As I exited the stage, reality hit me like the iron curtain protecting the stage from fire. I went pale and collapsed to the floor. I knew then, before the doctors, x-rays, and months off that I was done for the season. What would await me the following season, had I let myself down? I had an important performance scheduled for two nights from this one...one where I would be dancing the lead. The pain of that moment was fortelling of the pain I would go through in the struggle to return to the stage the following season...but that's a story for another time.