Traci’s Last Rehearsal

Last Thursday I traveled down to Charlotte to tape Traci’s last rehearsal as a principle dancer with the company. They were rehearsing “In the Middle Somewhat Elevated”, which is the first piece Traci danced as a principle and now it will also be her last. It’s amazing when things come around full circle. The previous week I taped rehearsals for “Bolero” and “Rhaspsodic Dances,” but wasn’t able to catch “In the Middle.” During the previous shoot I encountered a lot of sound problems as well. One mic seems to have died and the other suddenly began recording sound excruciatingly slow.

Feeling luck that I had worked out a time to catch what would be Traci’s very last rehearsal in the studios I borrowed a mic from a friend before heading south. I didn’t have time to test the mic before I left, but the rehearsal was scheduled to be nearly three hours long so I didn’t feel pressed for time. Can you guess where this is going?

When I arrived Alex and Melissa were already there and I checked in with them both. Suddenly, Traci was by my side as well and she looked upset, it turns out she had injured herself early that day and was going to the physical therapist. As a documentary filmmaker you have to be very flexible because things such as this happen all the time. I was much more worried about Traci and hoped she would still be able to dance for her final performance. I saw her a couple days later and she looked better, though still clearly in pain. She told me she would dance no matter how she felt.

After Traci left, I began setting up and encountered every sound problem possible or so it seemed. Thinking I had plenty of time I fussed with the three mikes for a good half hour before deciding to take a break from it, use the “quiet” mic, and cross my fingers. I’m lucky that I went this route because the rehearsal ended up lasting only about forty more minutes. So far I have captured the footage and it looks good, but I haven’t allowed myself to really analyze the sound. I will save that for another day.

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