Friday, October 30, 2009

Emotional roller coaster

Usually I don't have a lot of highs or lows emotion-wise, but recently things have been really up and down.

I had a great time with Nate in Towada and Tokyo. And when I came back from that the fun continued with Kirita School Festival preparations, an awesome Saturday at the Towada Koma (Horse) Festa, Towada Kyodokan & Nitobe Memorial Museum, and finally the actual Kirita School Festival.

But right after that, things crashed (figuratively and literally) with my car accident. That week was pretty rough, but on Sunday I was able to refresh myself with a morning viewing the fall foliage in Oirase Gorge, an afternoon baking cookies, and dinner at one of my favourite restaurants in Towada.

Then this week I had lots of fun with Halloween parties/lessons at Kirita JHS as well as my top three favourite elementary schools (in chronological order, rather than order of preference): Sanbongi ES (Mon. morning), Shimokirida ES (Wed. morning) and Takashizu ES (today).

But as fun as the days were, the past two nights have been absolute downers.

Thursday night I had practice for the November 3rd Bunka Sai Opening Ceremony. Rika-sensei had asked me to arrive early for practice, so I was there from 6pm until about 8:30pm! I think it was extra tiring because I'm only actually dancing in the very last part (maybe 2-3 minutes?) but of course we had to practice the entire piece so I was just sitting and watching for the most part. And I had to sit in seiza (on my knees) for almost the entire time because that's the proper etiquette. @_@

I do try to have a positive attitude towards most things, but I really regret agreeing to be in the Opening Ceremony of the Bunka Sai.  Because of my schedule I could only make it to three of the practices (tonight was the third) and I'm not naturally graceful/athletic or anything, so it takes me a while to learn a dance and I feel really uncomfortable performing without a lot of practice. And the thing with the Opening Ceremony is that it's a piece with students from many different schools/teachers of dance so there's the added discomfort of performing inadequately in front of/with people who are mostly strangers.

I think I've gained a bit more confidence since coming to Japan, but I'm still pretty self-conscious, so these opening ceremony practices have been more tiring mentally/emotionally than physically. At least once during every opening ceremony practice I think to myself "もう全然やる気がない!" (I don't want to do this at all anymore!) Maybe if I'd started practicing a month earlier I would feel differently, but then again, considering that would've been at the same time as all the preparation/practices for the October performance, maybe not...

One good thing that came out of Thursday night, though, was that I got to see one of my students who graduated in my first year at Kirita. (She's also dancing only in the last part.)

Then today I got an email at 4pm from Rika-sensei saying that 3 of the elementary student girls who were supposed to be in the children's Tachimawari were out with the flu and that she wanted me to come early for practice today so I could learn the part and be in the dance! So I was at the Bunka Center for practice from 5:30pm-8:00pm tonight. = _ =

Again, I HATE going into things feeling unprepared, so doing a performance with only one night of practice before the actual event is the worst! Plus the Tachimawari is a men's style dance, so the movements--the stances, positioning of feet, etc.--are completely different from the type of Nihonbuyo (classical Japanese dance) I usually do.

I suppose it's all a good experience for me, but right now I'm just feeling really put upon, tired and cranky. And the thing is we have a dress rehearsal for the Opening Ceremony on Monday evening (after work) and I'm going to be out for the Bunka Sai from 8:30am until at least 4pm on a day that's supposed to be a "holiday" (with work the next day), so I'm really feeling quite resentful towards Nihonbuyo right now . (もう嫌だ!) I can't wait for the performance to be over and for next weekend to come!