5.45 am I wake to darkness of the morning, as do 39 other dancers and 20 or more crew, the colours of our KAZKA jumpers on chairs shining bright and ready.
7.30 am I sit with a few fellow dancers waiting for the theatre to open at, probably, the only cafe open on a Saturday morning at this hour.
8.00 am and the theatre opens for us to come in. Before we can even comprehend what's ahead of us we're straight to work, sets rolling out and costume boxes opening. Show day is more than just make-up, hair and perform. For us, it's the whole full fledged bump in. Unpacking trucks, tying up sets, hanging up and sorting costumes, assembling props. After three to four hours of setting for the night ahead, we then warm up and rehearse the whole show. Not many dancers can say they understand and know how to set a production up and then go on and perform.
But in the back of our minds, thoughts about the importance of this weekend send butterflies through us. These shows are probably the most important two shows we'll do on the whole tour. With out a doubt, the whole international experience will be phenomenal, our first show was the most exhilarating feeling possible, and Sydney being just an extraordinary city to perform in. But there is nothing like performing in your home town.
Where you know your beloved family, friends, partner, colleagues and everyone from the place you live is there to support you. Like they have this whole journey. Where the people you've bumped into with flyers, eyes opened wide with curiosity at what you have to offer, will be sitting where I sit now writing, tonight as audience members expecting something as magical and brilliant as our flyer looks.
You can see every detail, every expression, every foot, every line on this stage. A harder stage than some larger theatres because the audience can see everything! That's what's scary for us dancers. But like Adelaide I'm sure, that when the stage is set, we're dressed and ready and those curtains open, all our thoughts will disappear, and the story will take us to another world for a couple hours, one where fairytales like this are truly real.
As I sit here watching the last of the sets go up, different feeling and expressions on everyones faces, I hear our stage managers yell "oh my gosh, someone from Adelaide is flying here to Melbourne to see us again tonight! Because they loved the show so much!"
A smile beams from all the faces around.
We just can't wait for Melbourne to see what the fuss is all about! All day we'll be shifting from nerves to excitement, right up until those curtains rise. However pure bliss will take over as our eyes meet those beaming lights.
Get ready Melbourne, KAZKA is here and ready take you on a journey from times ago.
Written by Maria Zhdanko - Company Dancer