With Michael sidelined by an injury just a week before the company was to leave on tour to Germany and just days before “Sandy” hit NYC, RIOULT was back in the studio in the wake of the storm.
The downtown space where we usually rehearse had no power; with the help of RIOULT dancer Stacy Soroczynski, we relocated at Ballet Academy East for two days. The following day, our dear friend Virginia Johnson at Dance Theater of Harlem offered us free studio space, “we’re family” she said, and Ballet Hispanico offered their company’s studio at NYSCA rates.
The dancers demonstrated remarkable tenacity and ingenuity in finding their way to the studio:
Day 1: most found cabs and travelled to the Upper East Side in small groups, Brian became a steadfast driver for the “Queens Corner” which included Jane and Charis. Day 2: Several dancers still had no power, Sara bunked with Marianna. Days 3 & 4: Holt took his bike but at the Brooklyn Bridge, he thought the better of it and grabbed the M103 for a two hour journey to the studio. Sabatino walked across the bridge on Wednesday, and on Thursday, he tried the shuttle from downtown Brooklyn. Josiah and Jere trekked from the northern reaches of Manhattan.
Once inside the studio the magic began. New partners, new roles, everyone stepped up to the plate. Sabatino commented on Michael’s generosity attending every rehearsal and coaching him while not knowing the extent of his injury, “I had to be there to help him and the Company” Michael said.
At the end of rehearsal on Friday, Pascal addressed the dancers, praising their “courage” and acknowledging their ability to “pull together.” And, in anticipation of RIOULT’s tour to Germany he stated with confidence “we have something beautiful to show.”
We thank the dancers, their resiliency and generous spirits made the German tour possible. And, a special thank you to Ballet Academy East and Dance Theater of Harlem for allowing us to use their studio space for free.