Number of Steps: 11167 (3.45 mi)
So, a lot of stuff happened today, but the thing I am most proud of has nothing to do with theatre. While I was sitting on the steps of the MXAT American Studio reading before we went to the theatre tonight, not one, but TWO Russians asked me for directions, and I successfully understood them and provided them with the information they needed. AND, when our singing teacher stopped us in the courtyard to tell us something, I was able to understand what she wanted us to do. (And one of our translators popped in at the end of the conversation and confirmed that I was correct.) Yeah, Russia… I got this!
So, aside from my ever-increasing levels of Russian aptitude, today was a day much like Wednesday. We started out with singing. We all sang through our songs, and that was pretty much that. I love singing… I really miss it. I need to give myself the gift of voice lessons when I get back to Detroit – I will feel better if my voice is in shape.
After singing was another day of ballet, and weirdly enough, after ballet class, I was less sore than I was than when I went in. In fact, I might say I was the least sore I’ve been since our first movement class on Tuesday. So go ballet! I mean, I still suck at it, but at least it seems to be good for me on some level.
The afternoon brought us back to acting class, which was another good day for teamwork. It turns out that, collectively, we are relatively good spellers. We had one spelling game that came down to a clash of the titans between me and Vanessa – the other grad student on the trip. It was great fun – especially since I did end up winning in the end, but really only on a technicality. I think the two of us could have done that all day. And yes… I am bragging about the spelling and ball throwing ability of two graduate students. But trust me, it is really way cooler than it sounds.
This evening five of our group headed off to St. Petersburg for the weekend, while the rest of us headed to our first show at the MXAT: Зойкина Квартира (Zoyka’s Apartment), which is a play by Mikhail Bulgakov about which I know pretty much nothing. So we walked into this one totally blind. It was pretty trippy and difficult to follow, but it was visually and vocally stunning, and I think we figured out most of the major plot points and even maybe some of the more subtle ones, as we discussed it. It would be impossible to explain this play, but it involved a lot of sex and drugs, dancing and singing, piano playing and paranoia, and a set that was basically a giant rotating cube. It was unreal. And there were these people with giant black globes as heads – I decided they were intended to look like those security camera bubbles, to signify that there are these people who are always watching. Oh… and the costumes and the dancing were kind of the big hit for me. The costumes were just plain GORGEOUS, and the physical dexterity of these performers is just beyond beyond. It was a weird evening of theatre, but it was pretty damn cool.
Since half the group is in St. Petersburg, we don’t have class tomorrow… a two-day weekend is a rarity in the Month in Moscow program. And then we’re going to have Tuesday off for Russia Day… so we’ve got a lot of free time coming, and I’m feeling a little crippled by it. What to do, what to do!