Two days ago, we had day-trip to Tel Aviv, which was amazing--It was wonderful to get out of the kibbutz for a bit, wander the streets of the city I love so much, and experience the sights, sounds, and smells of Shuk HaCarmel again (the main market). We came primarily for a MASA event that evening, which was an "arts and culture" night. We got to pick one of three activities to attend; (one of which was seeing KCDC perform "Transform." I've already seen the 2nd Company perform this twice though, so I chose a different activity) I decided to see a duo performance of novelist Eshkol Nevo and musician Shlomi Shaban. They were fantastic--both of them being talented artists, it was inspiring to be surrounded by fresh art. Eshkol read sections from one of his novels and also some short stories, mainly regarding youth, moving to a new home, and rekindling friendship. Shlomi Shaban, who I had only vaguely heard of before, is a really talented, classically-trained pianist turned....I don't know, rock/jazz/singer-songwriter. I'm definitely going to look up his music on itunes now. His songs (though in Hebrew, so I had to extrapolate from the brief English introductions he'd give us) seemed also to often be about the challenges and excitements of starting a new life, family, and separating from/reuniting with friends. Since I am lucky enough to be able to hear a lot of live music at home, and haven't as much here, it was really nice to see this live performance. During the question and answer section, they spoke about the importance of keeping art alive, staying inspired, and allowing your changing surroundings to inform your creativity.
The only downside of all this was, we got back to the kibbutz at half past midnight, and had a full day of classes the next day. Our classes were pushed back a bit later, but I still didn't sleep very well. The next day I was exhausted and felt like I really might not be able to physically or mentally muster the energy I needed. In Rep with Mika, we needed to run a bunch of sections we've learned, all quite physically demanding. But more than that, it was mentally challenging for me, because these were all sections we learned a mostly while ago, and I've been going over, but was not quite confident with all of them. After only a brief review of each segment, we needed to split into small groups and run it. I felt so much pressure, like it was an audition (and in a way I think it might have been a bit like that, because they are going to have to delegate parts at some point...), and the exhaustion was weighing on me. I conjured every ounce of energy and adrenaline (and had some coffee/tons of water/fruit/protein) I had, and focused harder than ever before. And somehow, I got through....and I think I did pretty good considering how exhausted I was! By the time our lunch break came, I felt like I was about to crash. Too bad I still had ballet and rehearsal that evening....
I guess I learned that just as important eating and drinking well is will power. I could not have gotten through that day without the pure will to go on, and the desire to dance as well as I could.
A couple days before all of this, most of us got together and talked about how we are feeling about the program thus far. Surprisingly (to me), there were quite a few people with strong emotions...homesickness, overall fatigue/exhaustion, feeling stuck (rather than liberated) in the kibbutz....I am lucky--I don't really feel it like this. While I got teary-eyed too, talking about my family and our parting two months ago (and confessing to everyone what a wreck I was when I got on that plane!), I'm actually really savoring my time here and am appreciating (or trying my best to) every moment. As I said before, I'm clearly so exhausted and pushed to my limits too. I get stressed easily and sometimes I feel really anxious as well, but this program is also clearly good for me mentally too, to put out of my mind anxieties about what I could be doing, or fears about the future....I just try to remind myself every day how awesome it is to be dancing this much again every day, taking part in so many workshops and master classes, and living here with these beautiful surroundings!