When I attended a performance at the Kaatsbaan Cultural Park last summer, it was a picture-perfect day. Though I went during the thick of the Covid pandemic, a gentle breeze rustled the sunny fields framing the beautiful dancing and I could almost forget about the raging virus. This year, Mother Nature had other plans. My original ticket was for the Sunday night of Memorial Day weekend, which was correctly predicted to be a rainout, so I was encouraged to attend the same program on Saturday instead. The show went on, though it poured up until a few hours before and the sky remained ominously cloudy all night. When I checked the weather on my phone midway through the performance, it was a mere 45 degrees. Though I was wearing every sweater I had packed for the weekend, a coat, a scarf, and insulated rainboots, I was shivering by the end of the hourlong program. I stopped taking notes when my hands got numb. I was sad that they got rid of the comfy banquettes from last year, this year it was B.Y.O. seating on the ground. The waterproof tarp I borrowed to lay over the cold muddy ground was less than ideal. But I considered myself lucky; I wasn’t trying to dance in the damp chill!
Hee Seo and Ask La Cour in “After the Rain” pas de deux by Christopher Wheeldon. Photograph by Holly Harkins