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To say good-bye ...

It’s almost 3 in the morning, and as I try to sort through hundreds of pics – choosing the best ones and keeping my fingers crossed that I’ve captured everyone’s child at least once – I can’t help but be drawn to a particular dance number at this year’s Dance Centre’s production of Maleficent and Much More.

My daughter attends the ballet school, so over the years I’ve worked my way up to … let’s say middle “ballet mom” ranks .. okay .. junior … assisting backstage until last year I was asked to “officially” capture the production. Seeing it through my lens … well … words escape me as I reflect on how unnerving, fragile, unpredictable and beautiful life can be.

The final number of the evening, a dance to Indina Menzel’s No Day But Today is haunting and nostalgic.

You see, it was exactly a year ago that Dance Teacher Joanne Guevara (known for her humour and skills in jazz and tap) and Friend Narda Williams (rather a regal woman who would assist the school from registration to matronly roles in the ballet) stood on the stage. While Joanne directed the jazz and tap numbers, Narda joined the dance school in a tribute to persons who were battling and sadly who had lost the war to cancer. These two amazing women had been fighting a good fight, and were bravely facing the world, embracing their dance children and family. The school even paid special tribute to them opening night (something that brought tears to my eyes).

This year, 2015 … the mood is surreal … neither Joanne nor Narda were there to receive their final curtain call, their applause, or their flowers.

As someone who would greet them in passing, I cannot begin to imagine how the students and especially the teachers felt during the days leading up to the show; during the moments of choreographing and rehearsing that tribute number; and even performing it.

Life is indeed but a brief candle … “out, out brief candle!” (Macbeth).

Joanne and Narda have certainly lit the lives of many … and their memory will continue to dance on at the Dance Centre. For some reason, I imagine them both dancing at this very moment….

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