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July 01, 2011

Can't sleep, Won't sleep

It's 5am and I'm in a strange bed watching the same episode of 90210 I saw eight hours ago. In fact, in the last 48 hours I've seen more TV than I have in the past year. Well that's what it feels like. In no particular order I've watched China Town, four episodes of 90210, Jim according to Jim (or something like that), Chloe, a random Jack Black film where he has long hair, robes and is called Zed, Clash of the Titans (old and new versions), two episodes of Private Practice, Funny Men, The Shawshank Redemption and every so often an odd game at Wimbledon. I guess I'm suffering from a little case of Taiwanese jetlag! You guessed it, I'm on tour in my hotel room and can't sleep. Unfortunately, in a couple of hours, when I will be feeling like a nap, It'll be time to go the theatre to rehearse Giselle. I've never had it this bad before. I'm counting myself, not sheep, lucky that I have a nice hotel room with a huge comfy bed, lots of pillows and the air conditioning on cool. Maybe the latter is not helping the problem but I love nothing better than a cold hotel room. I've even managed to get myself on some random free wifi to write this, which I'm half happy about as the hotel internet costs a fortune, but the other half worried for fear of being hacked as I type.


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Sleepless in Taiwan
Kristen McNally


The reason I couldn't sleep the first night was because someone on the plane had found a report on the internet saying that our hotel was haunted. Apparently people have been so frightened after seeing ghosts in their room that they check out early and the hotel staff give them a knowing look and don't argue! How dramatic, but whether you believe in all that or not, you can't help thinking about it - all alone in your strange room! No evidence of anything so far. I'll keep you posted.

I can't believe that only a week ago we were being rock stars at The O2. I think I'm still coming down from the high. I loved every moment. From my wonderful five-minute boat journey each morning (everyone joked at the fact that we had to go on tour for me to live the closest to work!) to the 'access all areas' wrist band I only wish I could have every time I visit the O2! Performing on the same stage I have screamed at so many times was incredible. The week before, I was screaming at my favourites...


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Kings of Leon
Kristen McNally


It was rather surreal. To stand on that iconic stage and look out and see what they see. If I could have changed anything I'd have swapped our civilised audience seating arrangement for a proper standing mosh pit; then we'd really feel like rock stars!


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Next time we want this!
Kristen McNally


I think my favourite of the five Romeo performances was the school's matinee. Although it wasn't as packed as the 12,000-strong evening audiences, the kids were amazing. Their attention was gripped, they applauded and cheered every scene, every fight, every death, every kiss! It was wonderful. I really hope we go back. If there's no harm in Beyonce rocking Glastonbury then there's no harm in The Royal Ballet rocking the O2.


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Monica Mason and Chris Saunders oversee our rehearsal
Kristen McNally


Speaking of Glastonbury, which Beyonce certainly did rock (I had an iplaying look during my no-sleep tv fest), I entered a competition to perform there with VIP backstage passes for the weekend; you all know how much I'd relish that opportunity! A band called Brandt Brauer Frick were looking for four ballerinas to perform on one of their songs. Thinking I was a pro from all my 30 Seconds to Mars experience, I whipped up a quick number with the girls and sent in my video entry. I even had the amazing Yuhui Choe doing the most incredible fouette tricks on a podium centre stage. Easy. To my great upset, we didn't get it. If anyone went to Glastonbury and saw the ballerinas, I'd love to know what they did to trump our entry! You win some, you lose even more, I guess.

Good news elsewhere, I've been shortlisted for The Matthew Bourne New Adventures Choreography award! The lucky winner gets Matthew as a mentor and the chance to put on an entire evening of work. How mind-blowing would that be! Quite frankly I'm honoured to have even made the shortlist.

Next week, after a few days' holiday in Thailand, I'm working with Tommy Franzen. We're reworking the solo 'Don't hate the player, Hate the game', which I choreographed for Tom last year. He'll be performing it at Cloud Dance festival. I'm a little nervous as I want to make the most of his amazing talent and skill in the areas of dance I am unfamiliar with. It'll be a challenge for me. I hope I can do him and the solo justice.

The season ends on Sunday which can only mean one thing....HOLIDAYS! It's a bit of work and a bit of play for me this summer. In fact my first bit of work, which I shall start preparing on that beautiful Thai beach, is a speech. The Royal Ballet's education department have their first main stage performance next Sunday. I've been asked to introduce the evening and have four minutes in which to do so. Scary. I'm fine dancing on the Opera House stage but speaking is a different matter. Obviously I don't have an autocue (I'm getting carried away already!) and it's naff and unprofessional glancing at a bit of paper, so I will have to recite it. If Wayne McGregor is to choreograph a 10 minute piece on a group of kids for the performance only starting on Monday, then I have no excuse writing and learning a four-minute speech!

All this writing and talk of writing is making me tired. Hooray!!! I'm off to sleep whilst i feel like it!

Kristen x

Posted by Kristen at 04:05 PM
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