I’ve just finished my four months at ABT, which feels like no time at all, especially because I spent that four months working toward one event—an event that began on a Saturday morning and ended in the very early hours of Sunday. This event was the 2015 alumni reunion, which brought together about two hundred former dancers of ABT, plus current dancers and some former and current staff, to celebrate the company’s 75th Anniversary. It was an enormous undertaking, accomplished mostly by a small group of people I like to call Team Reunion.
There were five of us on Team Reunion: two current members of the artistic staff, one former member of the artistic staff, the volunteer alumni coordinator, and me, the artistic intern. My duties as the artistic intern were very much focused on the reunion, but while I was working in the artistic department I was also able to observe the daily life of the company. In the offices at 890 Broadway I sat right outside the main artistic offices (the artistic administrator, artistic director, associate artistic director, rehearsal coordinator, and assistant to the artistic staff). Then at the Metropolitan Opera House, where the artistic staff moves for the company’s spring season, I sat in the green room with most of the same people.
On Team Reunion, my primary job was to keep an eye on all the information coming in and compile it into lists that made sense. I maintained and assembled lots and lots of lists. On the days I went into work, my routine was to grab my computer from the file cabinet (at 890) or the wooden crate (at the Met), check my email, and adjust my lists. Some of these lists eventually translated into such concrete things as address labels for invitations and nametags for party guests.
I was proud of those little adhesive pieces of paper. But the real magic was seeing those lists of names become crowds of people. Our plans, which had been started in September and to which I began contributing in February, became an actual-thing-that-happened in May. It was awesome to have the experience of seeing this enormous project through to the finish and to be an important part of Team Reunion, even for such a short time.