November 14, 2004
Well, this afternoon was the final performance of “Mass.” The whole run at Juilliard was amazing. The musicians played the hell out of the piece, and they actually seemed to get better with every show. (You worry about things like that, because it’s common that a weak performance often follows a really good performance, because people get overly confident. This group not only avoided that, but just kept improving.)
The dancers were, as somebody said after one show, “off the hook.” The whole experience — from the beginning of the collaboration with Robert Battle, through the rehearsals with the dancers, through the music rehearsals, through the closing performance today — couldn’t have gone better. Well, unless it had all lasted longer. We should have been extended! There were only four performances, all of them completely packed, with people even breaking fire code and sitting on the stairs, and last night — Saturday — the theater had to turn away over 300 people. 300! That’s 300 that didn’t get in! And the Juilliard Theater seats a little over 1000 people. It was thrilling to be part of it.
I can’t thank MRG enough for funding the work. It meant a great deal coming from her, as I’ve loved her work since I was a little kid. It’s pretty amazing to see one artist so generously support another. If I were in her position, I’d like to think I would do the same, but I think she’s a far better egg than I.