About two weeks ago, fabulous ballerina Florence Rapati asked me if I could play at a concert on the evening of Saturday the 29th. Location would be the Zwerfklank festival, and it would be outside, but there would be a Real Piano for me to play on (as opposed to a keyboard).
The repertoire would consist of pieces we'd already performed before (being The Dying Swan), pieces I already knew (like Grieg and Satie), and pieces I potentially needed to sweat for provided that particular dancers could make it (like Ondine, Ravel).
Naturally, I agreed.
Then she told me it'd be at eleven at night.
Still I agreed.
Then she told me she'd just heard it'd be at 00:30 AM instead, and I wouldn't have to play Ravel. So I arranged to stay on the (very comfortable) couch of the ever-hospitable Jelle Chin (who incidentally was also performing), and everything was good to go.
We arrived at the festival to check out the floor and the piano at around eight. The dance floor was all right, the piano was mysteriously missing. One heart attack later it turned out that the organisation had (very cleverly) left it inside and was only going to move it right before concert.
Since Hotel Chin was about ten minutes walk from the festival, we decided to return there and prepare, and only went back to the festival ground about half an hour before we were supposed to go on.
The sun had been shining bright all day, and honestly, I hadn't even thought about checking the weather report because I evidently assumed the gods would be kind or something.
The second I opened the lid of the piano I felt a raindrop.
Not a minute later the piano has been covered by both a tarp and the market stall that can be seen on the picture, and we didn't really know whether we were supposed to laugh or cry...
Because not only was the poor piano in danger of getting wet and jamming up. Oh no. The dance floor was on its way to becoming a big puddle of water as well.
So we had roughly as long as the rain lasted to figure out a new programme without anything on point shoes, tap shoes, or a great many complicated turns which would put a dancer in immediate danger of falling over on a wet floor.
Another heart attack later we had it figured out.
When the rain stopped, aforementioned organisation manfully went to war against the wet, armed with squeegees, towels and sponges. I myself dried off the keys of the poor, poor, poor piano.
I don't know how we did it.
But we did it.
We eventually left the festival ground around three AM, after having been plied with herbal drinks, comfortable cushions and the very last pancake.
This was probably the most anecdote-worthy concert I'll ever play.
I can only hope the poor piano will survive the ordeal...