My Worrisome Waltz
By Irene Spelndorini
If somebody would have told me I was going to be on stage at the awards ceremony for one of Italy’s most important film festivals, the Taormina in Sicily, I would have thought to myself «I hope it is to collect an award as an actress!»… well in fact I went up on that stage during the ceremony this past July, but it was only to dance a Waltz to the music from incomparable composer Nino Rota’s film score for the 1963 movie “The Leopard”.
I can do many things, even dance, but dancing during a ceremony like the one for the Silver Ribbons (Europe’s oldest film award), where the audience is the cream of the crop in my industry, well, I wasn’t certain I could muster the courage. I really didn’t think I could do it. Luckily I wasn’t the only actor in this predicament. We were five couples sharing this imposing fate. We were hired to dance in front of a big screen, showing the famous scene of Claudia Cardinale and Burt Lancaster dancing a Waltz.
There was enough pressure to have a nervous breakdown. But when the fabulous costumes were presented to us we were distracted from our anxiety by their beauty. I was first to choose a dress and I decided on the most attractive one (a sort of “I’ll be noticed in this outfit!” choice). The top was very tight and the skirt had a super long tail. Not the ideal choice for dancing in, but hey, I was nervous! I guess all girls would be more graceful if pants had never entered in women’s fashion. But this is another story…
In the end, those 2 minutes and 40 seconds of dancing, wearing the overwhelming dress, turned out to be big fun: we managed to smile the entire time, and not to stumble! Unfortunately several famous people in the audience didn’t appreciate our performance, but we didn’t care too much. That is until after our performance we changed out of our royal costumes and discovered we were invited to the official “after” party where we would have to interact with our previous audience face to face and endure whatever criticism we were previously able to ignore from the stage. Help! We entered one of the most spectacular locations in Taormina and found our names on the guest list.
Everything in perfect order. We considered leaving and reentering like party crashers in order to give ourselves a little thrill. The party was full of delicious food and VIPs. So, in the end we behaved well, we ate and drank more than we could handle and being in our civilian cloths nobody put together we were the performers from the dance. In the end I thought to myself, “being invited is not as much fun as crashing these sorts of events”.