It's been an age since I wrote. The UK trip was one of the most strenuous and generally tough experiences in a while. It seems that my chair was also having a bad time. So hard, indeed, was the performance, that my caster came off in the middle of the show.
To be fair to Sonia and to her manufacturer, I'm pretty certain that the weaknesses at the core of the problem can be traced to pot holey grass, inches deep gravel, bumps in the lawn, stairs, and some non-manufacturer approved mods. In fact, I've been having issues with the casters for, now, around four months. I thought that I might buy myself some time by replacing all the parts, but this show basically blew me and my chair out of the water.
By the third day, I knew I was in trouble: the wheel was loose, and I tried to fix it in between the first and second performances. I thought the fix would last. But I was so wrong. As we ran to make the entry, a performer asked how my chair was doing. I smiled and said that it would have to spend some time being repaired and maintained when this was over. Just as I finished that sentence, the wheel came right off. Poof.
There was a moment of stunned horror. I froze. We froze.
There's no obvious protocol in this situation. It's not as if you can just suck it up and carry on; the chair is non-functional. My options were a) hold the show until we could fix it, b) back out of this part until we could fix it, or c) dance in another chair. C was the winner. We arranged for one section to "loop" until a dancer could retrieve my chair. But even then, C is not a great option. My everyday chair is set completely differently from the one I dance in. It's heavier, wider, has heavier wheels (ergo grips), is less responsive, etc. It's a lovely chair, but not designed for that particular work. This, however, *is* a suck it up situation. Solution found. Show went on. Disaster averted.
I'm home. I've scheduled with a repair technician. The body is fine. The chair will be soon.
Onwards and upwards.