Partnering – Finger Turns and Shoulder Sits and Fish Dives, Oh My!

So, as promised, here is the second part of my partnering post. If you haven’t read the first half (and if not, where have you been?!) then take a look here. Also, just like last time, I don’t pretend to be an expert on partnering – in fact the complete opposite – so if you want some tips from the Pro’s check out the collaboration by Tights and Tiaras and Tendus Under a Palm Tree: part one and part two.

So today I headed back to Doylestown for the second half of Ed’s partnering workshop. I was definitely excited but also a little nervous – as I mentioned in the first post, partnering is hard! That being said, I can now say that it certainly gets better! Not that it isn’t still hard, but I think with me and the girls being a little more confident (and hopefully they trusted me more) it certainly got easier, and we ended up doing some more advanced stuff too.

This week there was only Ed, Marc and myself to partner six girls, so it ended up with myself and Marc getting three girls each, leaving Ed to teach/observe. To start we did the same exercise as last week – girls in sous-sous and me tilting them side to side then front and back. The girls we much more stable this week and Ed got me to tilt a little more than I had previously. There was one new girl this week who was a little nervous to start but she soon got the hang of keeping still and trusting I had her safe.

We then went straight into a combination of bouree to fourth followed by pirouettes, passe or ‘assisted pirouettes’. After a couple of attempts I started to really feel where the girls were balanced, and Ed got me to keep their weight left when going for the pirouette which definitely helped them stabilise.

A couple of pointers came up here that were repeated a few times throughout class that I definitely found helped. First, keep the girls at around arms length. Although it initially felt to me that I had more control over the girls the closer in I was, in fact the opposite was true, and staying arms length away let me keep my posture strong (a nice strong second position), keep control of the girl and easily compensate if anything went wrong. Second, as Ed put it – don’t be afraid to manhandle a bit! I mentioned last week how my assisted-pirouettes were a little lacklustre at times and Ed got me to put a bit more force into it this week which definitely helped. The third pointer was to make sure I always returned to “home-base”: hands on hips with thumbs around her back to support her if her weight shifts back. Oh, and for you girls, skirts, t-shirts and the like are a no-no in partnering: it is easy for the guys fingers to get caught up in the strings and is much easier if you are wearing a good ol’ leotard!

Next up was some arabesque work with the girl pique-ing to arabesque promenade to a penchee promenade, then passe, devant, grand rond de jambe to a la seconde croise then to a final arabesque. This was a bit of a mental workout for me, every switch to a different pose would result in a weight shift for the girl (especially the a la seconde to arabesque), and the task for me was to slightly preempt this shift so that the changes were smooth. This was one point where keeping my arms stretched really helped, especially in the promenade. Holding the girl close resulted in me shuffling in a very non-graceful manner, whereas keeping her at arms length allowed me to effectively strut, and show the girl off for all to see.

One thing to note, that I stupidly didn’t realise to start with. When the girl is in penchee, it is nice to help her come back up by tilting her hips. On my first attempt I kind of left the girl down there and was confused why she wasn’t coming back up. Not only does the tilting help her up, but it also tells her when to rise – after all, the guy is in control!

Tiler Peck & Tyler Angle in a rather 'unconventional' partnering pose! (Estancia by Christopher Wheeldon, ©2010 Paul Kolnik)

This was also one of the points where Ed demonstrated the movement on me to help me understand what the girl was feeling. Having him tilt my hips while in penchee showed me just how much it helps the girl, and made me much more aware of my hands. I’ve also got a new found respect for the girls – it’s kind of scary trusting someone else when you are close to landing face-first on the floor. And I was only on demi-pointe!

While on the topic of demos, Ed and Marc also gave us an excerpt of a new piece ARB are doing this season, choreographed for 6 men and including a Pas de Deux between the two of them. I had seen this performed at the On Pointe session yesterday, and it is truly impressive stuff. Not only do the pair work very well together, but there are sections that are truly fascinating to watch – like Marc balanced on Ed’s thighs while he plies in second, or another point where Marc is in a one-armed handstand and Ed lift’s him from Marc’s other shoulder. If anyone lives in New Jersey, make sure you catch a performance!

Now came something new and exciting – finger turns! This is where the guy points a finger down above the girl’s head and she turns while loosely holding onto the finger to keep her balance. To start we did chaines across the floor, ending in a fondu to pique arabesque. As the guy I found that I should push down slightly on her fist, while the girl slightly pushes up. Otherwise, as with our first attempt, it is easy for the girl to lose her grip after which there is no way to reconnect while on the move. Also, something to note that seems obvious now but still proved slightly problematic – once the turns are over, the girl has to let go of the finger so that the guy can hold her in the arabesque!

Next up were more finger turns, but this time what I’ve deemed the ‘fouette finger turn’ (feel free to correct me with the proper term!). This is where the girl is in passe, right arm in high fifth grasping my right finger, and her left hand is in second holding my left. She then stretches to devant croise before whipping her leg around (and switching to passe) and turning. A lot of their initial movement comes from pushing off my left arm so it’s important for the guy to keep it strong – even giving them a little assistance. Then to stop them you catch their left hand as it is crossing your chest and ‘stretch them out’ as they finish turning. I was amazed how quickly we got the knack of this move – and all three girls were soon knocking out double – and it looks really impressive! I did get ‘told off’ for watching the girl in the mirror instead of in ‘real life';after all there aren’t mirrors on stage!

Following straight on from these turns were fouette turns without the finger – now it was up to me to give her the start of the turn from the hips. This is another case of the guy not only helping the girl, but also dictating when the turn should start. It turns out you can give quite a strong push/pull and get quite a few turns out of the girls! Oh, and girls please keep your arms in during these turns! I got a couple of bashes on the way around…

Next up was something that was really cool – the fish dive! The girl starts in arabesque and the guy wraps one arm under her hips and brings the other under her arabesque leg to meet the other hand on her far hip. Next the guy lifts her (and as Marc pointed out, the more you lift the easier it is) and she brings her ‘standing’ leg to passe as the guy steps back and kind of lunges. As the guy ,if you lift your elbows it seems to help the girl keep her back up and then make sure to place her back on her pointe. Oh, and if you are carrying the girl across stage (as we practiced) you have got to keep your chest lifted; not only does it look better, but it allows for better support.

As a bit of a break from the complicated stuff, we practiced a simple walk/run across the stage. Simple, right? As with all of partnering, it was a little more subtle than at first sight. The guy holds the girls right hand in his, and has his left on her back. This lets him once again control when the movement starts, by a little push on her back (not too hard!).

What followed was what Ed and Marc both said is one of the hardest things to master in partnering – an attitude promenade. This was done by a clasping of palms/wrists and virtually all the turning torque was from the first two fingers of both partners. What resulted was an “S” shape forming from the partners arms, and keeping shoulders strong and locked the guy walks around in a perfect circle. As the guy, it is inevitably our responsibility to match the girl’s pace, and if the girl starts to get ahead of you there is nothing for you to do but quicken your step! For something that looks so simple, it’s really hard to get right, and just because you start the promenade well doesn’t mean you’ll be able to finish it!

We finished with lifts again, heading straight into successive sous-sous’s and entrechat sixes. Once again, these seemed to have improved from last week and so we went on to our final move – the shoulder sit. After Ed had given the girls instructions in how to sit down (bums out!) we gave it a go (with Ed and Marc spotting the girl to ensure no mishaps).

To start I didn’t lift the girl high enough and she simply slid back down my chest. No good.

Next try I really made sure to lift the girl and, on Ed and Marc’s suggestion, thought more of putting my shoulder under her, than putting her over on onto my shoulder. Suddenly, bingo! It worked! There she was, resting on my shoulder and I could have kept her up there for as long as I wanted (okay, that’s not quite true, but it was surprising how easy it was to keep her up there!). All of a sudden though, shemoved slightly and the spell was broken, resulting in her sliding down my chest again as I placed her down. It still felt pretty awesome for those few moments when it worked. One note for the girls that Ed stressed – please, please, please bring your ‘standing’ leg up to attitude. Don’t, whatever you do, swing it back at all – us guys would like to have kids one day!

And just like that, class was done, and so was the two-part masterclass. Arguably I enjoyed this week more, as I felt I got the knack more, and we got to do some pretty advanced (at least to me) stuff. Overall, I couldn’t believe that in only 3 hours total we had manged to do some very impressive looking stuff – this truly felt like we were not just ‘doing’ Ballet, but ‘performing’ Ballet too. Talking to Ed and Marc afterwards it seems they thought I had improved a lot too, which was nice to hear.

I then headed to grab a Starbucks and fill in my dance journal (a good 3 pages worth of notes!). As I was just starting to write, the owner of the studio walked in, and immediately came over to say thanks again for me coming to the workshop. I assured her that the pleasure had been all mine, and told her just how much I had enjoyed it. She then asked if I was getting a chance to perform much. After telling her about Coppelia coming up she said how she was wondering if I would be interested in doing a Pas de Deux with one of the girls in their Spring gala.

Me. Doing a Pas de Deux. Seriously?! She was thinking of asking Ed to work with me and one of the girls to choreograph a Pas for us to perform if I was interested. I assured her I was most certainly interested but it would depend on when/where/how and other logistics. So as of yet there is nothing definite (I don’t think she has talked to Ed yet either) but if I can fit it in before I have to leave the US I definitely want to do this! I think the performance is scheduled after I have to leave, but I’m going to try my best to fit it in. And you can be sure that if it does come to fruition, I will most certainly be blogging all about it!

So that is the end of partnering for me – or at least for now. It’s been an intense and awesome experience, and has made me all the more determined to try and keep up the partnering in the future if possible. Surely, someone out there needs a partner?

To finish I want to share this awesome rehearsal video from Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Swan Lake – it shows up close some excellent partnering, including an over-the-head fish which is pretty cool. Needless to say, I can’t do most of the things this pair can do, but I thought it was cool so thought I’d show you all!

Birmingham Royal Ballet – Swan Lake rehearsals from Rob Lindsay on Vimeo.

Until next time, keep dancing!

Partnering – C’est tres difficile!

You’re at the theatre watching a full-length classical Ballet, and they’ve just reached the iconic Pas de Deux. Let’s forget the variations at the moment and just concentrate on the entrée, adagio and coda. There’s the gorgeous Ballerina looking resplendent in her tutu, and the handsome Prince supporting her as she pirouettes, arabesques and penchées.

As a guy, I’ve always though this must be the easiest part of the Ballet for the danseur – I mean he just has to stand there while the Ballerina does all the work, right? Wrong.

I want to dispel a myth right now. That partnering is easy for a guy. No way! I attended a partnering workshop today and although I can’t speak for the girls, as a guy it’s certainly a lot harder than it looks!

If you’re here looking for a load of tips on partnering from the pro’s, you’re out of luck. Instead, check out the amazing post that Henrik and Rebecca from Tights & Tiaras and Tendus Under A Palm Tree have just done – A Virtual Pas de Deux. They’ve posted part one, and they’ll be putting up part two very soon. It’s a great article all about partnering from the people in the know.

Instead of all that useful knowledge, I’m going to talk about what went through my head as we went through the class, and what I learned from it. The second half of the workshop is next Saturday so I’ll write another post after that to see if anything has changed!

So how did I end up at the workshop? Well on Wednesday after a great class, my teacher Edward Urwin approached me saying he was hosting a partnering workshop at the weekend and thought it would be “right up my alley.” To say I was interested was a complete understatement – I had accepted the fact that open enrolment partnering classes just don’t exist, so to get this unexpected chance to take part in one was a dream come true. I was slightly worried that I wouldn’t be good enough but Ed reassured me that, even if the girls had more Ballet training than me, we would all be beginners at partnering so I should be fine.

So I headed to Doylestown, PA this morning slightly nervous and not really sure what to expect. Ed had trained at this studio when he was younger, and was returning to teach this workshop and a boy’s class. Upon arriving, I saw immediately that it was a much smaller studio than Princeton – only one room, and no guys changing room! Nipping to the men’s bathroom down the hall I got changed and waited while the girls did their pointe warm-up class.

Ed soon arrived, along with Marc St-Pierre, another of the company dancers – he had actually danced the Cavalier in ARB’s Nutcracker when I saw it in December and was absolutely brilliant. The girls had had to take class beforehand, plus pointe warm-up to make sure they were ready, but nothing like that had been mentioned for the guys. I later realised this was because I wouldn’t be doing that much actual dancing per se, but I made sure I got warmed up in the corridor – I might not be about to do loads of pirouettes, but I would still be doing plenty pliés and lunging, which you don’t want to be doing with cold muscles.

We headed in to the studio, and the girls lined up in height order to get paired with partners. There were 7 girls in total, and 4 guys (Ed, Marc, a 13 year old boy who SI-ed at SAB and me [feeling totally inadequate compared to the other guys!]). Having three of the guys at around 6 foot 1 and the boy nearer 5 foot meant the splitting was pretty straightforward and after some (very) brief introductions to my two partners, class began.

First thing we learnt: partnering is all about trust (with a little bit of timing too). Second thing: if something goes wrong, it’s always the guy’s fault (even when it’s not). So no pressure there then!

Paloma Herrera and Marcelo Gomes make it look easy - but it's harder than it looks!

Our first exercise was simple enough, the girls sous-sous-ed and then the guys tilted them right, left, forward and back while the girls kept their feet still. Sounds easy, right? Like pretty much everything else in the class, this was harder than it looks/sounds! First off, as a guy I needed to make sure I was holding the girl in the right place – on the hips, not the waist; and the girls had to keep straight and almost plank-like to avoid shifting their weight unexpectedly. When we moved onto doing the same with passé, things got a little easier as both of us relaxed a little. As Ed told us, if the girl is balanced she should feel weightless to the partner, when we feel weight on our hands it means she isn’t quite there.

We moved onto turns, both initiated from the guy and the girl. From the guy’s end, the onus was on us to both push and pull on the girl’s hips to rotate them to keep them over their leg. It turns out that my timid first efforts weren’t enough to get the girl around, and even by the end of the class I still was finding every so often I would not quite give them the impetus to make the full 360 – I was just worried I was going to turn them too quick!

Another point I never thought of – when on stage, most of the time the girl won’t be able to see the guy – you have to communicate tactilely. So if the girl is about to go for a string of pirouettes, make sure you have her hips before she starts her plié – else you might have slipped and be clutching a broken ankle and she would know nothing of it! I also started to realise that everything the guy does on stage is all about presenting the girl: she bourrées forward, you spread your arms to second to frame her; you hold her on balance, she must be in front and the centre of attention. To be honest, as someone who is a little nervous about holding the limelight, this is alright by me!

After some pirouette practice (some successful, some not so much!), we did a string of balances and ‘gateways’. It’s amazing how quickly a string of balances transformed from an exercise into choreography – just the simple combination of arabesque to passé to devant finishing with a pirouette had a real sense of achievement and ‘dance’ to it.

The ‘gateways’ were a lot of fun – this was where the girl went from balance to balance by virtue of the guy holding her hands and moving her arms to transition her. From an arabesque (I think the girls arms were in fourth arabesque?) we transitioned to passé with both our arms in second, then turned to attitude with her balanced on one outstretched arm, which finished with a promenade. This was where I realised how important it is to keep your shoulders square while partnering – if you twist she has no chance of staying with you!

Finally, we finished with a basic lift – girl in sous-sous, she pliés and jumps while the guy lifts from behind and does a she royale, entrechat six or the like. This was a lot of fun – the main points to remember (as the guy) is to plié along with the girl and make sure it is a sharp up and slow down.

Definitely no fish dives yet! I just couldn't resist this stunning picture of Tamara Rojo and Carlos Acosta...

And all of a sudden the 90 minute class was over! It had flown by and had been a lot of fun. True, it was a bit stressful and nerve-wracking but also so enlightening. One thing I found really interesting was the differences between my two partners – in different sections, they were ‘easier’ or ‘harder’ to partner (or maybe instead I was better or worse at the partnering). I think the correlation was that the more confident the girl seemed to be at a movement, the easier it was to partner.

Anyways, overall it was a great class and a really interesting insight into partnering. I can’t wait for next weekend, and am just disappointed that I won’t get the chance to do it regularly! Anyone know of any regular partnering classes in NJ?!? Oh, and feel free to share your partnering tips and experiences in the comments!

That’s it for now – but I’ll be posting my thoughts next week after the second class! In the meantime, I’m also hoping to post later this week about the link between mathematics and Ballet – so keep your eyes peeled…

Until next time, keep dancing!

An Evening of Swans: New York City Ballet’s Swan Lake

Before I get to my review of New York City Ballet’s production, I want to talk about Swan Lake for a bit. I mean, this is the Big One. You ask a random passer-by in the street to name a Ballet and I would expect nine times out of ten to hear “Swan Lake” be uttered.

The Lincoln Center on the Perfect Thursday

So why is this Ballet just so iconic? Well to start with there is the Music, with a big fat capital M. This is some of Tchaikovsky’s finest work, and in my eyes the finale is one of the greatest pieces of music he ever wrote. Then there is the eternal theme of good versus evil, embodied by the dual role of Odette and Odile. Over all of this there is the overarching theme of love, and of course the dual theme of lust. This story seems as old as memories, yet is as relevant today as it ever was.

So it was on a perfect Thursday evening that I arrived at the David Koch Theatre. I had spent the afternoon in Central Park in the sunshine reading through some maths papers and wandered over to the Lincoln Center for the 8pm performance. The square was abuzz, and I soon realised why – New York Fashion Week. All around me were models and paparazzi – thank God I had dressed up!

So onto the Ballet. Tonight our Swan Queen was going to be played by Teresa Reichlen, who would be partnered by Tyler Angle playing Siegfried; both debuting in their respective roles. The choreography was by Peter Martins, who was inspired both by the traditional Petipa and Ivanov Ballet, and Balachine’s single act version. There would be two acts, although in reality due to scene changes it was the traditional four acts.

The cause of all the hubbub - New York Fashion Week!

As I took my seat towards the front of the fourth ring I heard the oboe and harp warming up, playing those familiar and famous motifs that immediately got me excited. The entire theatre was sold out, and had been for some time (I can’t help but be cynical and wonder if a certain movie had something to do with that). Even the standing room right at the back of the fourth ring was full!

The lights dimmed and the orchestra started, albeit to a slightly shaky start, but soon were on top form. There would be no prologue here, the orchestra simply played the opening music for us to revel in it’s lusciousness.

As the curtain rose, Troy Schumacher appeared in his orange Jester’s outfit and the dancing began. Schumacher was a superb Jester, injecting just enough humour to get laughs from the audience, but restraining himself before it got corny. Add to that some fantastic technique (his post-nap turns were superb) and you have a highly commendable performance.

The corps were great, although I do want to mention their costumes. I just didn’t quite get the men’s costumes! To my eyes it looked like they were wearing baggy jumpers that had been attacked with a knife to leave a load of slashes. What ever happened to the good old doublet? The children were adorable too – garnering many oohs and ahs from the audience.

We were soon introduced to our Prince, and he briefly showed us some magnificent lines in arabesque before taking a seat to watch the Pas de Trois. The Pas de Trois was danced masterfully by Christian Tworzyanski, Lauren King and Ashley Loracey; all excelling individually whilst concurrently working as a well gelled unit. I’m not sure which of the girls had the first variation, but she really stood out for me.

After the festivities were over, and the Prince goes off hunting (Angle showing us yet more brilliant lines while dancing with his golden crossbow) we are introduced to our Swan Queen for the evening, the gorgeous Reichlen.

I’m going to take a moment now just to say outright that Reichlen was truly stunning. I can’t quite believe that this was her debut performance as Odette/Odile – she looked like she had been dancing the role her whole life. As Odette she conveyed a sense of young naïve love, whilst not appearing weak or frail. This was a White Swan that although fragile, still had a backbone – as I imagine all the City principals do!

Our Swan Queen - the gorgeous Teresa Reichlen

Some specifics about Reichlen: firstly we have got to mention her legs. Wow. Seriously. She could snare any Prince she wanted with those legs, and when she was in attitude it almost seemed like she was wrapping herself around Siegfried with them. When she was turned while in a deep penchée it was phenomenal. Add to this her arched back and she truly became the swan she portrayed. There was a quality to this movement that just made you think of a graceful yet powerful bird, like the natural arch to a swan’s neck.

The corps swans were fantastic, and precisely together. I was highly impressed with their choreography – the interlinking that Martins had set appealed to my mathematical side and was accompanied by the sound of twenty or so pairs of pointe shoes bourre-ing across the floor; reminiscent of the beating of wings. This was definitely one part where I was glad I was in the fourth ring – I had the perfect view of the formations and saw the skill in Martins choreography that I think would have been lost from lower down.

As the corps swans ‘became the lake’ we were treated to the White Swan Pas de Deux. It was just as stunning as you would expect, and Reichlen and Angle really managed to convey their love for one another, as well as dancing it beautifully.

We were also treated to the iconic dance of the cygnets, which never fails to impress me when I see a version of it being performed. This was no exception, with the girls being perfectly in sync and moving as one. I’m always amazed that they don’t clash legs or pull apart from each other. The same is true in the later dance of the swans – having twenty dancers doing tour jetes seems a recipe for clashing, yet this performance was clean and precise.

Soon Act I was over and Odette returned to von Rothbart (played by Ask la Cour) as the sun rose. I was left speechless during the interval, with my only disappointment being how little Siegfried had danced in this act, even his variation seemed a little short.

Act II began at the palace ballroom and one of the first things we see is Schumacher’s Jester as he briefly introduces the ‘international’ dancers. He soon takes the floor himself, this time joined by three young Jesters. What followed was a fantastic showcase of these young boy’s skill, accompanied by Schumacher’s virtuosic moves.

Next up is the international divertissements – interrupted by the arrival of von Rothbart and Odile, but I’ll discuss that in a moment. First up was the Pas de Quatre (although it started out as a Pas de Trois and I was unsure if this was intentional or not). This was skilfully danced and all four dancers brought something a little different to the relationship – there was definitely a love-quadrangle going on there! I was very impressed with the Czardas, much more than I expected to be – with very exact and passionate dancing. Arabian followed, which is usually my least favourite of the divertissements. This is mainly due to Arabian generally being a little to fluid for my liking, resulting in an almost greasy feel to the dance, yet this was a very exact choreography which I really appreciated. One thing I do have to say though – what the heck was going on with the male dancers costume? A purple skirt? Really? When the man has a longer skirt than his partner (or any skirt for that matter) something has gone wrong! Wait, according to the program it wasn’t Arabian after all, but Russian?!? Now I’m seriously confused…

Spanish followed which was my least favourite piece of the entire night. It was danced very well but the choreography left me a little bored. Barring a couple of floor-cleaning leg sweeps there didn’t seem to be much substance there for me. Finally there was the Neapolitan Dance which I thoroughly enjoyed, partly as the choreography was evenly matched between the male and female dancer. Backed by four girls the pair echoed each other perfectly and produced a really well balanced ending to the divertissements.

Okay, so now it was time for the biggie, the Black Swan Pas de Deux. Out comes Reichlen and Angle, and even from the high altitude of the fourth ring I could see the confident smirk on Odile’s face. This was Reichlen at her most provocative, and not only that, but also deliciously taunting in her moves – dancing with absolute confidence in herself. I can see why she has been praised for her role as the Siren in Prodigal Son – if she can bring this level of seduction to the role, I would be mightily impressed too!

So it started, and for the next few minutes I barely breathed. In fact, my breath is taken away now just thinking of it. Reichlen and Angle commanded the stage and set it alight, helped by Martins brilliant choreography. Their performance demanded our intense attention, and good God did they deserve it! There was technique, there was passion, there was love, there was lust, there was deception.

And after a brilliant duet and pair of variations, there were the fouettés. The iconic 32 fouettés. Possibly the most talked about set of turns in all of Ballet. I’ve watched multiple versions of these on DVD and YouTube, but there is something magical about seeing them in real life. This was a woman doing something that, on first glance should be impossible, right in front of your eyes. Follow that with Angle’s precise and impressive sequence of a la seconde turns and by the end of the coda I wanted to jump to my feet in appreciation.

As Odile’s deception is revealed to the Prince he runs off to find his betrayed love. As the ballroom disappears to reveal the forest again, the swans reappear, although much more agitated than earlier. Odette appears (how does Reichlen get changed so quick?) and hides herself among her subjects. After searching and searching, the Prince finally finds her at the same time as von Rothbart appears along with a regiment of black swans.

In a nice twist to the usual ending, Siegfried’s repentance and our duo’s love is enough to kill the evil sorcerer and overcome his hoard of swans (this include a fantastic image of Odette stood defiantly with Siegfried in front of her subjects). Wait, so a Ballet is actually going to have a happy ending? Woah, let’s not get ahead of ourselves here! Turns out that even though their love can kill some guy who can turn wistful princesses into swans, it can’t counteract the original spell and so Odette is condemned to being a Swan for all eternity. Ah, there we go with the good ol’ depressing end to the Ballet!

As the curtain calls started I rose to my feet to give Reichlen and Angle (and the whole Company) my deepest appreciation. This had truly been a magical night and one I will not forget. Thank you New York City Ballet, and thank you Tyler Angle and Teresa Reichlen. There is a reason that this limited-run of Swan Lake is completely sold out, and it has nothing to do with the Cinema Box Office. This is dancing of the highest degree, and with the most passion. Stunning!

Oh, and one last note – in an exciting turn of events, I’m going to be taking a Partnering Masterclass on Saturday! My teacher Ed is running it and asked me after class if I was interested (of course I was!). Needless to say I will be blogging all about it…

Until next time, keep dancing!

Coppelia – Rehearsal Schedule

So I just thought I’d put up a quick post because I received my rehearsal schedule for Coppelia today.

The first bit of excitement was finding out that Douglas Martin (my teacher and ARB Director) wants me to be in both the Matinee and Evening casts! I was really pleased to hear this, the more performing the better I say. Rehearsals are starting in March and here’s the numbers:

  • Total number of rehearsals: 6
  • Total number of put-togethers: 1
  • Total number of run-throughs: 2
  • Total number of theater rehearsals: 2
  • Total number of dress rehearsals: 2
  • Total number of performances: 2!

This all spans from March 18th to the performance date of May 7th. On the one hand, it seems like a lot to pack into just under two months, but then again I’m grateful to get as much practice in as I can before I get let loose on the stage…

As I mentioned previously, I’ll be dancing in the Czardas and on top of the rehearsals I need to get fitted for a costume at some point. I wonder what colour tights I’ll end up in? Needless to say, that isn’t a question I’ve ever asked myself before :) Oh, and it sounds like the performances may be recorded which is awesome!

So I just thought I’d share this update and sometime soon I’m hoping to write a post all about the story of Coppelia. In the meantime I leave you with a clip of PNB’s Mara Vinson rehearsing a variation from Coppelia onstage for the first time:

(and if you haven’t checked out PNB’s YouTube channel have a search through their videos, tonnes of interesting stuff on there!)

Well on that note I have to head back to the land of maths and applications, but until next time, keep dancing!