Lots of stuff to catch up on here…
Last I left off I think I was rehearsing (or at least cast) as a supernumerary for Boston Ballet’s production of “Le Corsaire.” Fabulous experience. I have a half-finished blog post to publish on that. But in case it continues to linger in my draft folder we’ll fast forward…
Through home company’s Nutcracker (limited participation in that due to Corsaire, but had a good run as a Rosebud).
To the beginning of spring when home company presented an intimate in-studio show/fundraiser where I got to participate in a couple newly-choreographed contemporary ballet pieces which was a nice change of pace.
To the end-of-year studio production that I watched from the audience because of scheduling conflict with Boston Ballet’s “The Sleeping Beauty.” I couldn’t pass up another chance to super! I suppose appearing as a court lady in which I mostly stood around in a ridiculous wig, gaudy and heavy gown, and gestured at the dancers isn’t quite as fun as actual dancing, but it was worth it to give up the one day of dancing on stage with the studio for a month’s worth of sitting on stage as part of a professional production! I’ll try to write a post about that experience, too.
But for now… we’re heading into summer which for the past few years has pretty much been down time. We haven’t done any summer ballets in a few years and I wasn’t invited to be in any of the small pieces that the company did. I took advantage of the down time to do the BBS Adult Summer Dance Program three years in a row which let me take classes from a lot of excellent teachers and build strength and exposed me to some classical rep and variations. But as much as I enjoyed that, I was pretty excited to find out that it won’t be in the cards this year because the home company is once again doing a full ballet this summer!
For one thing, it’s nice to work toward a big production that’s NOT Nutcracker. I’m not bashing the Nut, but it starts to feel a bit routine after a while. And for another, we’re doing A Midsummer Night’s Dream which was the first full-length ballet I ever did… not just with this company but in my life!
Six years ago I was happy just to take part, and my big excitement was finding out that I was cast in one of the divertissements, along with the more staid roles of villager and courtier. That felt like a huge accomplishment having only been back in the studio for six months after a decade away.
But fast-forward to this year and the announcement that we were doing MND again and I can’t deny that I set my hopes a little higher. That being said, the studio has grown and there is a larger group of people that the director can choose from to carry the big roles, so I knew I had to keep my expectations realistic. I tried to keep in mind the attitude of my hero, Sarah Wroth, recently retired after 14 years in the corps at Boston Ballet… she never got the attention I (and many others) think she deserved, but every time I saw her perform, no matter the role, she treated it like she was thrilled to be dancing it and she was the swaniest swan or the nursiest nursemaid or the friendliest friend of Aurora you ever saw. So while I had my aspirations along with hopes based more on reality, I tried to prepare myself in my mind for the possibility that I’d be “3rd fruit vendor from the right” and that I’d do my best to rock my peasant frock and sell my apples, goddammit. Still…
Auditions came around and… you know, I felt pretty good. Did I nail everything given to us? Uh, hahahaha, no. I don’t think anyone did! But I also didn’t walk out of there kicking myself for any stupid fumbles or embarrassing missteps. So I felt like I did everything I could and it was up to the director from there. If in fact I did end up as 3rd fruit vendor from the right then that was what I deserved and I would have my sulk in private, get over it, and go into the first rehearsal with my attitude firmly stowed away in the baggage compartment, ready to give it my all.
So, cast list came out. There are no fruit vendors, to the left or the right, by the way! And I was thrilled to see that I attained what I set out to do. I was cast as “Starling” one of the lead faeries. And I’m also in one of the divertissements (a newly-added one).
All in all very pleased, not only for myself but for my fellow dancers. It looks like some of the roles have been changed to reflect the abilities of our current crop of dancers. A lot of the kids from the last time we presented this are older teenagers and capable of a doing a lot more. And there are adults who have progressed since then, too. So the villagers from the opening scene are no more and instead there is a group of queen’s maidens (I assume they’ll be en pointe) and some lady’s maids who are adult women not on pointe. The fairie hierarchy has been shifted a bit. I love that no matter how many times we present a show, it always gets tweaked at least a little bit so there’s always something new to look forward to!
That’s what I’m up to this summer! Hope that any of my readers still out there are still dancing the dream!