There have been so many blog posts and articles about how ballet and ballerinas are portrayed in Black Swan, that I feel sort of guilty piling yet another one on, but I'm going to anyway. A recent conversation with a friend suggested just one more topic that can be addressed as a result of the movie: The violence of ballet itself.
The time has come for the last performance of the Ballet Grand Prix Tour. The Fillmore at the Jackie Gleason Theater auditorium is beautiful. Chandeliers hanging from the ceiling make me feel very special while I am on stage. I really wanted to enjoy the last performance on the tour so I could end this experience on a good note! The whole time I've been here, I have been so happy, along with my fellow dancers from Southland Ballet Academy.
In January, I wrote about making plans for the year ahead, and drawing on past experiences to make sure you're taking the right steps. There are those among us, though, that are about to embark on a journey that nothing can really prepare you for: College!
Wow! Already time for the second performance? The time on the tour has been flying by so quickly! My schedule today consisted of the following: At 9 AM my studio members went down to have breakfast, where we saw all the other student performers and some of the professionals. After that, the entire group from the show took a class taught by Mikhail Kaniskin, a professional from the Berlin State Opera Ballet who is performing two contemporary pieces. Then we had a run-through of the entire show.
Click here to watch video footage from the 2011 Tremplin Jeunes Ballets. Look for more on the event in an upcoming issue of Pointe.
The dreaded audition tour: It's a time-consuming, expensive, nerve-wracking part of a young dancer's career. And yet, until a few years ago, it was pretty much the only way to get a job, particularly if you had your sights set on a company on the other side of the country--or the world.
Off to the next city: Charleston! We drove for four hours before finally arriving in South Carolina. After a long morning on the bus, we moved into our new hotel, then scurried off to rehearsal at the Galliard Auditorium. The stage was really big, as was the audience. After rehearsing, we all went to a group dinner, which was really enjoyable!
Traveling is a big part of a tour. Today, the Ballet Grand Prix group of students took an eight hour long bus trip! The drive took us to our destination in Alabama, where we would spend the night and rest for another four hour drive the next day. While on the bus, my friends and I played games, caught up on sleep, watched movies and enjoyed each others company. This long trip enabled everyone to get to know one another a little better. In all, the day was pretty relaxing and helped the dancers to revive their energy from the opening performance in Germantown.
While warming up in the wings today at the Germantown Performing Arts Center, I noticed some pre-show rituals that the professional dancers used. Running around the stage seemed to be the most popular. Everyone was very relaxed, joking around and laughing. Praying and vigorous relevés also took place. I also noticed that some of the dancers were hurt, yet when they stepped onto the stage they completely tuned their injuries out.