Students Grab the Spotlight

November 28, 2001

Dancing in the studio calls for strong technique, but commanding the stage of a major opera house requires a true performer. Boston Ballet students will get a chance to see if they have what it takes on May 18, when they take over The Boston Opera House for the second annual Next Generation program. A showcase for future talent, the performance includes live music played by students from the New England Conservatory. Sixteen-year-old Lily Wisdom, who’s in Boston Ballet School’s top preprofessional level, will perform a piece choreographed by faculty member Kathleen Mitchell in this year’s show.


: What did you perform last year?


Lily Wisdom: I did Scherzo a la Russe by Balanchine and a classical piece choreographed by Andre Reyes, one of our teachers. Scherzo is based on folk dances so it’s character dancing in pointe shoes, which was really different for me. And with all of the different formations, I learned what it’s like to dance in a corps.


: How does performing in a major opera house affect your dancing?


LW: It was amazing. I perform there with the company for Nutcracker every year, but only in the background, so I don’t get to really dance much. This is so different because it’s only students onstage—it’s a special showcase just for us. It forces us to make our movement bigger and project more.


: What it’s like being accompanied by New England Conservatory students?


LW: I love it because we’re all students in it together. And because it’s live, it’s not always the same, so that actually gives us more of a professional environment.


: What do you like most about this experience?


LW: It’s basically what being a professional dancer is all about: You rehearse and take classes at the same time, and you work up to being at the theater. We have such an intense schedule, it gives us an idea of the day of a company member and what they go through to prepare for a performance. And after always working on technique, performing is when we get to have fun.