Tag Archives: Nutcracker rehearsal

One week from the theater

How’s this for a “welcome back to ballet” after Thanksgiving break.

We hadn’t rehearsed or had classes since last Monday. Today, we ran Act I and Act II complete for both casts (I do both casts for two of my three parts, but since the guy I alternate with as party dad didn’t show, I did everything twice).

Walked into the studio at 11:30. Staggered out at 4:30.

Usually, this mother of all rehearsals is for fine-tuning before we hit the theater a week from tonight. But the head of the drama department from a local university is now helping Mr. O with the production … so suddenly, we get major changes to the party scene and the battle scene (which impacts me most, I may have to relearn how I do things during theater week).

So far, no major changes for Act II, but I could have done better in Chinese. My timing was off about an eighth on my jumps. And I missed my mark by a panel and nearly hit the girls who were doing pique turns in a circle right in front of me. Those weren’t major mistakes, but I want to do better when it really counts.

Last major rehearsal in the studio is Act I complete on Saturday. Then I’ll spend the rest of the day helping carry props and costumes over to the theater, and helping with set up.

Then, this time next week, we will have wrapped Act II spacing rehearsal … with the real madness beginning next Monday. Hard to believe it’s close.


Dancing on tired legs

If my legs could talk, they’d tell me to take the elevator tomorrow when I go to my second floor college class in the morning.

They are sore … the good sore … and with good reason.

Three classes, two long Nutcracker rehearsals, all since Saturday morning.

Saturday, we worked on Act II finale waltz (which was fairly easy). But Sunday was the bear, Act I complete. I rehearsed my role as party dad (really easy). But the guest artist from the Rock School who is performing soldier doll and lead Russian has not arrived yet.

So I performed soldier doll twice. My timing is much better, but note to self: where warmups and tights next time because doing pirouettes in blue jeans is a killer. And do plies, stretch and warm up next time. Lesson learned.

And I did the dreaded Nutcracker bed (under a bed, in a harness, pulling a 50-75 pound Clara) twice during battle scene run throughs.

And then, I went to two ballet classes today. Pretty crazy, right?

They were both fun and challenging. Mr. O stayed in stamina building mode. Combinations were fairly simple. And, despite the tired legs, I was pretty consistent with my pirouettes. They’re getting there.

Dawn C’s classes continue to be the hardest for me, in part because we do combinations I’m still not as familiar with. I’m working on those pique-arabesque turns. Eventually, they’ll come.

Love her therapeutic barre at the beginning of class. For tired legs, it’s what the doctor ordered.

She also had us do a grande allegro combination that really rocked (chasse pas de bouree’ assemble’ right, chasse three times, assemble left, chasse tour jete’ three times). I think that was my best combination of the night.

I really am beginning to appreciate the way she teaches. She is more formal, more strict. And she will call the entire class out if we’re not performing the combination correctly,

My tired legs will now get somewhat of a break.

There is no class tomorrow. I’ve got Mr. O’s open advanced class on Wednesday, then no dancing until Mrs. O’s Saturday morning class, which will be followed by Act II complete rehearsal. It will be my first rehearsal to dance Chinese full out.

We’ll rehearse Act I again on Sunday, followed by two classes on Monday again.

If tradition holds, we’ll break for Thanksgiving the rest of the week before returning for an intense rehearsal on Sunday.

Tech week is rapidly approaching.

Ending class to applause

Improvise. Do your own thing.

That was what Mr. O wanted us to do for the final combination from the diagonal.

I’ve never been one to fully be able to do that until today’s. I was at the end of the line.

I chose to do a ton be pas de bouree assemble’ front tour en’lair combination that ends with a pirouette following the third tour.

Mr. O praised my attempt to land my double pirouette at the end of the combination on the right side.

“If you ended the pirouette down on your knee, that would look really cool,” he told me.

Challenge accepted.

I ended the combination down on my knee on the left side.

My majority company dancing classmates applauded.

It was a really cool feeling.

It was once again a really good class. The petite allegro combinations were a bit tricky, but I was able to do them even though I was a bit sloppy.

But my turns continue to be pretty solid. I did quite a few clean doubles today. Maybe I’m breaking through.

Making my day even better? Mr. O asked me if I wanted to be in a piece he is putting together in January (it will be a country music-ballet piece, not a fan of country, but I so want to be in the piece).

Oh yeah, I’m doing soldier doll in Nutcracker party scene rehearsal on Sunday (in the absence of the guest artist performing it). Wish me luck. The steps seem reasonably doable. I’ve just got to be on time with the music.