The Nutcracker may have claimed another dancer: one of the professionals suffered a sprained ankle during rehearsal this weekend.
Maybe pointe shoes should come with a warning label?
These were a gift from Judy, a long-time friend who, coincidentally, is the producer of WETA Arts. She'd been reading some of my intentionally vague Facebook postings about Midsummer, had tracked down when and where the performances were, and had not only taken time out of her crazy-busy schedule to drive 70 miles each way to attend, but also brought that bouquet. I was deeply touched.
After Midsummer I called her to thank her for coming to our performance. One of the things we talked about was how frustrating I'd found it to take seemingly endless classes but not have performance opportunities. This led to a more wide-ranging discussion of what motivates adult ballet students.
For some years I've advocated for more options for adult ballet dancers. I think many adult dancers reach the point where endless classes with no options to explore further becomes frustrating. I've tried to encourage the school where I regularly take classes to offer options such as beginner pointe and partnering have been met with disinterest. My suggestions to a neighboring school associated with a large professional ballet company seemed to be having some effect, and after a hiatus because of the pandemic they've started offering adult pointe classes and even adult recitals.
The small professional ballet company I dance with (as supporting cast, not pro) offers a series of "Master Classes" each season. This fall there were two: a regular ballet class with one of the pros teaching and a live accompanist, and a beginning partnering class. I opted-out of the regular ballet class, as I have class with this instructor and accompanist every Wednesday, but I was very interested in the beginning partnering class.
Our little group of adult supporting cast has suffered its first casualty. One of our members has torn ligaments in her ankle, and will be off her foot for the next 6 weeks. Since our performances are in 7 weeks, she's out of the production.
We all wish her good healing and a speedy return to dance. I hope we see her in the audience in December, or the next audition this winter.
Sunday was the first supporting cast rehearsal for Ballet Embody's production of The Maryland Nutcracker. Although it uses the traditional Tchaikovsky music, the choreography is non-traditional. For example, instead of Drosselmeyer, there is Edgar Allen Poe.
When we auditioned, we danced a bit to what most people would identify as "Mother Gigogne". In previous years this has been a dance performed as a male solo, but now will have supporting cast backing. My reaction to the supporting cast choreography for this piece was that it was clearly "girly", but if they wanted me to dance those steps then I was going to do my best.