Being A Super with ABT

A company is only as strong as the sum of its parts—and at ABT, each member plays their part to the utmost. I had the opportunity to be a super in ABT’s Taipei productions of La Bayadere this weekend, playing one of the two girls who stand on stage left during the pas d’ action scene in Act I when Nikiya takes gets bitten by the snake.

 

It was amazing to take part in rehearsal and see how the company works behind the scenes. The company takes a lot of things with them on tour—costumes, sets (even the huge Buddha head for Act III!) and each dancer's stage bag which contains things they use in the dressing rooms. In addition to 130 dancers, ABT also came with their stage and wardrobe crew to facilitate scene changes and quick costume changes.

 

I would get into my costume early and sit by the stage just to watch the dancers warm up. During the performance, I usually stood and watched from the wings (except during the Kingdom of the Shades, when no one is allowed in the backstage area because the dancers need to focus). I felt like I had the best seat in the house as I got to watch Hee Seo, Marcelo Gomes, Cory Stearns, Paloma Herrera and Veronika Part dance up close. The hardest part of my role was to make sure I didn’t let my jaw drop involuntarily because I was so in awe of these stars. The dancers get into character so well, and I was really moved by the expressiveness of their bodies and faces.  

 

Being among the hard-working dancers and crew these past few days has made me realize what a spectacular company ABT is. They had just finished performing an eight-week season at the Met and immediately packed their bags for Taipei. Their next stop is Seoul, Korea, where they will be dancing Giselle for the lucky audiences there.

 

Latest Posts


Pacific Northwest Ballet's Sarah-Gabrielle Ryan, photographed by Jayme Thornton for Pointe

The Radiant Sarah-Gabrielle Ryan: Why She's One to Watch at Pacific Northwest Ballet

Hollywood could make a movie about Sarah-Gabrielle Ryan's big break at Pacific Northwest Ballet.

It was November 2017, and the company was performing Crystal Pite's film-noir–inspired Plot Point, set to music by Bernard Hermann from Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. Ryan, then a first-year corps member, originally was understudying the role of another dancer. But when principal Noelani Pantastico was injured in a car accident, Ryan was tapped to take over her role.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Lauren Veyette corrects a student during class. Ariel Rose, Courtesy Veyette Virtual Ballet School.

COVID-19 Has Made It Easier to Train Outside Your Studio—but Should You?

Of all the unprecedented effects the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the dance world, perhaps the most unthinkable a year ago was the forced pivot to online training. With many studios mandated to close, we've outfitted our homes with barres and marley and harnessed technology to create more learning opportunities than ever before. And now, as some studios reopen for in-person classes (either fully or in hybrid form) and others remain online, it's easier to supplement your school's offerings by adding virtual master classes—or even going to another school for in-studio time. But while being able to take class from anyone, anywhere, offers great opportunities, there are pitfalls to jumping from teacher to teacher. It's important to balance out the pros and cons of creating your own "COVID curriculum."

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Daniil Simkin gives advice during his master class series. Courtesy Dance Masterclass.

In This Master Class Series, Stars Like Daniil Simkin Share Their Technique and Artistry Secrets

Have you ever wondered what Daniil Simkin thinks about when he whips off a series of effortless pirouettes? Or how Polina Semionova initiates her "swan arms" when she dances Odette/Odile? Both dancers are now part of a new streaming platform called Dance-Masterclass, which offers targeted lessons from the ballet world's biggest stars to dancers of all levels. Launched in February, the platform presents 10 to 12-plus gorgeously filmed lessons from a new master teacher each month, with options allowing for private feedback.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks