Tricia Albertson kisses Didier Bramaz after finding the perfect hat in The Concert. Photo by Alexander Iziliaev, Courtesy Miami City Ballet.

Miami City Ballet's Tricia Albertson on Finding Her Comedic Side in Jerome Robbins' "The Concert"

Tricia Albertson, as told to Gavin Larsen.

I like to make people laugh, so I was excited to be cast as the Mad Ballerina in Jerome Robbins' The Concert. But the character herself didn't feel like me. She's so bubbly and excited, and I'm a bit more pensive (when it comes to ballet, at least). I didn't want her to come across as stupid—she's still thoughtful. I guess you could say she's flighty, but it's just that she's so excited about the music at the concert that everything else is a blur to her.


Timing is so important in comedy, so it was fun to experiment with that and think about what would read from the audience. If you go way over the top, it can lose the sensibility and humor. Jean-Pierre Frohlich, a répétiteur for the Robbins Rights Trust, gave us a lot of really good coaching. He talked to me about facial expressions and timing, especially in the scene where I'm trying on the hats. He said to take my time, really look in the mirror and think about whether I liked each hat or not, so that by the last one I could genuinely think "Oh, yeah, this is the one!" In the scene where I dance with the Shy Boy, my character is thinking "Now, we're going to dance!" and she does so without caring that she's plowing him over.

I start getting into character as I'm doing my hair and makeup, talking to myself in a high, excited voice. Once onstage, there are so many details to focus on; at first I was worried about doing everything correctly. But when I heard the audience react, I realized I could relax a little without losing the details.

Albertson in "The Concert." Photo by Alexander Iziliaev, Courtesy Miami City Ballet.

What's challenging is keeping the ballerina's characterization consistent. Each section of the ballet shows a different side of her, but I wanted to make sure she was still the same person throughout. And because it's a comedy, people don't realize this ballet is actually a lot harder than they think! We're jumping a ton and there are all these quick changes, so it's really exhausting. After the rain scene, I walk peacefully offstage, then run to take off my blue hat, put on three straps for my butterfly wings and tie my sun hat while a dresser snaps the wings in place. It was really stressful at first, but now we can do it in 10 seconds.

Making people laugh is such a good feeling. In The Concert, I feel so comfortable onstage, so now I try to think about how I could feel more comfortable and more myself in any ballet I do.

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A Letter from the Editor in Chief

Hi Everyone,

These are challenging times. The social distancing measures brought about by COVID-19 has likely meant that your regular ballet training has been interrupted, while your performances, competitions—even auditions—have been cancelled. You may be feeling anxious about what the future holds, not only for you but for the dance industry. And that's perfectly understandable.

As you adjust to taking virtual ballet class from your living rooms, we here at Pointe are adjusting to working remotely from our living rooms. We've had to get a little creative, especially as we put our Summer Issue together, but like you we're taking full advantage of modern technology. Sure, it's a little inconvenient sometimes, but we're finding our groove.

And we know that you will, too. We've been utterly inspired by how the dance community has rallied together, from ballet stars giving online classes to companies streaming their performances to the flood of artist resources popping up. We've loved watching you dance from your kitchens. And we want to help keep this spirit alive. That's why Pointe and all of our Dance Media sister publications are working nonstop to produce and cross-post stories to help you navigate this crisis. We're all in this together.

We also want to hear from you! Send us a message on social media, or email me directly at abrandt@dancemedia.com. Tell us how you're doing, send us your ideas and show us your dance moves. Let the collective love we share for our beloved art form spark the light at the end of the tunnel—we will come out the other side soon enough.

Best wishes,

Amy