What Scares ABT's Clara? Giant Chairs!

 

This week I got the opportunity to try out a giant chair that is going to be part of the Nutcracker set, which was cool--but also a little scary! When I'm up on the chair there is only room for me to stand in first position. I literally cannot move anywhere else. Also, the platform is slanted, so it is hard to keep my balance. Luckily there's a protective bar around me so I can't hurt myself. When the stage manager told me that I had just 10 seconds to get on the chair before they move it onstage, I got a little nervous. But I think it'll be OK--the stage manager is great, and I trust him.


I am also working on the party scene. We finally got to the moment where I meet Drosselmeyer, and now we're all the way up to the part where he brings in the magical dolls and then gives me the Nutcracker. I have also been working on the battle scene. One of the company members got to try dancing with the new mouse head. He looks amazing--very creepy.

 

This is truly going to be the best ballet of them all! Can’t wait to see it all together. See you next time!

 

Read the other guest blog posts by JKO School student Catherine Hurlin, who's rehearsing the role of Clara for ABT's new Nutcracker, here, here and here.

The Conversation
popular
Yos Clark, of Africa's Ivory Coast. Courtesy Ballet Rising.

From his home in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, an eight-year-old boy named Yos Clark discovered ballet from the film Un, Dos, Tres, and began teaching himself to dance through videos. A teacher in France saw photos of Yos dancing online, and taught him over Skype because the studio in Abidjan was too long of a commute for him to train there on a regular basis. Apparently, the lessons paid off; last year, Yos received a scholarship to continue his training in Warrington, England.

Dancers like Clark are what propel former Dutch National Ballet principal Casey Herd recently; since leaving the company three years ago, Herd has become determined to shed light on the lesser-known stories of dancers making it around the world. Now, he and his friend and colleague Chris Weisler are creating a documentary project called Ballet Rising. Together they have been transversing the globe, searching for people embracing ballet. (Since the series is still in development, a premiere date is TBA.) Between stops, Pointe touched base with Herd over the phone to learn about the project, where his travels have taken him so far, and what his hopes are for the future of global ballet.

Keep reading... Show less
Ballet Training
Getty Images

I got professionally fitted and my shoes were fine in the store. Now in class, the vamp is digging into my foot in demi-pointe and the heel is sliding off. Is it the size, the width or both? —Mandi

Keep reading... Show less
Ballet Stars
Svetlana Zakharova in Carmen Suite, via YouTube

If you're making your weekend plans, you may want to clear your calendar for Sunday and check your local movie listings. On May 19, Fathom Events, in partnership with Pathé Live and By Experience, is broadcasting the Bolshoi Ballet's performance of Carmen Suite and Petrushka throughout cinemas nationwide. The program will be captured live the same day from Moscow, and feature some of the Bolshoi's biggest stars.

Keep reading... Show less
Viral Videos
Still Courtesy Design Army

Hong Kong Ballet is celebrating its 40th anniversary in style. Today, the company released the new phase of its yearlong ad campaign, which includes the below film, a Wes Anderson-esque romp through the city fusing ballet with pop culture, filled with ferry boats, pom pom-wielding grannies and dim sum served in hot pink containers.

Keep reading... Show less