Friday, October 15, 2010

Act 4

The (rarely staged) final act of Sleeping Beauty includes the reconciliation of the Lilac Fairy and Carabosse...

We've had three great performances so far, plus one equally great student matinee, and are in the final stretch of the last three shows. The dancers are more than just hanging in there through their fatigue, which must be considerable (several of the women dance five roles in EACH show, changing costumes for each part, while the lucky ones merely have four). Everyone is dancing incredibly well and the company looks stronger than I have ever seen it. That's the reward for tackling such a hard classical ballet. If you haven't seen it yet, surprise surprise, I recommend that you do!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Backstage at Sleeping Beauty 2010

Finally, after so many weeks of rehearsing and months of planning, Sleeping Beauty opened tonight to a huge, enthusiastic audience who witnessed a near-miraculously smooth production. So many dancers, crew, musicians, sets, costumes, wigs, special effects, supers, children in this ballet-- it's amazing to me every time a production like this comes together. But it always does, beautifully and with grandeur, emotional resonance, and exhilaration.

Here is a quick peek at a couple of the people backstage who make the magic happen:
Diane, one of the women overseeing the many, many wigs and hairpieces in this production, checks her craftsmanship:

There is also a fair amount of special makeup for different characters in Sleeping Beauty. Sarah is our makeup artist, transforming people into their stage personas. Here's her workstation.

And here's Sarah with her tools:

Friday, October 1, 2010

Sleeping Beauty Studio Dress

Don't worry, it's not loaded! Christian's just practicing his authentic "hunter stance" during an Act 2 studio dress rehearsal last week. There are so very many costumes-- and quick changes-- in this ballet that we needed to do a couple of run-throughs in costume at the studio to prevent being overwhelmed with huge skirts, props, capes, boots, etc., once we got on stage.

Here's Hannah displaying her lovely countess costume, also from the Act 2 Hunt scene. The hunt ladies' costumes are quite wide... I can already imagine how much extra square footage they will take up in the wings and hallways backstage.

Only a couple more studio rehearsals before we relocate operations to the theater next week and launch into a flurry of tech and dress rehearsals. The ballet is coming together beautifully, but what an incredible undertaking this is. There are so many elements beyond the dancing that will unite to make the production a true spectacle: costumes, set, props, children, music, special effects, acting. Amazingly, no animals.