Jump to content
Ballet Talk for Dancers

twin dancers


Guest dancinx2

Recommended Posts

Guest dancinx2

I'm new to this, so barre with me. :P I have twin 12 yr. old daughters, they are beautiful, determined, and very ambitious dancers. I'm wondering, now they are old enough for more "meaty" roles in their school, if the teacher will hold back chosing one over the other for parts so as not to hurt feelings, and if they will be "type cast" as "the twins" forever?? I'm not sure if I should say something to the teacher. Some of the girls in their class have already said things like, "no offense guys, but you'll never get the lead parts because the teacher won't split you up". Anyone with twins go through something like this, we are especially dealing with some stress now as the part for "Clara" in Nutcracker is being considered. Thanks.

Link to comment
  • Administrators

Hello dancinx2, (great name for a mom of twins :wink: ), welcome to the Moms and Dads forum here on Ballet Talk!

 

If they are equal in talent and ability, then I would think they could be double cast and each one do some of the performances. At least that is what I would do, and I think most directors would. If there is only one performance, that is, of course, somewhat of a problem, but with Nutz there are usually more performances. So, they could both do Clara :P

Link to comment

Hi, dancinx2! For several years my daughter was good friends with identical twin ballet students. That was during the years they were all around 11-14 or 15. To the best I can recall, they were double-cast, as Ms. Leigh suggested, in some solo roles, but I remember the mom mentioning that she preferred, financially speaking, for them to be in the same performance because it was expensive to buy two sets of tickets!

 

I think the ballet school tried hard to be fair and strike a balance of encouraging each girl individually. It must be difficult: if you treat them identically, they each won't get that feeling of achievement based on their own individual qualities, but if you show preference for one dancer over the other, that must hurt much worse than it does when a friend receives that preference. That age is already the worst for handling competitiveness even among friends - how much harder it must be for twins.

 

As I recall, there were some difficult moments when only one of them received a coveted solo. But the school tried to make up for it by recognizing her sister in various ways for her strengths and they usually then gave her a great role in a subsequent production. The sisters were fairly evenly matched in technique with only slightly different strengths. I think it all evened out, although it would sure be interesting to ask them today (they're 19 and in college) how fair a treatment they think they had received.

Link to comment

Hi dancinx2,

I am a mother of dancing 14 y/o identical twin girls. There is also another set of 17 y/o identical twins in my girls dancing school as well. I have found that there really has been no problem in regards to parts. My girls AD is fair and puts much thought into part assignments. She casts according to the role and which one of any of the twins is best fitted for that role. Their ballet school recently did Alice in Wonderland and the girls were cast as Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee! As you know, the twin thing is a whole other world! :P Of course what the perceptions of the other dancers are and what the AD does are two different things. Based on my experience with this situation,I would wait and see how the AD handles it before saying anything. Probably, everything will be fine. Good luck!

jjj

Link to comment

It's been my happy experience with many sets of ident twins to find that as they become more advanced, they turn into rather different dancers. There's a lot of togetherness, but as they mature, there's a lot of distinctiveness, too.

Link to comment
Guest dancinx2

The girls have just finished the "Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum" roles, they weren't too upset with that casting, it was pretty obvious they would get that. Unfortunately, when the program was done the WRONG twin was listed as Tweedle Dee and this upset her because she wanted to be sure she was Dee and NOT Dum!! Go figure?! Apparently the program coordinator just assumed it was one role played by one set of girls. This is one of the set backs to being a twin sometimes I feel. But they are still young and developing their own style of dance, at least I'm hoping if I can see this their teacher will as well.

Wondering how many twins really make it in the real "paying dance world?"

Link to comment

There is a children's book (probably age 9-12) called Twins on Toes, A Ballet Debut, by Joan Anderson from 1993. I bought a used copy very cheaply through Amazon. It tells the story of SAB students Amy and Laurel Foster and their auditions for a company. (I Googled the dancers a while ago and found out that they were able to dance in several companies together, but tragically one of them died in an airplane accident. Still, the book itself is a nice tribute to the two of them.) Amy Foster is still dancing with Ballet West.

Link to comment
  • Administrators

A lovely set of identical twin girls were principal dancers in Eddy Toussaint's Ballet de Montreal a number of years ago. They were different in a lot of ways as dancers, although hard to tell apart off stage. They both had very nice careers, married, have children, and one is still dancing, now as a principal dancer with Le Grand Ballet!

Link to comment
Guest ineedaname

There were a set of twins my daughter used to dance with...casting and SI auditions were always an issue. I always felt for the girls because one of them was somewhat known as the "better" twin. She was Clara and sister was not, she was sometimes accepted into more programs then her sister also. Both girls were very talented and both did get into big name programs...SAB and other quite selective programs but it must have been hard. Hard for the parents as well!!! I think things got better as the girls grew up, sort of out of the stage where everyone knew them as the "XYZ twins"!! I believe MAry Kate and Ashley Olsen are also asking that the press stop referring to them as the "Olsen Twins"! I would just encourage your girls to nurture their own individual strengths!!

Link to comment

There was also quite a period there where NYCB was hiring first pairs (and even trios) of siblings, then of twins (they have yet to hire trips). Then casting them quite differently.

Link to comment

Mr. Johnson,

You have hit the nail on the head, (or the Pointe shoe on the Marley floor)! My girls are so different in their style, while being so supportive of each other. They are really just two sisters dancing, and not "the twins " dancing. It is a lovely thing to see! (Even though I am a tiny bit prejudiced!) :sweating:

jjj

Link to comment

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre currently has 1 identical twin, Maribel Modrono, who is a principle. She and her sister were both part of the company for some years until Mabel suffered a long-term injury and left the company. She worked hard to overcome the injury and is now dancing one of the lead roles in Movin Out on Broadway.

 

At the final performance of Nutcracker one year - Maribel and Mabel "split" the role of the Sugarplum Fairy - one started the pas de deux, then ran off into the wings only to have the other immediately come on from the opposite side. They both came on stage for the final few bars of the music. The poor Cavalier (Wily Shives for those of you who know him) did not know they were going to pull this prank but after the first few switches played gallantly along. Those of us backstage were absolutely in stiches. I understand the AD was not too happy but the audience was appreciative.

Link to comment
  • Administrators

Weren't they both in MCB for a while?

Link to comment

Poor Willy, I can only imagine... Just think of the chaos they could have created if they had all three collaborated on it!

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...