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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Auditions: The Dream Company Audition


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Interesting to look back and read the earlier posts from 10 years ago.  Dd went through her first audition season this year and I'd say much of what was written 10 years ago is unchanged. A dream audition would still be, in my opinion, one that spells out what they are looking for in advance to some degree, a company class, and in a perfect world, one where the dancer knows the basics for the compensation of the position they may be considered for. 

I found myself nodding my head in agreement as I read about dancers dismissed early because of height, cut after barre and not getting money back, auditions combined with SI auditions, auditions that were really SI auditions,  cattle calls where they were not looking for anyone, and more.  She did attend auditions that had a few of the qualities of a dream audition.  In general, she preferred those that pre-screened whether it was for an audition in  a major city or invitation to company class. Attending "cattle call" auditions mainly led to SI invitations "for further consideration", with and without scholarships. It didn't matter if she was one that was spoken to at the end or not. This was very commonplace. 

I think the advice remains the same. Do as much research as you can about the companies. Know "who" they are before you walk in or even send your packet. Have strong photos, strong videos and send these off. Easier today as this can all be done electronically! 

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Guest narthaki

No matter how well informed a dancer tries to be, if transparency on the part of the ballet companies is non-existent, the quest for the elusive contract becomes that much harder. I certainly hope that ballet companies are not above accepted business practices in terms of hiring, retaining and firing dancers. If normal rules apply to non dancing employees of a ballet company, then the same rules should apply to the dancers. The artistic director should have the complete freedom to hire the dancers that he or she envisions for the company. But the hiring process should be transparent in terms of number of positions available, pay scale, benefits and review process to assess the progress of the dancer. I urge all the readers of this forum to come up with ideas to engineer a change that will make a dancer's quest for a contract a little easier. 

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