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Ballet Talk for Dancers

performance bloopers


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One year, we were doing The Jungle Book and when mother wolf finds baby mowgli, she was supposed pull a baby-doll (mowgli) out from backstage.

In the general rehearsal she couldn't find the doll in the dark, so she ended up having to take a monkey-costume that was lying nearby (there were a lot of quick changes in the wings) -- what was worst was that it looked like a mangled piece of meat. :o

Thank goodness it was only dress-rehearsal! But we have it on film! :D


Another one: Last year we did Peter Pan and I was one of the Wendys. So in one scene Wendy is surrounded by evil pirates and is backing away from them and is then supposed to turn around to see captain Hook right behind her. He then seizes her arm and leads her offstage.

In one performance, Hook forgot... So I turn around, get my frightened face all ready - and there is no Hook! Then I really must have looked frightened! :D But the other pirates reacted quickly and grabbed me instead. In the last minute, Hook remembered and stepped onstage to grab me on the last notes of the piece. Whew!

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Well... at my recent performance, I was the lead roel of Clara. The snow scene was just starting and the music changed to a different song!! =0 It was so embarrassing, but we kept going through the different song until one of the dance teachers in the audience yelled, "PLACES!" The entire audience was speachless and my friends and I were so embarrassed, but in the end, we got a re-do and it ended up being a great performance!

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Well in Nut last week, I was dancing the Dew Drop part as Clara (We made it Clara's part this year). Mother Ginger dropped the flowers he was holding so they were on the stage for waltz. :thumbsup: Since they were in my entrance path for the finale, I just picked them up and dancing the end with them in my hand. Both the sugarplum and the director were glad I got them off the stage.

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My nutcracker has soap bubbles in snow, they are supposed to look like snow. Well they make the stage really slippery... and one girl feel out of a piroutte :/


Then in Waltz, there are 'rose petals' falling and one landed on one girls mouth! Her face was so funny when she was trying to spit it out!


In a few dress rehersals I wore socks... on stage. But I didn't get caught, and *knock on wood* I have never worn them onstage during a performance :)

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Bubbles are extremely dangerous....I'm surprised their insurance lets them do that! :)


Perhaps have your parents suggest an alternative for next year. :)

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Well we don't use bubbles. We use little bits of white paper...kind of like confetti. It's still slippery though and also gets stuck in your hair :)

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Lots of different are used for snow: Paper, plastic, expanded starch, and probably a few things I haven't run across. (I can remember a story about a company that used instant mashed potato flakes!) The "bubble stuff" option is ok for plays or other theatrical forms where people don't have to move so very fast. If you look at the choreography for Balanchine's Nutcracker, you can see that the chainé turns the dancers do are on demi-pointe, and that was always the case, even when the snow was still paper.


The other downside of the bubbles is that the machines which produce it are rather noisy.


To give you an idea of the problems of inhaling foreign matter onstage brings to mind the following story: The venue was an outdoor theater, and the event was a solo concert by a famous tenor, who shall remain nameless. (He's dead now, anyway) As he sang, the audience became aware of a moth flying about the stage, attracted by the stage lights. The aria continued, with the continued presence of the moth. As the singer took a deep breath for the final high note, the moth flew straight into his mouth and down his windpipe. He looked straight at the audience, and promptly fainted! His pianist applied the Heimlich maneuver, and the singer revived, but he elected not to continue the program.


I can only imagine the duel scene from Tchaikovsky's opera Yevgeny Onegin, which is supposed to happen in the snow, and the singers inhaling great gulps of suds made from the equivalent of Downy Fabric Softener!!!

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Ironically, at a production of La Boheme last night at the Met, I couldn't help but notice that one of the chorus women slipped and fell in the third act, which takes place in the snow. It wasn't very noticeable, as she was in the background, but I thought it was worth mentioning. She wasn't moving very quickly or anything, and I am pretty sure that the Metropolitan Opera is very careful for the material they use as snow. The clever chaps, none of it actually fell downstage, where in could have fallen into one of the singers mouths. Just proves that anything can happen with that stuff.


Oh, and while we're at it, they had a problem with the donkey in the second act-- but then again, do they ever cooperate?

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Every one, tell your teacher(s) that you can go to any hobby store and buy fake snow. What you do is add a certain amount of water and it becomes fluffy and like snow, but doesn't melt. It isn't sticky or slippery so no one falls! Isn't that cool??!! I'm sorry that I didn't post it before but I just thought about it!



Happy New Year!!!!! :)

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I have two Nutcracker stories to share.


First, this year I danced in the opening of act two as a "ribbon candy". When the four of us did an arabesque facing in toward each other, our ribbons got caught together and one fell.


The other was two years ago when I was Clara. One of the soldiers is supposed to put the Clara's shoe that she throws in the sleigh for the snow scene. I looked through the entire sleigh for my shoe, but I couldn't find it anywhere! So I had to go through the snow scene with only one shoe! :)

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When we did Cinderella, there was a scene were the stepsisters played with an orange. when the lights dimed and the backstage helpers went on to get the props, the orange droped off the table and on to the floor. the next scene was the fariy variations (me) and when the lights came up, the orange was in the middle of the stage! i did the worst thing and soccer kicked it off stage :o . i was so mortified that i was crying back stage when i finished my dance. my friends were like "at least you did your variation well!" i finally got over it, but when ever someone brings it up i still get a little embaressed :blushing: !

Edited by Luv2Dance12
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A few years ago, I happened to dance both the Mirliton variation and Waltz of the Flowers in Nutcracker. There also happened to be only 45 seconds between the two dances. Opening night I sprinted off stage after Mirliton for the ridiculously fast quick change, and made it back onstage just in time for waltz. The problem was, in my haste I didn't secure my costume quite as well as I should have. For starters, the headpiece (which had only a couple of hairpins in it) flew out on the first turn. No sooner had I not-so-discretely kicked the fallen hairpiece off stage than my skirt (it was one of those long romantic tutus, and this particular one was not actually attached to the bodice) came unhooked. By the end of the dance it was around my knees.


Now, several years later, I am dancing with a different studio in the area. I recently spoke to a couple of my friends, who it turns out were in the audience for that show. When I told them this story, they said "Oh, so you were the one whose skirt fell down!"

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When I was thirteen, I danced as Clara in the Nutrcacker, with a prince who was a soloist in a large company. Now, from the bgeinning, this man had seemed rather....uncaring....about his part. He showed up late for rehearsals, marked steps during full run-throughs, and seemed very unprofessional for a such a talented dancer. We all thought everything would be fine though, and that he'd pull his attitude together before the performance.


Wrong. He didn't show up! Yep, during our first show, he didn't even SHOW! He was supposed to make his first entrance during the very beginning of snow to dance with me, and then later partner the Sugar Plum Fairy. I was left, age 13, to improvise to some of the most difficult music in the whole score-while trying not to alter the choreography too much. It was insane.

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Oh my gosh, where do I begin.


Well one time during tech rehearsal, (Nutcracker), the Sugar Plum smacked the Cav. right in the nose. He went down and stayed down for like 2 minutes. She felt horrible and he made it so dramatic. He was spinning her way to fast.





YES!!!!!! I remeber that!! That was for cast B, and I was just sitting in the audience watching, (becuase I was Clara for cast A), and suddenly SMACK! Down he goes!!




The first time I was Clara in the Nutcracker, I was only 9 years old (almost 10). One of friends, who was also Clara, told me that she always wanted someone to drop their headpiece. I always thought that this was a little weird, until she explained to me that she planned to get up out of her throne, walk on the stage (after the dance had finished), and pick it up! Well, all her shows went by, and no one dropped anything. Then I had the last show, and of course, during Spanish, someone's headpiece came off! The Spanish exited, I ran up on stage, picked up the headpiece, hugged it as if it were an invaluable treasure, and went back to my throne!

Edited by balanchineobsessed
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