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Nutcracker Audition


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This will be my first audition for a ballet performance. Right now, I am taking 7 classes per week, combining technique pre-Intermediate level, three pre-pointe classes. I have been taking classes (classical division, mostly) since Jan 2007. I take adult open classes when there is no regular class in session.


I am very petite (adult size XS), height and weight-wise. I Facial features-wise, I look like I am in my late 20's.


Anyway, apart from knowing that I will wear black leos/pink tights/pink slippers to the audition, I don't know what to expect. There is an open call for teens and adults beginning/intermediate level, as there is one for kids 12 years and under.


Based on my very brief profile, I would like to hear from those of you with audition experience what I can expect. I have no idea what takes place from start to end of the audition process.

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Are they offering a warm-up class prior to the audition? If not, then you will have to warm yourself up in the lobby.


Beyond that, most auditions consist of several things:

1. Lining people up to check their sizes against each other

2. Teaching choreography and seeing how fast dancers can

a) pick it up &

b ) 'perform' it

3. Seeing how well people listen and follow directions


Stay in the front row if you can; demonstrate your ability to pick things up quickly, and then, act like you're on a stage performing it


There will probably be a table in the room behind which will sit several people: The AD, the choreographer, the Ballet Mistress/Master, rehearsal assistant/s. Pay no attention to them as they stare at you- you will not know what they are thinking despite the looks on their faces: "Gee, I'd like a ham sandwich about now...." is a likely thought, so don't let the people staring at you throw you off. :shhh::yes: Aim your projection out over their heads and into the invisible 'house audience' in your head. Smile and do the best you can.


That's all that's truly in your control. :)

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Smile and point your toes! Stay warm and hydrated.


Remember a funny joke to get in a less serious mood.


Knock 'em dead!

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Knock 'em dead!

And - I can't believe nobody's posted this yet - merde!!



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I don't know what kind of production you are auditioning for (school, company, traveling that uses locals) so I'll tell you my experience with my local school.


First- our auditions were just a regular class, only with more people. We always made sure to get there early, because barre space was a premium, and someone always ended up dancing at the piano or in the door jam. Just make sure you are positive and willing to do whatever. At a school production, they already know you, and your ability, so the audition is only a small part of the casting (I think...)


If you know the company tends to only put adults in "party parent" roles, if there is anywhere to indicate on your audition sheet that you are auditioning for a "real" role I would indicate that. But honestly, even party parent is quite fun. It's usually just more emoting than dancing though.


At one of my ballet schools I was offered the chance to be in the adults dance (only very little dancing) or to be in the children's dance- a "real" part with actual dancing. I of course chose to do the kids dance. And then because I'm so short I ended up in front of columns- blocking grandmas and parents from seeing their kiddos! (I felt so bad! But these kids - 10-12 y/o are all so tall!)


Have fun! I think my favorite part of the shows I did was getting to take warm up classes ahead of time. I was in the "intermediate" levels, and we took class with the advanced class- it was so much fun to watch them- and too try to keep up!

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Thanks everyone for sharing :giveup: . Auditions are still going on. I learned that the roles are likely to be height-based, instead of strictly age-based. We weren't auditioning for specific parts. As Ms. Clara and Skittl wrote, the audition was a regular class, and in the beginner/intermediate audition group I was in, it was a one-hour barre and center that consisted of short adagio and short allegro. The audition results are supposed to be emailed today (9/11).


I think that the auditioners were looking at skill levels and will place those who passed their audition in the roles the choreographer sees fitting.

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The audition results are supposed to be emailed today (9/11).


Oops! That would be NEXT thursday. :wacko:

Today is only the 4th. :rolleyes:

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Knock 'em dead!

And - I can't believe nobody's posted this yet - merde!!




A moderator once yelled at me for using the "m" word.

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My Ballet 3 teacher has been encouraging me to audition for this other Nutcracker. She said that this will be performed to a live orchestra accompaniment. So here I go onto my 2nd audition tomorrow (9/6), and I think that call backs will be next Saturday (9/13).


At least, now I know what to expect, having already auditioned last week for another company.

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  • Administrators

MJ, not on this board they didn't. The subject has come up several times, and we have explained that the word is commonly used in the ballet world as a way of saying "good luck". The theatre term is "break a leg", but that simply would not work at all for dancers! The use of "Merde" for good luck has been used for many, many years, in this country and many others. In Germany they use "toi toi toi", and I imagine there are other terms in other countries, but the one most used is "Merde".

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Hi Agnes:


What school is the audition for? Good luck to you.


Ruth Z


Hi Ruth,

Thanks for the well wishes. I hope to be called back. You may remember me. I attended your Beg Adult Ballet one time at Maple. I am a very petite Asian; I also mentioned to you that I studied with Maria Sifuentes at Defore. Since then, I've stopped attending adult classes altogether and am now attending low intermediate technique classes, pre-pointe, and beginning pointe classes at Pacific Dance Academy in Irvine. And I still have private classes with Maria.


The auditions I attended were for Montage Dance Company and Nouveau Chamber Ballet Company.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here's an update to my audition adventures:


I auditioned (Nutcracker) with two companies (Montage Dance Company; Nouveau Chamber Ballet), and was accepted to both. I didn't realize that these auditions were actually one-hour classes on barre and center.


The first company already sent out the rehearsal schedule and calendar. I will be dancing the roles for party child (no surprise there) and flower. And I am an understudy for the soldier role.


The second company will release the roles and schedules by next Saturday, 9/27/08. If there are no schedule conflicts, then I will accept; not a cheap decision, as I will be out almost $300 for the two companies. Although it will be my first closest experience to professional dance performance.

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