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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Stage makeup for a newbie

Cactus Fantastic

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I'm new to this board, so I'd just like to say hi. "Hi." I started dancing a little over a year ago at a studio in a very small town. Last year I was in a beginning adult ballet class but moved up to intermediate this fall. I was also asked to join the local company due to a severe lack of males. It's a very young group, run by the studio owner, that performs at local events. I'm really excited to perform and love dancing. One of the pieces we are doing, which probably won't be performed with the rest of the pieces, is Peter and the Wolf. I've been cast in the roll of Grandpa, about which I was thrilled: I feel much more confident about being silly onstage than I do dancing solo.


Enough about me, here's my question:


This past spring I participated in the studio's annual performance and had to get help from one of the women in the class with my makeup. Watching the video afterward, I wasn't too impressed with my look. You could really tell I was wearing makeup, while I thought the point of it was just to accentuate your facial features so you can actually see the dancer's expression. Maybe it was just different after looking at myself in the mirror everyday. I've worn makeup on stage for some acting in the past, but never applied it myself. Can anyone give me an idea of what I need to pick up, and how to choose which colors, etc? My wife doesn't wear makeup, so she's not much help. Our first performance with the company is on December 19th, so I have some time to experiment.

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As you're in a small town, the chance of your needing much makeup at all is kind of limited. Most suburban and rural schools have stages which are lit only at the intensity of a normal room, so the wash-out you see on professionally-lit stages won't be there, and most makeup will look too fussy. If you need much more than a foundation, eyeliner, eyebrow pencil and highlighter/blusher which can double for lip color, I'd be surprised.

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There have been some posts in this men's forum on makeup, which I found useful last spring in a similar situation. Do a search. The 3rd sub-forum on the main page is "How to Do Things"; within that there's a thread on searching.

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