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Kini

Nutcracker guest artists

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Kini

It’s that time of year, most state side studios are in the midst of preparing for their Nutcracker performances and a lot of them are bringing in paid dancers to fill some of the major parts. I wonder how many of those paid dancers through out the land are want to let everyone know they are professionals and just how busy their schedules when they occasionally show up for rehearsals.

 

Bit of a rant I know but is this normal for visiting artists for local productions? I find it deplorable and a bad example for the pre pro kids and adult students in the production that show up for all of the rehearsals and work on perfecting their parts.

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GTLS Designs

I do not quite understand the question.....

 

My tutu business revolves around rentals, and I can say with certainty, I rent to many professionals who start Nutcracker gigs around Thanksgiving and end around Christmas - they literally have a different production every weekend. Then, within that range of options, I will rent out 1 tutu to 2 - 3 different dancers 2 - 3 different weeks.

 

As an AD of a local student production - we only pay Guest Artists per performance. While we'd like for them to come to rehearsals, their obligation is for theatre rehearsals and performances. For professionals who do a lot of freelance work, they only have so much time to commit per production until it starts to cut into their bottom line.... time is money, and if you are not paid for rehearsals, you could be somewhere else (doing something else) which pays for your time.

 

I am also the Ballet Master of a professional company - a couple of our dancers will be doing freelance work during the Nutcracker season. They have to book these outside of their regularly scheduled rehearsals and they are not permitted to miss our performances. Therefore their time is quite limited.... only a couple weekends here and there.

 

What I don't understand is... how is this a bad example for pre-professional dancers? For my students - I think it is important to expose them to professionals. Professionals have a different level of attention to detail, have a different work ethic, and are... well... professionals. This isn't to say that they act "professionally" in front of the young dancers; I think it is also important for young dancers to see that professionals are humans too. And if a professional misbehaves in front of my young dancers I make sure to remind the dancers that this is unacceptable behavior - and if they are ever professionals, they should not act this way.

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Fraildove

When I was still doing guestings, especially Nuts which have limited interaction with the cast, many times I was in the studio early in the day with my partner going over that productions particular choreography, since it is very rarely the same from company to company. So after giving myself class, spending 2-4 hours running the pas and variations and learning the bit choreography at the begining and end of act 2, the last thing I wanted to do was sit through runthroughs with local dancers when I could be back at the hotel, learning next week's choreography. I would always offer to teach a stage class if wanted, and was always welcoming to the kids, but I had to use my time wisely. Don't miss it to be honest. So just because they aren't in a 'full cast' studio rehearsal doesn't mean they haven't been rehearsing. There were also several times I came in only for dress and performances, inserting our standard pas de deux and having been sent a video of the rest of choreography I was expected to know before I arrived. And that is what a freelance professional deals with, and it's even harder when you are guesting and still dancing with your own professional company, as you still have all of your own obligations to deal with! Tis the season :)

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