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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Nutcracker updates and casting?


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My 15yo dd just started driver's ed a couple weeks ago. In about 1.5 years, she'll be able to drive carpool . . . yippee!!! (she won't get her license for another year when she turns 16, then has to wait 6 months before being able to drive the car with kids outside immediate family) . . . but we are moving in the right direction!


Again, congratulations to all the new posts about casting . . . big or small, participating in Nutcracker is such a fun experience!

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Our Nutcracker is getting very close, as in three weeks away. Yesterday some major roles were switched around when the casting had already been decided. My dd had rehearsed every time as Dewdrop. Now she is one of the lead mirlitons. She is so upset. I know she is lucky to have any featured role, but she has been Dewdrop in every rehearsal since August. Costume fittings are done, publicity photos etc. they told her she did nothing wrong they just think the other dancer who was an understudy is a better fit for the role. This is her last Nutcracker and she is so upset. There are multiple performances and they put the other dancer in as Dewdrop for every one. Any advice on helping her deal?

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So very sorry to read this, flipflop! She must be crushed. I know my dancer would be!


Do they have rehearsal and performance casting? The student production my dd is in announces rehearsal casting with the warning that rehearsal casting does not necessarily equate to performance casting. However, they have multiple casts so there is not just one Clara, one Dewdrop, etc.


I completely understand preparing students for the harsh, real world, but I also question these sorts of decisions made by adults who are dealing with students, for heaven's sake.


I wish I had better advice. Dd has certainly had her share of casting disappointments over the years and has dealt with a director who would threaten to take parts away from people, but not something quite like this. I know she would be devastated. As I did with dd's disappointments, I would say this is the ultimate acting exercise. Go to every rehearsal and performance as if this never happened. Hold her head high and work hard.

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I am sorry that happened to your daughter. Casting is subject to change and it is completely within the director's scope, but if it is truly paired with the unhelpful 'you've done nothing wrong', it doesn't turn into much of a learning experience except for what you yourself can provide. She may be older, but she will mirror your feelings and how you handle this, so choose your reactions wisely, too.


A professional doesn't require an explanation and this happens often enough, but a student should maybe have an opportunity to learn how to improve, even if the role is never given back. But sometimes there is a quality that a director is looking for that they can't or won't explain, and while that is unhelpful, it is not uncommon.

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Thank you for the advice. I have told her it comes with the territory. The casting was only assumed, as programs have not gone to print. She was told yesterday and expected to immediately go in as lead mirliton, so there was no processing time either. I think it is an ugly way to treat a hogh schooler. I guess they don't agree.

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Flipflop, I'm sorry your dd has to go through this. Sometimes I truly wonder what these ballet directors are thinking when they do things like this. As was already said, tell her to keep her head high and Keep her focus. My dd has had to learn to do that as well.

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Definitely miss the magic, but don't miss the Magic happening every other day and twice on Saturdays. We (parents) used to amuse ourselves, by counting the Cavalier's turns/fouettes during his solo I believe Catazaro had the record in our cast of 24 shows with 36. We were also on the edge of our seats to see what Herr Drosselmeyer would try to pull off during the party scene. Number of jumps tea did etc. etc.


Have a great nutty season all!

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Drivingtodance and flipflop, I'm so sorry!! I feel for your dancers and you. :(

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Casting is finally out for dd. She has the same parts as last year, as we expected, as the youngest apprentice with the Company. Last night she found out that she does have a different part for Snow - she is one of 4 dancers who have a long dance at the beginning. Balanchine's Snow is long and she was laughing about being tired this year before she even started last year. She is also in Flowers (with no understudy, so she will do every show - 20 or 21 shows, I think this year), Spanish (corps of 3) and Party Parent, which means tons of stage time. I hope the official photographers get some photos this year. The bad thing about being young in a Company is they don't get photographed that often and, of course, no cameras are allowed, especially at a Balanchine production. So Mom is lacking photos and it's killing me. Merde to all doing Nut!!

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