It’s that time of the year again .. The Nutcracker ! It’s a mammoth of a production with so many involved. We rehearse individually our dance roles ( Arabian, for example ) 3 weeks prior to the ‘Full Call’. A full call is a run of the whole ballet with all dancers involved. Because there are so many shows, we have many different roles to dance. For example one night I will do Lead Flower the next, Arabian...
I wanted to give you an insight into what happens around the sides of the studio ! If we are not in the scene we very rarely just sit and watch, we are constantly multitasking. The ballet master for this production is Christopher Carr, and we are intently listening to his corrections, counts and general humour. There are often differences of opinion (is the arm up on 7 or 6 for example) Christopher always has the final say.
There are spoilers !
Annette and Fumi sewing pointe shoes. We go through so many shoes it’s a great chance to catch up on the sewing !
Frankie taking time to go through her pointe shoes to see which ones are best for her rehearsal ( soft, hard etc )
You will see Sian our Ballet Mistress, giving corrections, teaching steps to new members or students, while the rehearsal is still going to let the full call run smoothly without too many stops.
There are a huge amount of props and sets involved with The Nutcracker. Sarah, one of our Heads of Stage management, is here to make sure every prop is in the right place at the right time. You would be suprised how many props are used for just two acts, from a Drosselmeyer party trick to a simple tea light on a table.
For full calls and most rehearsals, we have our wonderful conductors keep an eye on tempo and cues.. VITAL for any successful production ! Here is Paul Murphy & Barry Wordsworth.
Lukas playing Sudoko and drinking ginger beer while the ladies from Mirlitons are on.
Romany and Joshua having a quick bite outside the studio, it can be quite hot and chaotic in the studio. Nice to break away for 5.
Gemma watching intently while releasing her calves with a roller.
Tom sitting on a roller.
Lara in her own little world, watching 3 different roles at the same time while marking the steps herself !
Liberty, a student from White Lodge, writing down notes after her run of party scene !
David working out his doll box before rehearsing !
Tristan taking time to stretch before his dance section.
Ollie talking with Paul.
Ollie has worked with the Royal Ballet Company for over 52 years !! He is an extra in this ballet and has done this ballet since it opened 30 years ago ( I asked him ) when I see Ollie with his iconic t shirts, I know it’s Christmas!!! A legend.
Gary with his Drosselmeyer cloak on, resting before his next entrance.
Students from White Lodge, watching ( very cutely I might add ) Act 1. Here is Layla with her little shoe off !
There are a couple of shoe changes for the ladies in Act 1. Here is Natalie swapping from character to pointe shoes.