Just the musings of a small-town professional ballerina, business owner, wife, and beagle mama as she attempts to make it through this thing called life.

Jun 11, 2015

gearing up

At Maine State Ballet, although it's June, we are already gearing up for our summer performance. For two weekends in August we will embark on an eight-show run of the ballet classic, Coppelia, a comedic German tale of Swanilda and Franz and the tangled string of events that occur throughout their courtship. It's truly charming and one of the most convivial of the story ballet repertoire.

The last time the Maine State Ballet Company performed Coppelia was a whirling seven years ago. I was twelve and cast as the titular character of Coppelia. It's an incredible feeling to have come full circle.
A photo posted by Rhiannon Pelletier (@rhiannonkpelletier) on

This will be my first time performing a lead role that carries the ballet (I've performed the Sugar Plum Fairy in Maine State Ballet's The Nutcracker for two years now, who appears only in the second act). This will be a full three-act ballet, which will mean over two hours of dancing for me and my Franz, Maiki Saito. As you may recall, Maiki and I worked together in Le Corsaire this past spring as Gulnare and Lankendem. The dynamic of our working relationship is light enough to make things fun especially in the thick of grueling daily rehearsals, but serious enough to know we both care about the performance and want to make it the best we can. I'm happy for the partnership to continue.

I've been waiting to perform a role of this magnitude for my whole career.

Upon being cast, I spoke with the director and she cautioned that over the next few months, I was really going to have to learn to pace myself in order to make it through the whole ballet. By the time you get to the third act, you're already exhausted enough and still have a full pas de deux looming over you. Many of the roles I have performed in the past, although difficult, involved spurt energy. Like Gulnare in Le Corsaire, the ballet we performed this past spring, for example. She enters in the first act, performs her grueling pas de deux, and does not return until the end of the third act (in our version at least. There are many different renditions of the ballet and we chose to shorten the second act and remove the section with Gulnare). I was required to push myself for about ten minutes, and then had most of the remaining time in the ballet off. This is a new ball game and I can't wait to start playing.


Rehearsals begin today at 3:00! Pictures and posts to come about the journey that will be Coppelia.
Thanks for reading, lovelies.
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