There's so much to talk about, where do I even begin?
Summer intensives have commenced and are well underway. Almost three weeks into the season and I'm finally starting to feel my body agree with the work I'm putting it through. The first week is always the worst what with tight muscles, aching bones, and tender toes. Finally, I can feel the company settling into the season.
I must apologize for my absence. I'm positive everyone can relate to the busy time of year. I always thought fall was the most limited in terms of free time but now that I have a job through the summer (and this is the first year I've had one through this season) I think summer may take the cake.
We start full act run-throughs of our summer ballet, Coppelia next week. As I mentioned before, I will be dancing the role of Swanhilda and it is undoubtedly the most fun role I have take on yet. Swanhilda is a brat, there's no nice way to put it, really. Determined, curious, and mischievous, what more could you ask for in a character? The entire second act is a pas de deux of trouble making between Swanhilda and poor old Dr. Coppelius. Getting to interact with Maine State Ballet's most prestigious character actor, Fredrick Bernier, is always a blast. He submerges all he has into his characters and his guidance has truly helped me bring Swanhilda and Coppelia to life... Both literally and figuratively (pardon the pun).
Our school puts on a miniature show at the end of each week to showcase what the students have learned during their training. Company members are invited to perform as well; both to inspire the students and to rack up a few more moments of stage-time. Comfort and familiarity with performing helps make a ballerina, so we get in front of an audience every chance we can.
Week one was "Sleeping Beauty Week." I and my sister tackled the Aurora Vision variation, a short and simple number that forces control and gentle strength in a dancer.
|Maine State Ballet Company members and apprentices pre-performance during week one of summer workshop|
Week two we were blessed to have the amazing Leigh-Ann Esty teach 90% of our classes. She is a corps de ballet dancer with the Miami City Ballet and has performed many prestigious roles with the company including the fifth variation in Balanchine's Raymonda Variations, which is what she taught us throughout the week. After hours of stuffing our brains with choreography and hopping our toes away, Leigh-Ann assigned each of us a variation to perform on Friday. I was given the fifth which boasts a nearly impossible sequence of turns to finish it off (see the video of NYCB's Savannah Lowery performing it here).
It makes me so glad we perform each week in the summer. It's a wonderful exercise to dance such challenging pieces.
It was truly a blessing to have Leigh with us. She grew up in Gorham, Maine and trained with MSB before migrating down to Miami with her twin, Sara, and eventually being picked up by their company. Read more about Leigh-Ann.
Speaking of the Estys... Stay tuned for an exclusive interview with Sara Esty about her experience being a cast member with the twelve-time Tony nominated production, An American in Paris.
Also, more to come about a vacation to Maine's beautiful Bar Harbor, a visit to see the final weekend of Victor Victoria at the infamous Ogunquit Playhouse, and other summer adventures had thus far.
Thanks for reading <3