From the cast of playball here in Boca, I give you Aubrey Heathcott my Guest Blogger for this week. Thought he incite on the process might be of interest.
My Best- The Traveling Ballet master
My name is Aubrey Heathcott and I have been a student at Boca Ballet Theatre for 15 years. Next year I plan to attend the University of Alabama as a dance major. In preparation for my start in the fall, I choose to stay home this summer and participate in Boca Ballet’s summer performances. I was excited to find out that Christopher was coming to set “Play Ball”. Six short years ago I remembered being a part of the ballet, as a spectator in the stands on the set. I never thought that I would have the opportunity to dance “Play Ball” while I was still at Boca Ballet.
Working on “Play Ball” with Christopher has been a one of a kind experience. While some may perceive Christopher’s personality to be intimidating in the studio, he brings an intensity to the rehearsal which results in greater focus and creativity for us as dancers. His strong commitment to the art brings out the best in our dancing because we challenge ourselves to do what he expects of us. We perform because he believes we can.
“Play Ball” is challenging because we are required to do different things with our bodies than what we are used to. We must still maintain our ballet technique while simultaneously playing a real game of baseball. In turn we are taking our technical skills to a different level by transforming ourselves into both believable athletes and graceful ballet dancers.
On top of mastering challenging choreography we must portray the fun of the game. This ballet does not work unless each dancer commits to playing a character. We have to work hard to achieve perfection in the dancing, on top of keeping our acting sharp and unpredictable to the audience. My favorite part of the ballet is when I get to play the “base stealer” in the 8th inning. I basically get to wreck havoc throughout the inning causing the opposing team to retaliate by chasing me around the stage to steal back the bases. After years of dancing classical ballet, it is so much fun to “camp it up” running around the stage with flexed feet, a black eye mask, with my baseball cap turned backwards, acting comical. Meanwhile the antics onstage are juxtapositioned with the classical elements of Swan Lake.
As I go off to college to study dance, I know I will be working with many different choreographers. This experience I have had working with Christopher has made me grow as both a dancer and performer, so that I know I am able to meet the challenges ahead of me.