Today my Company BalletFleming started rehearsals for our performances on September 14 and 15 at the Painted Bride here in Philadelphia. Thought it would be fun to have dancers in the company write on my blog giving you their perspective on a dancer in rehearsals for an upcoming season. Please enjoy Alex Crozier Jackson’s comments below.
My Best- The Traveling Ballet Master
From Alex Crozier Jackson Guest Blogger;
So today was the first day back at BalletFleming. After spending two months away from the company co-directing an arts program at my high school’s summer camp I was ready to come back. I was so excited to see everyone and find out how their summers had turned out. To be accurate, not all of the company members arrived today. A few were missing because they are still teaching workshops in foreign countries but they’ll be trickling in by next week. For the majority of the company that was around today it was business as usual. Chris taught a class that was a real wake up call for some people, yours truly included, that this was not going to be a relaxed “Welcome back” maintenance class but a full on “get your rear in gear” class.
After class, Chris placed me and another company member, Jane Koorts, in charge of running the rehearsal for today. I knew this was a big responsibility because for the last season rehearsals were run either by Samantha Barczak, Keenan McLaren, or Rob Royce. Now that those people have left I’m very honored that Chris thinks I am responsible enough to run rehearsal. The job did not make me nervous though. Instead, I rose to the occasion because this was a great opportunity for me to show that I’m capable of doing more things than just being a reliable dancer. I spent a year as rehearsal director for a local dance school’s student company cleaning, staging, and choreographing new works for the school. I was very happy that I got to put those skills into use today and hopefully I’ll be able to do more in the future.
It was great working with Jane. We really worked well together and it was very helpful to have another set of eyes and ears to answer questions and figure out casting of certain parts of the ballet we were setting. What I found difficult at times was ensuring that Jane and I were the only ones running the rehearsal. Confusion can arise when dancers other than the ones in charge are trying to help run a rehearsal. There’s a saying that goes, “too many cooks can spoil the pot.” In this case, too many rehearsal directors can spoil the ballet. Despite the minor confusion the first day was a complete success and Jane and I managed to run an efficient rehearsal staging the finale of the “Janice & Joe” ballet and half of the opening section of “Long Train Running”.
I have a few ideas about what I’d like to do when my career as a performer is over and one of them is to be a ballet master. I love the idea of being in charge of a repertory and making sure that every piece looks as good, or better, than when it was originally choreographed. Can’t wait to see what Day Two brings!