Child parts in ballet
Posted 03 April 2011 - 09:37 AM
Posted 04 April 2011 - 08:53 AM
Balanchine's multi-act ballets invariably give children from the School of American Ballet actual choreography to perform, rather than to just appear in the background: see, in addition to The Nutcracker, Harlequinade, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Coppelia, etc.
Petipa's ballets as they are still given in Russia, The Sleeping Beauty, Le Corsire, and Raymonda, for two include roles for dancing children - tho' the children are not usually brought on tour - this includes both the Bolshoi Ballet and Maryinsky Ballet.
Peter Martins has continued Balanchine's inclusion of dances for children in his Magic Flute, Romeo and Juliet and Swan Lake.
but as said, this is just a random sampling, from the U.S. a complete list on an international scale would be much more lengthy.
Posted 04 April 2011 - 01:31 PM
Bournonville choreographed roles for both very young and post-prime dancers in, as I understand it, all of his ballets. Here's Pennsylvania Ballet (plus children) in one of my favorite examples:
Posted 05 April 2011 - 06:43 AM
The Royal Ballet has child (tween or early-teen) swans accompanying Odette's entrance and dancing a bit of the Waltz of the Swans.
Posted 05 April 2011 - 07:22 AM
Posted 05 April 2011 - 07:48 AM
Posted 05 April 2011 - 08:25 AM
On a possibly related note, I was noticing that the male dancers in the beginning of "Sylvia", in the scene in the glade, are so slight (especially when compared to the muscular gods and Aminta who later appear.) I was wondering if the performers in the glades were from a ballet school or if the corps generally contained younger, less developed dancers.
Which leads to other questions regarding behind the scenes issues - how many hairdressers, costumers, dressers, make-up artists, etc. generally work with the dancers? The elaborate hairstyles and pinning of tiaras and hats on each dancer must require tremendous effort.
Posted 05 April 2011 - 08:46 AM
Well, there are the two little ones who sit at the dead Sylph's head and feet as she's wafted away to heaven - but of course they don't dance.
Posted 05 April 2011 - 09:03 AM
You're referring to the Ashton, yes? These are all adult dancers. Actually, all of the Sylvias that I've seen seem to use only adults.
Yes, the more elaborately-staged ballets require big resources backstage.
Wigs - A traditional-looking production of Sleeping Beauty can have 8 or more cubicles where dancers and supers take turns having their wigs placed on them. There's usually a separate room for fixing/re-setting wigs in between performances.
Dressing - There are dressers assigned to all categories of performers, e.g., principal men, principal ladies, solo men/ladies, 2-3 dressers for female corps and at least a couple for male corps especially when there's elaborate lacing/hooks. [In Russia, the female dancers are often sewn into their tutus...back of bodice...to give the appearance of a 2nd skin.] Repairs can be made on-site, if needed, but most of the costume prep takes place in the costume shop which can be offsite...not even in the theater.
Make-up - There are make-up artists for the principals and soloists, especially for any out-of-the-ordinary look...but I've seen most corps and even soloists do their own make-up. [I used to work in opera and noticed that only principals got a make-up artist to assist.]
Props are normally given-out backstage, near the wings. 'Prop Man/Prop Person'is a unique union category, by the way. When I worked in opera, some jewelry-like pieces or parasols/fans and such had to come from the prop man, not the dresser.
My experiences are from Kennedy Center, Met and Mariinsky. The Mariinsky seems to have 'more of everyone'! There also seemed to be less angst at the Mariinsky about getting performers out of their costumes by a certain time. Super-duper people at all theaters, though. I have great admiration for all of them.
Posted 05 April 2011 - 09:07 AM
Posted 05 April 2011 - 09:27 AM
Posted 10 April 2011 - 01:53 PM
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