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Young dancers as Mother Ginger

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I see that next week NYCB is casting Stephen Hanna, Jonathan Stafford, and Amar Ramasar as Mother Ginger. I'm wondering what qualities these dancers displayed that caused them to be chosen for this part. And once cast as Mother Ginger, can a dancer still aspire to become Sugar Plum's Cavalier some day?

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I think the main quality is being over 6 feet tall! Secondary to that is probably not having seniority in the corps, or it being "your turn" this season. Hasn't Hanna also done cavalier, by the way?

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A secondary characteristic, after height, is the ability and willingness of the prospective Mother Ginger to perform outrageous, over-the-top slapstick humor while the kids are dancing. Back in the days when they were dancing in bearskin tutus, to music by flint violins, David Richardson was still seen at an occasional Saturday matinee as the Cavalier. And then he took over Mother Ginger....

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In our company, Mother Ginger is handled by a special guild, separate from the dancers. Mother Ginger walks on stilts, and dancers do not walk on stilts. When they need more "fodder", they annouce a call for auditions to find more volunteers.

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Hi!

I don't remeber Hanna being cast as the Cavalier-isn't Orza is the only corps member to be the Cavalier in recent years?

I would think casting is partially dependant on how the roles are being distibuted this year, partially on height, and partially on ability to walk on stilts (great dance skills do not necessarily translate to good stilt skills!).

It's not such a bad deal anyway, because it's considered a "hazardous" (or whatever the contractual term is) role, so the dancer gets paid at a higher rate for each performance and rehearsal.

Actually, I think the more interesting choice is Adam Hendrickson as Drosselmeier.

Kate

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