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Rehearsing with two different partners.

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In yet another terrific post, Mikhail wrote:

Originally posted by Mikhail

Our third Tahor did not dance with Gracheva in this ballet as well. The motivation for the decision was that it would be difficult for him to rehearse the duets with two ballerinas simultaneously. No new Tahor was chosen for Ms. Alexandrova.  

Leaving aside the (apparent) company politics which may have been part of this decision, my question regards a dancer rehearsing a work with two different partners.

If all three partners know the work and have performed it before, which is not really the case in Mikhail's post, but assume it for the purpose of this question, how difficult would it be to rehearse a complex work under these conditions?

Is it generally done, or is it usually something that is avoided?

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I don't know that much about this sort of thing, but I think it depends on what they have to dance: they would avoid having different partners for Swan Lake for example, but if it's for shorter ballets, why not? The Paris Opera has given Jewels recently, and quite a few times, some dancer danced several times the same part but with different partners. But I think sometimes also, especially if there are guests, some dancers dance twice the same role but with different partners in longer ballets. This is not really relevant, but it's quite amazing: once, Aurélie Dupont was meant to dance The Nutcracker with Nicolas Leriche and rehearsed with him, but then he had to go to Japan because he had to dance there too, so a couple of days before the performance, she had to start repeating with Laurent Hilaire. She was quite scared, especially since it was the first time she was dancing the Nutcracker. Then, during the performance, Laurent Hilaire injured himself while doing the variation in the third act and had to stop. So she finally had to finish with Jose Martinez with whom she had never rehearsed!

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I think one of the (man) bad trends in ballet recently has been partner shuffling. There are companies who will schedule Ballerina A with Partner A in, say, "Swan Lake" on Tuesday, and with Partner B (while he's with Ballerina C) on "Thursday" and, then, of course, Saturday will match Ballerina B withi Partner C, just to keep it interesting. (I say that facetiously; I don't get the point.)

But rehearsing today seems to be more and more an optional activity.

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