Wednesday, October 14, 2009


....and casting has been announced!

Click here to see who's who!

It is quieter here again at BalletMet as the dancers are back in Cincinnati to practice. This week, as mentioned in my last entry, I will be focusing on the production aspect of Swan Lake. Jamie Gross is BalletMet’s Production Manager and her job is basically to keep everyone on track; not an easy task by far.

“My job is to catch mistakes,” says Jamie. She admitted that she also, often, cannot help but notice production mistakes on other shows she sees, be it ballets or even concerts. “I can’t help it.”
Don't worry Jamie, you just know how to make things look good! :)

When talking about production, first things first, the show has to be loaded. This means that the production crew has three days to prep the space for the show. Designs have been previously plotted, but now is the time where the crew can actually get to work and see if their designs will work with the space. Load-in begins on Tuesday morning but must be finished by Friday morning...that's a lot of work in a short amount of time!

Today I was shown the ground layout of the show, as well as what they call “minis” which draws out what will be on stage for each scene. These are good visual aids for stage managers and choreographers to use. Jamie also told me that Carla Chaffin, designer of the original 1997 Swan Lake set, is here to give input.

“It is great to be able to use local talent,” says Jamie.

Additionally, I was taken into one of the dance studios where the floors were marked with tape to signify where the props will be and where the dancers should stand. This was AMAZING. It may not seem exciting to some but, to me, it was incredible to stand in the room where ballets begin; to know that all the hard work that goes into creating a beautiful ballet happens here. When watching Swan Lake on Friday night, I will remember that moment.

For as elaborate as this performance will be, it is amazing to think that set production began only days before. Preparation is very challenging and intense at times and the production crew works extremely hard to make the audience’s experience perfect. And although Jamie claims there are always, what I like to call, “uh-oh moments", I believe that the audience will have a difficult time noticing them. The staff and dancers at BalletMet do an amazing job of drawing the audience into a story and not letting go until the very end.

In reference to Swan Lake, Jamie would like our readers to know that if everything runs smoothly and there is nothing visibly wrong with the show, then the production staff has done their job well.

“We are just adding to the magic of it all.”

All I have to say is that I am beyond excited about attending a BalletMet performance as their intern! I have been to shows in the past, but it now it is a completely different experience.

And it’s finally here!!
……Hope to see you there! :)

Before I go, I’d like to end this week’s entry with a few quotes from BalletMet dancers Adrienne Benz and Adam Hundt about their experience with Swan Lake!

“I really enjoyed the camaraderie between BalletMet and the Cincinnati Ballet. It is interesting to work with different dancers and different styles. And my calves really hurt but I can’t complain because the girls have it so much worse than the guys for this piece!" ---Adam Hundt
Swan Lake is an extremely difficult ballet but as usual it needs to look effortless! Dancing the role of Odette (white swan queen) has been eye opening and a great challenge at the perfect time in my career!” ---Adrienne Benz

…Enjoy the show!

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