Monday, November 14, 2011
Hi, this is Kaya (with Fiona looking over my shoulder.) As I mentioned in the last post, today was a big day for us - the day our dance teachers assigned us roles for The Nutcracker. Now that we have our parts, rehearsals will kick into high gear, then we'll start performances in a little less than a month. Wow, what a whirlwind!
I got cast in several roles; this is normal for the pointe students at our school because there aren't as many of us. In Act One I'll be a Party Guest. Then I'll have plenty of time to change after my scene, but in Act Two I'll be in and out of Quick Change a lot! At the very start of Act Two, I'll be one of the three Sugar Plum Fairy Attendants, which is like a servant of the real Sugar Plum Fairy; not all productions have that role, but it's basically sort of setting the scene for the Kingdom of Sweets. Then I'm in the Candy Cane dance - that's what we do with the Russian music - and Waltz of the Flowers. I have the length of two other dances to change in between each of those, but still, I will be busy and I'm sure I'll always be in a hurry!
Then I have to change back into my Sugar Plum Fairy Attendant costume for curtain call for the evening performances. The daytime performances are shorter because they cut the Pas de Deux and the Cavalier's solo so it won't be as long for the kids who attend as a school fieldtrip, so for those I won't have time to change back. For evenings, they want me to try it, because that's considered my "main" role since it's a smaller group than my other dances. Madness!
The biggest news, though, actually comes from Fiona. Yes, little miss "I probably won't get a part, I'm not as good as the other girls, they've all been dancing longer than me, my teacher doesn't like me, etc." Apparently she was wrong about all this, because she got one of the biggest roles! ;-)
Fiona is one of the two girls who was cast as Clara! Woot! Our school double-casts for the younger kids, so that more people get a chance to perform, they don't get so tired, and they don't have to miss as much school. The two casts get the same number of performance days, and it's different from alternates; the alternate for Clara will only take over if Fiona or the other girl get too hurt or sick to perform. My roles aren't double-cast, so I'll be in all the shows, but on Cast B days I get to dance with my sister. We're both really excited! Fiona is so proud of herself and happy - as she should be.
There's one little fly in the ointment, though, and that is that the Clara understudy is not happy. She was just assuming she was going to get the role, and she's really upset that she got cast as an alternate. (Even though at the performances where she doesn't have to be an emergency Clara she'll still go on as a Polichinelle, so it's not like she won't be on stage in some capacity.) I think she's probably getting a lot of pressure at home about it, too, because her two older sisters both danced the role of Clara at her age, and her mother seems like one of those stage-mommy types. I feel bad for her in a way; it's no fun to be disappointed, and we were all hoping for good parts. I don't feel bad for her all the way, though, because she's being really nasty to Fiona and the other Clara about it. Both of the Claras joined the school in the past year, and the alternate is whispering to the other girls that they don't deserve it because they're new.
I was trying to cut her some slack because she was so miserable about it, but then I heard her tell her friend that Fiona is "crazy," and at that point I went and told her to stop it and grow up. Fiona has bipolar disorder, but she's not crazy and that has nothing to do with whether or not she can dance - which obviously she can, since she got the role.
The understudy backed off, but I'm worried she's going to try to spoil this for Fiona. Well, not if Big Sis Kaya has anything to say about it, she won't. ;-)
So Fiona and I are celebrating tonight, mean people aside. I think cookies and a silly dance movie are called for! :-)