Thursday, December 10, 2009
Dear Sanna - understudying
I think I mentioned at the very beginning of the year that I had the honor of understudying one of the leading roles in the ballet we are, actually just now, about to perform. Well a lot has happened since then. The first cast of this role was changed for a different role, and another dancer became the first cast. Nobody mentioned me, but I assumed I was still the understudy.
It is very strange though, because I'm not even sure there have been more than 2 scheduled rehearsals for this part, and one of them literally said "learn from the video in the small studio," so even the girl who will dance the role is barely rehearsed. Often times, she will run the variation or watch the video or rehearse on her own time, which is good, but I feel weird about asking for my own private rehearsals, and they almost never tell me when she is going to practice.
So I find myself just watching her all day, and throwing on my pointe shoes to practice in the back behind her every time she works on something. In general I just feel stupid, but also it is my responsibility to learn this, first of all in case something should happen to the first cast and I have to go in, but second of all for my own good in case I am miraculously asked to dance the role. It would be a shame for the artistic director to actually cast me and then I can't perform because I don't know the part or didn't rehearse it well.
But I decided to stop being upset about this, and see it as a learning experience for myself. Chances are I won't perform this part, but I am going to appreciate the fact that I even have to opportunity to learn it (above any of the other girls who could be understudies), and work to dance the best I can, and if I am ever given the chance I will have done everything I could, and if not this time, I can get a lot out of learning this choreography and character. Every time I dance I can learn a little more about myself and improve.