Sunday, October 26, 2014

Few Days Away - Unexpected Cast Change

Me by BalletCollective's Wild Posting Ads
BalletCollective is just a few days away from our New York season at the NYU Skirball Center! We have been in the studio at New 42nd Street rehearsing this past week, refining the ballets and preparing for the performances. With an unexpected bump in the road, we are in good shape.

Just last Sunday, as our New York City Ballet fall season came to a close, Harrison Coll hurt his foot dancing in the last ballet of the matinee, George Balanchine's Theme and Variations. Sidelined for the next few weeks, on crutches and in a boot, Harrison sadly will not be performing with us this Wednesday and Thursday but will make a full recovery.

After much discussion and weighing our options, Troy came to the conclusion that since we were unable to find a replacement for Harrison (with such little notice and time), and with a number of dancers already committed to other projects or on vacation... he would dance! Although Troy is wearing many hats: director, producer, now dancer, he is the perfect fill-in. Having created the ballets, he has a greater understanding of the steps, and knows exactly how they should be done; they are his steps and creation after all!

Late last Monday night, soon after making the decision that he was to dance in both The Impulse Wants Company and also the premiere of Dear and Blackbirds, I dared Troy to put on the music and run the Dear and Blackbirds pas de deux with me. It was a sight to see! In our living room, at 10pm in my Uniqlo pajamas, he and I were jumbling through the ten minute piece. Not surprisingly, Troy basically knew the whole work. I knew plugging him into the ballets would be no sweat!

In our late night mock rehearsal, I realized that Dear and Blackbirds was going to be a new experience for me. Having a work made on you and another dancer creates a strong bond and connection. You develop your individual "characters" or impressions and mental connections with that other person. After working out the kinks, and having several performing opportunities, dancing excerpts in Fire Island and in Telluride, Harrison and I had built a chemistry that just kept growing  each time we danced the pas de deux. It was intimate, refreshing and always a joy. In a way, I always knew where he was going to be or what his next move was, or even what the emotional arc was trending that day. With Harrison gone, I know this will be a new experience of exploration in dancing with Troy, and we have already begun reinventing the piece for the two of us and having fun doing it! (I only hit him with my elbow once! OOPS!)

These past few days have been hard work but by the end of yesterday, Troy had been slotted in to both ballets and the second of two premieres, All That We See, was put back together. All three ballets are in great shape for tomorrow
when we rehearse with the musicians for the first time!

For ticket information go to We hope to see you there!

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