‘Tis the Season to be Dancing

Six years of dancing The Nutcracker and still learning

How is it already the second week of December? My advent calendar is slowly emptying, snow has already fallen, Christmas markets are buzzing like always, and as the days tick towards the 25th (24th here in Germany), the music of the much-loved ballet ‘The Nutcracker’ is filling theatres all over the world and Karlsruhe is no exception. Tis’ the season to be jolly and what better way to get in the festive mood than dressing up as a snowflake and jumping out of giant presents.

We have been dancing Youri Vámos’s ‘The Nutcracker – A Christmas Story’ since the first year I joined the company. The storyline combines the original Nutcracker with Charles Dickens’s ‘A Christmas Carol’. It was actually the first premier I experienced back in 2010. I had just graduated from the Royal Ballet School, and after performing my last Grand Defile with the school and a night celebrating with fellow classmates for the last time, I flew to Karlsruhe to spend a week with the company while they started learning the ballet.

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The Royal Ballet Grand Defile in 2010, the day my classmates & I graduated from the Upper School (I am in red, 5th from the front)

Continue reading “‘Tis the Season to be Dancing”

How a Fairy Gets Her Wings: An Unexpected Chance to Fly

Working with the ballet legend Peter Schaufuss to recreate his La Sylphide.

With the premiere of Peter Schaufuss‘s La Sylphide at the end of the week, things are really coming together and getting exciting. We had a few dress rehearsals last week and I had the unexpected chance to dance the Sylphide.

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A beautiful painting like picture taken during a dress rehearsal (Photo: Flavio Salamanka)

Originally being the third cast for the main role and just coming back from injury, I was not expecting to be dancing it for a while. But things changed when Peter asked how I felt about giving it a go in the next day’s run through. I was feeling good and knew the role pretty well so why not. With this ballet, there is surprisingly no pas de deux choreography so it is very easy to mix up the casts. Peter told us he wanted to change the dancers around so we all had the chance to dance and he also had the chance to see us in each role.

After the run, they were happy enough to give me another chance to rehearse it again the next day on stage. This rehearsal also went well and it was beautiful to dance with the live orchestra, which always brings another depth to the piece. I was then surprised last Monday morning when Peter set the cast for the first dress rehearsal and I would dance the Sylph. Continue reading “How a Fairy Gets Her Wings: An Unexpected Chance to Fly”

Today is a Good Dancing Day

Thought I would let you guys know I managed to advance further in training this morning so feeling good about that. So good in fact I treated myself to a new leotard. Feeling positive and pretty in pink.

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May this feeling continue and fingers crossed it is onwards and upwards from here. Have a good weekend.

With love,

Harriet

The Beginning is the Most Important Part of the Work

First week of work…check.

I am back to my normal routine of a ballet dancer, with morning warm up followed by ballet class and a day full of rehearsals. It has been a week of meeting new colleagues and learning new steps, laughing with friends and learning more steps. My muscles have ached and my toes have hurt, but I have to admit it was not as bad as it could have been, as most days the work load was manageable. Continue reading “The Beginning is the Most Important Part of the Work”

Dancing into the New Season with the School of Russian Ballet

With my summer holidays coming to an end, I had a lovely opportunity to finish it off on a dancing high. In a small studio, along with some young aspiring ballerinas and a wonderful teacher, I was back to ballet training and ready to work.

During the previous summer I spent a week here with my parents and manage to find a small dance school called The School of Russian Ballet, where they were nice enough to let me join in some classes. I was there once again this summer sharing the studio with the girls and their teacher, Regina Zarhina. Continue reading “Dancing into the New Season with the School of Russian Ballet”