So You're Not the Sugar Plum Fairy. Here's How to Move Past Casting Disappointment
This year I expected to be cast in a solo role in Nutcracker after adding private lessons and Pilates to my schedule. Yet I only landed a demi-solo part. How should I deal with this setback?
—Wannabe Sugar Plum, Bethpage, NY
Celebrate it! After all, you are moving in the right direction. There are only a few featured roles in any ballet with many dancers hoping for a chance to perform them. Your hard work moved you up a notch, so it isn't a setback. Now, do your best to nail it!
Next year, rather than expecting to be cast in a leading role like the Sugar Plum Fairy, try to set up other Nutcracker gigs on your own. Contact your old dance school (where they may be thrilled to have you back as a professional), or find an enterprising dancer who's looking for a partner. This type of experience will help you develop as a performer. I've even seen dancers get promoted by their companies after they did outside gigs that enhanced their range.
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Capezio, Bloch, So Dança, Gaynor Minden.
At the top of the line, dancers have plenty of quality footwear options to choose from, and in most metropolitan areas, stores to go try them on. But for many of North America's most economically disadvantaged dance students, there has often been just one option for purchasing footwear in person: Payless ShoeSource.
When Sonya Tayeh saw Moulin Rouge! for the first time, on opening night at a movie theater in Detroit, she remembers not only being inspired by the story, but noticing the way it was filmed.
"What struck me the most was the pace, and the erratic feeling it had," she says. The camera's quick shifts and angles reminded her of bodies in motion. "I was like, 'What is this movie? This is so insane and marvelous and excessive,' " she says. "And excessive is I think how I approach dance. I enjoy the challenge of swiftness, and the pushing of the body. I love piling on a lot of vocabulary and seeing what comes out."
Back when Robbie Fairchild graced the cover of the May 2018 issue of Dance Magazine, he mentioned an idea for a short dance film he was toying around with. That idea has now come to fruition: In This Life, starring Fairchild and directed by dance filmmaker Bat-Sheva Guez, is being screened at this year's Dance on Camera Festival.
While the film itself covers heavy material—specifically, how we deal with grief and loss—the making of it was anything but: "It was really weird to have so much fun filming a piece about grief!" Fairchild laughs. We caught up with him, Guez and Christopher Wheeldon (one of In This Life's five choreographers) to find out what went into creating the 11-minute short film.
When Hollywood needs to build a fantasy world populated with extraordinary creatures, they call Terry Notary.
The former gymnast and circus performer got his start in film in 2000 when Ron Howard asked him to teach the actors how to move like Whos for How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Notary has since served as a movement choreographer, stunt coordinator and performer via motion capture technology for everything from the Planet of the Apes series to The Hobbit trilogy, Avatar, Avengers: Endgame and this summer's The Lion King.
Since opening the Industry Dance Academy with his wife, Rhonda, and partners Maia and Richard Suckle, Notary also offers movement workshops for actors in Los Angeles.