In the average graduating class of any dance program (in styles that use pirouettes), how many of the graduates can do a quadruple, clean, controlled, pirouette with consistency? Forty percent? Fifty? Seventy percent? Think carefully before you answer.
Every dancer her their own limits. Photo by Ahmad Odeh/Unsplash
Last month, Yann Arnaud, an aerialist with Cirque de Soleil, died after plummeting to the stage in VOLTA. He was performing an aerial straps routine in Tampa, Florida, when one of his hands slipped and he fell 20 feet.
Professional dancers are often asked to perform stunts, some of them extremely dangerous. Even when the risks aren't life-threatening, it's important to listen to your gut.
A Choreographers' Showcase 2016. Photo by Ginger Griep-Ruiz, Courtesy Nevada Ballet Theatre.
Since 2007, Nevada Ballet Theatre and mega-producer Cirque du Soleil have joined forces to produce A Choreographers' Showcase. Each year, ballet dancers, aerialists, acrobats, clowns and musicians meld their artistic talents, creating buzz up and down the strip. These two unlikely partners will celebrate their 10th anniversary October 8, 14 and 15 when this "only in Vegas" style grand pas takes to the Mystère stage at Treasure Island Hotel & Casino. For this 2017 celebration, 15 original works will be created and performed by over 60 artists from both NBT and the seven resident Vegas Cirque shows. nevadaballet.org.
The dancers file into an audition room. They are given a number and asked to wait for registration to finish before the audition starts. At the end of the room, behind a table and a computer (and probably a number of mobile devices), there I sit, doing audio tests and updating the audition schedule as the room fills up with candidates. The dancers, more nervous than they need to be, see me, typing, perhaps teasing my colleagues, almost certainly with a coffee cup at my side.