We are in the midst of preparing for Swan Lake, the full production. Mixed in with in my YOU Dance rehearsals, I have had Swan Lake corps rehearsals for the shows during the Fall Season. The performances start in the middle of November. Unlike the traditional Swan Lake, National Ballet of Canada does James Kudelka’s version.
The story line is a little different from the standard version, as well as much of the choreography. Having performed Swan Lake with San Francisco Ballet when I was in the school, I already had a taste of what it takes to dance this ballet in a professional production. Kudelka’s choreography is very challenging and intricate for the corps de ballet. There is very little standing and posing for the corps, which is about 50% of what the traditional version consists of.
The steps we are working on are mostly jumps and lots of running. For me, ballet runs are one of the most difficult things to execute well. I am very glad we started the Swan Lake rehearsals many weeks before the show opens, because stamina definitely plays a key factor in this version of the ballet.
Another thing that these rehearsals are teaching me is a unique dynamic style, which Kudelka creates for every dancer in his ballets. This production has been brought back a few times by the company, so there are many company members who have already performed it. One of the many things I enjoy about these challenging rehearsals is that I get the opportunity to observe the experienced dancers and what they have to offer to the corps. This is definitely the most difficult corps piece I have ever done, but its incredibly exciting and invigorating to be pushed to new limits.