The Nutcracker opens tomorrow at Clowes Hall, 7:30 pm! I’m currently watching the dancers in Act II perform one last dress rehearsal in preparation for Butler Ballet‘s show tomorrow, and everyone looks great. I love watching the process of a program coming together, knowing all the individual struggles and seeing my friends overcome problem areas and grow ever more exacting. Press lifts which might not have worked in October sail into the air without a hitch now, and we are no longer satisfied with what seemed a good run a month ago.
Basically, I’m very proud of everybody, and you should come see the performances this weekend. Show times are:
- Thursday, Dec 1, 7:30 pm
- Friday, Dec 2, 8 pm
- Saturday, Dec 3, 2 pm
- Saturday, Dec 3, 8 pm
- Sunday, Dec 4, 2 pm
It’s not too late to buy tickets! (Especially if you didn’t win one at the Apartment Village’s Bingo Night.)
This will be my last Nutcracker at Butler, and I’m not nostalgic quite yet. I have all year for that, right? So far, we’ve run through the ballet in the studio and spaced in the theater. Tomorrow comes tech rehearsals — dancing in fake snow — and a costume/orchestra rehearsal, both in the theater.
It’s always strange jumping right in after Thanksgiving Break. I recommend lots of Pilates.
I am drinking lots of water and listening to music. Also, reading Richard II for my Shakespeare class. I think I got food poisoning from Mongolian Grill and am quite grateful that grossness was over quickly; on a sadder note, my roommate has ushered in the Nutcracker cold/sickness. Tis the season.
My posts grow more scattered as I grow busier.
Come see the show!
Studio Dress = all the dance majors run a ballet for the first time completely put together, in costume, in the largest studio in Lilly Hall. Because The Nutcracker is double-cast, we usually run the show twice. This means Studio Dress takes all Saturday.
Butler Ballet's The Nutcracker... Dec 1-4, 2011
This year, however, our new university President Jim Danko’s inaugaration was the morning of Studio Dress. We started in the afternoon, only ran one cast, and will finish with the other cast during the large rehearsal slot on Tuesday.
Studio Dress is always slightly manic, but fun. This year, thanks to the shortened time, it seemed like the rehearsal was over before I knew it! The costume shop has been extremely busy getting everything ready, and the costumes all look fantastic. I have the most enormous crown; I used about thirty pins because I was afraid it would fall off if I spotted too quickly, and it seemed secure enough.
I forgot I haven’t written about this before… I’m actually dancing as the Snow Queen now. I injured my foot earlier this semester and the faculty decided to take me out of the Grand Pas so the injury would not get worse. I understand the decision, though I’m still pretty disappointed. But… my foot feels better, and I’m excited to be in the snow scene! I think the shows will all be beautiful, and I urge you to buy your tickets to see this year’s Nutcracker performances!
I have loads of exciting things to tell you about… but the BCC’s apparently annual technology fast starts this evening and runs through Friday evening. I will turn off my phone and my computer (homework is excepted) and see what happens without the texting and constant communication college students so love.
The fast includes communication and entertainment technology. “Technology” is a pretty broad word, but I’m counting electronic entertainment/communication devices. Books are fine; iPods not…
You can read about last year’s Tech Fast here and here.
You can buy tickets for the Luna Negra concert at Clowes Memorial Hall this Friday, Nov 4 at 8 pm here.
EDIT: Haha, just kidding, Tech Fast is Nov 10-11… My bad, my bad.
I spend so much time talking about the Dance Department, I feel like I’m giving the other areas of the JCFA the cold shoulder. To remedy this — the Department of Theater.
The two most memorable Butler Theater shows I’ve seen are The Cherry Orchard (2010) and Phaedra (2008). I think Phaedra stands out because the story is fairly intense and the entire production played out on a large, wide staircase that served as the stage. I remember The Cherry Orchard production so well because we discussed the play in my Global and Historical Studies class. I read the play for the class, and I wrote a review of the Theater Department’s production.
What impresses me the most about the Theater Department is their willingness to engage more obscure works. I know they did The Photographer a few years before I began at Butler (you can see snippets here). One of the dance professors choreographed for the show, and I think some of the dance students were involved. I love the music for The Photographer… I would have gone in a heartbeat. This music is in my Favorites on Youtube:
I also love the Theater Department’s sets. Those I’ve seen have been gorgeous. If I remember correctly, the Cherry Orchard stage had white flower petals coming from its sides.
The Cherry Orchard, Butler Theater 2010
I know this post hasn’t been extremely organized, but if you want to learn more about Butler’s Department of Theater, just browse through the links below!
Collegian article about visiting artist — and the source of the incessant drumming coming from their third floor Lilly classroom…
Faculty and Staff
How to Apply
This is the first year I have not been part of the Student Choreography Showcase. Since I’ve been dealing with a foot injury, this was probably the right choice. Still, the show last night was great — once we got in.
When we arrived, they had just closed the doors because the Studio Theater in Lilly Hall was packed to the gills. I saw the stage manager leave and asked if we could enter if two people left the show early. Sure enough, after the second piece two audience members trickled out, and we got a seat at the very side of the theater.
I’m going back tonight to see the beginning of the show, obviously.
I thought the program this year was very strong. There were no pieces I disliked (and in years past there have always been one or two) and many that I loved. The music was overall predictable, but that uniformity did help to make a cohesive program. There were a bunch of good moments, and this year I saw more choreographic technique than ever before, if that makes sense.
Anyway, the JCFA is on Facebook, and you should follow them for updates — like this advisory about the Showcase seating:
Also, the Butler Ballet on Facebook, and Butler University and the Office of Admission.
As a student in the JCFA, I encounter my fellow fine-arts aficionados quite frequently in the halls of Lilly. We recently received a new Dean, Ronald Caltabiano, who wants to emphasize inter-disciplinary learning. I think this is a great idea, and I also think more students in the JCFA from outside the School of Music should look into attending the Faculty Artist Series.
The Faculty Artist Series runs concerts by the music faculty on Tuesday nights at 7:30 pm in the Eidson-Duckwall Recital Hall on campus. If you are visiting campus and interested in joining the School of Music, I’d recommend trying to see one of the concerts. Not only will you hear what the faculty have to offer, but you are also bound to meet a bunch of the students currently in the School of Music. I went last Tuesday night with a jazz minor to see the Faculty Jazz Combo, led by the director of jazz studies at Butler, Dr. Matthew Pivec. The combo performed jazz renditions of pop tunes by Stevie Wonder, Sara Bareilles, No Doubt, and Sting — as well as Charlie Chaplin! Clearly, the music program has its fair share of diversity.
Having attached myself to the the periphery of the cluster of students following jazz music at Butler, I’ve become marginally more familiar with Dr. Pivec by hearsay and meeting. I must report a double thumbs up — if you want to join the jazz studies program at Butler, you are in for a treat. Dr. Pivec is one of the nicest professors I’ve met, and he has even begun to recognize me, a random dance major!
For more info about Butler’s Jazz Studies program, go here.
To see the course of study for other degrees and concentrations offered by Butler’s School of Music, go here.
For a schedule of concerts from the School of Music, go here.
We left The Nutcracker safely laired last winter, curled up to dream of sugarplums dancing and mice gnawing for the long spring and summer. Unlike most hibernating creatures, The Nutcracker drowses through the warm weather and awakens for the cold. Being September, the Department of Dance at Butler has begun preparations for The Nutcracker.
The Butler Ballet in The Nutcracker, 2010
Each year, the Department of Dance mounts two full-length classical ballets as well as a full evening of short pieces (Midwinter Dance Festival). Past years have included, in reverse chronological order, The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Cinderella, and Giselle. And The Nutcracker, always The Nutcracker. Like most ballet companies, the Butler Ballet relies on the traditional Nutcracker productions to keep afloat. This means most dancers have performed the ballet approximately way too many times.
No, I actually like The Nutcracker, though I also like to complain about The Nutcracker. It’s nostalgic, for sure, extremely familiar, a sign of the winter holidays and family and many years spent with ballet friends and colleagues. As much as I’m nervous for this year’s performance — I am one of the two Sugar Plum Fairies — I am excited to get into the full swing of rehearsals.
Will I see you at Clowes Hall this year on December 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th?
This weekend marked the Indianapolis City Ballet’s Gala performances. The Young Stars of Ballet was Friday night; Evening with the Stars, Saturday.
I saw the Evening With the Stars program with a large portion of Butler’s dance department. The dance service fraternity, Sigma Rho Delta, purchased a bunch of tickets, so I got mine at a slightly discounted price and got to discuss the show with my friends. The artsy photo above (as well as most of the other photos in this post) happened when I gave my camera to photographer friend, whose camera was out of battery. Thank you!
So we went to the Gala. The performers were all beautiful. I was not quite as blown away as I had been in years past — some of the newly commissioned pieces and some performances of old pieces did not quite do it for me — but all the stars still made for a great show.
I saw famous people! This was Friday night, when I participated in the Young Stars of Ballet. I made eye contact with Daniil Simkin — weird. For the only picture of the stars that night, see the bus above in front of the theater. The Murat Theatre is beautiful, more so when it’s actually visible in the daylight.
I’m not sure about the Coors sign on the marquee, though… Classy? Anyway, there were some great performances, odd choreography and opinions concerning style notwithstanding. I especially appreciated the representative from the Trockadero Ballet, the ballerino Paul Ghiselin/Ida Nevasayneva, performing a touching rendition of the Dying Swan.
“Madness. Sheer and utter madness,” she wrote. This week we have our dance finals, and next week is production week for The Sleeping Beauty. (Which you must attend.)
I had a pointe final yesterday, and a modern final and a pas final the day before that, and another pointe final the day before that and a pas final the day before that (we’re on Monday by now). Today is ballet technique and variations, then Saturday is Studio Dress rehearsal.
Add a bunch of papers into the mix, and my brain is addled. Add the fact that I’m now understudying my friend who is performing Aurora and tried to learn the whole ballet in the space of about three days, and my brain has well neigh given up the ghost. This post is less informative in the expository sense and more information in the representative sense as I exhibit the symptoms of the madness that seizes dance majors–especially dance majors who are also double majors–before a performance.
Butler Ballet's The Sleeping Beauty