Every year, the Moscow Ballet comes across the country with their production of The Great Russian Nutcracker, hitting multiple cities in 38 different states.
Yesterday, three of the girls from the dance studio went down to Sugar Land to audition for the Houston production. Since the production requires small dancers (5'0 and under), I was able to join them and audition as well.
Officiating the Houston audition was Moscow's Olga Balbocean. She taught a brief center combination for everyone, then taught the youngest dancers a brief section from the snowflakes scene. Having finished that, the younger ones waited in the back of the room while older dancers went across the room with grand allegro and turns.
From our studio, we had two girls in the younger group, plus myself and one of my advanced students (who I'll refer to as Elle) in the older group. Elle and I were the only ones wearing pointe shoes, which caused us some initial worry when we saw the wood floor (thankfully, there was a rosin box in the corner). Whenever I glanced over at the gaggle of little ones at the back, my two students were standing still in first position, arms en bas, not talking or goofing or fidgeting. I told them afterwards that I was very proud of them for behaving so professionally.
The audition was scheduled for two and a half hours, but within forty-five minutes casting was being announced. The little ones from our school got two roles; both are snowflakes; one is also a mouse and the other "a French (Aka the Meriltones/Marzipan/Shepherdesses/ Pan Flutes)." Elle and I were cast as the Spanish duet. Yay everyone!
Excitement was high afterwards, especially when it was announced that Ms. Balbocean would be teaching a master class this afternoon. My students are all excited to be dancing in such a big production. I'm happy, too-- It's one of the greatest Nutcracker productions and it's going to be a wonderful experience that I'll get to share with the kiddos. Elle and I are excited to be dancing a role together-- Spanish is a new role for both of us.
And that said, I'm off to pick up Elle for the master class.