Photo Credit: Phil Wayes

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Let's talk about 'Alice:' Let the Run-Throughs Commence

The show is less than two weeks away, so we're in run-through mode here in Wonderland. Here's a run-down:

Monday we ran Act One. It went really well and was over surprisingly quick: White Rabbit and The Alices were the last ones to finish, and we were done 45 minutes early!*
I have one group of itsy-bitsies-- the Clocks-- and they were the only group of baby-dancers in Act One. I was so proud of them-- not only did they do there dance very well (three times through), but the rest of the time they were so. Very. Quiet. And still! They sat "criss-crossed applesauce" on the sidelines when they weren't dancing and made not a peep. At one point I went over and sat down by them, and they all crowded around to sit close to me (awww) and whispered some questions to me "Who are those dancers?" "Who is that boy? Can boys dance, too?"
Our White Rabbit is stealing the show, y'all. All of her frantic-running, "I'm late I'm late I'm late" scenes are hysterical-- she really owns her character. I actually high-fived her at one point. My little opening-scene looks cute, too (note to self: Hey, Butterfly, next time remember to bring the props. As in, put them in your car, not on the kitchen counter). I noticed during that scene that we seem to have a Blonde Cast and a Brunette Cast, which is unique: Main-cast Alice, Little Alice, Sister, and Dinah are all blondes; yet all of their understudies are brunettes (or, in my case, really dark blonde).

Yesterday we ran Act Two, which opens with Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum and ends with the conclusion of the flower scene. The "Tweedles" dance is adorable-- a very classic, New-York- style jazz duet-- and I love their costumes (They get to wear blue sparkly propeller beanie hats. Sparkly. Beanies!). After TweedleDuo it segues right into the flower garden, comprised of four corps dances (including some demi-solo work by Little Alice). I choreographed three of them, and I feel like they went pretty well. My littlest flowers-- the Daises-- are adorable, and by gosh those kiddos are serious about knowing their choreography and placement. I told them in the previous rehearsals that they would need to be still and hold their poses while the other flowers danced; and the director gave them cues for when they would need to change poses while they were "in the background." The lot of them barely moved a muscle, moved to their new positions automatically, and one of them even knew to leave a "space" onstage for another dancer who was missing. Way to be on the ball, little ballerinas. We ran those sequences about four times through, and still got done early.

Tonight is going to be a big one, though: Act Three (The Somber Forest) is pretty involved. There are soe pretty heavy-duty ensemble pieces (Alice's Tears, the Chesire Kittens, The Caterpillar, and I bet there's one more that I'm forgetting) plus several solo scenes (Chesire Cat, White Rabbit, and Alice's variation). Plus, the Somber Forest is when Little Alice turns back into Big Alice, which means I need to be ready to dance at some point this evening, too.

*"White Rabbit and The Alices" would be a great name for a band.

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