It began. The tiring and long process of snow and flowers began this last weekend. Going into it I felt ready, maybe not physically, but mentally. Last year I didn’t do snow and flowers, as a freshman I just wasn’t quite ready for it. This year I’m just focused on learning and improving. As I go into rehearsals with no guarantees of casting I’m determined to prevent any expectations from deterring my concentration.
I know I should be optimistic, but this year I’m trying to have a healthy dose of reality too. It can be pretty difficult going into something having role expectations and to not have them fulfilled. I know that is especially the case during Nutcracker. Everyone around me and myself start to get really high hopes and it is more toxic than anything else. I begin to put more weight into it than I should. My mission this year is to just take it as it comes.
Anyways I’m off track, I’m writing to talk about rehearsal. The way it works is nearly everyone or everyone in senior company learns both snow and flowers, but casting comes a few weeks later. It is exciting, fun, and very honestly challenging. It is probably some of the most advanced choreography we have to live up to here. It is fast, continuous, and technically tricky at times. I find myself taking deep breaths as I wait to re-enter stage in hopes it will make breathing on stage either. Yet, I love it. I don’t know what will happen with casting and I will work hard with whatever I get, but these rehearsals are thrilling. I’m so glad I get the chance to run this corps work and learn it even if I don’t do it. It is definitely one of the perks of a smaller company.
Ok, I kind of got off track again, so left me realign. I got to the studios at 9:45 for a 10:00 warm up. Then we got right into flowers at 11:15, by the end of rehearsal at 1:30 I was red-faced, sweaty, and alive. It felt like Nutcracker had come full swing and I certainly wasn’t mad about it. After lunch we picked up with snow, this time sans pointe shoes because our artistic director is very good to us. We finished up by 4:15 and day one was complete. I felt good about it, but was also determined to not get any hopes up.
Day two was a little bit rougher. Sunday morning I was up at 7:00 to get ready and got to the studios at the same time. A bit more tired and a bit stressed about homework I was a bit more worn going into rehearsal that day. It went along the same schedule and I felt pretty good, but definitely had a few slip ups. I straight up fell during snow, but hey I’m not ashamed of it. All in all it was a good introductory weekend to snow and flowers. I am ready to keep working hard because Nutcracker is home. Yes us ballerinas do it every year and it may seem to get a bit old, but it is home to me. Nutcracker is what I know and love, so to come back to it each year feels great.
A little PSA for those other ballerinas out there doing Nutcracker. No matter where you are in the process; about to perform, just receiving casting, etc. keep your head up. It gets crazy, exhausting, and maybe even a little repetitive, but go into it with a fresh, open mind each day. We’ll all got through the Nutcracker madness (even if we fall).