Auditions for an Aerial Children's Nutcracker and an interview too.

by karen Krolak

I love the Dance Action Network. It lists all of the audition announcements, concerts, master classes, and more that occur every day in the Boston area. Last week I noticed a fascinating call for kids to audition for an aerial version of the Nutcracker. Man, how I wish that there had been opportunities like this when I was growing up. Since I had never heard of the company before I decided to see if Joanna Duncan might be willing to answer a few questions for me via email.

karen Krolak: How many roles are there for children in your production of the aerial Nutcracker?
Joanna Duncan: There are many roles from party children,tree angels, mice, rats, snowflakes, soldiers, candy canes, flowers, dolls, and more surprises.

kK: I noticed that you are a classically trained ballerina. What prompted you to re-imagine this story with so many styles of dance?
JD: When The Nutcracker Ballet first came to the stage in 1892 it was considered radical for it's era. So we decided to create a Nutcracker which is also radical for its era while maintaining a close connection to the original story from 1892. The re-imagining began with Francoise Voranger and Jillian St Germain who are co-directors of The Hybrid Movement Company based in NYC. They are brilliant, with endless creative ability and a total love and dedication to the art form of dance and love of community.

kK: Hmm... I have never heard of either choreographer before. Can you tell me a little about their dance training?
JD: They have trained intensely in Aerial to create pure classical ballet lines and movement into the air. They are also the two most renowned female break dancers from the NYC Tranzformerz. I have found it very interesting that, because they are classically trained ( Royal Ballet School and Boston Ballet ) they understand the need for pure dance training from the beginning source for technique in all dance forms. Five years ago they approached the NYC Tranzformerz and asked to be trained in the ground roots of Break dancing from the very streets and people where it was first created. They make radical moves into different dance directions with apparent ease because they believe that the general public wants to see movement it relates to.

kK: How wonderful that they have each studied such a diverse range of styles. How do they weave them into the production?
JD: So when Clara who goes to sleep, she is lifted into the air in a silk hammock as she floats into her dreams and the world of the nutcracker appears. A sugar plum fairy and her prince who actually fly as fairies fly and a snow King and Queen who begin as snow flakes blown by the wind. There's also soldiers and rats who break dance and tumble in trained fencing action. Spanish dancers who are surrounded by villagers who tap in the Spanish rhythms and more surprises.

kK: I am embarrassed to admit that I have also never heard of the Hanover Theatre. Can you tell me a little bit about why you choose to present your production there?
JD: There is a 50ft scrim at the Hanover Theatre which will be used to full advantage. The expert multi media imagination of Francoise Voranger and Scott Duncan generates a beautiful visual program. This production is designed to take grandparents, parents and children travelling together with Clara on her imaginative visual and audio journey into the amazing land of The Nutcracker.

kK: So how many people are involved in choreographing all of the sections?
JD: The Hybrid Movement Company are the main choreographers. I will be choreographing in collaboration with them. We are a large team of collaborative artists including: Francoise Voranger, Jillian St Germain, myself, Sergei Kim, and Mark Pickett. Our rehearsal team involves four more artists. Every person we have selected for our team has a proven reputation of patient kindness towards children with attention to technical detail achieved through positive encouragement.

kK: I am very excited that you will be blending so many choreographic voices.
JD: The performers of The Hybrid Movement Company are really into collaborative works, They collaborate performances with Antigravity, Quixotic Fusion, Acrobak, Imagio etc. They are about arts in community so every dance student who auditions will be cast in a role. Reading your website I can see that we are all like minded in regard to Arts and this is so very refreshing to me . :)

kK: Thanks for taking so much time to answer my questions.

The Hybrid Movement Company in collaboration with Dance It Up!
will hold auditions on

June 9 Wednesday

5:00-5:45pm Ballet (6-8 year olds)
5:45-6:30pm Irish Step (ages 6 and up)
6:30-7:15pm Ballet (9-11 year olds)
7:15-8:00pm Jazz and Tap (ages 6-11, ages 12 and up)

June 10 Thursday
5:00-6:30pm Ballet (ages 12 and up)
6:30-7:15pm Hip Hop (ages 6-11, ages 12 and up
Registration is required prior to audition. For more information contact DANCE IT UP! at 508-839-1648 or www.danceitup.com

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