Ballet Blanc is characterized by its variety of styles and music. This means that the dancers have to change their attire for almost every scene. Corinne and Lorris talk about their quick changes between scenes and about the way they have to change their attitude and dancing style.
“These are the last days of intensive rehearsals for the company De Dutch Junior Dance Division, before we bring Ballet Blanc on stage: a dynamic show, characterized by its variety of dance pieces.
I’m Corinne and I’m one of the dancers of De Dutch Junior Dance Division. The first piece I dance is the Nutcracker Pas De Deux with my partner Lorris. If people were to see me backstage I’m sure it would be quite funny to see my rapid change of costume, shoes and hair. From an elegant and fairytale atmosphere I hurry to my next piece, White streams. This piece is in a completely different style, with different movements and feelings. It’s fluid and explosive at the same time! I can’t wait to perform!”
“What is great about Ballet Blanc is that we get to perform in many different styles and different pieces. For my part, I go from an elegant Prince Charming to a swan-like creature with feather underwear and a painted nose. This versatile program involves a lot of very quick costume changes. Some of the dancers only have a few seconds to put on a new pair of tights or a new dress before the next piece starts. My partner Corinne, after dancing the Nutcracker Grand Pas de Deux, has to run backstage, be helped to take her beautiful tutu and pointe shoes off, take her crown off, undo her hair completely before putting it in another hairstyle. Then she still has to slip herself in another very tight costume and a new pair of shoes. A sip of water, and she is ready for the next piece!
Beside the physical transformation, the dancers have to stay very focused and switch from one character to another. It does not take the same concentration to perform Nutcracker or to perform White Streams. Some dancers may get really anxious and stressed in these hectic situations, but I personally enjoy it! It keeps me pumped and excited and I feel like I never run out of energy.”
The scene in the photo is from the Nutcracker (2013), danced by Michaela dePrince & Sem Sjouke.
Photo by Studio Oostrum