Ballet Des Moines was kind enough to reach out and ask if I'd like to visit their studio during a practice before the upcoming show. Obviously, I said yes! I always enjoy getting a look behind the scenes and I also wanted to find out if any Black Swan stuff ever happens within the company (I asked, it doesn't.) Read on below...
Earlier this month, I spoke with Jame about being the first artist-in-residence with the company and that led me to meeting executive director, Laurel Knox, who invited me to watch the group's practice.
Over the course of three hours, I received a glimpse into how the company works together as a whole. Artistic director, Serkan Usta, oversaw most of the session and gave advice on what was working and what needed some attention. The team seemed very in tune with one another and struck be as both gracious and loyal. Even the way they worked together felt artistic to me.
The piece I enjoyed watching the most was entitled Wrapped Around. Usta described it as being "about the energy and emotions that we can't see, but that are always wrapped around us. Things like love, hate, or jealousy."
I was enchanted while I watched them perform. Maybe because there's something uniquely moving about something so beautiful being built on bloody toes and broken toenails. We usually associate beauty with, well, beautiful things, but rarely do we associate pain with beauty. But we often endure pain (e.g. dieting, or exercise) in order to achieve something beautiful, right? Same concept here, just with tutus and pointed shoes.
As I watched them finish up rehearsals, I realized this was their job: they were paid to dance. How inspiring! I spoke with a few of them in between numbers and they said that while it's hard work and very grueling on their bodies, it's also a dream come true to be dancing for a living. I can understand why they feel it's a dream come to life.
At one point, it looked as if one of them were flying across the floor, a young girl being carried by one of the male dancers. And for a moment, as she appeared to fly, I felt like I was flying, too.