Hi everyone! If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you most likely know that I had been preparing for Swan Lake. We did this ballet for our end of the year performance which was last week! Ahhh! On Saturday June 13th we had two performances, one at 2pm and one at 6pm. The performances took place at JCC in La Jolla, CA. I performed Odile and Swan Corps de Ballet in the 2pm show and Odette variation and Spanish in the 6pm show.
P.S. I was listening to Swan Lake music while writing this. I guess you could say I was very excited and slightly obsessed.
To me Swan Lake is one of the hardest ballets to dance. I am so excited I had the opportunity to work on this ballet and to be able to perform it. The technical aspect of it is only a small part that you have to master. Artistry is by far the ultimate aspect of this beautiful ballet. Sure you need the technique, but if you can not show the emotions of the different characters, the ballet is not interesting.
Before we started working on Swan Lake, I would have chosen Odile as my favorite. I just love how mysterious and evil she is. The pas is more my style in a sense of the energy, but I think both the white swan and the black swan pas are beautiful. Now that I have had a chance to work on both characters, I have learned to love them both. They are both very different and challenging roles, but I truly love both. Over time I started to really love and respect the Odette variation. Keeping my shoulders down and softening my port de bras (carriage of the arms) were my biggest challenges working on this variation. I think that is what I like most about the variation, the challenge.
On Friday prior we had our theater dress rehearsals. My friends and I were very excited and we got to the theatre a couple of hours early. My hair was already done but I still had to put on my stage makeup. Since I was at the theater I decided to re film my stage makeup tutorial. Once I had my makeup done, we warmed up and took some snap chats for my public one (theballetbabble).
Audrey as Odette and myself as a swan.
Swan corps was actually not too bad during rehearsal. My lower legs and feet were tired and cramping a bit by the time the pas started. Once Odette walks in we all turn onto our opposite leg. I was not able to watch Audrey perform the white swan pas because we are facing towards the wings. 🙁
My sister, Kyla, in Swan Corps.
The Odile costume.
Me and my friends before rehearsals.
In our first theater rehearsal I was Odile. I was really happy with how the pas went! After the pas my friends mentioned my tutu came unhooked near the bottom. For the performance I was sewed in so it wouldn’t come undone and possibly have my partners fingers get caught. During dress rehearsal my variation was a little shaky, not my best. I was a little nervous and the floor was a bit slippery. Thankfully the floor was fine for the performance!
In the second rehearsal I rehearsed Odette variation. In general I was fine with how it went. I also rehearsed Spanish which I had a lot of fun doing. To be honest I wasn’t too big of a fan of the costume, lots of poof, but I love the music and choreography!
For the performance the pas de deux went well! I am happy with how it went along with my variation. I had one little bobble but for the most part it went fine. For my fouettes I started ok and tried to mix in some doubles. Near the end I started drifting to the right and ended a few counts early. I am fine with it because 32 fouettés is hard to do. Swan corps did not go too well in the first show. We just did not maintain our lines as well. I think we were all a little nervous. I was at least because Swan corps is really hard!
I am very happy with how Odette went. It was a hard variation for me to perform because I was trying to work on becoming softer and more fluid. In the end I think it was the best it ever went. My turns felt really solid. Spanish went well and I had a lot of fun performing it.
Backstage my friends and I tried to take as many pictures and snapchats as possible. We all would help each other with hooking each other in our costumes, makeup and headpieces. I would go and help the younger girls who were changing from their waltz costumes into their swan corps costumes. I would help pin their swan headpieces. Some of the feathers would be a little crazy so I would hair spray them down.
My mom bought these beautiful flowers for final bows. The black swan flower bouquet had a purplish black orchids and some tiny white flower that were super pretty. There was also a large black feather. Kyla brought out my flowers for black swan. For Odette Variation she got a white and light pink rose. They looked sort of vintage. There was also a large white feather in the bouquet. My friend Rosemarie brought them out this time.
The shows went by really fast and I was very sad once they were over. I wish we could perform it at least two more times! I had such a great time working on these challenging roles and it was such an amazing experience! I feel like I grew as a performer and artist and I think it will definitely benefit me in the future. I had to start packing for my summer intensive the week after the show and I will start blogging from NYC this week! It felt too soon to be leaving but I guess that is the life of a dancer. I can’t wait to get to class at American Ballet Theatre!