Freelance writer – creative – media-maker
This afternoon, a group of nervous young dancers gathered at Melbourne Ballet Company’s studio in North Balwyn to attempt to secure a place in the cast of Melbourne Ballet Company’s upcoming project ‘Moment of Inertia’, to open this December.Having written a few articles for the growing company over the last year, I was invited along to watch, and found it a very instructive experience indeed.
The audition started at 2pm and ended some time after 5pm, and consisted of a classical open class and contemporary workshop, followed by pointe work for the ladies and partnering for the men. Auditions had already been held in Queensland and Sydney, so the pressure was definitely on for the dancers to stand out from the crowd.
Sitting up the front of the room, I recognised a few faces from my brief flirtation with the National Theatre Ballet School last year, and could feel the eyes of others on me as I looked around the room. Many more eyes, no doubt, were on Remi Wortmeyer, Alisa, Sharon, Jane Casson and her husband Gennadi Koutchin, who were sitting next to me.
The first section started without a hitch under the competent leadership of Justine Miles. Many of the dancers had beautiful extensions to show off and a few favourites began to emerge right off the bat. By the end of the day however, most of these dancers no longer figured as my top picks, others having surpassed them in the contemporary section. One lesson to take from this is that firm, clean technique does not a dancer make.
Personality, an ability to pick up steps quickly, musicality and most of all, versatility really separated the dancers as time progressed,and in a few cases,so did stamina. Dancers who had been invisible became dark horses, rising to the many challenges presented by the choreography of Simon Hoy and Robert Kelly, whilst shining stars receded into the corners of my memory as they presented relatively underwhelming performances. Some dancers, otherwise promising, managed to ruin their own chances by simply not listening to finer details in the choreography, performing the wrong moves confidently in blissful ignorance of these mistakes whilst others were so lovely to watch and so personable that their faults seemed instantly forgiveable.
I don’t envy Melbourne Ballet Company – they are going to have a difficult task deciding between all the deserving dancers who want perform with them. However, I will certainly be awaiting the announcement of Project Six’s cast with keen interest.