Wednesday, July 31, 2013

July 30 2013

Screen capture of 24 Preludes. Dancers: Noriko Zarogoza & Chris Jovillar

Daily Stuff: First paid preview for In The Heights tonight. We are still rehearsing the show during the day. As I have said most of my work is done. Staged a rough version of the bows, so the cast could have their individual bows. Will add some more dancing to it tomorrow.

It was a bit of a wonky night, but the numbers were more solid. And that is very solid indeed.

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Monday, July 29, 2013

July 29 2013

Screen capture of 24 Preludes. Dancers: Noriko Zarogoza & Chris Jovillar. The preludes were so short that there wasn't much opportunity to do many pas de deux. The music just didn't seem to support them. But luckily some did last for more than a minute.

Daily Stuff: Came into the office to do some admin. stuff and meet with Robin regarding the next season.

Afterwards, went to a Form Follows Culture forum that focused on Cultural Branding. There was a nice cheese and meatball spread afterwards. :)

Back to In The Heights tomorrow.

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July 31 2013

Screen capture of 24 Preludes. Dancers: Noriko Zarogoza & Chris Jovillar

Daily Stuff: Not much to report today. 2nd In The Heights preview. Added some dance to the curtain call and a small cross for some ensemble members. Did some slight restaging of two songs, but it was very slight.

Tomorrow, I'll add one more little cross and I think my work will be done.

Official opening is Sunday.

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Sunday, July 28, 2013

July 28 2013

Screen capture of 24 Preludes #16. Dancer: Noriko Zarogoza

Daily Stuff: First invited dress for In The Heights. End of a long week, so the show was a little wonky. Lots of little odd mistakes and trip ups.

I think the mixture of being tired AND excited at the same time contributed. Still it was a good show and the audience was nice and receptive.

I did play a fun gag on a cast member. We had a birthday in the cast today. So at the Fight call (which is usually very serious business) I had all the cast ready. If your show has involved stage combat sequences, you will generally have a pre-show mini rehearsal for safety. It is called a fight call.

This show has a huge brawl in a club. So the call is very serious and intense.

So today, we counted down to the first slug but right at the moment where he was going to make contact, the entire cast turned to the birthday boy on cue and sang Happy Birthday. Cupcakes for everyone!

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July 27 2013

Screen capture of 24 Preludes #16. Dancer: Noriko Zarogoza

Daily Stuff: In The Heights rehearsal. Not too much to mention. Respaced one small section of the opening number. Much better now. Everyone has room and the staged is filled out. Also staggered the steps so that it is a little easier on the cast and they can sing out more.

My stuff is petty much done now, just have some tweaking to do. Minor spacing issues. And finessing some exits. The set is coming together slowly but surely.

We have an invited dress tomorrow. All that is left for me to do is the bows, which we will wait until Tuesday to do.

It's all good.

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Saturday, July 27, 2013

July 26 2013

Screen capture of 24 Preludes #16. Dancer: Noriko Zarogoza

Daily Stuff: In The Heights rehearsal. Finished teching the whole show. Managed to get most of my notes done. Even had time to add a little section to the Club choreography I have been meaning to. The Finale of Act Two is pretty much done. I think I can add a little to the Finale of Act One. Will play with it a little tomorrow.

Did a run thru in the evening. Had a couple of dancers out, so it was a little odd.

My main issue will be fixing a section that is close to the end of the opening number. The spacing just doesn't quite work so I need to re-think it. I believe the steps are fine, its just that patterns don't work because there is a set piece further downstage than originally planned. It was originally supposed to be done in "couples" but I think I am going to have to scrap that plan.

Also have to reset a choral number, but that should be an easy fix. Just put them all on platforms.

Other than that, its looking pretty good.

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Friday, July 26, 2013

July 25 2013

Screen capture of 24 Preludes #16. Dancer: Noriko Zarogoza

Daily Stuff: In The Heights Rehearsal. Got through the Club and Finale. Went very well. I just had to restage the very end of Act One. Nothing huge, just had to bring the ensemble further downstage, so they envelope the leads rather than mass behind them.

Then got through most of Act Two. Just have a duet and the Finale of Act Two to do tomorrow before we do a run through of the show.

Everything looks pretty good, there is really only one small section of a duet I may have to rethink. But if that is the case, I already think I have the solution.

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Thursday, July 25, 2013

July 24 2013

Screen capture of 24 Preludes #16. Dancer: Noriko Zarogoza. Online now!

Daily Stuff: First Day of tech for In The Heights. We got though about a little under half of it. We have another day tomorrow, but with two extra hours. So we might just make it.

The lead's guyabera costume shirt came in and it was a baby blue instead of a royal blue. So I volunteered one that I own and they all seemed to like it. Which is great because I have never liked the material of the shirt. A bit too scratchy.

Anyhow, tech is a good time for me because it gives me the opportunity to clean things onstage while they are messing with light and sound cues. Since there are always long holding times while they work, I can clean and re-space and respace.

Got the opening number looking fairly decent. The solos and duets are all working well. The 96,000 number is consistently strong. Stopped right before the Club. We will pick that up tomorrow, but it is mostly light cues.

SUDS got another great review. Huzzah!

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

July 23 2013

Screen capture of 24 Preludes #16. Dancer: Noriko Zarogoza

Daily Stuff: Meet with Leslie Meads about a Tea event to be done with our fall show. dancers  in animal costumes and PBJ sandwiches :)

In The Heights spacing rehearsal. First rehearsal in the theatre. Got through the show, which was good.

Had some time left over to go back and work a bit on the opening number. I always knew it was going to be a bit tricky and would need some time in the theatre to really set. So I added a few people to the first section and worked on patterns in the audience. Got about 1/3 through the piece, so will pick it up tomorrow during tech.

Everything still needs a bit more finessing and work, but will get there.

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Monday, July 22, 2013

July 22 2013

Screen capture of 24 Preludes #16. Dancer: Noriko Zarogoza

Daily Stuff: Met with Charles McPherson this morning regarding a Creative Catalyst Project to be done in March of 2014. We needed to go over the deliverables in the grant. Ended up talking about "art." So nice when that happens.

Then got together the latest of the 24 Preludes and created the e-mail blast for it. 

Was supposed to meet with the new Executive Director of the commission for Arts and Culture, but a conflict came up (on their end) and we need to reschedule.

Pretty much it for today. It IS my day off after all. :)

Made it home in time to water my plants so they don't fry in the heat. Still can'y complain, I am sure it is much worse elsewhere.

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Sunday, July 21, 2013

July 21 2013

Screen Capture of 24 Preludes Online Ballet. #15

Daily Stuff: In The Heights rehearsal. Worked more on the Club. At least it is mostly strung though now. Still have more to go with it but it could at least be performed as is right now. Another hour should do me fine.

Worked a bit more on the Finale of Act One as well, integrating the principles more.

Still have work to do on Finale of Act Two.

The good news is that the opening number, 96,000, and Carnival Del Barrio are pretty solid and dependably so.

SUDS got a great review.

If you are in town go see it. :)

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Saturday, July 20, 2013

July 20 2013

Screen Capture of 24 Preludes Online Ballet. #15

Daily Stuff: In The Heights rehearsal today. Worked more on the Finale of Act One and The Club. Still have some background movement to set in the Club. It is just such a dense scene, but I don't want to push it. Made the cast happy by putting in a step from an old music video. It's a cute step. :)

We have had some injury and illness in the company, but better now than later. Hopefully everyone will be back to 100 percent by next Tuesday when we get into the theatre.

Still have much more to do, but now that SUDS is up and running I can just focus on the one show.
SUDS at New Village Arts. Photo by Daren Scott. Bethany Slomka, Sarah Errington, Tyler Ruebensaal, Rae Henderson in the Finale.

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Friday, July 19, 2013

July 19 2013

Screen Capture of 24 Preludes Online Ballet. #15

Daily Stuff: In The Heights rehearsal today. Worked on the Finale of Act Two. Afterwards, we ran Act Two. Took a break. Then ran the whole show with the rhythm section. 96,000 and Carnival del Barrio are looking pretty good. Still need to work more on The Club, and the Finales of both Acts.  But will have time tomorrow and Sunday.

SUDS had its final preview today. Opens tomorrow. And it is ready. :)

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Thursday, July 18, 2013

July 18 2013

Screen Capture of 24 Preludes Online Ballet. #15

Daily Stuff: Went in this morning to help with Comic Con. There was a bit of trouble opening the oom to the How To session, but we got everything squared away.

Zipped to In The Heights rehearsal. Staged two duets and the Finale. Managed to do a rough staging of it. At first I thought it was a "stand and sing number" but I realized that it actually had some dance in it. So I did a fast staging in the second rehearsal studio with the ensemble. I was even able to incorporate a cool rhythm step from one of the ensemble.

Afterwards, met up with Candye at an Oceanside Street Market. Key Lime Cake. Mmmmm.

And a SUDS preview.
The audience loved it. Gave a few notes. And got in the car fo the long ride home.

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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

July 17 2013

Screen Capture of 24 Preludes Online Ballet. #15. Because of the length of this prelude there was also the opportunity to repeat movement phrases in various configurations. There is nothing wong with this. If Chopin felt like he could repeat the same phrase six times, why not do the same thing (with variations of course)

Daily Stuff: Started with In The Heights. Worked out ensemble patterns for Carnival del Barrio in the morning, so when principles came in was easier to get them in. After that we stage a choral numebr. Done early so worked on the Club more. Set a few more ensemble sections. A rhumba and a section with dips. About 2/3rd's done with it.

Last thing was setting a small duet. Just had to make sure it didn't get too dreamy and sentimental.

On the way to SUDS rehearsal, I dropped by the Convention Center to pick up my Comic Con Badge. Helping out in the mornings before in the Heights rehearsal.

SUDS had a run through today with no audience. They have already done three previews which have gone pretty well. Gave a few notes, but it is pretty solid.

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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

July 16 2013

Screen Capture of 24 Preludes Online Ballet. #15

Daily Stuff: In The Heights rehearsal. We had a fight choreographer come in today to set the big fight at the end of the Club sequence. So happy. A lot of times, directors expect dance choreographers to have a little fight choreography in their bag. Not so here.

Set a vocal trio for the family in the show and then started setting Carnival Del Barrio the big number in Act Two. Managed to get through about a third of it. Have three more hours tomorrow, so should be able to finish. It is my last "big number." So if I get through I'll be sitting pretty.

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Monday, July 15, 2013

July 15 2013

Screen Capture of 24 Preludes Online Ballet. #15. Dancers of the San Diego Ballet. This is the longest of the preludes and is often referred to as the "Raindrop." Because of its delicate nature I thought it only made sense to bring out the blue romantic tutus. Because if the length of the piece it was also the easiest one to sustain the idea of a group dance. Which gave a nice break from the solos and duets.

Daily Stuff. Day off from In The Heights. Came into the ballet office to get some work done. Met with a company dancer about her taking on some social media responsibilities, such as the company Instagram page.

Also met with Ana Sarao, regarding facilitating the hip hop dancers for our fall show. Very nice chat, also talked about community building and such.

Set up the latest of the 24 Preludes to go online tomorrow and created the e-mail blast for it.

Back to In The Heights and SUDS tomorrow.

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Sunday, July 14, 2013

July 14 2013

Rae Henderson in SUDS (directed by me) at New Village Arts. In previews now.

Daily Stuff: In The Heights rehearsal. Started with an ensemble rehearsal. Added more detail to the Club. Will be doing so until we open.

Then did a rough staging of the Blackout sequence. Same thing here. Will be adding moves as we go.

Run through of Act One went pretty well. We were missing Spencer who flew out to an audition in NYC. Since he is a featured dancer, there were some holes in the staging.

Started Act Two. Just a choral number with simple staging.

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Saturday, July 13, 2013

July 13 2013

Bethany Slomka in SUDS at New Village Arts (which I directed). Now in previews.

Daily Stuff: In the Heights reh. Started by setting a transition into a scene. It was a fairly involved set up involving a record player, dining room table and six chairs. i managed to make it look fun and samba-ish.

Had to set a small dance for two characters within the scene. A little funny tango with hips.

Then went on start setting the Club sequence. Cannot lie. It is the section I am the most apprehensive about. Only because it is long, has non stop individual dancing and has to make a lot of plot points.

Also because of the size of the stage and shape of the stage, I have to cut back on the ensemble. I have 8 couples in the ensemble, but right now I can only squeeze 6 couples in. If it looks too squished I may have to cut back on that as well.

Anyhow, I managed to get a very rough outline for the whole thing. But I fo awhile I didn't even think I would get that. Luckily, I have a couple of things going for me.

First is that I have a very good assistant, Spencer Smith, who is a bit of a salsa specialist. Since his character is the lead dancer in the club sequence, I am able to let him bring a lot to the table.

Second is that my leads are all great about instantly making the things that you give them "interesting." So you can see right away whether it will work or not. They also have a wealth of info regarding recent popular culture. So we can make a lot of "jokes" about dance moves from 2006-8.

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Friday, July 12, 2013

July 12 2013

Tyler Ruebensaal in SUDS at New Village Arts.

Daily Stuff: In The Heights reh. Started setting some salsa sequences on the ensemble for the mammoth Club scene. Then set a romantic duet (When Your Home). It's number that I wanted to go out into the audience. So the young lovers are running though the aisles. I think it will work. Won't know until we are in the space.

It was also nice because there is a short flashback sequence in the middle that allows one of the younger high school kids to show off some pop/locking. A small solo.

We were ahead of schedule so I set two solos for a character called the Piragua Guy. It's actually one of my favorite ideas. The first cross just goes in a straight line from stage left to stage right. The second song just reverses it. The Lyceum stage is really wide (60 feet) so the looong cross should cut the stage in an interesting way. And also give the character a sense of being "eternal." He is a bit of a survivor/observer. The performer is also an amazing singer, so that helps :)

After that we thru our last two days work. On schedule.

SUDS first preview. The cast was brilliant. Everything is coming along. The show was completely sold out! Very smooth only a few little mistakes. Nice place to be considering we really don't open for a week.

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July 11 2013

Sarah Errington in the New Village Arts production SUDS.

Daily Stuff: In The Heights rehearsal. Had the morning off. Then in to review No Me Diga and 96,000.   The Union Tribune was in shooting video for a story. I hope I am not in it. Have gotten kind of camera shy recently. Managed to set a finish for the principals in 96,000, but not 100 percent happy with it. Still needs a little work.

Sent the cast off for some salsa lessons while I set a  number for the Grandmother in the show. Our version is very different from the Broadway version. They had these sort of "ghost figures" coming in and going some very show biz choreography. I just didn't like the idea of people pretending to be other characters, so we are just having the cast stand far upstage while the Grandmother emotes DS. Like a Greek chorus. I think it will work. Seems to.

SUDS rehearsal. Worked some transitions and costume issues before a final dress. Had a couple of mishaps in Act One but everyone survived:)

1st preview tomorrow.

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Thursday, July 11, 2013

July 10 2013

Promo for SUDS at New Village Arts.

Daily Stuff: In The Heights rehearsal. Cleaned the opening number and set final ensemble places for all of 96,000. So it puts me in a good place to go into the rehearsal later in the day. We then ran though everything we have set up until now, it is in pretty good shape.

Later in the afternoon, started to set 96,000 with the principals. They bring a lot to the process, so we got more than halfway though. It is a complex number because there are lot of different vocal lines. In numbers like that I always want to make sure that I can make who is singing what as legible to the audience as possible. Many choreographers won't do this, they will just give general blocking to everyone. But I actually think it makes it easier, to stage. It certainly helps figure out architecture of a number.

After dinner I set a number called No Me Diga. 4 girls having fun in a hair salon. I always enjoy setting intimate, light, silly pieces. Mainly because you have to put yourself into an intimate, light, silly mood to do it. Anyway, it ended up being cute.

SUDS rehearsal. Steve came by tonight. we spent most of the first part of the rehearsal on music and sound. Then worked a few of the entrances. Followed by a run through. The cast continues to make the parts their own. With some shows the externals help. this is one of them. The costumes have contributed a lot to how they see themselves.

The show opens for previews on Friday.

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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

July 9 2013

Screen capture of 24 Preludes. Online Ballet series.

Daily Stuff: In the Heights rehearsal. Began with a production meeting. Then set places for the ensemble for the big "96,000" number. Afterwards, we reviewed the Carnivale number and started to learn some basic salsa dancing. At the end of rehearsal set a solo song for the "dad"in the show.

Evening SUDS rehearsal was productive. Tech-ed two sequences involving dressing onstage and ran the show. Also our musical director is back so he was able to work with the cast before hand. Nice to see the actors fleshing out their characters.

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Monday, July 08, 2013

July 8 2013

Screen capture of 24 Preludes. Tessia Lane

Daily Stuff: Well, it is my day off but not really. Had a little e-mail meeting with Steve Gunderson regarding an upcoming project. Also, responded to some In The Heights logistics.

Came into the office to get the next Prelude in the 24 Preludes online series out. We are a little over halfway through. The next piece is very dreamy and romantic. There is a short entry for the dancers and then a longer adagio section.

Although each prelude is self contained, I sort of lumped a few together just to make things interesting for myself.
The first seven were set up for a couple. A series of three pas de deux broken up by solos (one for him, two for her) that then had a brief recessional. Very "classical".
The next 6 were given to a quartet. One guy and three girls. This section was a bit less classical. Particularly, the guys two opening solos.

Which brings us to where we are in the middle. Which will be quite a bit more romantic.


Sunday, July 07, 2013

July 7th 2013

Daily Stuff: Started the day at In The Heights reh. Worked with the ensemble to clean up some things in the opening number. Then reviewed all the movement that had been workshopped before. So now everyone is up to the same page. At the end of rehearsal worked on some new movement for the number 96,000.

The swung by the ballet company for a bit. Then up to New Village Arts for SUDS. The show continues to shape up. We open for previews this Friday

Here is a link to buy tickets.

It is going to be a great production of the show.

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Saturday, July 06, 2013

July 6 2013

Don Juan in Tech Rehearsal February 2013. Photo: Manuel Rotenberg. Dancer: Max Tchernychev. The end of the ballet, Don Juan strides certainly into his uncertain future :)

Daily Stuff: Started at In The Heights. Finished the opening number. Still has little details, but it is at least roughly staged. Also staged Breathe. That number went together nice and easily.

SUDS rehearsal. A little behind in the tech department, so I got to come home early while they worked out some of the kinks.

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July 5 2013

Don Juan in Tech Rehearsal February 2013. Photo: Manuel Rotenberg. Dancers: Max Tchernychev and Members of the San Diego Ballet. In the original Don Juan story, the Don is dragged down into Hell. In some versions, he gains redemption. The Byron version of the story is unfinished, so we have no idea as to what was in store for him. So I did put in this moment before the end of the ballet, where the Don is at least weighed down by his past indiscretions.
Don Juan in Tech Rehearsal February 2013. Photo: Manuel Rotenberg. Dancers: Max Tchernychev, Stephanie Maiorano, Joseph Hochschild, & Chris Jovilar. At the end things come back to a circular conclusion, with the Don taking up again the cloak that he removed at the start of the piece.

Daily Stuff: In the Heights rehearsal. Worked on the opening number. Will be able to finish it tomorrow I think. So I am on schedule. Wish I was ahead but "Oh well." Looks fun so far.

Went in to the office for a moment. Caught up with Melinda Gilb before SUDS rehearsal. She was kind enough to bring in a black swing coat for a cast member to borrow. it is a nice gesture since the girl in question will be playing a part that Mel created.

Then went up to New Village Arts for SUDS rehearsal. Technical rehearsal today. Cue to cue of lights, so a bit of a slow go. But we also put the actors into costumes, so were able to fix some issues there. The show is starting to have a nice recognizable SUDS quality.

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Thursday, July 04, 2013

July 4 2013

Don Juan in Tech Rehearsal February 2013. Photo: Manuel Rotenberg. Dancers: Joseph Hochschild & Stephanie Maiorano. A moment from an extended lift in Act Three.
Don Juan in Tech Rehearsal February 2013. Photo: Manuel Rotenberg. Dancers: Members of the San Diego Ballet. Act Three. All the women return one last time. By now, the Don is pretty worn out psychologically.

Daily Stuff: New Year's Day! Was supposed to spend the evening with one of my oldest friends but she had to cancel due to an illness in the family. Another friend just happened to be in town and off we went to see "This Is The End." Had some funny moments, but unless you knew something about the actors playing themselves, some of the movie can fall flat.

Nice italian dinner with another friend. Theatre gossip.

Came home and watched fireworks from my terrace.

Back to work tomorrow. Start of a busy weekend.


Wednesday, July 03, 2013

July 3 2013

Don Juan in Tech Rehearsal February 2013. Photo: Manuel Rotenberg. Dancer: Max Tchernychev. Act Three, its all about yearning for what you are not. Ballet drama.
Don Juan in Tech Rehearsal February 2013. Photo: Manuel Rotenberg. Dancers:Joseph Hochschild, Stephanie Maiorano, & Max Tchernychev. A vision of the wedded bliss that it not available to him. Just had to go "there."

Daily Stuff; In The Heights. Started in the morning working with the ensemble. Then started layering the principals into the opening number. A bit of slow going but it looked good. I had been thinking that the background movement I had set was going to be to distracting but it is fine. Pretty good in fact. :)

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Tuesday, July 02, 2013

July 2 2013

Don Juan in Tech Rehearsal February 2013. Photo: Manuel Rotenberg. Dancers: Max Tchernychev & Members of the San Diego Ballet. Here in the zenith of the Third Act, Don Juan is haunted by the Visions of Women from the Act Two Dream.
Don Juan in Tech Rehearsal February 2013. Photo: Manuel Rotenberg. Dancers: Max Tchernychev & Members of the San Diego Ballet. This concept actually came to me after late in the staging of the ballet. The similarity of musical motifs in the two unrelated pieces struck me and it just made sense.

Daily Stuff: In The Heights rehearsal. A very nice rehearsal day today. Had some very nice work with the ensemble on the opening number. Followed by some work on a salsa duet for two characters. Some very strong dancing. 

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Monday, July 01, 2013

July 1 2013

Don Juan in Tech Rehearsal February 2013. Photo: Manuel Rotenberg. Dancers: Alexus Hill, Stephanie Maiorano, Joseph Hochschild, Regan Nuchereno. Act Three. The difficulty of creating a marriage ceremony in a ballet. In this case it was easily solved by using a lasso. Having the couple step over the wreath together created a simple physical moment that resonated with most audience members.
Don Juan in Tech Rehearsal February 2013. Photo: Manuel Rotenberg. Dancers: Members of the San Diego Ballet. All of the hyper hubbub of the Wedding celebration was contrasted by a simple rund dance that brought us into the final movement. The connected circle also served as a reminder to the Don that he was a figure outside of society and would in al probability, always be.

Daily Stuff: SUDS days off. SDB day off.

First day of In The Heights rehearsal. Things went very well. Did a little bit of show and tell with the SCPA students. And then the cast did a read/sing through. All of the leads were brilliant. They pretty much now all of the music. It looks to be a great show.

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