Dear Katie: How Can I Be Prepared as an Understudy?
Photo by Travis Kelley, courtesy Kathryn Morgan
In our "Dear Katie" series, former NYCB soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email email@example.com for a chance to be featured!
I was just cast as an understudy for a part I'd love to do, but I know I'm not going to get much rehearsal time. How can I make sure I'm prepared?
Congratulations! Being an understudy is not something to take lightly—it means they really feel you can do the part. Good for you for wanting to be prepared. Make sure you're taking advantage of every rehearsal you can. Dance in the back of the room if there's enough space, and do it full-out if you can. Try to avoid just standing there. You could also ask your teacher if you can run it once at the end of every rehearsal once the main cast has finished. I guarantee you that'll earn you points with your teacher. And don't be afraid to grab some studio time alone when you can. Treat the role as if you really are going to be dancing it, because you never know.
For more of Katie's helpful tips and advice, click here.
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)
Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers by clicking on their names here:
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When it comes to injury-prone body parts, knees reign supreme for dancers. But a little strengthening can go a long way in preventing painful outcomes. We turned to Dirk Hartog, a physical therapist with Westside Dance Physical Therapy in NYC, for three exercises that'll support and stabilize your knees.
James Whiteside (Jayme Thornton for Dance Magazine)
Say you're perpetually impeccable designer Thom Browne. Say you're planning your Spring 2020 Paris menswear show along a "Versailles country club" theme. Say you want a world-class danseur to open the show with some kind of appropriately fabulous choreography.
Who do you call? James Whiteside, of course. On Saturday, the American Ballet Theatre principal—wearing pointe shoes and a glorious pinstriped tutu—kicked off Browne's presentation at the École des Beaux-Arts with a 15-minute, show-stealing solo. Whiteside choreographed the piece himself, with the help of detailed notes from the designer.