Northern Ballet’s production of Casanova opened tonight at Sadler’s Wells. This afternoon a happy group of London Ballet Circle members and their guests attended the technical rehearsal. Kenneth Tindall’s choreography, with a score by Kerry Muzzey, was familiar to those who had seen the production when it premiered in 2017 but was a new and thrilling experience for others.
Watching a technical rehearsal gives a real insight into the staging of a ballet. The ballet is run from start to finish but not all the dancers are “in costume” and some may mark parts of the choreography. As the troupe will be dancing full-on two and a half hours after the tech rehearsal ends, it’s necessary to conserve energy.
Artistic Director Federico Bonelli, assisted by Kenneth Tindall, directed the rehearsal from the stalls, stopping and starting the ballet in order to give corrections and encouragement. When a company tours, it dances on different stages and not all stages are the same. Some stages are raked while others are not. Dimensions are different too. During a technical rehearsal, the dancers may need to adjust their dancing to accommodate the size of the stage. Markers need to be placed to ensure the sets and furniture are placed in the correct places. Lights need to be tested to ensure the work is properly illuminated. Even the curtain calls are rehearsed!
Despite the interruptions, and stagehands occasionally coming on the stage, it was a fascinating experience. The LBC members are grateful to Northern Ballet for giving us this wonderful experience and look forward to seeing the “finished product” on stage this week.
Written by Susan Dalgetty Ezra