The Making of a Musical (part 2)

Tuesday January 9


The triple threat - actor, singer and dancer - defines a complete performer. In the making of a musical the production numbers are the backbone and at BYPC are the key to our success.  The dancer is gold.  Several years ago I met a member of the auditioning team for the Beauty and the Beast Broadway revival.   He recalled stories of over 1500 hopeful performers attending one day's audition.  (Can you imagine standing in that line or sitting to watch all of those auditions - yikes!)

 So I asked him how they are able to whittle the crowd down to a more manageable number.  I assumed - singing. His answer - dance.  Dance is the first cut.  Easy - pirouette right, pirouette left. And half or more of all auditioners are sent packing.

It is not enough to execute each move each step with stability and fluidity but an adeptly trained performer is able to nuance each of the moves with the understanding that each head, arm, and leg position has meaning as they serve as the building blocks of our story.  They create the texture, the depth, and the embodiment of that story drawing in each audience member as in a virtual reality experience that only live theater can provide.

Watch as a group of our top performers enunciate their movements in sharp deliberate postures careful of the connecting movements as well.  They are coached by Rockette precision dancer, Jess Davison - lucky ladies! Watch and you might see a hint of The Toy Soldier March in these dancers - the goal - precision, sharp, deliberate.  Enjoy.

Friday January 12

Ingenious, imginative, vivacious, sparkling,

I love the ensemble.  In fact, I would say that the success of any performance depends upon a vibrant ensemble.  Grace Steward exemplifies the power of ensemble.  At the beginning of "Supercalifragisticexpialidocious" our cast is directed to react to Mary Poppins who is introducing them all to her unusual word.  My eye goes right to Grace.  She is animated, vivacious, and totally committed to her character's story. She just makes me smile. And then there is Gabrielle Souther, who just giggles with delight each time the music starts and she is called to perform. And then I smile again.  The ensemble brings sparkle and dimension making a stellar performance shine bright. Sure to make you smile.

Saturday January 13

Building choreography is like making sausage - a bit messy but the ending result is pure delight.  Our choreographer, Jess Davison, structures her pieces in layers.  Each layer is designed to challenge the skill level of our cast members.  So whether a cast member is a trained dancer or a beginner performer, they are challenged but in a manner that insures success.  The choreography is energetic, dynamic, and just plain fun.  Teaching the same choreography or blocking to the entire cast would be simpler but not as interesting.  And our mission is always to teach, to challenge, to grow stronger performers - so we make sausage.  Check out "Step in Time" - first the dance corps with our most experienced dancers...

...and then our musical theatre performers.