Wednesday, November 13, 2013

November's Performance

Annabeth was cast in a ballet and modern dance performance last spring; the performance itself was just last weekend.

Part one was a fairly short (20-30 minutes) rendition of the Israelites fleeing Egypt, Waves of Mercy, which was modern dance.  Annabeth's character was named Jael, although, much to her regret, she didn't pound a tent spike into anyone's head (she DID tell the other dancers in her group that she was in charge of pounding the tent spikes in when they set up their tent, because, after all, she was Jael). (Digression for an observation:  When joking around about Jael and tent spikes, it's a crapshoot as to whether a Protestant will have any idea what you're talking about, regardless of how much they talk about studying the Bible.  On the other hand, Catholic moms always know.)

They started out in Egypt (which had a really nice pyramid gobo which you can see if you enlarge the picture)

and then fled through the desert with their tents; the pillar of cloud and the pillar of fire went before them.  This is the pillar of fire:

They reached the edge of the Red Sea (which had some really cool wave action going, by the way)

which miraculously parted for them to pass through.

Then Pharaoh's army started to come through the water, but was drowned.  And Miriam took out her timbrel and led all the women in a dance.

My contribution was making the sashes for the Egyptian soldiers, and helping bind the edging of Red Sea so it didn't unravel.

After intermission, the main event, which was Pinocchio.

Annabeth was Figaro, the cat, who you can see in the background above.  She based her facial expressions and general body language on the Disney cartoon.  

I helped make her costume.  The director supplied a black body suit, and I added fur.

The ears are on metal barrettes -- the director didn't want a headband.  The tail is on 1/2 inch elastic that belts around her waist and fastens with a small parachute clip.

The toughest part was figuring out how to put the fur around the ankles, but still allow her to get in and out.  We experimented with different methods, and ended up sewing one end of the strip to the inside leg seam, and then putting velcro on the other end.  Part of the issue is that she has quick changes to become a bad guy -- Gideon, shown in the middle here:

Gideon had baggy short trousers, and big coat, tambourines on a scarf around his neck, and tap shoes.  Gideon is silent in the Disney cartoon, and the director wanted to go with the opposite effect by making him the loudest character in the ballet.  Annabeth played him like Harpo Marx, although she was apparently unaware of it at the time.

The ballet followed the Disney story arc, with Stromboli, 

a visit to Pleasure Island, going under sea to find Monstro the whale,

and even a Wishing Star, and the Blue Fairy.

Thalia ran the light board during Waves of Mercy, and worked backstage during Pinocchio.

The director/choreographer does an AMAZING job of fitting the choreography to her dancers' abilities.  Overall, it was a great experience for the dancers, and a fun show to watch.

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