I just completed a short documentary that takes a look at a typical aspiring ballerina's seasonal participation in The Nutcracker. Thanks to special permission by Canyon Concert Ballet and their aspiring ballerina, Nicole Ferreri, I was able to complete the project. My goal has been to work with more dialogue in the editing process and a documentary seemed like just the ticket. Plus, I have always been fascinated with the idea of the Right of Passage that the Nutcracker is for so many aspiring ballerinas. I imagine one would be hard pressed to find a professional ballerina that hasn't danced both the roles of Clara and, later, Sugar Plum Fairy. My eight year old daughter who has never danced in a Nutcracker, while watching me edit the video began to ask me what role I thought she might be able to dance next year. Her goals, thankfully, are modest. She would like to be a mouse. However, she has already set her sights on dancing Arabian when she is older. She is very petite and a pale redhead. I didn't have the heart to tell her that Arabian is typically cast as a dark-haired, tall dancer.
I'm going to think about this idea - the Right of Passage thought - a bit more, because I don't feel like I captured the depth of emotion that I think is truly at play in many young dancers' lives. Like it was for me, is not getting those two benchmark roles and indication of one's future potential in the professional world? In the future, I'd like to look at this more closely.
In any case, perhaps this was a good start and I learned a few more technological skills by doing the wrong things. I interviewed Nicole in a completely echo-y dance studio without an external mike and I didn't adjust my ISO levels correctly for the theater lighting... among other beginner errors. In any case, I hope you enjoy my small offering.