Thursday, February 11, 2010

Sharing roles.

I think I've discovered something I won't miss-at least for a while. Usually, there are at least two casts of each ballet that we perform. This means that you share a role with someone else. This gives more people a chance to get on stage which is a good thing especially since we only do five performances per series.

What I won't miss about this is the tension it creates. Even under the best of circumstances in which both artists are supportive and generous of one another's opportunity to dance a part, I feel that competition between them on some level is inevitable. We all get attached to our roles-our way of doing it. It's only natural given how passionate we are about our job. Sometimes our drive becomes unhealthily though. I don't like the feeling this creates in me. I don't like questioning whether I am as good as the other person. More than that, I hate watching the rift that it sometimes puts between artists. Even in a company as close and familial as ours, we can sometimes be nasty with one another when we have to share parts.

I have always tried to keep myself in check in this regard and make sure that I am being gracious, generous and supportive with whomever I am sharing with. But that said, I will be glad not to worry about split casting for a while.


  1. That is true. Are there not that many double-casts in spoken-theatre in the States?
    I think it is fairly common in theatre runs where there are many shows each week of the same piece - at least over here.
    Yes, I do remember "sharing" a few roles (as a dancer) in the past, though in the theatres I worked in this was not done that often. It can be very enlightening, but also stressful and at times downright annoying.


  2. I always enjoy your comments. In my limited experience and from talking to friends of mine on Broadway and touring with shows, there aren't usually double casts. There are swings and understudies, but the role is usually yours eight shows a week barring illness, injury, etc. Now of course, in a long run, there are usually opportunities for the understudies to go on. Thanks for reading and commenting!