Ballet Hoo! index
Countdown to the performance
Programme 1 summary
Programme 2 summary
Programme 3 summary
Programme 4 summary
Meet the Birmingham Royal Ballet team
Meet the participants
What the project has meant to me
A day in the life...
The story of the ballet
How you can get involved with dance
Ballet's project partners
Press and media coverage of the project
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7 days to go
BRB has seven artistic staff who teach Company class and take rehearsals. The excludes the Company's Director, who will also be heavily involved in rehearsing and teaching his own ballets.
For the dancers, every day, including Saturdays, starts with a Company class. This serves both has a warm-up for the day's rehearsals and a chance to work on technique. Class is normally taken by one of the ballet staff, or occasionally one of the more experienced Principal dancers.
Click here for a full list of BRB's artistic staff.
All of the ballet staff are former dancers. When the Company puts on a new ballet, it is often an outside person who comes to teach it to the dancers. However, if it is a work that is in BRB's repertory, then the ballet staff, along with one of the two notators will teach the ballet.
The rehearsal process will start by breaking down the ballet and splitting the Company up. Different scenes, principal couples and character roles may be rehearsed separately until, closer to the opening night, the Company will start running the complete ballet in the studio, with corrections given by the teaching member of the ballet staff. Often the staff themselves have danced some of the roles, so are able to give the younger dancers some extra insight into performing the character they are
Dancers are expected to have a good idea of the steps involved when they come to the rehearsal studio for the first time. They do this by watching videos of the dress rehearsal from the last time the Company performed the ballet.
Most rehearsals are also attended by a Notator. If the ballet is a new creation, it is their job to write it down so that it can be performed accurately in the future. If the ballet is a revival, then it is their job to make sure that the steps taught are accurate, and they do this by reading what a previous Notator recorded when the ballet was created.
There are several styles of notation for ballets. BRB uses Benesh Notation. It is written down on a stave, the same sort of stave that music is written on, but with different symbols. The symbols represent where various parts of the body need to be, the counts, the position on stage and the presence of any props.
To read an article about Benesh Notation and see examples of how it works, click here.