The Road to China: Part Two

Sep 17 2015 | Posted in Newsletter

Second Soloist Tristan Dobrowney is currently in China, set to perform as a Guest Artist with the Wuxi Song & Dance Theatre for the premiere of Peter Quanz’s The Red Crowned Crane. Follow the second installment of his blog, as he gives us a peak into his preparations for a rigorous touring schedule.

With Ballet In The Park out of the way I had one more performance before I could focus on my lone trip to China. We performed an excerpt of Going Home Star for the IndigenUS festival at the Harbourfront Center in Toronto. The depth of the stage is somewhat smaller than Ballet In The Park but the width is more or less the same size. We arrived in Toronto on Thursday morning and had the rest of the day off, which was nice to be able to explore and catch up with some old friends I hadn’t seen in a while.

On Friday morning, we took class with the National Ballet of Canada and then we had rehearsal in the afternoon to figure out the spacing. The show didn’t start until 10:15 PM which was pretty unusual for us but allowed us plenty more free time during the day. We stayed right downtown in the harbour area which is very beautiful. I have only been to Toronto one other time and it was just for a few days as well so it is always nice to be able to have free time in a new place and discover what the city has to offer.

RWB Company Dancers Sophia Lee and Tristan Dobrowney
RWB Company Dancers Sophia Lee and Tristan Dobrowney

Finally on Friday night we performed our 45 minute excerpt to a rather large audience and the reception was very appreciative. We flew back to Winnipeg the next morning and so began my one week countdown to China.

With all of the work until now being focused on Going Home Star there hasn’t been much time to rehearse anything else. Normally, this would be okay because we have several weeks before Giselle but with my trip to China it leaves me with about two weeks of rehearsal time in Winnipeg until the first performance of Giselle. With those two weeks I need to not only rehearse what I am doing in Giselle but also prepare for Moulin Rouge for the RWB Europe tour. When the last performance of Giselle finishes on Sunday, October 4, in the afternoon, and we are leaving for Europe the next day. My last week before travelling to Wuxi was mainly spent preparing Moulin Rouge for Europe with several new people in the company. It was a lot of work but by Friday we were able to run the entire ballet and there weren’t that many mishaps to be seen.

My time at home was mainly spent on all of my preparations for this trip. I had to make sure I had all of my shoes, make-up and everything I would need for performances as well as watching the video Peter Quanz had sent me from the work he had done there for four weeks and becoming familiar with this new work as well. There is really only so much that can be done when you are by yourself trying to learn a ballet but I know that the dancers in Wuxi are very supportive and helpful so I am not too worried about trying to place myself amongst the beautiful chaos that Peter has choreographed. In my experience it can be very daunting to look at an entire production and wonder how you can ever learn all of the steps, but when you take it one piece at a time it becomes very simple. So I am off to Wuxi now and can’t wait for what these five weeks will have in store for me.