Holly Jean Dorger: Stage Ready (Prêt pour la Scène)


Holly Jean Dorger dans Symphonie en C


Holly Jean Dorger et Nikolai Hansen dans Symphonie en C

Le texte (en anglais) ci-dessous est le témoignage fascinant d’une jeune membre du corps de ballet, Holly Jean Dorger, qui a dû apprendre le plus long mouvement de la Symphonie en C, ainsi que la finale, en un temps record. A couper le souffle…

Stage Ready
Text Copyright Holly Jean Dorger

The day began like every other at the Det Kongelige Teater. I arrived at the theater at 9:00am, and checked the rehearsal schedule for the day before entering my dressing room. Then I changed into a leotard, tights and warmups, pulled my hair back in a messy pony tail and began warming up for class among my fellow colleagues surrounded by the flutter of morning talk and sips of coffee. Class began and every dancer sank into their own concentration. With my back facing the front of the room, I was in the middle of the last combination at the ballet barre when Anne Holm rushed in to the studio. She quickly scanned the room out of breath. She was looking for someone. You could tell drama had occurred. Her blue eyes filled with stress locked onto mine and instantly my mind started to think of every possible situation that I was about to be informed about. Did someone get injured? Would I need to dance a different corps spot in Symphony in C first movement? Does she need me for second movement? But it was just a matter of seconds before she was standing next to me saying, « We have an hour and a half before the stage call at noon for you to learn Symphony in C, first movement demi and we have to give you some time to get in to your costume and make-up… » Those few seconds was all it took to change my typical routine on a wednesday morning. I was out of class and into a new studio working one on one with Anne. There was no time to wonder how I was going to learn the longest movement of the ballet including the finale in such a panicked rush. What about trying the lifts with my partner? Who is my partner!? There was only room for instant concentration. Impossible was not an option. So, here we go! Let’s do it!

Being thrown into the part was stressful but also the most exciting experience. My stomach filled with butterflies the first few times we ran the ballet, especially on premiere night. But as soon as the curtain went up, the butterflies flew away and the moment of dance took over. Symphony in C has been the highlight of my season. I was given the opportunity to work very hard in a limited amount of time on a fantastic ballet. It was a real moment of being a ballerina in a professional company. There was a show to be put on and it had to be stage ready. All the training from the studio, corrections from Nikolaj Hübbe and the other ballet instructors, this is what they are preparing us for. Maybe the toughest part of the job is waiting to find out what or when that moment will be. Anne instructed the rehearsals. We would run the movement without stopping for stamina and stop and go to talk about the details in the movements. From the placement of my wrists, to filling every step to the end of my fingertips and to make sure to show every position clearly. With the surrounding support from my colleagues and the extra smiles and winks from Kizzy, my counterpart, on stage, it only ever felt possible.

As we continued our performances, due to the amount of injuries in the company for two performances I reversed the steps to dance the other side in first movement. A quick mind challenge. But I thought of it like a switch. Tonight, I hit the left side switch and tomorrow the right. Over the process of Symphony in C, I learned a lot but I know that there is a lot more to work on to keep moving forward. I never walk into the theater thinking today is going to be a typical weekday. I smile at the thought of what the next challenge could be for although tough, the most rewarding.


Un portfolio de 45 photos issues des répétitions et des représentations est accessible ici. Link to a portfolio of 45 photos from the rehearsals and the performances.



Holly Jean Dorger dans Symphonie en C


Holly Jean Dorger dans Symphonie en C (répétition)


Holly Jean Dorger dans Symphonie en C (répétition)

Photographies Copyright David Amzallag

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