Under the Black Lights -
Not Afraid of the Dark
When we found out at the end of last season that Ballet Austin II would be performing Not Afraid of the Dark in the Fall, no one was more excited than me! Two years ago, I had the opportunity to understudy this show as a trainee and had a blast learning the choreography and being part of the energy that tends to surround this production.
However, actually being in the show this year has been so much more enjoyable and rewarding. It has been a great way to start the season and get back into swing of things because, even though we are putting tons of effort into our steps and the rehearsals as a whole, we are always smiling and laughing as we play around with what is going to look best under the black light or get the most laughs from the audience.
Rehearsals have also become a great way to bring the new group of apprentices together. We came into this season from different parts the country and have bonded through working as a team and at times making complete fools of ourselves for the sake of a great performance!
Emily Cloyd is in her second season with Ballet Austin II
It's just like Joe Scruggs says at the end of Not Afraid of the Dark, "It seems we've gone full circle"... Well, I have gone full circle. Back in August of 2001, I was beginning my career with Ballet Austin as an apprentice and learning my way through the dark as an original cast member of Not Afraid of the Dark. I was the first Gingerbread man, the first pixie, probably the first owner of glow-in-the-dark pointe shoes.
Now fast forward to 2010 – I am acting as Rehearsal Director for Ballet Austin II as the apprentices prepare for their upcoming shows of Not Afraid of the Dark on September 18th and 19th at the Paramount Theatre. I remember spending four weeks in the dark under black lights as Stephen Mills and the other apprentices played with various props trying to figure out the coolest way to demonstrate the fantastical world of a child's imagination.
Those first four weeks under black lights, followed by two years as a cast member and countless Not Afraid of the Dark tours around Texas, have made me the perfect person for the job of Rehearsal Director. In this role, I find myself coaching the dancers on specific dance steps, but more importantly the technical importance of working a prop in the dark. This show is all about creating a magical world for the audience, and I have had a great time preparing this talented group of apprentices as they approach the opening of Not Afraid of the Dark.
Michelle Thompson is in her eighth season as a Company dancer with Ballet Austin and is acting Rehearsal Director for the 2010 production of Ballet Austin II’s Not Afraid of the Dark - The Show That Glows!®
For more information about Ballet Austin II's production of Not Afraid of the Dark - The Show That Glows!® click here.