Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Devon Teuscher: First Performance as Myrta with American Ballet Theatre

By Devon Teuscher

Devon Teuscher in Jardin aux Lilas. Photo: Gene Schiavone

An average day for a dancer in the corps de ballet at American Ballet Theatre is very demanding. Our days begin at 10:15 with an hour and a half warm-up class. Dancers take class everyday not only to warm up, but also to constantly work on bettering their technique. Following class we rehearse the various parts we will perform from 12-7pm. We generally have an hour lunch break worked in to the schedule at some point. It is a very demanding and strenuous process to rehearse, but the results on stage are so rewarding.

When the Company is on tour, our schedule varies depending on show times and the number of shows. Touring with a company of such magnitude as ABT is a dream come true. I enjoy touring with the company because it exposes people to great dance who otherwise not be exposed to it. I remember watching the Bolshoi Ballet in Chicago as a young girl, and am so honored to have the opportunity to perform the role of Myrta for the first time in Chicago. The role of Myrta is one of the most technically demanding pieces I have ever encountered. To prepare for the role, I began rehearsing about five weeks in advance. The first two weeks, I dedicated most of my rehearsal time to learning and perfecting the steps. After building enough stamina, I began investigating the dramatic character for the following weeks. The role of Myrta is not only physically testing, but dramatically testing as well. I find it is often easy to forget that Myrta is a spirit, because of the technicality of her movements. Therefore I have had to find a fine balance between strong revenge and haunting softness.

I will be premiering my first ever performance of the role of Myrta in Chicago. I am truly excited, because I first started dancing at a small studio in Champaign, Illinois. It will be such an honor to come back to Illinois and perform for my former ballet teacher who was such a great inspiration to me.

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