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    Posted December 7, 2006

Diary of a Dance Captain

By Michelle Kittrell - Dance Captain, LEGALLY BLONDE


Michelle Kittrell

Week One - New York City

Since my last entry, I've been privy to a few production meetings involving various departments. For example, the design team with David Rockwell, props, etc. It's fascinating how detailed a conversation can be about a chair. The color, the texture, the shape, etc. I would expect that for the elevator in the deck....but for a chair? Fascinating.

We have two dogs in the show as well: Chico the Chihuahua and Chloe the bulldog. There are also understudy dogs: Teddy for Chico and ZZ for Chloe. These dogs have been rescued from an animal shelter and are sooooo loved. You will be amazed by what tricks these dogs can do. They came in the third week of pre-production to show their stuff. It's great to have them every day in the room with us.

Diary Entries

I was asked to write a journal for Equity's website to explain what the position of Dance Captain entails from the ground up on a new Broadway musical. In my case, LEGALLY BLONDE.

Read All the entries:
Introduction
Week One
Week Two
Week Three
Weeks Four & Five
Week Six
Weeks Seven & Eight
Weeks Nine & Ten
Week Eleven
Weeks Twelve & Thirteen
Weeks Fourteen & Fifteen
Weeks Sixteen & Seventeen
Weeks Eighteen & Nineteen

The entire company showed up for the first official day of rehearsal on Nov. 27th. What an exciting day! The first thing that the cast did was have a meeting with our Equity representative, Kimberly Rimbold. She informed us of many things, which included information concerning health care, workers' comp, and the position of Deputy. We completed the meeting then met up with EVERYONE - Producers, cast members, creative staff, and reporters. The entire room was full. Hal Luftig, one of our lead producers, began the day by speaking. Another producer, Kristen Caskey, introduced our fearless leader Jerry Mitchell. His speech was moving, poignant, and hilarious. He is very inspiring..as if we needed anything more to be excited about!

We then did a read thru of the show...where the energy was bouncing off the walls. We finished the day by learning music and were eager to return the next day.

Since our first day, we spent every morning doing our jump rope routine. It's like training for a marathon! I've never seen so many people sweating buckets and gasping for air (myself included!)...at some point we are supposed to sing while doing this. I'll just be happy when I can walk without limping! I'm so impressed with all the actors as they are picking up the staging so quickly. Jerry has been teaching 'vocabulary' for most of the numbers in Act 1 which means a lot of choreographic steps but not the formations. We have actually learned most of Act 1 in our first week. That pre-production really comes in handy! Since we spend the afternoon's singing, we have a great deal of music learned as well. It's such a talented group of people...the cast sounds amazing! I guess it helps when the music is so good.

Towards the end of the week Jerry began staging formations...which means Rusty and I get to work, as the Dance Captains, writing charts (with numbers and spacing) to have it documented. We also get called on to present the choreography to the actors who don't know it from the workshop. And, of course, we are always on hand to clarify and assist with any choreography. So our Dance Captain duties have officially begun.

So this week has been non-stop with jump roping (the sore calves!), learning lots of choreography, singing, and costume fittings. There is still so much more to do... I'll tell you all about it in a week!




 
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