Nowadays, every TV viewer has an idea of what a dance audition looks like: a series of technical feats to a snippet of a pop tune in front of a cranky trio of judges, one of whom might burst into tears at any moment. But this weekend, young dancers are invited to audition for something entirely different.
"For So You Think Can Dance?, you need to learn all this material right now in order to go before an audience and perform it," says J.R. Glover, director of education for the School of Jacob's Pillow, a summer program for aspiring dancers at one of the nation's most respected dance festivals. Glover is coming to Miami, along with choreographer/teachers Chet Walker and Camille A. Brown, in search of 12 male and 12 female dancers each for the school's Contemporary and Jazz/Musical Theater programs.
"A lot of auditions are looking for dancers who can pick it up fast
right now or they get cut," she points out. But Glover doesn't believe
that makes for the best dancer. "Dancers need that time to go deep," she
explains. "Jacob's Pillow might be one of the few places they have that
time before they're thrown into a more competitive space."
So what will Glover and company be looking for at the auditions? "We're
interested in seeing the dancers' approach and how they learn," Glover
says, meaning if you hear a correction given to a fellow student, you'd
better make sure you're making the same adjustment too.
And what does she hope will happen by the end of the summer? With only
24 dancers selected for each program, Glover gets attached. So when she
receives an e-mail a few months later saying a dancer has landed a part
or made it to the final cut in one of those competitive auditions, she
knows she's done her job: "It means a lot to me that dancers are exposed
to opportunities that can get them where they want to go."
If you think you can go deep, drop by the audition on Saturday for
Jazz/Musical Theatre Dance and on Sunday for Contemporary. Registration
runs from 2 to 2:45 p.m. and auditions start at 3 p.m. at the New World
School of the Arts (25 NE Second St., Miami). The $15 audition fee is
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--Celeste Fraser Delgado of artburstmiami.com