Have you ever wondered what’s going on backstage while you watch a performance? PTDT often has pieces with just a few dancers from the company, but where are the rest of the nearly 20 dancers and what are they doing?
When dancers aren’t on stage, they are usually in one of two places. They could be in the wings, next to the visible stage area, but just out of view of the audience. Or they could be backstage. Backstage is an area farther away from the wings and is often a room near the stage in the complex of rooms in a theater building. If we’re dancing in the PTDW In-House Theater, “backstage” (also known as the “green room”) is the room next to the theater. When classes are running at the Dance Workshop, this is the ballet room, and we dance in the remaining two studios.
Having our green room is attached to our theater poses a unique challenge for performances. Sound and light from the green room carries right out into the theater. Our dancers try to be silent backstage while they wait to go on and generally they are in the dark. But what do you do?
Here are some examples of things that went on backstage at the 2014 Davis Dance Project:
- Two dancers had a silent discussion in ballet mime while practicing their demonstration on the topic before they went on stage.
- Warming up muscles – plies, battementes, stretches, etc.
- Younger dancers flipped through catalogs and did homework when the windows still let in enough light to read by
- Makeup touch-ups by window light
- Quiet whispering to ask questions about counts
- Drinking water – hydration is important!
- Snacking – but nothing too crunchy
- Quick costume changes
- Organizing costumes
- Applying toe tape to protect sore spots
- Adjusting costumes – tuck in tags and straps
- Breathing exercises
- Marking dances – but be careful of the squeaky spots on the floor!
Davis Dance Project is one of the many educational and community programs presented by PTDT. This program has been funded previously by Art Contracts from City of Davis and Waste Management, and is currently funded by generous donations from members of the Davis and Sacramento Communities as well as donors from farther distances. Please make a donation to support our continued work.