Stagemanager at the Capelle Danst Festival.

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Stagemanager at the Capelle Danst Festival.

5 March 2018 adventures 0
Yesterday I experienced something really extraordinary, which I want to share. Yesterday, March 4th, was the Capelle Dance Festival in the city of Capelle a/d IJssel. The very first edition. So, pretty exciting to see how many people would show up.

It was a rainy Sunday afternoon, with a temperature of 6 degrees Celsius. The week before it had been freezing, and people had skated on natural ice. However, today was a little warmer. It appeared to be just right to get out of the house and do something. Because at the end of the day, we were able to establish that around 450 people visited the festival. Great!

I left Rotterdam center around 9.00 o’clock in the morning and took a subway towards Capelle a/d IJssel. A train ride of only 30 minutes. You can see the theatre from above at the subway station Capelle Centrum. Therefore I was at the artist’s entrance within a few minutes.

Subway station Capelle a/d IJSsel.
We had the first briefing at 10 o’clock.

Our producer Edgar led the briefing. Going through everything with us before the show. The festival started at 12.00 hours and would be done at 16.30 hours. I was asked to lend Edgar a hand since he was also responsible for the music. Therefore he had to stay behind the music panel. So I was asked to be the stage manager for the event. Excellent! Luckily I have experience through recitals and performances for my own balletschool, Balletstudio Violetta.

It was a wonderful and varied programming.

A duet by dancers of Conny Janssen, a solo by a dancer by Scapino Ballet. Ashakiran, students of Noes Fiolet, Albeda Dans College, Jeugdtheaterhuis Zuid-Holland, Dalton Jansen Choreography and many more. In addition a Russian dance and singing troupe named Kalinka performed.

And that was just with us on the big stage. In addition to the action on the big stage, on the little stage, there was also much to see. And do. With workshops and performances. And even a movie about a very special dance project with the elderly. After that, there were meet&greets with choreographers and dancers in the foyer. Fun for everyone!

The exciting thing about being stage manager at the big stage at this festival was that there was no run through.

I received the script and studied it to anticipate the arrangements. I needed to know it by heart, to know who was coming to perform. No general rehearsal also meant the leader of every group had to come to me and tell me how and when the lights had to come on. And when the music should start. And when the act ended.

At one point, when one act started, I was able to go to the next act and ask them what they wanted. I did this to make them feel comfortable and make sure everything would run smoothly. Performing is exciting enough. With some people, a few words were enough. Others would come to stand next to me and gave me ques in realtime or even pinched me in the arm. Funny.

I had a headphone and was in constant contact with the tech guys on lighting and sound.

There were some logistical changes necessary. For instance, that the font had to close and open. A chair that had to be put on stage and after the performance brought of the stage. And even a short break with a closed curtain, which had to be opened for part two.

The before mentioned Russian group even showed 5 (!) choreograpies, wiht a little talk in between. There were costume changes between the wings. And I had to be ready with a hand microphone and take it back when they were done talking.

After getting in to it, we worked like an oiled machine.

It was great working together with professionals of the theatre. A short signal and there was an immediate reaction. They were thinking along with me and very responsive. Soon, I knew how to anticipate and give information relevant to the transitions and the coming acts. It was so much fun! Making sure everybody was ready. Not only the act on stage at that moment but the next one.

Communicating with the presenter, who did an excellent job. Fro instance, at the performance of Misiconi Dance Company, we had a little time to fill. I proposed to the leader of the group to speak about their upcoming performance in Seoul. Presenter Paul immediately responded to this and leader Suzanne was willing and happy.

In conclusion of the event, everybody in the audience was invited to join on the stage for a workshop.

This was a fun theatre and danceworkshop for young and old. Everybody enjoyed participating. Very special and a great ending of an awesome festival.

See you next year!

BalletConsultant as stagemanager at a dance festival.
Me, backstage.
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