During the hours where the Scandinavian sun remains above the horizon, my colleagues and I in Tivoli Ballet Theatre have been living inside Tivoli's Koncertsal rehearsing for our upcoming production of the Nutcracker (Nøddeknækkeren, respectively in Danish). But seeing very minimal daylight the last month has been worth it for many reasons. For every dancer, one of the best way to capture the Christmas spirit is through marathon performances of the Nutcracker. We've been challenged with new roles inside a very unique, Tivoli-themed Nutcracker storyline. However, what has really struck me as the most inspiring part of this production is our chance to work with the live orchestra.
We began our first rehearsals with them this week. The conductor invited us to come listen to them play and practice a little bit beforehand. I took this as my chance to sit right at the front of the stage and observe. I did a very terrible job filming excerpts (in fact, maybe you should just close your eyes and only listen...), but perhaps I'll elaborate more on why this was so special:
I've never been a very musically inclined person. I never played an instrument or was able to read a score. My only relationship with music is through dance and the music I listen to on a day-to-day basis, through my headphones. But watching the orchestra fuse together the festive notes of Tchaikovsky is something spectacular. The best way I can think of describing the difference of sound is that while on a recording, the songs, though still beautifully composed, are simply flat in comparison to the 3-dimensional sounds of each instrument. I caught myself in a daze, almost creating a game of it, in which I followed each instrument throughout the song as they started and stopped their sections. I had never really recognized the importance of each instrument individually - how they effortlessly lace together, despite having such different acoustics, and create one entity of a song.
So my hat goes off to every member of the orchestra. You're giving our dancing and our upcoming performances a whole new depth and vitality that we would struggle to find with only a play button and a CD.
And don't forget to come see Tivoli's Nutcracker! Playing all through December, it's a great story, great dancing and fantastic music! ☺