The Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts’ Dance Repertory Company (DRC) will be holding auditions for the classical ballet Cinderella. Below are a few frequently asked questions that you mind find helpful if you are thinking about auditioning and the production experience. If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to call 507-453-5500 or email mca@smumn.edu.

 

When & Where are Auditions?

Auditions for the Female Dancers with Pointe experience (roles are danced in pointe shoes) will be held on Saturday, Nov. 18 at 2:30 pm at MCA’s home, the Valencia Arts Center, located at 1164 W. Howard St. (10th), Winona, MN 55987

General auditions for all other male and female dancers ages 6 and up will be held on Saturday, Jan. 20 starting at 3pm, also at the Valencia Arts Center. Youngest dancers will be seen first and then excused. Auditions are expected to last until 6pm.

What is the performance schedule & and where are performances?

The Dance Repertory Company is privileged to perform at the beautiful Page Theatre on the Saint Mary’s University Campus. Here is the performance schedule:

Thursday, Apr. 19, 2018 – 10 am Abridged School Matinee

Friday, Apr. 20, 2018 –  7:30 pm Full Performance

Saturday, Apr. 21, 2018 – 7:30 pm Full Performance

Sunday, Apr. 22, 2018 – 3:00 pm Full Performance

Tickets may be purchased through The Performance Center Box Office at: www.pagetheatre.org 

Are there any ways to prepare for auditions?

Dancers should come to auditions warmed up and ready to learn short phrases of choreography from Cinderella, which will be performed in small groups, by age and/or ability, for the Artistic Director and rehearsal directors.

What should I wear to auditions?

Dancers auditioning should adhere to MCA ballet dress code:

Female attire – pink tights, pink ballet slippers and a black leotard, hair pulled tightly off the face and neck in a bun.

Male attire – white T-shirt, black leggings, tights, or shorts and black or white ballet slippers.

Adhering to this policy promotes safety and injury prevention, allows instructors to view the student’s bodylines and placement to make corrections, and provides a sense of tradition, discipline and respect.

At what age can a dancer audition?

Dancers may audition as young as six years of age; however, that does not guarantee casting.  For the youngest dancers, we are looking at their ability to follow directions and remain engaged, for their success in the rehearsal and performance process.  Having a young child participate in at least one dance class prior to auditions can greatly improve their success in both the auditions and production process.

How many roles are there?

The number of dancers for certain roles can sometimes vary depending on the dancers that audition and dancer schedules, but in total, there are approximately 25 different roles in our production of Cinderella.  Within these roles, there are several with larger groups ranging from 6 to 16 dancers, so there is a possibility of casting up to 100 performers in this year’s production.

Do dancers need ballet experience?

For dancers aged 6-7 years, having a minimum of one session of dance training in any form is suggested.  For dancers aged 8 to 18, experience with ballet vocabulary and technique is a necessity.  That said, the principal roles and all roles that are performed en pointe (in pointe shoes) require many years of ballet training. For adults auditioning, it is helpful to have some dance experience, but it is not required.  Acting ability for these roles is a plus!

Are there speaking parts?

There are no speaking parts in Cinderella.  The entire story is told through the music and movement of the dancers.

Are there roles for adults with limited or no dance experience?

There are a handful of roles for both male and female adults with limited or no dancing experience, however dancers should feel comfortable moving and acting. Roles include a dressmaker, wigmaker, tailor and ball guests. Adults interested in these roles should attend auditions on Jan. 20. This group will be seen towards the beginning of the audition process. The production fee will be waived for adult participants and dance class participation is recommended but not required.

Does everyone who auditions get cast?

We try to cast as many dancers as possible however, there is no guarantee of casting, so please use your best judgment when encouraging your young dancer to audition.
If you feel that your child would not handle the rejection of not being cast well, I encourage you to have your dancer wait until the next DRC II auditions.

Why are performers required to take a dance class in addition?

Taking a dance class, in addition to a weekly rehearsal, allows dancers to spend time learning the language and technique of dance, which will help them in the performances.  Additionally, dancers learn in class how to add personal artistry to their movement, which better helps them to tell the story to an audience that might not be familiar with the story.  The only exception is for college students who are enrolled in a dance class on their campus. 

 

Do I have to be an MCA student to audition?

We welcome dancers from any studio or school training to audition. Dancers may continue training elsewhere throughout the production, they will just be required to take at least one class weekly at MCA during the Jan.- March, 2018 session. Prior to auditioning or after casting MCA faculty will be happy to help you find the best class for you level and schedule. If you know of other commitments in dance or in other areas please list them on the audition form.

Taking a dance class, in addition to a weekly rehearsal, allows dancers to spend time learning the language and technique of dance, which will help them in the performances.  Additionally, dancers learn in class how to add personal artistry to their movement, which better helps them to tell the story to an audience that might not be familiar with the story.  The only exception is for college students who are enrolled in a dance class on their campus. 

 

What is the time commitment for dancers in the production?

The time commitment for dancers cast in Cinderella varies greatly dependent on age, dance experience, level, and role(s). The youngest dancers traditionally have one rehearsal per week, until the week or so leading up to the show. Older/more experienced dancers can expect to have multiple rehearsals a week during week nights and on the weekends. 

Dancers are only allowed one excused absence from a rehearsal per month with written notice. However, dancers are not allowed to miss mandatory tech week rehearsals (final week rehearsals).

There will be minimal volunteer commitments for each cast member/ family. More information will be discussed at the cast meeting.

Is there a fee to audition?

There is no fee to audition. Dancers who are cast pay a $75 production fee that helps cover costumes, teaching artists and more.  Dancers do not purchase or keep any costumes with the exception of their shoes, tights and undergarments. MCA is a non-profit organization and relies heavily on volunteers to help keep things affordable for families involved. Families/ older dancers may be asked to help out with small sewing projects or fundraising activities.

 Saint Mary’s University Students do not need to pay a production fee and may be eligible to get credit for the production. SMU students must still fulfill volunteer commitments.

 

A little bit about Cinderella ballet

The enchanting music of Sergei Prokofiev brings this much-loved fairy tale to life.  With whimsical scenery, a romantic story and comical stepsisters, the Dance Repertory Company’s (DRC) production of Cinderella promises a dose of humor with the majesty of Classical ballet. MCA’s DRC last performed the ballet in 2006 and excited to bring this timeless tale back to life once again.

Can participation in Cinderella help me gain points for National Honors Society for Dance Arts Induction?

 

We are so excited to be able to offer students the opportunity to apply for induction into Junior, Secondary and Collegiate National Honors Society for Dance Arts chapters. Students who are in Middle School- College will be able to gain points that could be applied for induction by performing in the cast, participating in MCA classes, or helping with costumes, props or behind the scenes work related to Cinderella. To learn more click here.

 

A few photos from our 2006 production of Cinderella