CriticalDance Forum

Backstage at Nuts?
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Author:  pidge [ Mon Dec 06, 1999 3:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Backstage at Nuts?

Ok, so the majority of dance companies in North America are fully into Nutcracker right now, and since we've had great behind the scenes moments, I'd htought we should specify nutcracker, because everything and anything happen in Nutcracker, especially when it's being performed up to 60 times a year (or more in some companeis cases!)<P>So, I'll start. Way back when, in a school production of Nuts, we had a mouse, who didn't have contacts, and couldn't wear glasses under the mouse head, so in the midst of battle scene, he got disoriented, and ran what he htought was upstage. Turns out, it was downstage and he ran straight off the stage and into the orchestra pit! Thankfully there was taped music, and the mouse was ok, but it was very odd to see this mouse suddenly dissapear!<P>Very often, in many companies, the snow that falls in the snow scene is usually some type of paper or something... I rememebr seeing one show where it was a blizzard, litterally. I couldn't imagine what it was like for the dancers, but it was very amsuing for the audience. Speaking of snow, in San Diego, where we don't get snow unless you go the mountains, there was a show of Nuts, and the snow started fallin gin the snow scene, and a little boy turned to his mother, and whispered really loudly, 'Momm! What's that white stuff!?!' The audience within hearing distance all got a ncie chuckle out of that.<P>I have more, but I want to hear others, and I figure it's a form of relief for dancers who are performing Nuts for the umpteenth time to hear funny stories...<P>pidge

Author:  Azlan [ Mon Dec 06, 1999 9:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Backstage at Nuts?

Pidge, LOL!!! Very odd indeed to see a mouse suddenly disappear in front of the stage. Hmm, that's given me an idea... This could make for interesting choreography.

Author:  SugarPlum* [ Fri Dec 10, 1999 12:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Backstage at Nuts?

When my little sister used to take ballet...we're talking 3rd 4th grade...I helped our backstage....she was an angel and a little girl in the party scene...well all of the dancers during snow always...when they come on and off stage, not only did they need room to move from wing to wing...but spitting room so that they could blow off all the pises of snow/paper that had gotten stuck to their nice red lipstick...aslo once during the dance if the SugarPlum fairy...the sugarplum's toe shoe started to come untied and come off while she was during polisheinelle my friend lost her hat...although that just adds to the whole humor of the thing...well let's let others talk now...what a great idea for a topic pidge!!!!

Author:  Bomablurina [ Sun Dec 19, 1999 12:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Backstage at Nuts?

I just finished my Nutcraker performances today...I had so much fun...and the backstage help as fantastic!

Author:  salzberg [ Mon Dec 20, 1999 5:01 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Backstage at Nuts?

If I were the parent of a kid who was dancing in <I>Nutcracker</I> <shudder>, there are some questions I'd ask first:<P>1. Is the "snow" flame retardant? (Hint: if it's just confetti, homemade with a paper shredder, it's not.)<P>B. (If applicable) Are the flash pots used for the cannon and Drosselmeyer's magic operated by professionals? Do those operators have direct line-of-sight to the flash pots? Does the controller require that two momentary (that means that when you release it, the switch returns to the "off" position) switches be turned simultaneously in order to trigger the effect? Does at least one of those switches require a key?<P>In my entire career, I can't remember any parent ever asking me these questions.<P>------------------<BR>=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=<BR>Jeffrey E. Salzberg,<BR>Lighting Designer

Author:  Azlan [ Mon Dec 20, 1999 9:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Backstage at Nuts?

Jeff, perhaps Nutcracker productions should come with a warning label?<P>Is anyone out there concerned enough about this?

Author:  Mikal [ Sun Dec 26, 1999 8:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Backstage at Nuts?

HI,<BR>I think, as parents, we just "assume" our children are least in a professional production. I realize there might be a fire hazard with use of confetti, but what is more horrid is the fact that the plastic snow is so dang slippery.. And usually it falls right in the line of dancing. At least in the BW production. I have slipped on the stuff, and know of others who have done so also.<BR>As for flash Utah, there is now a law that will not allow any pyrotech. without a licensed techie, and a the fire dept. approval. This is for ANY stage. So, even the school shows that used to use pyro, can no longer do so without proper supervision.<BR>Prior to 4 yrs ago, we were allowed to use the stuff. I remember being told by the crew at the theater I was renting that if I used any flash pots, or pyros, the kids had to be a certain amount of feet away, they gave me a whole list of rules to follow. I was very, very happy to know these people were so on task and wary about dangerous "props".<BR>I am not sure that the people who now work at this theater care. Except for the fact that one must now hire a crew, rather than having the house crew. So, hopefully, the group hires a qualified stage manager and crew.<P>An excellent topic...<BR>Fog is another thing I worry about.<BR><P>------------------<BR>bek

Author:  Azlan [ Mon Dec 27, 1999 9:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Backstage at Nuts?

I saw The Hard Nut recently and there is this over the top snow sequence with tons and tons of confetti thrown into the air as the dancers leap and jump across the stage. I suppose the dancers being barefoot helped but still I was wondering why none of the dancers slipped.

Author:  salzberg [ Tue Dec 28, 1999 3:56 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Backstage at Nuts?

Azlan, they may have been using paper confetti, which is much less slippery.<BR><P>------------------<BR>=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=<BR>Jeffrey E. Salzberg,<BR>Lighting Designer

Author:  Azlan [ Fri Dec 31, 1999 2:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Backstage at Nuts?

Jeff, what other kinds of snow are there besides paper confetti? Of course, this may be the wrong question to ask you assuming you're still in sunny Florida where there is "hardly" any snow.

Author:  salzberg [ Fri Dec 31, 1999 6:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Backstage at Nuts?

Plastic. It's slippery, but cheaper -- and it "floats" better.<P><P>------------------<BR>=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=<BR>Jeffrey E. Salzberg,<BR>Lighting Designer

Author:  Azlan [ Sat Jan 01, 2000 10:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Backstage at Nuts?

Plastic snow... must be really light-weight to be able to float better than paper.

Author:  salzberg [ Mon Jan 03, 2000 4:26 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Backstage at Nuts?

Think of shredded trash bags.<BR>

Author:  Azlan [ Tue Jan 04, 2000 8:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Backstage at Nuts?

salzberg, thanks. That helped. Now I see why it floats and would be more slippery.

Author:  Azlan [ Sun Dec 22, 2002 8:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Backstage at Nuts?

Another seasonal thread to dredge up...

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