The Auditioning Process


The word “audition” comes from the Latin “audire”, which means “to hear”. In Greek, audition. Auditions are a great way for candidates to show their abilities to quickly assimilate a choreography, as well as their technical and artistic performance.

The audition is a success, regardless of the result because of the experience the student gains and of course because the audition we hold at our school is always a fun event. Like a party, where the kids have the opportunity to socialize with other kids in the school and network. The fact that the student gets to dance to the highest of her ability says a lot about her abilities and speaks well about how she is likely to cope with the pressures and demands of the role in a performance.

When auditioning, there are several factors that directors take into consideration. The first thing they usually consider is the balance between ability and experience, but not only that. In this article, we will try to explain how we, as a dance school, select students for the lead roles in our student show and the criteria that the lead roles must meet.

As you would expect, each teacher is well aware of the capabilities and abilities of her students when it comes to dance. In the audition, however, it is not just their teacher who decides, but all the teachers in the school and all of them have experience as either dancers or directors or both. And all of them are also choreographers and experienced dance teachers. This way the other teachers can see all the children taking part in the audition, and all the children have the opportunity to dance in front of them.

Ballet Arts Audition for Jasmin. Choose wisely!

The procedure is as follows:

All participants gather in the room. We announce which role is next and the participants gather. The choreographer of that role demonstrates some basic steps of the choreography. The girls are given some time to digest them while the choreographer explains and repeats the moves. Then the music comes in and the children as a group have to repeat the steps several times. When a little more time has passed and they have gotten used to them, the choreographer calls for the children to change positions and those in front go back while those who were in the back come forward. After that, little by little the teachers start looking for the first criterion. Which children have assimilated the steps with relative ease? Which students seem to have the appropriate style for the character they are playing? Because along with the steps and movements, detailed instructions are given as to the character and style of the role.

By the time the dance has been repeated several times as a group by all the children, a first attempt is made by the entire jury to group some of the children based on the artistic fit of the dancers. In some cases it is decided during the audition that a role will have more than one person or that it will be accompanied by other children. Also, when dancing in small groups, it becomes easier for the teachers to single out one of the children for artistic expression and the children have more space to dance and express themselves.

Once all the groups have danced, the combinations change and it slowly, and usually steadily, begins to pick out the children who are best suited to a particular role because of their expression, technique, response to instructions and physic. A child may have excellent technique, learn the steps quickly, but not easily respond to instructions so there is room to “ferment” to the needs of the role in terms of style. Or else, they may have a very appropriate expression, dance with passion, learn quickly, have stamina but ultimately lack technique, making the choreography “not click”. The jury is therefore asked to pick out the child who meets all the criteria.

Usually it is clear. After all, children also have a preference for certain roles and that’s where they do their best. That shows and it’s good. But what happens when one child has stood out in one dance, but in the next one she stands out just as well and fits into one and two roles just as well? What happens when it seems impossible to single out just one child after there are three or four that meet all of the above criteria? That’s where the difficult role of the board begins. They have to reject someone. The children are asked to go through the process of dancing over and over again until flaws can be seen. But the flaws don’t show. The children learn the choreography better as they dance. Which child to reject? When things get too difficult, they may even be asked to improvise on a piece of music from the show. Ultimately, the choices are captured on paper and they move on to the next choreography.

We go through all the choreography in the same way. In some cases a child stands out easily, in others it seems impossible. The teachers’ note pages start to look like a maze to someone outside the committee.

So the time comes when the children are invited to dance in various combinations of groups and solos, all the choreographies. This is also where the student’s memory is tested. The more experienced students, who have been dancing for years and more than one genre, begin to stand out better. That’s when the fatigue test is done. A leading role, in addition to all the things mentioned, is also demanding in terms of physical endurance. Can you see their fatigue? Do they continue with the same eagerness? Are they still pulling off the look of their role? It’s to be expected that fatigue leaves its mark on performance, but it shouldn’t show.

Ok, but there are those students who are still very suitable for a role despite the fatigue. But does one have less good expression than another? And if she is rejected, does she end up being right for another role, but for which we had already chosen another student? Another combination again.

Who finally gives the role with more passion? Who convinces that they are the character they are playing?

We understand the hoop the jury is getting into. The end of the audition day comes, the kids are devastated but happy by the atmosphere that has been created. The applause is unstoppable. The teachers are proud and excited about the children’s level but also incredibly confused. It usually takes them more days to think through the combinations of a group. They study their endless notes and try to imagine many children in different roles.

And then comes the moment when the decision must be made and there is no room for postponement. We wonder if all children will have the maturity to understand that if they are not chosen for a role it is not a personal issue but a completely objective one? And similarly, if they are chosen for a role will they be able to respond to it with the required gravity? After all, they are children first and foremost. Children with a passion for dance.

Ακρόαση Ballet Arts Jasmine. Choose wisely!

The criteria we have mentioned are:

  1. dance experience
  2. Artistic expression
  3. Physic
  4. Dance memory
  5. Degree of response to instructions as to style and character of the role
  6. Patience
  7. Technique
  8. Endurance
  9. Passion

11.Improvisation (not always)

In all of this we have to take the corp de ballet seriously. The main body of the performance, consisting of the group dances. This should definitely include some of the very strong and experienced students of the school.

We hope we have been able to explain somewhat the way in which the students are selected. As is true in professional performances: not everyone is right for all roles. Some dance a solo role in a show and then return to the corp de ballet.

And in the end, this whole process is a valuable experience, especially for those who decide to pursue a professional artistic career, because then this process becomes routine.

We wish good luck to all the students! You have made it difficult for us!

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