CBJ welcomes its 2018-19 mentorship students, Jade Chaplin, Adam Davidson, Sierra Goldak, and Rachel Schilberg.

CBJ’s Mentorship Program transitions George Brown Dance graduates from post-secondary training into professional dance. The program immerses new GBD graduates in a professional company atmosphere, engaging them in rehearsals, performances, touring, and creative processes. Get to know our four new mentorship students in this two-part interview series!

 


 

 


Meet Rachel Schilberg

What does a mentorship at CBJ mean to you?
Being a mentorship student gives you an amazing opportunity to work closely with Canada’s Ballet Jörgen. It teaches you what it is like to be in a professional dance company. You work on your technique and personal goals for the program, while working alongside the company dancers. It’s truly a special program, because it helps you transition from a student to an aspiring professional.

What will you be working on for the 2018-19 season?
For the 2018-2019 season, Ballet Jörgen is performing Coppélia. As a mentorship student, I am responsible for understudying multiple parts, which can be tricky. I also get to focus more on the Spanish doll role, which is a toy in Act II. I personally want to work on bringing all the technique I work on in class to the rehearsal process. By the end of this season I would love to become a dancer with more clarity. These rehearsals are an excellent way to put my goals to the test!

What does your day look like?
A typical day for me would be arriving at the studios around 8:45 am. I love to have lots of time to get ready and warm up. We have company class at 9:30, followed by rehearsals until about 2:15. I am understudying two dancers in Coppélia, so I try my best to mark their parts as full out on the sides as possible. For me this is one of the trickiest things, because even though you may know the choreography, dancing it full out is a completely different feeling! We get an hour lunch break and then we head back to rehearsal until 6pm.

How do you prepare for a performance?
My first performance with Ballet Jörgen was Coppélia in Cambridge. I performed the Spanish doll role, which requires very exaggerated movements and the ability to stay still for long periods of time. Sometimes the adrenaline of being on stage can make me shaky. Before I step on stage I always close my eyes and do something as simple as breathing exercises. This helps me remain grounded and gives me time to think about the character I am becoming.

 


 

 

Meet Sierra Goldak

What does a mentorship at CBJ mean to you?
To me the mentorship program is an opportunity to get up close and personal with a professional ballet company. I get to witness and be part of the process of learning choreography, making adjustments/alterations, refining it, and ultimately performing, all within the context of a ballet production. I have been introduced to some of the inner workings of one sector of the Toronto arts industry, which is fascinating.

What will you be working on for the 2018-19 season?
Besides improving the foundations of my technique, this season I will be working on learning repertoire quickly, being observant of differences in my dancing that may distract from the unison of the group, and being readily available to fill in for various roles I will be understudying. Essentially, I am learning to become a helpful asset in the studio, regardless of the role I am dancing.

What does your day look like?
Thus far, rehearsal days for mentorship students vary a lot. On some days there is plenty of material to learn, or many roles that need filling, and on other days it is up to us to learn by observation.

How do you prepare for a performance?
On the day of a show, I always make sure that I’ve eaten well and have snacks to bring to the theatre. Typically, we spend several hours in the venue outside of the actual performance time, and it is absolutely no fun to be hungry backstage!

 

For more about the program visit https://canadasballetjorgen.ca/education/mentorship/


 

Written by Victoria Campbell Windle, CBJ Communications Contributor

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