Backstage Reporter – Chelsy Meiss for Ballet News

dancer raises her arms in rehearsal with her back to the camera

Chelsy Meiss Photograph : Aleksandar Antonijevic

Backstage Reporter – Chelsy Meiss goes backstage in rehearsals for Christopher Wheeldon’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland for Ballet News

Time is racing by, and The National Ballet of Canada premiere Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland next week!  Here, Corps de ballet dancer Chelsy Meiss continues her reports on living Alice, with her fourth diary entry.

Last Friday, we had a run-through of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in the studio. The main purpose was to practice doing quick hair, make-up and costume changes.

Bruhn Studio was set up as the hair, wigs, make-up and costume station and we were allocated one hour after company class to get ready for the run-through. In Act I, I dance the part of Lorina, Alice’s older sister. Since my hair is long I get to wear it down in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, which is a nice change. Wearing my hair down really allows me to be playful and get more into my character. For Lorina I wear minimal stage make-up but it’s a lot of fun to see the other dancers get ready who wear theatrical wigs and bold make-up. 

dancer puts on her make-up in front of the mirror
Chelsy Meiss Photograph : Aleksandar Antonijevic

After Act I, we had a lunch break and then started with Act II where I am a Black Club Card. I wear black lipstick, a very gothic look and very unlike me! It’s really fun to try something new and take on a new persona.

I have to say I think the Flamingos are the “queens” of make-up in Act II. Their pink and white make-up blends down into their upper body and they wear this gorgeous pink corset with a feather mini skirt and pink 1920’s style curly bob wigs. They are very chic and I think the audience will really respond to them. What made today so different from every other day for the past three months is that we got a glimpse of the ballet coming to life! Everyone in the company was in costume, full hair and make-up for the production and we ran each act how we would in a dress rehearsal onstage with as many props as we can fit in the studio. 

dancer wearing a black card shaped tutu for Alice bends forwards

Chelsy Meiss Photograph : Aleksandar Antonijevic

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is definitely going to be a spectacular show. Adding the extra element of the costumes, hair and make-up in the studio today made it a thrilling out-of-the-ordinary day. I can’t wait until we are finally in the theatre putting it together with the projections and sets.

Read part one of Chelsy’s backstage diary

Read part two of Chelsy’s backstage diary

Read part three of Chelsy’s backstage diary

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2 Responses to Backstage Reporter – Chelsy Meiss for Ballet News

  1. Ballet Fan May 29, 2011 at 8:27 am #

    Great article, really enjoyed reading it and loved the pictures of Chelsy Meiss
    She writes a good article and am looking forward to going to see the show!

  2. Ballet News May 30, 2011 at 1:42 pm #

    thank you !