Batsheva Ensemble Auditions

February 11, 2012

I’ve been sick for four days now, with a constant fever and impossible nights of sleep. Violent chills alternated with what I considered the true meaning of what it is to sweat. I think it’s something like the flu. I’m taking care, don’t you worry. I tried running in the middle of the week, but was only met with fatigue. With high spirits though, I attended auditions today for the Batsheva Ensemble.



It was quite an intense audition, to put it lightly (and generally). An absolutely rigorous class with my favorite Gaga instructor. Repertory taught by two of the Ensemble members. Performance in groups for the esteemed artistic staff, including Hillel Kogan, who has appeared in videos shown in Deborah’s Dance in Israel course. (I just about nerded out when I later learned that he was the same guy I admired in YouMake ReMake’s Disco Tanz and Yossi Berg & Oded Graf’s 4 Men, Alice, Bach, and the Deer.) Anyway, between running a small fever and the mental and physical demand of the material, the audition really worked me out!

There is something to be said about the laid back, exploration oriented, serious-yet-not-taking-itself-too-seriously nature of the Gaga movement language that really grasps my full attention while I’m doing it. You’re so invested in the work, putting forth the effort, and connecting it with pleasure, that there’s no room for self-consciousness or embarrassment (or audition nerves, for that matter). The research you do in your body and concentration maintained trumps all else going on in your mind, including negative emotions and other distractions. I’m in love with this phenomenon.

Oh, I did not advance to tomorrow’s second round. A part of me wondered why, but since the artistic staff looked like they had a very long day, I left them with just a “thank you.” My body was beat, and the lot of us Dance Jerusalemites made our commute back to Jerusalem. As I sat on the sheirut home, I wondered what it was about me that made them choose not to highlight my name and number on the clipboard. Was I too tense? Were my improvisations not good enough? Am I too short? Was it my haircut? Should I have shaved differently? Then I landed on it, the root of the lesson learned here. I am too old. Every other bus stop in Tel Aviv reminded me of this fact mid-Fall semester:



I’m disappointed that I was too old for it before I even started dancing.

Obviously, age is relative. Age is how you feel. Age is what you can dance like. But you know, it’s today I realized that I’m not getting any younger. Modern or contemporary dance as I know it is a time- and age-sensitive thing. I’m twenty-five, and I’m possibly missing some boats here.

I began studying dance at Mason Gross with the notion that if I apply an industrious and clever work ethic to an already inherent enthusiasm for movement, that the possibilities were endless. Optimistic, right? To an extent, the possibilities do abound. I suppose I just hadn’t realized the limitations that exist.


All in all, this was a great audition. This audition experience re-teaches me the value of working to be the best that I can be, but within realistic reason. There are some things that I am not, do not have, or cannot help. There are dance companies that are searching specifically for these qualities or traits.

I promise to myself that I will manage the things over which I have control to the best of my ability, so long as I consider myself a dancer.


But hey, if it wasn’t just my age, I also had a fever or whatever. Or it could have been the other things. Or the dancing. Yeah, that.

I really should have asked them about my audition.


Thoughts, anyone?


  1. Carlo,

    It’s NOT the hair.

    And, sometimes, in an audition situation, choices are made for inchoate reasons, along with other factors that can be expressed more easily.

    You got it, don’t worry.


    • Phew… Thanks, Jeff! Altogether, I feel good about my performance. I was able to get people to watch me, and I put another go at auditioning under my belt.

      And best of all, I’m not as sore this morning as I thought I would be. Double phew!

  2. Kuya!

    I was having the same feeling at my school the other day. I know for me, age is not as important as for a dancer, but I have a significant amount of work under my belt compared to my 19-year-old classmates. I keep my mind young and open and they can’t even guess that I’m 24!

    Anyway, being in such a competitive environment as my major, I try to remember that there’s always something that a potential employer is looking for, and as great and hard-working as I am, I might not be it. There are so many opportunities and the right fit will come along, with great experience along the way.

    I hope you’re feeling better by now. =) I miss you!


    • Twin souls. You rock, sister dear! Also, I’m feeling much better, thanks. One more day and this flu will hopefully be gone!

  3. You’re probably too old for the Ensemble, but maybe just the right age for the Company.Also, keep in mind (y)our long term goals—becoming a master arts educator, genius creative mind, and builder of a brilliant, long-lasting, internationally competitive program http://wgi.org/news/02202012-Together-We-Can-Make-It—Black-Watch-2012.html

    • I think this post is a small part of that larger, somewhat panicked discussion about planning on becoming a working dance professional.

      Thanks, Rob. Your words remind me and ground me.

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