UAH theatre majors Jer’Howard Paige (proven proper, reaching for his or her sword) and Anoop Dharmendrakumar each carried out within the Huntsville Ballet’s spring manufacturing of “Romeo and Juliet” on the Von Braun Heart Live performance Corridor.
One of many perks of being a theatre main at The College of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) is the chance to take dance lessons – free of charge – with the Huntsville Ballet. And one of many perks of taking these lessons, as freshman Jer’Howard Paige and sophomore Anoop Dharmendrakumar found, is the chance to audition for and carry out with the corporate on the Von Braun Heart Live performance Corridor. Each have been chosen for this previous spring’s manufacturing of “Romeo and Juliet,” with Dharmendrakumar enjoying Tybalt and Paige enjoying a Capulet.
“It was a pleasure to collaborate with UAH Theatre for our manufacturing of ‘Romeo and Juliet’,” says Phil Otto, the Huntsville Ballet’s Inventive Director. “Each Anoop and Jer’Howard carried out with magnificence and magnificence.”
The scholars’ means to mix seamlessly with their skilled counterparts throughout the efficiency’s three-day run was the results of weeks of laborious work. “It was a complete lot of apply, which was robust with lessons,” says Dharmendrakumar. “We needed to run straight from class to rehearsals and again!” In any case, he factors out, they not solely had all the choreography to be taught, however in addition they needed to grasp the intricate swordplay between the Montagues and the Capulets. “We actually needed to apply touchdown the strikes as a result of, when you’re not paying consideration with stage fight, somebody goes to get harm,” says Paige. “After we realized the fundamentals, we beginning including slightly spice.” The pair additionally acquired some much-needed encouragement from their fellow dancers. “I used to be like, what in the event that they suppose I’m horrible?” says Paige. “However they have been tremendous good. They have been like, you bought this!”
It was simply an unbelievable expertise. We began sturdy and every day received stronger.
The expertise grew to become slightly extra actual nearer to opening evening, when Paige and Dharmendrakumar have been capable of strive on their costumes for the primary time. “Once I noticed myself, I stated, oh my God, I look wonderful in pink,” laughs Paige. However whereas Dharmendrakumar agrees that the costumes have been “wonderful,” he discovered himself battling one specific side. “I’ve by no means worn tights, so that they have been… fairly an expertise,” he laughs. “I used to be like, this feels bizarre!” After all, as they are saying within the enterprise, the present should go on. Dharmendrakumar managed to make peace along with his tights, and are available opening evening, the 2 have been prepared. “It was simply an unbelievable expertise,” says Paige. “We had no points. We began sturdy and every day received stronger.” Provides Dharmendrakumar, “I used to be depressed when it was over! I’d have beloved to do just a few extra reveals.”
Given their profitable debut, it could come as a shock that neither Paige nor Dharmendrakumar arrived at UAH with a lot expertise as performing artists. “I’m from a small city the place we weren’t actually allowed to precise ourselves so much,” says Paige, who was raised in Marion, Ala. “So after I received to varsity, I used to be like, one thing has to vary!” They determined to double main in theatre and communication arts, which might enable them to pursue their ardour for appearing whereas on the identical time put together them for skilled profession in journalism. “It’s a fantastic extension from theatre – you possibly can write evaluations about performances and performs,” says Paige, who’s the primary particular person of their household to go to varsity.
Dharmendrakumar, in the meantime, had enrolled in UAH as a mechanical engineering main his freshman 12 months. “It’s what each Indian father or mother needs,” he says. Then he smiles, recalling a childhood spent in Bangalore dabbling in Bollywood and hip-hop. “However I simply couldn’t keep away from dancing!” Quick ahead to his sophomore 12 months and he’s now a theatre and music double main. “I eased into it by including theatre as a minor after which I used to be like no, that is going to be my main! And my mother and father have been like, come again to India,” he laughs. “However then after they noticed I might make a residing and get a job, they have been like okay. I don’t understand how they have been satisfied, however they have been open to what I stated they usually believed in me.”
Dharmendrakumar’s love of dance prompted him to modify from a mechanical engineering main to a theater and music double main.
The job Dharmendrakumar is referring to is dancing as a Cherokee warrior within the acclaimed stage drama “Unto These Hills.” Carried out all through the summer season months on the out of doors Mountainside Theatre in Cherokee, N.C., the present chronicles the Cherokees’ lengthy historical past and their forcible relocation west of the Mississippi River by way of the Path of Tears. “I labored there final summer season and it was a life-changing expertise,” he says, “so I’m going again this summer season.” As for Paige, they’ll quickly be heading to Bardstown, Ky., for a summer season internship as a prop intern and an actor for the Stephen Foster Story. Set within the mid-19th century, the musical tells the story of American composer Stephen Collins Foster utilizing over 50 of his best compositions. “I’ve all the time been into arts and crafts and I needed to strive props, however I believed I wouldn’t get something since I’m nonetheless a freshman,” they are saying. “However they supplied me a place and I used to be like, wait! I received a job!”
Each, nevertheless, are fast to share credit score for his or her success with the UAH Theatre Program, which has undergone a dramatic transformation from an extracurricular exercise to a completely fledged diploma program over the previous few years. “It’s wonderful how they’re creating and enhancing this system by the day – by the second,” says Dharmendrakumar. Much more vital, provides Paige, that progress hasn’t come on the expense of the customized consideration so important to each aspiring performer’s success. “I got here in not understanding what I needed to be,” they are saying, “they usually’re serving to me determine and attain my full potential.” Consequently, they now have a fairly good thought of the place they’d like to finish up ought to they notice their skilled ambitions. “At some point,” they predict, “you’ll see me on the American Ballet Theatre.”