On the Stage of The Strand

When students from the Dudamel Orchestra took the stage of the Strand Theatre at Wednesday night’s rehearsal, eyes widened and jaws dropped. Designed for large-scale productions, it is the largest stage they have yet taken as an orchestra. As conversations began among the directors about lighting and blocking, it was clear that this rehearsal would be about much more than notes and rhythms. With the patience and focus of professional performing artists, students tried out different formations and tweaked the timing and volume of the music to match the dancers and the space.

When the collaboration began last spring, El Sistema program directors Rebecca Levi and David Malek met with BalletRox choreographer Ilanga with a vision of bringing students into an artistic process. Students would experience how many different pieces of a performance come together to create a unified whole. On Wednesday night, students began to see those pieces fall into place as they worked to craft a performance experience unlike any they had done before. “At this age, it’s just like water for them,” noted Resident Artist Chris Schroeder, “this kind of organic collaboration is the most natural thing in the world.”

For more details and to purchase tickets for the September 25th performance, visit the Brown Paper Tickets event page.