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Last Thursday I attended the Sleeping Beauty sneak peek presented by North Carolina Dance Theatre in which Alessandra Ball is dancing Aurora. That day she got to work probably about 9:00/9:30 for class, spent the day rehearsing, then at 6:00 danced an hour long performance that involved two costume changes and one of the most technically difficult scenes in classical ballet. Then, after all that, instead of sneaking away, she stayed, talked with audience members until the theatre was empty and then shot a short promo for me to use in the next few weeks. And she did it while smiling and laughing as if she had just woken up only hours ago.

Working with Alessandra is like this everyday; she is extremely busy, but you would never know it. She was always finding time in her schedule for me even though she was always on the go.  If I needed an hour to shoot on a Tuesday she would find a place to squeeze me in; granted I wouldn’t know exactly when that would be until the day before, such is a dancer’s life. She always looks the part of the quintessential ballerina: often in a tutu or skirt, hair pinned in a bun, short sweater tied with a knot at her chest, and almost always sewing her pointe shoes while waiting to dance.

Alex Backbend
Alessandra Rehearsing
I have the most footage of Alessandra dancing over all the dancers. When I came down to shoot Traci (I’ll introduce her next week) teaching class, Alessandra was taking the class. If I came down to shoot a rehearsal with one of the other dancers Alessandra would inevitably be in the rehearsal and I would get some footage of her as well. Once I begin editing I think choosing footage of her dancing will make my life that much harder because everything is so good I won’t want anything left on the proverbial editing room floor.

To find out more about Alessandra Ball visit the website for my film as well as her page on the North Carolina Dance Theatre’s website.


Written by Chelsea Wayant

Chelsea Wayant

Chelsea Wayant is an independent filmmaker and educator living and working in the Southeastern American town of Greensboro, North Carolina. She graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a BFA in film production and from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a terminal MFA in film and video production.

Throughout her career she has worked in all three forms in her field: the narrative, the documentary, and the experimental film. Regardless of the form her work has always explored the portrayal of women both in front of and behind the camera. Thematically her films most often involve women as central characters and often explore the visage of a dancer.