The day of a professional dancer at the BNM is split into two: a class held in the morning from 10am to 11.30am and a rehearsal, divided into two sessions, running from 11.45am to 2.15pm and then from 3.15am until 5.45pm.
The class is the dancer’s daily exercise. Led by a teacher and accompanied by a musician (a pianist for a classical classes), it allows the dancers to warm up their bodies with barre work and then prepare for some intense choreographic work with the centre practice which comes at the end of the session. Classes are held daily and are compulsory in most professional companies across the world.
The aim of rehearsals is to learn the choreographic phrases that make up a ballet. It is run either by the choreographer or by an assistant called a répétiteur. The rehearsal is attended by all the dancers selected by the choreographer to perform in the ballet, as well as their understudies, and allows them to learn their roles, mastering the technique and performance perfectly.
By opening up our rehearsals, our aim is not just to show the work leading to a performance, but also to provide a better idea of what comprises dance, namely this subtle blend of physical ability and artistic practice where technique and performance go hand in hand.
Our public rehearsals are held on one Wednesday every month at 3.15pm in the large studio at the Ballet National de Marseille.