Musical Theater Performance Project - Broadway Dance Center

Uploaded by DanceOn on 29.08.2011


JOSHUA BERGASSE: I am the artistic director for the
Musical Theater Performance Project, which is a musical
theater workshop produced by Broadway Dance Center.
So they're taking classes from working choreographers,
working directors, all kinds of Broadway professionals, who
are telling them the real deal, really how it is.
We don't just focus on choreography, or we don't just
focus on audition techniques.
We focus on everything-- acting, singing, dancing.
And they're performing for their family, but they're also
performing for a lot of Broadway professionals.
And there's some agents that are going to be there.
There are some casting directors coming in, some
directors, some choreographers.
People gets sent on tours.
They get jobs from this.
This is really about the process of becoming an artist.
SHERIDAN ANDERSON: My name's Sheridan Anderson.
I'm from Melbourne, Australia.
This is my first time doing MTPP.
LEILANI ROSS: I'm Leilani Ross.
I'm from Nova Scotia, Canada.
And this is my second time in the program, actually.
WILLIAM CARLOS ANGELO: I'm William Carlos Angelo.
I'm originally from Chicago, Illinois.
This is my first time doing the program at MTPP.
So every morning, we have clinicians come in and teach
us choreography.
And most of them are doing a Broadway show right now, and
they come in and teach us an excerpt from the show,
oftentimes the audition dance, which is really useful.
So for an entire week, we were here from 10:00 in the morning
until 6:00 or 8:00 at night, just dancing.
LEILANI ROSS: We got a lot of great help with just learning
how to walk into an audition and being prepared, which was
really great.
WILLIAM CARLOS ANGELO: They're all acting-based classes.
Every time that we perform, the teachers encourage us to
really invest in the character, invest in the
situation, have a point of view, have an opinion.
SHERIDAN ANDERSON: You only have a one-hour class with
that teacher.
You've got to give your everything
from the very start.
LEILANI ROSS: Personally for me, I'm terrified of singing
out loud in front of people.
And they make you do it.
They make you do it.
I just gained a lot of confidence in this program, I
guess you can say.
KURT ROBINSON: My name is Kurt Robinson, and I am the musical
director and also vocal director for the program.
We teach them about their instrument.
We teach them about healthy approaches to singing.
We teach them what the correct sensations are
supposed to be like.
And we choose repertoire that is specifically tailored to
their level.
WENDY SEYB: My name is Wendy Seyb, and I choreographed a
piece called "Geek Fantasy." And I call it dance comedy.
We really worked on developing characters and back story and
what gestures helped express that character, that either
very pedestrian or very dancy.
But as long as they continue making choices,
that's what it was about.
My name is Melissa.
I choreographed a piece today called "The Juggernaut," which
is from Andrew Lippa's Wild Party.
You know, to be on Broadway, as we say, you've got to be a
triple threat.
Everyone has to be able to do everything.
And so there's a lot of storytelling.
But it really took a lot of vocal chops.
So your job as the teacher or choreographer is to really
push them and drive them.
It's like you really have to pull the
performance out of them.
And then every once in a while, they have these light
bulb moments of breakthrough where they go, oh, that's
really what it takes to be successful.
And you're like, yeah.
Now do that eight times a week.
GRADY BOWMAN: My name is Grady McLeod Bowman.
I choreographed a piece called "Me and My Shadows." There's a
lot of Fosse vocabulary and inflection within it.
BROOKE: Every tiny little detail counts.
And if one person is doing it wrong, it's very noticeable.
The most important thing with doing Fosse is you can't do it
enough times, really.
RACHEL BRESS: My name is Rachel Bress, and I
choreographed a version of "I Got Rhythm." And I think it's
an amazing stage to be working with them.
And then I'm actually excited about the button, the very end
of the piece.
And I think it's great.
They're all lined up along the front.
It's everybody's individual pose.
It's everybody's individual bad ass.
My name is Noah Racey, and I choreographed "Brother, Can
You Spare a Dime?" I've been a part of the Musical Theater
Performance Project since it's inception,
for three years now.
Every year is such a joy being amongst people who are just
discovering what they're capable of doing.
Musical theater ends up being put in kind of a fluffy place,
when actually to combine three different mediums is, I think,
the hardest thing to do.
LORIN LATARRO: I'm Lorin Latarro, and I'm a
And we did "Little Me," which is sort of a Cy Coleman,
vaudeville number in one.
Teaching the kids has been just wonderful.
They're so eager to learn.
They're like little sponges.
They love all the tidbits that I can give them about working
on Broadway and what Gwen Verdon taught me.
And it's really been wonderful.
I'd love to come back.
It's been a blast.
BROOKE: After I did the program last year, coming
back, I'm so happy I did.
Because I kept stepping up a level.
WILLIAM CARLOS ANGELO: And every instructor that we had
this week is a working professional in the business.
And they know exactly what it takes.
And they expect nothing less from us.
And it's been exhausting, but it's been incredible to be a
part of it.
SHERIDAN ANDERSON: It's so inspiring to be here with all
these people that know so much about the business.
LEILANI ROSS: It will just make you grow
in every way possible.
It will only help you.
BROOKE: Definitely, definitely do Musical
Theater Performance Project.
It will change your life.
It made me a better dancer, a better
singer, a better actress.