We are continuing our series of introductions to some of the amazing artists who will bring Orpheus and Euridice to life. Today we chat with Dancer Caitlin Klinger.
Tell us a bit about yourself:
I am originally from eastern Massachusetts and am currently based in Boston. I split my time between teaching ballet and modern dance, performing ballet, modern, and baroque dance, and wearing a number of different administrative hats for a couple of arts organizations in the area. And I occasionally work at Fenway Park during the summer. Phew!
What excites you about performing in Orpheus and Eurdice?
To me, there is something unique about summertime performance. The possibilities for presenting in new and interesting spaces tends to open up, and the idea of doing Orpheus in the Marble Museum was certainly exciting to me. As a dancer, I strongly appreciate the chance to work with live musicians--something that sadly gets cut in many cases due to budget constraints--so I was thrilled to join a project with music at its core. The symbiotic relationship between music and movement is something I'm very passionate about.
How did you get your start as a dancer?
I started my first dance class when I was four. To this day I don't know where I got the idea, but dance was something I wanted to try, and my parents agreed to sign me up. I'm pretty sure my scientist parents had no idea what they were getting into at the time; neither did I! I continued ballet on a pre-professional track until I went to college and shifted more toward modern dance. After graduation, I went to a big audition in Boston run by the major organization for dance in the area. I was extremely lucky that my first opera job came from that audition. I had zero experience with opera and early music at that point--I barely knew what an aria was, let alone anything else about operatic structure. But I did well enough, and that first job led me to get training and other jobs in baroque dance. I was hooked.
Do you have any fun performance anecdotes for us?
There are several funny performance stories I could tell, but here are a couple from 21 years of Nutcracker performances:
As a young student, I have a very vivid memory of my teacher coming out of retirement with Boston Ballet to do a handful of Nutcracker performances. Needless to say, she had danced the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy too many times to count. She began her variation as usual, but about a third of the way through there was a technical problem with the recorded music. She continued on in silence, and just before the end of the variation when the music came back, she was spot on and lined up as if nothing had been missing. That's a strong internal metronome!
My dog, Zoe, is also in the Nutcracker. She is in the party scene as a member of the "snob" family. Her predecessor, Molly, originated the role and there has been no turning back. Molly was the queen of the company during her time. Dancers would let her sleep on their tutus, give her their snacks, and one evening, give her full run of the theater instead of keeping her in the dressing room. The woman who played the "snob" mother was also the Snow Queen. Molly saw her go by and thought that it must have been her time to go onstage. It was only a quick cameo, but it was quite a shock for the Snow Queen to be up in the air during a sustained lift and see Molly upstage. That was the first and last time there has ever been a dog in the Waltz of the Snowflakes.