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BWW Blog: Meet Caitlin Abraham of AN AMERICAN IN PARIS

Who is the company of An American in Paris? Included among us are 12 thrilling Broadway debuts; 6 who come straight from ballet companies; and 6 who previously danced with US and European ballet companies, Alvin Ailey or the Radio City Rockettes. 20 of our cast members are jubilantly back on Broadway, and every single performer was a part of the Chatelet production in Paris last fall. To quote one of the characters in our show, Adam Hochberg concludes, "Art should be a celebration," and An American in Paris joins the world of concert dance with the legacy of the Great White Way.

As for me, 5 years ago I left my soloist position at Carolina Ballet. Nine months later, I booked my first Broadway show which was La Cage aux Folles-the revival starring Kelsey Grammer and Douglas Hodge. I was in heaven, fascinated by this foreign creative process; how they built up songs and scenes. It was similar to how we built ballets and developed roles, but the language of actors was unique and their methods were a little unknown to me. I watched them master moments of hilarity and humanity, and meanwhile, I felt like a little baby learning to walk. Looking back, my first show was my education -- I listened, I watched, I grew. And I was hooked.

Over the course of An American in Paris's production process, I've observed so much of that same wonderment happening to cast members around me. Principals stick around after their own scene work and watch, spell-bound, as we run the 14-minute An American in Paris ballet. Our final pose is met with cheering and the nodding of heads. A few hours later, the whole room falls silent and every dancer is still, enthralled as Jill Paice runs her new song and new dance break with Robbie Fairchild. They hit their button and we roar; broad smiles and lots of eye contact, we roar some more. Later, you might notice ballerinas quietly working on their harmonies in the corner; you might see actors working their dance angles in the mirror. It's like a cross-pollination of artists from different disciplines, experts in their own field, now aspiring to additional dimensions of performance.

There is a dynamic backstage at our show that is so special. Between Christopher Wheeldon's unlimited vision and encouragement and Brad Haak's sense of humor and determination, there is an understanding amongst all of us to unabashedly rock out our strengths and endlessly push for more. Over the last five months, our company's uncompromising baby steps have added up to a rich sound, expansiveness, panache... and lots of heart. And I am excited to tell you more about our journey toward April 12th - Opening Night!!

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From This Author Guest Blogger: Caitlin Abraham

Broadway: An American in Paris (ensemble); La Cage aux Folles (Anne u/s, ensemble, Assistant Dance Captain). National Tour: Chicago (Liz). Regional: An American in Paris (read more...)