Todd Rosenlieb Dance

In The Wings, Backstage Secrets with Company Member Kierstin Kratzer

  • August 30, 2018


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TRD wrapped up its 2017/18 season with Ricardo Melendez’s lush, elegant “Latin Dances,” Maurice Fraga’s stark, powerful “Quartetto,” Rosenlieb’s show-stopping, energetic “Yma,” and a collaboration with Indiana company Dance Kaleidoscope. Visit for information about the upcoming season, including the Stories for the Young program in September and the Studio Concert Series in November.

Once the house lights go down and the curtain rises, the magic begins, but what goes on under the stage lights is only a fraction of what it takes to create a performance. We asked TRD company member Kierstin Kratzer to tell us five secrets about what’s happening behind the scenes.

• We put alcohol on the floors and our costumes in order to prevent slippery spots and keep the costumes clean.

• The lighting designer actually has a second-by-second list of lighting cues that require his or her utmost attention while the dancers are on stage. The designer has to know the choreography as well as the dancers.

• Dancers say “merde” or “toi toi” to each other backstage before a show, unlike most other theater performers, who say “break a leg.”

• Striking, or taking down the stage area, happens the moment dancers leave the stage. It is a very rushed yet orderly process to get all the material out of the theater so the next show can get in quickly. First it happens behind the curtains, but when all the audience members have left, the curtain opens and the special floor that is put down for dancers—the marley—is swept, untaped and then rolled up and transported to a safe place for storage.

• When the curtain is closed, just before the show begins, most dancers are actually onstage for a last-minute rehearsal of parts of the choreography.

Todd Rosenlieb Dance