The Road to China: Part One

Aug 14 2015 | Posted in Blog

RWB Company dancers are back in the studios after a short break for summer! On August 15, Second Soloist Tristan Dobrowney will be crossing the ocean to perform as a Guest Artist with the Wuxi Song & Dance Theatre for the premiere of Peter Quanz’s The Red Crowned Crane. Follow him as he prepares for a new season and a rigorous touring schedule.


The beginning of a new season is always an unexpected adventure. Looking back, I never really know how I make it through year after year. The heavy workload is never easy - travelling and performing makes for a rigorous schedule, which takes its toll on your body and creates a high possibility for injury.

This season is one of the busiest in terms of touring and shows. Last year wasn’t the easiest for me. I rolled over my foot as I was landing from a jump during my last show of Nutcracker and fractured it. It took me four months to fully recover from that fall, but I did eventually recover.

Coming back was the hardest thing I have had to do in my career so far. Following my recovery, our next set of performances was for Q Dance in June. I was doing several hours of rehabilitation per day and seeing my physiotherapist three times a week but there still isn’t any way to get back into shape other than fully dancing for six hours a day. The five weeks of Q Dance rehearsal was my bootcamp to get me ready for this season. My body was so sore everyday and it was definitely a struggle to keep pushing and trying to bring myself to the athletic level that I was at before the injury. In the end, the shows felt amazing and it was liberating to be in the studio working and doing what I love once again.

After experiencing how difficult Q Dance had been for me I was extremely anxious about coming back for our full season. I thought that maybe it would be a struggle to take a couple of weeks off and then come back to dancing fully again. I was absolutely wrong about that - it felt amazing and I had no problems getting right into things. Q Dance was the ice breaker that my body needed.

Our first shows of the year are typically Ballet In The Park and this year we performed excerpts from Going Home Star. I did my original role as the Random Lover and a Clergy but I was also second cast for the lead role of Gordon. Mark Godden has a very natural way of moving and everything feels very real. This ballet is really about the story and the dance is there to facilitate the plot. It was a different kind of role for me to get into but the tools that Mark gives you through the choreography really make the process effortless. One of my biggest concerns was that I would have to wear a black wig with a long ponytail. I had never danced with hair this long or even a wig like this before so I had some concerns going into it.

Our wardrobe department took amazing care of me and after wearing the wig and trying it on in the studio I knew that I had one less thing to worry about. The rehearsal process was very fulfilling and I am very proud of my partner Katie Bonnell for dancing opposite me as Annie. We pulled off all three shows, although we almost had to cancel Thursday night because of the rain.

Now we are just preparing for the rest of the season and I will be leaving for China in less than two weeks to work on a separate project with Peter Quanz. I will be gone for five weeks and will try to update more as things progress.

Company Dancers Yoshiko Kamikusa and Tristan Dobrowney
Company Dancers Yoshiko Kamikusa and Tristan Dobrowney