12/11/2014 12:11 GMT | Updated 20/05/2015 10:12 BST

This Is What It Takes To Produce A Ballet

"I always see other choreographers feeling this way, and now I understand what this feeling is like," says Troy Schumacher, a member of the New York City Ballet's corps de ballet.

Troy has been given the opportunity to choreograph his own show for the company's autumn 2014 gala and as the latest episode of Sarah Jessica Parker's docu-series City Ballet shows, this is no easy task.

The process starts with a piece of music, which inevitably leads to the choreographer "dancing around like an idiot" in an empty studio to establish initial ideas.


While dancing is physically draining (we later see the dancers "huffing and puffing" in rehearsals) Troy's story highlights the mental exhaustion and challenges involved in producing a ballet.

Not least because it requires the right cast.

"Casting this ballet was really difficult, explains Troy. "It's like going to a buffet when you're really hungry because everyone is excellent."

The City Ballet dancers are "different" and "athletic" he adds, but it's clear they need to be. As one cast member describes it, this show is basically "10-minutes of jumping."

Just more proof that ballet is tougher than you think.

Hear from Troy and his principal dancers in episode two of City Ballet above and don't miss more from the series as SJP explores life at the company each week.

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