Support America’s National Ballet Company® DONATE NOW


Debut Deferred

featuring Soloists Catherine Hurlin and Aran Bell

May 20, 2020 at 12:00 pm

Browse This Section...

Debut Deferred

ABT dancers who were slated to debut in a new role this season record a short rehearsal of their character while sheltering at home, and answer questions about missing the opportunity to debut and preparing to do so in the future.

Q & A

Catherine Hurlin and Aran Bell were slated to debut the roles of Gamzatti and Solor in Natalia Makarova’s La Bayadère, which is celebrating its 40th Anniversary.

What roles were you meant to debut?

Catherine Hurlin: Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, Gamzatti in La Bayadère, Myrta in Giselle (although I already debuted it in Washington, DC), Callirhoe in Of Love and Rage, but of course that ballet premiered in California.

Aran Bell:  I was supposed to make my “Met debut” in Giselle, La Bayadère, Of Love and Rage, and Theme and Variations, along with the roles I have previously done (in Romeo and Juliet, Swan Lake  and The Sleeping Beauty).

Had you started rehearsing for the roles?

Hurlin: I have performed Myrta and Callirhoe already, but the other two roles I have not rehearsed yet.

Bell: Technically, I’ve already debuted in Giselle and Of Love and Rage on tour, so those have been rehearsed and performed. La Bayadère was supposed to be performed in Chicago, but just the Shades section. Since everyone kind of knew it would be cancelled [due to COVID-19], we didn’t go crazy with rehearsal… Theme and Variations was going to be my only “true” debut at the Met.

What were/are you most looking forward to about the debuts?

Hurlin: I was really looking forward to learning Gamzatti in La Bayadère, because I love her third act variation.

Bell: La Bayadère and Theme and Variations were the least rehearsed, but I love both of them and they’re very challenging, so I was really looking forward to those performances.

Are you doing anything now to prepare for the characters?

Hurlin: I am fortunate to have access to a studio in Greenwich during these quarantine times, so I have been rehearsing some of these roles by myself, along with other roles that I am not necessarily cast to perform…but just because I want to learn them!

Bell: In terms of preparing for the next round of performances, I’m actually trying to use this down time to strengthen and make more consistent my all around technique. It’s very rare to have this much time to work on all the tiny details (and since I’m lucky enough to have access to a studio, I have no excuse).