BACKSTAGE: It’s a Jolly (Summer) Holiday

Backstage at CCPA is our behind-the-scenes blog. Contributors are students, faculty, and members of our community. 
Joscelyne Tamburri tells us about her experiences as a Year II student, from the classroom to the stage.


1 week down, 9 to go until opening. This week, we are focusing on another classic Mary Poppins number, Jolly Holiday (but really, they are all pretty classic) . Our choreographer, Nicol, has implemented so many cool and unique ideas into the piece, they are going to make it a truly magical and memorable number. She has managed to tie in some of the best pieces from the Disney movie and adapt it to this slightly different Broadway script, so you get the best of both worlds with our version. I’ll be revealing more cool aspects of the show through the next few blogs, but for this week I’ll just give you a sneak peak into Jolly Holiday, or else this blog would turn into a novel.

First of all, instead of just 1 magical, dancing statue (nod to Nelius) in the park, we have 4, so right there is quadruple the balletic whimsy. I have heard that sometimes productions will have multiple dancing statues sometimes, but there was only 1 in the script so I was pleasantly surprised. The 4 seemingly rigid statues come to life as beautiful ballet dancers who gracefully float around the stage. A very contrasting and delightful scene as the statues break free of their granite casings, and dancers finally get to stretch out those limbs that have been screaming at them for holding the pose so long, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

The second behind the scenes peek is another nod to the Disney movie version with the addition of Bert’s dancing penguins. In my personal opinion, you can’t do Jolly Holiday without the penguins, it just isn’t the same. Although we haven’t technically seen any penguins yet – just the directing team saying “penguin dancing, penguin dancing,” as Bert practices the dance for now, alone, on center stage…my question is how are we gonna get penguins to dance. Can I volunteer for that then put penguin dancing in my resume under special skills? Hmm…

The final aspect I will partially indulge you all with (because I can’t go giving all our secrets away) is that somehow, in a very magical way over the span of about 5 seconds, we somehow bring a beautiful carousel ride to life on centre stage. I’ll leave that to you to try to figure out, if you can. I’ve given away too many spoilers as it is. 😛

Choreography rehearsal.
Choreography rehearsal.

On another note, getting to and from rehearsals has been an interesting experience so far. In an effort to minimize my costs and stress on both me & my car Galinda, who at this point has no interest in braving the hectic streets in the “Big City”, I have decided to opt for public transport. The Vancouver skytrain system has nothing on the NYC Subways, but it’s serving me well for the moment. Now if you know me, you know that when I’m packing for rehearsal, I bring everything, but the kitchen sink. So let’s try to imagine this scenario: a young, small girl who only takes up probably half of a typical seat, occupying 2 full seats (or 1 full bench) plus all the surrounding space with a packed duffel bag, snack box, 2 binders and her backpack on a jam-packed skytrain. Can you see the dirty looks I have been getting? I can’t help that I like to be prepared. Overall though taking the skytrain so far has been really beneficial and great, and I continue try to minimize the space I take so I don’t annoy people unnecessarily. Perhaps singing along to the Mary Poppins soundtrack on the journey to the rehearsal hall may not be helping my case… I guess I should be glad I’m not in NYC right now. I might get more than a few dirty looks. Maybe I need to start learning to streamline a few things. A girls gotta be prepared and one can always dream!

So as I said last time, it is gonna be a great summer, and I really hope you keep tuned to see the upcoming blogs and try to come see the show (Mary Poppins at The Malkin Bowl, Stanley Park, Vancouver BC). The way things are looking, you won’t be disappointed!

Until next time folks, stay classy and sassy.


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Joscelyne Tamburri

Joscelyne Tamburri

Victoria local Joscelyne Tamburri is a second-year student here at CCPA who is extremely passionate to find new ways to expand her creative palette. She is very grateful to be a part of such an amazing program that allows its students to grow to be the best artists they can possibly be.