By Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal
For Netanel Bellaishe, the role of Larry in “A Chorus Line” is a perfect fit. Born in Israel, Bellaishe studied at the Bat Dor Dance School and Company and was a member of the Israeli Ballet.
“My goal was to find a role, after school, that would be the perfect kind of common ground between acting and dancing,” he said in a phone interview. “This is exactly where it stands: an actor who is dancing.”
“A Chorus Line” offers a glimpse into the life of a dancer, as the show tells the story of a group of hopefuls who are auditioning for a Broadway show.
Larry is the assistant choreographer assisting in the audition, and Bellaishe is both Larry and the dance captain for the show. He’s constantly watching the dancing to make sure the performance is true to the original choreography.
“It’s very stylized, very, very, very specific” choreography, he said.
“Each and every one of the company members has to do the exact same thing. If not, it doesn’t work,” he said. “It’s very different than what I’ve done before.”
Bellaishe said he enjoys honing his acting skills in “A Chorus Line.”
While the choreography must be spot-on, there’s also some room for interpretation, he said.
“It’s a wonderful dancing show, but it’s also a wonderful acting show. It’s a peek into dancers’ lives and how things are behind the scenes. You’re required to dance, but you’re still a specific character as an actor,” he said. “You still
have to bring that specific person to stage.”
Bellaishe is no newcomer to “A Chorus Line.”
“I actually did ‘A Chorus Line’ in Hebrew in Israel. It’s quite different. It works better in English,” he said, laughing.
In that production, Bellaishe starred as Greg, a Broadway hopeful and gay man who sings about his first experience with a woman.
Bellaishe said playing such different roles taught him a lot about acting and the way the show can affect the audience.
“It revolves so much around your life, and in many ways artists’ lives, or in many ways like any other person’s life. It deals with the search for self and realizing who you are,” he said. “There are so many conflicts in the show that are discussed that it speaks to so many crowds. It’s just wonderful.”
Bellaishe invites fans to take a peek into the lives of dancers and performers.
“Come find out about how show business is behind the scenes,” he said, “and find out more about yourself.”