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Posted by Hans , 21 January 2011 · 655 views

I've been told that people who are not BT members have difficulty viewing this blog, so I will now be writing about ballet on my personal blog:  La Vie en Citron.


Ballet Across America II: Ballet Memphis, Ballet Arizona, Pacific Northwest Ballet - 6/17/10

Posted by Hans , 21 June 2010 · 637 views

A few quick impressions of the performance:

Ballet Memphis:  Good dancers.  Appropriate music (Roy Orbison) with slick choreography, although at times overly literal.  The choreography did not show off the dancers' ballet technique, but they did look strong and very well rehearsed.  I'd like to see this company again in a better ballet.



Mariinsky Ballet, "Sleeping Beauty" 2/13/10

Posted by Hans , 13 February 2010 · 600 views

I did not look forward to this performance with high expectations.  The Mariinsky has mostly disappointed me the last few times it's visited, and while today's performance had some nice surprises, it was mostly in line with what I expected.  Anastasia Kolegova (Aurora) is a perfectly lovely dancer with pretty line, strong technique, and apparently...


ABT's Romeo & Juliet 1/28/2010

Posted by Hans , 28 January 2010 · 564 views

Kenneth MacMillan's "Romeo and Juliet" is a ballet that relies on its two leading dancers more than other ballets do.  In Petipa, if the leads are mediocre, one can still be delighted by the elaborate patterns of the corps, the brilliance of the soloists' choreography, or the grand spectacle his ballets generally present.  MacMillan's...


The Myth of the Perfect Class

Posted by Hans , 18 November 2009 · 571 views

Lately I have been trying to challenge myself during class, so for the last two classes I've taken, I made a rule that I would use the barre as little as possible.  That doesn't sound so difficult, but I soon found out just how much I rely on the barre, even when I think I don't.  A simple battement tendu exercise in first suddenly required...


I'm dancing again!

Posted by Hans , 21 October 2009 · 488 views

In preparation for auditions for dance pedagogy programs, I have started taking classes again, mostly at the American Dance Institute in Rockville, MD.  So far I have had two classes, each taught by a dancer with Washington Ballet:  Runqiao Du and Elizabeth Gaither.

Both classes involved a long barre--45 minutes to an hour.  Normally this is not my cup of...


A New Year at Ballet School

Posted by Hans , 17 September 2009 · 498 views

I have taught my first class of the year, and I am afraid it is going to be an uphill battle.  The first problem is that the students are only in ballet class once, or in some cases twice, a week, so building strength and coordination will be a challenge.  I've decided to give them the same lesson for several weeks in a row so that they will be able to...


More Turnout, Pirouette Preparation

Posted by Hans , 07 October 2008 · 907 views

I think I have finally, at long last, got my students to begin to understand turnout and how the legs move to the side.  It has taken a while, but last class I used some ideas from the Teachers forum on BTfD to help them understand.  A yardstick was very helpful.  

First, I repeated something I've done before:  have the student stand in 1st position,...


The Problem with Pointe

Posted by Hans , 30 April 2008 · 527 views

I have been an advocate of less pointework in ballet for some time now, and here's why, in no particular order:

1. Having to dance en pointe limits possibilities for female dancers who may be very talented in every other way but simply don't have feet and ankles that are flexible enough to allow them to stand sur les pointes.  

2. Pointe shoes...


The Maryinsky's "La Bayadère" at the Kennedy Center, 1/26/08

Posted by Hans , 30 January 2008 · 235 views

To discuss this performance, please go here.

This was my first live full-length "Bayadère," although previously I have seen the Royal Ballet, Paris Opéra Ballet, and Bolshoi Ballet productions on video, and I have seen the Maryinsky do the "Kingdom of the Shades" scene several times, both live and on video.  This production is...

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