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Guest Justine Coulon

Russian Ballet Society

8 posts in this topic

I am very interested in the Russian Ballet Society. Can someone let me know more information about it. From what I have gathered it is based in Scotland. Does the society have particular exams and syllabi that members follow?

Also, as a Vaganova teacher I am always looking for ways to be able to "examine" my students. I would really like to be able to test them, somewhat like RAD students so that they would have a sense of accomplishment before going into the next level. Does anyone do this with their students? I have heard of one studio, forgive me for not remembering the name, that supposedly teaches a teacher training course and "certifies" Vagonova teachers but I know that this certification just does not exist. I truly wish it did!

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Justine, here's the website for the Russian Ballet Society:

http://www.dtol.ndirect.co.uk/rbsoc.htm#soc

This should help with a lot of your questions, and also provide you with contacts to assist you. It's the Legat Method, from which both Vaganova and Balanchine evolved. Of course, it continued to develop as long as Nicolai was alive, and he lasted a lot longer than his brother Sergei. You'll still recognize a lot of things that are still in the later disciplines from the Legat roots.

There have been a few people who have been very highly trained in Vaganova who have developed their own pedagogical system for passing it on, and of course there are those who aren't qualified at all who claim the same thing!:) (Why does this business attract so many phonies?) None is recognized by the Vaganova Choreographic Institute, as you say.

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Justine there is no recognized ceritfication outside of Vaganova Pedagogy course by the Vaganova Academy of Ballet in St. Petersburg, Russia. This is recognition of the teacher representing their School/schooling. I know when I was there they really were trying to copyright it like Pilates had done and even Balanchine Technique (please excuse me Balanchine people, I do not know how to make that copyright sign). It is at least a beginning to try to clear up all of the confusion about what actually is or is not Vaganova. To my knowledge they have not moved forward with this issue as of yet.

There is no society that governs an examination process outside of Russia. Vaganova School will not even recognize Moscow or Perm as being Vaganova! ;) Colorado Ballet Academy has an examination process for themselves. Maybe you should call them? Look under www.coloradoballetacademy.edu, I believe. I do a class demonstration annually, not an exam really. My students are 14 and 15 years old, coming from varying backgrounds so at the end of one year with me, I feel I can show something but my goodness it is certainly not 4th or 5th year Vaganova work in the pure form. Are you teaching alone? I am fortunate that I do have another certified/diplomaed Vaganova teacher with whom I work that looks in, we talk a lot. She helps to be the other eye. I know it is not enough but all I have at the moment. I take advantage of any "Russians" passing through to come take "a look see" when possible. Since you are in Florida maybe you would like to come see? Let me know if you have interest.

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Yes, the Russian Ballet Society does offer exams and training courses; in fact, I am hopefully going to start in a teacher training course soon in Virginia. They offer summer programs in Italy and Scotland that I've heard are very good, though I can't attend this summer. There is a form to contact them on their website, but they've lately been having problems with their email, so you might find it easier to write to: The Secretary, Russian Ballet Society, 15 Cramond Vale, Edinburgh EH4 6RB. They're extremely helpful, and the president (!) of the society replied to my letter very promptly. If you have any other questions, the website is really good, or you can pm me and I'll tell you what I know (though at the moment the site would probably be more informative!). Hope this helps.

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I want to thank you all for the information I received about the Russian Ballet Society and I will certainly look into it. I am the only ballet teacher at the school where I am employed so I do not have anyone else to discuss the Vaganova syllabus with. I first learned the syllabus from my mother who was a professional ballerina with the Hungarian National Opera and I was also taught the syllabus as a childby my teacher Oreste Sergievsky. Naturally, I have changed the syllabus to fit the American students but I try to stay true to the wonderful style that my mother reinforced in me. Again thank you all.

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Justine, you'll find other Vaganova teachers, and those interested in Vaganova, on the Teachers forum. I hope you'll join in the discussions there, or start some of your own.

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And we're having one heckuva good discussion right now on how Vaganova deals with raked stages!:)

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My studio is part of the Russian Ballet Society, we switched from CDTA (Canadian Dance Teachers Association) last year. For exams, the teacher is allowed to choreograph their own combinations as long as they include the designated steps (and there are lots! the exams are generally very extensive).

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