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identifying training differencesVaganova, Cecchetti, and Mrs. Dinkle


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#1 Cliff

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Posted 05 June 2005 - 08:32 PM

There are various styles of training, such as Balanchine and Vaganova. Why are there different styles and what are there aesthetic consequences?

For example, consider the Rose Adagio from Sleeping Beauty being performed in different styles. I'd assume that an experienced eye would perceive the different styles but what about the unexperienced eye. A novice would recognize a yellow vs a pink tutu. Would there be anything at an artistic level that would identify a Cecchetti style?

#2 Mel Johnson

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Posted 05 June 2005 - 10:51 PM

Not easily in the Rose Adagio. At that point, all the different training methods, which had to do with the insularity of national ballet trainings, should have evened out to produce a dancer with excellent technique and unaffected dancing. Whether the knee is even with the foot in attitude (Cecchetti) or slightly lower than it (Russian) will not be a matter of great moment with the audience.

#3 Treefrog

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 02:39 PM

Another question: which trumps, the style in which a dancer has been trained, or the style that the AD (ballet master, etc.) coaches? I always assumed the latter ... but do stylistic differences sneak through?

#4 GWTW

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 04:49 PM

Treefrog, you are assuming that there has been thorough coaching. My education on this board has taught me that that assumption is faulty. :)

#5 carbro

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Posted 07 June 2005 - 03:56 PM

When I see a dancer with a more clearly defined center and more relaxed upper chest, I assume that dancer has had extensive Cecchetti in her/his background. I am not using the term "more" casually. It is a relative thing.

Even during Baryshnikov's russification of ABT's style, Cynthia Harvey continued to show her Cecchetti roots.

I also believe that Makarova's Kirovian training was evident throughout her career, seen in the combination of strength and flexibility of the back, the carriage of the arms. She and Kolpakova are of that last generation that, IMO, exemplified the Vaganova school at its purest and best.

At NYCB, the only dancer I can think of in the past 30 years (although I did not have the eye for all of that time) who suggests pre-SAB Cecchetti schooling would be Gen Horiuchi, whose incredibly centered turns were the giveaway. Doesn't mean that NYCB rejects all Cecchetti-trained dancers, just that the qualities which identify them to me are superseded by the choreography.

#6 ToThePointe

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Posted 07 June 2005 - 07:14 PM

I have a video in which Darci Kistler guests and performs in Pas de Quatre. IMHO She sticks out like a sore thumb. Even if you didn't know it was she, you would know it was someone from NYCB.

#7 Helene

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Posted 07 June 2005 - 11:15 PM

Doesn't mean that NYCB rejects all Cecchetti-trained dancers, just that the qualities which identify them to me are superseded by the choreography.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Antonia Franceschi was Cecchetti-trained by Margaret Craske. Craske's student Diana Byer teaches the technique at the school that is affiliated with New York Theater Ballet and coaches the Company that way as well.

#8 artist

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Posted 03 March 2007 - 11:02 PM

There are various styles of training, such as Balanchine and Vaganova. Why are there different styles and what are there aesthetic consequences?


A Cecchetti trained dancer has longer thigh muscles whereas dancers trained in the Vagonova system tend to be more bulkier. Russians have amazing backs b/c of their emphasis on p.d.b.

and I have heard that companies are looking more towards Cecchetti-trained dancers b/c they are able to adapt to any style or choreography and b/c they have learned placement of the body.

#9 vrsfanatic

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Posted 04 March 2007 - 04:18 AM

artist, your disccussion on the differences between Cecchetti and Vaganova trained dancers is soley an opinion, not based on the physical facts of human anatomy. Heredity dicates how the human body will develop. With a well proportioned body, good teaching and training will produce lovely classical line. This is not a We versus They situation.

Your comment regarding job placement and Cecchetti trained dancers is unfounded and hearsay. Well-trained dancers all have a better shot at obtaining work. It is not a matter of one school of thought being more prevalent.

#10 artist

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Posted 04 March 2007 - 11:26 AM

artist, your disccussion on the differences between Cecchetti and Vaganova trained dancers is soley an opinion, not based on the physical facts of human anatomy. Heredity dicates how the human body will develop. With a well proportioned body, good teaching and training will produce lovely classical line. This is not a We versus They situation.

Your comment regrading job placement and Cecchetti trained dancers is unfounded and hearsay. Well-trained dancers all have a better shot at obtaining work. It is not a matter of one school of thought being more prevalent.


I was just told by a teacher this way due to the certain excercises each method has. In Cecchetti, the combinations are simple and slow, allowing placement to be obtained. This may have resulted in longer looking muscles ?

I was thinking more on the line of emphasis on certain aspects will dictate the overall result. If, ex. POB, stresses feet, their feet will 'pop' out, but not saying anywhere else someone's won't.

If two well-trained dancers are juxtaposed and come from a Vag. and Cecc. school, you'll be able to tell which one is which IMO first from the way they are placing themselves/their weight.

yes, I do agree on any dancer has a shot at jobs, esp. if well trained, and it all does depend on where. I wasn't saying that they're only picking Cecc. trained dancers. I had just remembered a discussion at a Cecc. Summer Int. w/ Kirk Peterson where someone pointed out that if one dancer is good technically but has trouble w/ versatility b/c of structured classes and another has placement but not too much tech, the one more versatile will dominate if willing to learn.

Bue I know this is not true everywhere in many instances. I was just trying to say what I have heard been discussed. I didn't mean to take it this way, just wanted to show how different the training can be in many ways.

#11 carbro

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Posted 04 March 2007 - 12:00 PM

artist, you may want to keep in mind that vrsfanatic is a highly respected teacher with many years of experience. Her students include some well known dancers.

I was just told by a teacher this way due to the certain excercises each method has. In Cecchetti, the combinations are simple and slow, allowing placement to be obtained. This may have resulted in longer looking muscles ?

Let me guess. Could this, by any chance, have been a Cecchetti teacher? :jawdrop: Of course any teacher -- no matter their subject matter -- will think their training method is best. Otherwise, they wouldn't be following that syllabus.

If two well-trained dancers are juxtaposed and come from a Vag. and Cecc. school, you'll be able to tell which one is which IMO first from the way they are placing themselves/their weight.

I've noticed that, too, but it does not make one method better than the other. It depends on the requirements of the choreography. At the professional level, a dancer trained in one method should be able to adapt to those needs -- not change, but modify their placement and the way they hold their weight.

#12 artist

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Posted 04 March 2007 - 12:07 PM

but it does not make one method better than the other. It depends on the requirements of the choreography. At the professional level, a dancer trained in one method should be able to adapt to those needs -- not change, but modify their placement and the way they hold their weight.


I wasn't saying that one is better. I totally understand what both of you are saying, and respect it at that, and just wanted to say what my little mind has heard and viewed. :jawdrop: Sorry for taking this the wrong way. I wasn't trying to be opinionated, but I will watch what I say and be quiet now! :blink:

#13 Amy Reusch

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Posted 04 March 2007 - 08:41 PM

It might be interesting, though probably a diplomatic suicide mission... to not only mention the strengths of the various schools are but where the weaknesses tend to show up in the non-model dancers... Sometimes one sees the styles more clearly in the mediocre specimens than in the stars.

Anyone ready to go down in flames?

#14 Hans

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Posted 05 March 2007 - 03:53 PM

I think a lot of it depends on the individual dancer (and sometimes his/her teacher) than the training method. As far as styles go, one might be able to point out a few general tendencies toward a particular weakness here and there, but there will always be exceptions to that.


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