Preservation of the art
Posted 08 January 2009 - 06:25 AM
Posted 08 January 2009 - 07:44 AM
Oh, yes...and yes. I have been pretty amazed at how unfamiliar with ballet history many young dancers seem to be when engaged in a conversation on the subject.
There has been some discussion on this board with regards to how the loss of experienced dancers in companies is affecting the development of the up and coming stars. Additionally companies are choosing to perform new repetiore rather than the older classics in an attempt to appeal to a larger audience base. It also seems to me that many schools are not including the history of dance, the music, and the history of choreography as part of the corriculum. Have others observed the same thing or is it even necessary?
Posted 08 January 2009 - 07:58 AM
Posted 08 January 2009 - 08:26 AM
"In the second and third years, students begin developing musical sensitivity by listening, learning musical terminology and history; and they become familiar with composers, especially those associated with dance".
Posted 08 January 2009 - 08:37 AM
Is that the Jofffrey Ballet School, Hans? I know that Robert Joffrey wanted his dancers to know the history of the art.
I have heard of only one ballet school in the US that explicitly teaches ballet history. It's quite unfortunate.
Posted 08 January 2009 - 10:10 AM
SAB does indeed offer music classes, but my experience was that many students did not pay much attention to them, viewing them as an inconvenience and a chore, and consequently not learning much, if anything. Music was not offered at the advanced levels when I was there.
Posted 08 January 2009 - 03:08 PM
She had clever ways of integrating it too--for example, when we would do particular combinations, that would start a story about "Pavlova who danced in Petipa's XXXXXXX did such and such a pose. This combination is very famous in Giselle......" and so on. A few weeks later, she would then poll us and see how much we remembered. Very refreshing
Do any of the teachers on this forum do something like that? How do you make sure that your students are dancing while knowing a bit of what they're doing?
Posted 08 January 2009 - 04:38 PM
Posted 08 January 2009 - 08:23 PM
Posted 09 January 2009 - 12:24 AM
My own teachers in Berkeley include quite a lot of history -- some more overtly than others. Michael Lowe in his classes often credits the choreographer/teacher that he learned a combination from -- he'll say this was Mr massine's or mr Loring's, I particularly remember "Mr Beriosoff's petite allegro for developing a quick jump from an invisible preparation." Similarly, Marina Eglevsky will give us Mr Fokine's rond de jambes a terre; kirsten Schwartz will give Ms. Schollar's releves at the barre, with fouettes; Susan Weber always credits the author of combinations she uses, and her repertoire is extensive from Slavenska to mark Morris. Sally Streets takes from all her teachers, and makes up fabulous things of her own, but she rarely bothers us with saying where she got them, she's too busy....
Posted 09 January 2009 - 08:05 AM
I really really really wish some of our wonderful dance photographers would get together (or even individually) and make available decks of collector cards (perhaps like the old cartes de visite) mentioning dancers names, company, choreography... that we teachers could hand out as rewards for steps well done... the students would begin to connect with ballet outside their own studio (and also see what an arabesque, etc. really look like). Honestly, I think most of their ideas about dance stem from Barbie.
Posted 09 January 2009 - 08:13 AM
Posted 09 January 2009 - 11:35 AM
Posted 09 January 2009 - 12:54 PM
Your students are very lucky to have you as an example
I spent a lot of time as a child looking at the photos and reading about the dancers who went before me.
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