Are there generally-recognized definitions of these terms, as relates to classical ballet? Is the difference between them clear to everyone and generally agreed upon? Is there a real dichotomy here? Are they aspects of more or less the same thing? The existence of fudge words -- "approach", "manner" -- makes this even more confusing. So: , please.
I was moved to ask these questions by an article in the April/May 2011 Pointe Magazine: "The Style Debate," by Joseph Carman.
The article is full of statements like the following:
And then there are what appear to be disagreeents about how to handle the style/technique relationship. For example:
Should you study only one technique, or expose yourself to a variety of styles?
[ ... ]
A dancer who studies a single approach, like Balanchine technique, will have a strong grounding in it and might fit more easily in a company with that style.
[ ... ]
"I don't believe in 'style' when training young dancers, says Martin Fredmann, the Kirov Academy's deputy artistic director. 'Sound technique is the only basis. Style comes with being an advanced student and learning a choreographer's choreography. Having a mix of different teachers, each teaching a so-called difdferent 'style,' undermines the essential basis of ballet that must be understood in its morst elemental form. And what is 'style' but a certain choreographer's idea?"
[ ... ]
Parish Maynard, who teaches at the San Francisco Ballet School (where teachers are given latitude to teach their own styles with a core Vaganova curriculum), believe that studying only one approach undermines a dancer's education. "We get students from all over the world," says Maynard. "They come stuck in one way and we have to spend so much time getting them to understand how to shape their bodies differently. I tell them styles are like jackets. You put them on and take them off."
Edward Villella, [of Miami City Ballet] .... developed his curriculum based on his experiences as a Balanchine dancer at the New York City Ballet, and his work with legendary School of American Ballet teacher Stanley Williams. "What Balanchine had was a 19th-century approach and then he invented on that and made it his own manner and style. I continue that investigation -- the rhythms and syncopations. It is an amalgam that I received from brilliant people. .... We all come from the 19th-century technique. Balanchine was a genius after Petipa who made his own approach to prepare you for the classic works. Once you dance Balanchine, it's much easier to go back to the 19th century. What's really difficult is when you only have the 19th century and you try to achieve Balanchine."
So ... what exactly do these important terms MEAN? And (a related question): who is right in what Carman calls "the style debate"?