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National Ballet School (Canada)


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#1 Lilly

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Posted 31 May 2001 - 09:19 PM

I wanted to share a few impressions on a performance of the National Ballet School (Canada) which I attended recently, since it's one of the highlights of the year for me to see the next generation of young dancers. The program began with a lovely performance of Chopiniana (Les Sylphides). Although it seemed to me that the dancers were still a bit uncomfortable with this older style, they performed musically and with sensitivity. I especially liked Tina Pereira (I think it was her - the notes on casting were rather confusing!) who moved easily and really looked as if she were enjoying herself.

The second ballet was Pyrrhic Dances II by Toer van Schayk. According to the notes, it is based on the art of warfare in the times of Louis XIV, and is set to Lully, Phildor and Couperin. It starts out by showing the pomp and glory of war, then turns into a "dance of lament and compassion". In this work, the young dancers gave an outstanding, technically secure performance, and were able to convey a great deal of mood and emotion. Though modern, Pyrric Dances also seems to borrow from courtly dances and of course there is a lot of marching! [names edited out]

Last on the program was a set of pieces from various works by Jiri Kylian. As an audience member, I was a bit disappointed, as the school also performed it last year, but as the director emphasized, the main purpose is to give the students stage experience. There were excerpts were from Nomads, Overgrown Path, Dream Dances, and Symphony in D. There was a greater range of ages in this part of the evening (the earlier parts were danced by older students), and the three who performed to the song "I wonder as I wander" in Dream Dances were particularly wonderful to watch - so young but so professional, and loving every minute of it! I guess the best part about school performances is the youthful energy and dedication of the students, so it was fitting that the evening was rounded off by the first movement of Symphony in D. It's danced to Haydn, but the performers are dressed in athletic clothing and baseball caps, and there is a lot of humour (like the group of boys who give a bit grunt when they lift the girl). I'm already looking forward to next year! (By the way, did any other Toronto posters attend? I hope someone with dance background can talk more about the technical side of things.)

[ 06-01-2001: Message edited by: alexandra ]

#2 Paquita

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Posted 01 June 2001 - 12:48 PM

Lilly, great to read your impressions of the performance. Unfortunately I couldn't go this year, but my teacher went and enjoyed it. I wanted to go last year too, they did Aurora's Wedding which I heard was excellent!

#3 pdance

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Posted 01 June 2001 - 08:38 PM

A question concerning this school: Every year at si audition time I go to their site and see where their audition sites are. They always seem to have audition sites in Canada, bt not in the United States. I always wondered if it is possible for Americans to get into their summer program, because I'm really interested in them. So, I guess my question is do they have a method of Americans (and other foreigners) to get in without hopping on a plane to Toronto, and if so, please share!! Thank you very much in advance. :(

#4 Lilly

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Posted 01 June 2001 - 09:40 PM

Hi Christa,

I don't know much about the internal workings of the school, being just a regular dance fan, but I know for sure they do have foreign students, including Americans. Their web page on auditions does mention something about sending a video if you can't attend. There is also an e-mail address which you can write to for more information on the same page at the following URL: [url="http://"http://www.nationalballetschool.org/pages/tour/auditions.html"]http://www.nationalb.../auditions.html[/url]
Perhaps that would be the best way to get the information you need. Good luck!

#5 mom2

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Posted 02 June 2001 - 10:06 AM

Hi Lilly,

My daughter and I attended the Friday evening performance - which one did you see?

I think our experience was similar to yours...we certainly enjoyed ourselves! We had EXCELLENT seats, although I think it's difficult to have poor seats in that theatre.

I was quite impressed with the quality of dancing, and the unison of the corps in Chopiniana.

We loved the sports theme in the last ballet, and the performers seemed to echo the sentiment.

My daughter will be attending the summer program this year; there was a girl from the states in her audition (in Toronto), but I didn't speak to the family so have no idea which part of the states they travelled from. The NBS summer program is different to some of those in the states, in that it is an audition for the full-time program, not a "stand-alone" Summer Intensive.

I would certainly encourage anyone to audition, and have read posts here and on other sites from Americans who attended. In fact, I seem to recall last year that an American girl received some form of scholarship (at least that was her post).

So....go for it, and good luck! :(

#6 pdance

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Posted 02 June 2001 - 12:25 PM

Thank you very much, Lily. I will be sure to keep that in mind during next year's si audition season. Thanks again!
:) :) :(

#7 Terry

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Posted 02 June 2001 - 01:08 PM

Was Yuriko Kajiya in the performance? How is she doing at the school?

#8 mom2

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Posted 02 June 2001 - 07:24 PM

looking at my program, Yuriko was in Chopiniana..Nocturne, Mazurka, and Valse. I would guess that's a pretty good sign...how old is she?

#9 Terry

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Posted 02 June 2001 - 11:40 PM

16. I remember her from some performances in Japan as well as from the Prix de Lausanne last year, in which she won the scholarship to the school.

#10 Paquita

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Posted 04 June 2001 - 10:44 AM

Americans can submit video tapes for auditions.

#11 Lilly

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Posted 05 June 2001 - 09:20 PM

Hi Mom2,

Wow - congratulations on your daughter getting into the summer school. She must be looking forward to it!

I went to the Sunday matinee so quite a few of the dancers were different from the performance you attended. Ideally I'd like to see both casts!

#12 studio company

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Posted 06 July 2005 - 02:56 PM

I find the national ballet school students to be exceptional in all ways. It is as if they are mini professional dancers. It is extrordinary to have such young dancers perform ballets that are done by experienced adults. I give these dedicated teenagers a BRAVO! :)

#13 Amy'sMom

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Posted 06 July 2005 - 09:04 PM

We've had several students from our home studio (Colorado) attend NBS. Some have auditioned in person in Toronto, and some have sent videotapes in. NBS certainly does produce lovely dancers!


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