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European dancers Vs American Dancers


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#16 BW

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Posted 09 September 2002 - 07:31 AM

Alexandra, one does begin to wonder if they protest too much.;) I think I'm going to buy the book anyway! :)

#17 Alexandra

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Posted 09 September 2002 - 07:38 AM

I'm not sure I understand what you mean, BW. You wonder if the teachers are protesting too much that today's dancers are all about technique? I think they've nailed it. :) These are teachers who have to fight, every day, to get students to focus not on how many turns they can do, but on the 99999 other things they have to learn to be a ballet dancer.

#18 Giannina

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Posted 09 September 2002 - 07:41 AM

I've read it too and, like Alexandra, found it fascinating. With each teacher you're saying, "Ooooh, that's the right way!", and then you go to the next one and say, "No, that's even better!". Of course all of them are "the right way" and there's so much food for thought.

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#19 Xena

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Posted 09 September 2002 - 08:03 AM

Thanks BW I will certainly look into buying that book as will I Alexandras' book:)

#20 Alexandra

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Posted 09 September 2002 - 08:08 AM

Giannina, I loved your "this is the right way" -- no, this is... idea. I think that's very apt -- and with great teachers, I think that's the way it should be. To me, the ideal for ballet is to have dozens of "This is the right way!" teachers/balletmasters/choreographers -- and they are the right way, and they're all different.

(Xena, I can't resist mentioning that the Kronstam biography deals with his career as a dancer, of course, but also a lot with teaching, coaching and staging of ballets :) )

#21 BW

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Posted 09 September 2002 - 09:29 AM

Alexandra, what I meant by that comment was only my somewhat lame attempt at a bit of humor - which apparently fell flat on its face! ;) However, I do think Giannina really hit on it, in her post. I just couldn't help myself from considering that -sometimes - certain, particular, teachers may disparage other teachers' training methods and complain that everyone else's students may have technique (if they're even that generous) and that many times one person's view of, say, musicality, is different from another's...

I didn't mean it specifically in regard to these teachers - although I did meet Madame Darvash and she certainly had her strong opinions! :) I do realize that the general feelings today are that there is a terrible dearth of the 99,999 other things a ballet dancer needs to learn, besides "the correct" technique, and I look forward to reading the book in order to learn how these particular 10 have dealt with this.

I also think that it will be quite interesting to take a look back in about 15 years and see what people are saying about today's ballet dancers then - will they be held up as icons, or will we have a resurgence in great training form the earliest days of a young dancer? All of which, puts me in mind of another thread in which the training of young dancers at CPYB is being discussed. Many extol the virtues of both the quantity and the quality of the training available at CPYB and yet, I have also read that some consider their dancer's to be "all about technique". I guess this just brings us back full circle to Giannina's observations! :)

#22 Alexandra

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Posted 09 September 2002 - 09:36 AM

I think that going along with a teacher thinking that his/her method is the ONLY way that they'll think everyone else is doing it wrong :) But some of the teachers Warren mentioned -- Larry Long, for one -- taught a mixture of things, got a bit from here, and a bit from there.

Fifteen years ago, 25 years ago, there was a complaint about the young stars of the day being all technique and no nuance, too, and I think those judgments have held up pretty well. They either still stand -- a Fernando Bujones, say; exemplary technique, but that's it -- or the dancer is seldom mentioned. Danilo Radojevic comes to mind :)


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