Style versus technique
Posted 12 January 2003 - 03:04 AM
Posted 12 January 2003 - 05:25 AM
As for style, method and/or system meaning the same thing from a teaching point of view, it seems we'll have to agree to disagree about certain schools having one or not. ;)
Just an FYI, last night I started to make my way through the current list of NYCB dancers and I'd say that there are not a few who have made their way through SAB from at least 12 (and earlier in some cases) and have actually ended up in the company. However, I do digress... Darn them Eutics, they always do get in there!
Posted 12 January 2003 - 06:06 AM
About ol' Hermen, there was some tussle when he got hitched to his first cousin, Therap, but people will talk!
Posted 13 January 2003 - 01:44 PM
I think I would say that Alexandra's definition of ballet, Graham, and Humphrey as techniques makes sense, but I would also say that whereas there are Russian, French, English, Danish, and Italian methods and styles, there are also degrees of style, if that makes sense. For example, Russian style -> Vaganova method -> Kirov style -> Chenchikova's style (as a coach/teacher) -> Larissa Lezhnina's style. That looks really complicated all typed out--it made so much more sense in my head! However, I think that can be done with pretty much all of the major companies/schools today. The Balanchine style is an anomaly, though--it's a combination of Russian, French, Danish, Italian, and Balanchine aesthetic. It doesn't have a prescribed teaching method that I've ever come into contact with, but just like the Kirov and Bolshoi, the style can vary widely depending on the company. I would classify it as a style because it is a stylization of classical ballet technique--certain aspects of it depart from the classical tradition, but these idiosyncrasies do not give it the status of a technique or method, IMO.
Posted 13 January 2003 - 03:44 PM
Now when Hermen and Therap got hitched, there was some grumblin' about that white wedding dress, but he looked real purty in it.
Posted 13 January 2003 - 04:06 PM
Wouldn't the difficulty of codifying the Balanchine technique/style lie in his relentless experimentation? I don't think he ever saw it as "set" but rather as something that would and should continue develop. If that is your point, Mel, I agree.
Originally posted by Mel Johnson
There is the evidence of a giant intellect at the back of the SAB style these days, but no giant intellect there now to continue to codify it and modify it the way Balanchine did when he was alive. I think many of the former NYCBers from the Balanchine days take, more or less, the last thing that they heard him say on a subject and consider that the highest development of form.
Posted 13 January 2003 - 04:12 PM
Posted 13 January 2003 - 04:17 PM
Now let me go look up "inambered.";)
Posted 13 January 2003 - 04:22 PM
Posted 13 January 2003 - 04:29 PM
Posted 14 January 2003 - 08:54 PM
She stresses that Balanchine emphasized picking the foot up with the heel forward and toes back. Apparently this is a key element in Balanchine "Technique." However, if you ask any dancer, this would be called "utilizing one's turnout," wich is a fundamental in all school's. The only other difference that I found between Balanchine and other styles was the precise musical phrasing of steps. This phrasing gives the movements a different look than if the step were performed at an even tempo. But, the musicality doesn't change the mechanics of the step.
Of course Balanchine used crossed wrists and broken wrists and all sorts of unorthodox positions. I don't really believe that different arm positions distinguish between different styles. Cecchetti's third arabesque is different than Vaganova's, but this isn't why these are two separate techniques. The core differences between techniques are the different ideas on how steps should be performed. For example, Cecchetti insists that one's hips must remain entirely square for grand battement while Vaganova didn't stress this.
Posted 15 January 2003 - 03:33 AM
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