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Hjete

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About Hjete

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    student
  • City**
    Ohio
  1. Thank you for those links. It looks like there is at least the opportunity for me to dance in either city, and the two Aix schools both look quite good. I'm not sure which French university I'll take classes at, but the Aix program that is approved by my university is AUCP (American University Center of Provence) and the Nantes one is IES (International Education of Students). (Paris is through Sweet Briar University.) I believe that in all three places students take classes both through the program and at a French University. I'm in the very early stages of learning about this, but I'm hoping to go second semester of next year. Any other advice? (Maybe PM me if so because I guess we're getting off the topic of ballet.) Thanks again!
  2. I'm beginning to look at study abroad programs in France, and I'm wondering what opportunities to keep studying dance a bit while I'm there look like. Do any of you know if there are any decent schools in Aix-en-Provence where American students could arrange to study for a semester? What about Nantes? (I'm at a high intermediate level.) My choice will probably be between programs in those two cities or perhaps Paris, but I'm not sure how I'd do with big city living. Thank you so much for your help.
  3. Hjete

    May O'Donnell

    Thanks doublec for that information. If you have a chance to briefly describe some of the main defining characteristics/principles of May's work, I'd love to hear them (just mainly what her technique stressed). I only got to get a small taste of it with the Verlezzas, but what I've done and seen, I love!
  4. Hjete

    BalletMet at the Riffe

    I just saw "Rendezvous at the Riffe" tonight, and I thoroughly enjoyed it! Personal favorites were "A Time to Dance" (especially because I've danced to "Slavonic Dances" and love seeing how different choreographers and dancers interpret Dvoräk's music) and "Call the Whole Thing Off" (so fresh and entertaining with a lot of great movement along with the comical words ) I also really enjoyed "Colores de Alma"...I liked the Spanish flavor mixed with classical elements but I appreciated that it wasn't a bit cliché in that aspect (ie Flamenco flavored ballet, generally costumed in black and red)...I loved the earth-tone costumes (esp. oranges and burnt reds). As for the dancers, I was especially impressed by Jamie Dee and Carrie West in "A Time to Dance." Ms. West's petit allegro work in her solo was particularly noteworthy (to me ) because I expected her to be more the typical beautiful adagio dancer. (I just love versatile dancers! ) Ms. Dee was just delightful to watch; not only did she possess a very clean technique, but she also drew me in with her sparkling personality. The same can be said for Ms. Mangia and Mr. Howell in "Call the Whole Thing Off." I'm new to seeing this company ("Jewels" was the first thing I saw b/c I'm college student from elsewhere in Ohio), but so far I'm pleased with what I've seen and I'm looking forward to future performances.
  5. Hjete

    May O'Donnell

    YEP! I took with Sabatino last summer and with Barbara for the past two weeks. (They teach at my old ballet school.) The trouble is that I'm in college near Columbus now, so I can't study with them when I'm at school. However, it's nice to know that there's modern out there that I enjoy...maybe I'll be able to study with them more in the future or take Graham or some related technique. (By the way, the Verlezzas are no longer with Dancing Wheels. I believe they teach at Kent State University, though.) Thanks for the help!
  6. Hjete

    Dancing Henry Five

    Oops! I definitely read your first post wrong. (I thought the whole thing was IV instead of V.) Sorry.
  7. Hjete

    Dancing Henry Five

    Hm, that sounds very interesting. Does the piece cover both parts one and two of Henry IV (that would be quite ambitious as well as impressive!) or one part?
  8. Hjete

    Akram Khan

    Thanks for the encouragement, Alexandra! Here's my "review." Let me first say that though I have seen some contemporary dance concerts, I had never seen anything quite like this one (Khan's "Kaash")! I was amazed by the variety of shapes created and by the speed of many of the movements, especially the arm movements near the beginning of the piece. The speed of these motions created a blurred effect in my eyes similar to what is seen in photographs taken with a slow shutter speed of quickly moving objects. The low light throughout much of the piece allowed the dancers to play with the shadows. When one or two of them stood in the darkness, they seemed to be beyond the reach of the audience, but their presence was palpably felt. The dimness of the light also made me more conscious of light and dark contrasts. My attention was especially drawn to the striped floor patterns (of light) and the lightness of the bare arms and other exposed skin in comparison with the dark clothing the dancers wore. When the light did change, it was very dramatic, as when the stage was bathed in bright purple light. Another major contrast I noticed was the difference between silence and sound. I actually felt that I could “hear more” when it was silent. Instead of listening to the music and watching the dancers, I relied on the latter to satisfy both my senses of sound and sight. I could “hear more” literally (breathing, sound of body touching floor, etc.) and metaphorically because the dancers were the only thing communicating with the audience. Similarly, the contrast between stillness and motion struck me profoundly as the dancers showed me the truth in what I’ve been told about there being motion even in stillness. As he stood facing upstage for several minutes before the house lights were dimmed and continued this several minutes into the piece, Inn-Pang Ooi exuded a presence that pulled me into the piece emotionally even though it looked like he was “just standing.” With his still motion, he communicated with me as lucidly as the others who danced around him. In other parts of the piece when physical movement seemed to stop, I could still see motion in things as subtle as the breath. The ways the dancers related to each other was influential to my personal interpretation of the piece. Though they were onstage together, the dancers often looked as if they were moving in separate spheres, even when they were doing the same movements. Much of the time they seemed isolated, so when they did look at one another, it was very noticeable. Even then, though, I did not sense a deep connection between them. This feeling of isolation actually passed to me, but not solely because of their relations. It was the whispered words in the music that accomplished this; I felt them get under my skin and give me the chills. Words that came to my mind upon hearing these voices were “unsettling” and “unnerving.” It was interesting for me to watch when the dancers performed gestures in unison because it allowed me to see how the same movements looked on different bodies. Though the dancers were a cohesive ensemble, the very slight variations in their movements gave them the individuality that made the piece more exciting. The repeated snake-like arm gesture (one arm reaching up and then the hand slowly curling over) was one such movement where this variation could be noted. One specific part of the piece that remains quite clear in my mind is the solo section in which one female dancer spent a large amount of time in close contact with the ground, rolling on it and throwing herself down onto her shoulder/upper arm when she managed to rise away from the earth a bit. If I saw it again, I might interpret it differently, but I saw this section as a struggle to get away from something (represented here by the ground) that the dancer was also holding onto to some degree. Seeing the concert exposed me to new ideas about dance and expanded me as an artist through my recognition of aesthetic issues like those discussed above. More practically, though, it let me see some of the movements we’ve been working on in class (such as shoulder rolls and spirals) in a concert setting so I could recognize their importance to the vocabulary of contemporary dance.
  9. Hjete

    Akram Khan

    I got to see Khan's "Kaash" in Columbus in October, but I just happened upon this topic today! I haven't seen all that much contemporary dance (I'm a ballet student mainly), but I took a level one contemporary class last semester in college and was required to go see the concert and write about it. In my analysis, I mainly focused on the piece's numerous contrasts, on the ways the dancers related to one another, and on specific sections that had unique effects on me. Because I have so little background in contemp (and none at all in Kathak), it was interesting for me to read Paul Parish's review of "Kaash" just now and see what I missed...and also what I did see that he saw, or what I interpreted differently. If anyone is interested in reading my VERY amateur review/comments (it was for a journal entry), I'd be glad to post it. Overall, I was impressed by Khan's work, but I definitely haven't seen enough contemp to judge his genius!
  10. Hjete

    May O'Donnell

    I ran a regular internet search to find info on May O'Donnell technique, but I didn't find what I'm looking for, so I thought this would be a better place from which I'll probably be pointed in the right direction! Where can I find more info about May O'Donnell and her technique? I took a contemporary class the other day from a dancer who is a former principal with her company and I loved it, so I'm interested in learning more...(esp. after taking a contemporary class in college that I wasn't too thrilled with I want to explore a whole lot more before I say I don't like contemp ) Thanks!
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