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Everything posted by svemaus

  1. You're absolutely right - in Germany, a campaign was started to encourage reading...hope that it will help! :rolleyes:
  2. In Germany, both art and music lessons are compulsory from grade 1 - 8. The music lessons mainly dealt with music theory and we were also encouraged to listen to and later analyze classical pieces by Mozart or Beethoven. This was always fun because we could bring our own CDs and discuss the music during the lessons. Later on, we also talked about musicals, operas and even pop music. In grade 12 we have to take either music theory, drama, choir or orchestra for one year. Oh, we also had a school choir, but it was dissolved because the teacher didn’t want to do it anymore (our teachers really were not into extra-curricular activities). The art lessons were really popular at our school, not so much because of the teacher, but because of the fact that we were able to draw or paint AND talk during lessons. We used watercolours, crayon and we even made stamps out of potatoes which was fun. Art history was not part of the curriculum at all. Apart from this, my parents also encouraged me to listen to music at home. I remember my father showing me his LP-Collection and how I fell in love with the “White Album” by the Beatles. My mum also loves opera and Bach, so my sister and I also listened to classical music. Later on, I started to play the piano and took singing lessons; and after that, I discovered my love for dance and have been dancing ever since ;)
  3. International ranking: Reading literacy: 1. Finland 2. Canada 3. New Zealand 4. Australia 5. Ireland 6. Korea 7. GB 8. Japan 9. Sweden 10. Austria 11. Belgium 12. Iceland 13. Norway 14. France 15. USA 16. Denmark 17. Switzerland 18. Spain 19. Czech Republic 20. Italy 21. Germany 22. Liechtenstein 23. Hungary 24. Poland 25. Greece 26. Portugal 27. Russia 28. Lettland 29. Luxembourg 30. Mexico 31. Brasil
  4. As a reaction to Alexandra’s thread: “Was reading encouraged in your school?”, I’d like to present a research called PISA (Programme for international student assessement), whose results were published in 2000. In this research, the reading literacy, mathematical literacy and scientific literacy of 15 year-old students from all over the world were assessed and compared to each other. As German students didn’t do very well in all the test, a whole campaign was started on how to improve education and boost the results of the children - the whole German school system will be changed in the next 10 years...There’s an article concerning this topic in almost every German magazine one can imagine. To my surprise, the Irish, English and American people don’t even know that such a research has been carried out, so I attached links to the results for you. It is especially interesting for the members of this board who are teachers! Just look at the result in the reading literacy section: That’s what happens when kids stop reading and discussing books and only rely on their TV. - In five years, a 15 year-old student won’t be able to fully understand 50 % of the links' contents at the bottom of this thread...this is so sad and scary as well! :eek: - 23 % of the Germany students can only understand elementary texts - 10 % have problem to understand texts at all - 13 % can only understand the easiest facst of a given text - 42 % of the German teenagers hate reading P.s.: A similar research was carried out with teachers. The results have never been made public.... http://www.pisa.oecd.org/ http://www.pisa.oecd.org/Docs/Download/Rea...gExeSummary.pdf http://oecdpublications.gfi-nb.com/cgi-bin...uct/962002071E1
  5. I went to a public elementary school from grade 1 - 4, as every German child does. Sadly, I have to say, that we didn’t read a single book in these 4 years and basically only read stories out of our school books. We did have a little library, consisting of a shelf with 20 books to choose from...and these ones were usually already borrowed by the older students. From grade 5 - 10 at a private high school, the problem was still there: 3-4 German lessons a week mainly packed with grammar exercises and reading out loud from school books, but still no intense study of literature. I do remember reading one book in each grade, but this is just not sufficient! And the worst of all was that the books were entirely chosen by our old German teacher who used to pick the most uninteresting ones that a child in grade 6 or 7 could get her hands on! The situation completely changed in grade 11 - 13, when the teachers suddenly realised that most of the pupils are going to be students at university and therefore need to have reading competence. We read about 2 - 3 books each semester (which is a lot compared to the years before!) in grade 11; the studies became even more intense, when I chose German and English as my honour subjects, because I had to read about 30 books in 4 semesters. Unfortunately, most of the students were not used to reading and thought that it was totally boring; this attitude was emphasized by our teacher’s lack of motivation. As a result, most of the people in my class wrote the test without having read the books (!), but gaining satisfying grades because our teachers didn’t feel like talking with us about our problems - constructive criticism was not welcome at all and lead to bad grades (I’m talking about my own experiences!) So, to say it in a nutshell, reading was NOT AT ALL encouraged at our schools. I was lucky enough to have parents who gave me books to read at a very early age and taking me to the library every week.
  6. I read both, "Anne Frank's diary" as well as "Anne Frank remembered" when I was about 13. It was very interesting to read what happened from two girls' point of views. I recently gave both books to my friend's younger sister who is currently reading them.
  7. I always read different books at a time because I can never decide which one I should read first! There are so many books that I will (have to) read till October, as one of my subjects at university is going to be English. I can’t really say what to expect from these books, I just want to surprise myself and see what’s lying ahead of me. Has anyone of you read Everything is illuminated by Jonathon Safran Foer? Oh well, let’s see: University books: William Shakespeare: Hamlet / King Lear / Macbeth Joseph Conrad: Heart of darkness Paul Auster: Moon Palace Tennessee Williams: A streetcar named desire Henry James: The Ambassadors (Ok, I have prejudices now because of the posts I have read concerning this book...but it will be the subject of my intermediate exams at uni!) Books that have been on my shelf for at least 6 months: Friedrich Nietzsche: The Anti-Christ / Ecce homo / Dionysus I love philosophy and have been eager to read Nitzsches books for a long time. I hope that they will be as interesting as Kant and Adam Smith. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Louis Malle: Au revoir les enfants It’s been a long time since I’ve had my last French lesson and I need to refresh my vocabulary. The book is about a Jewish boy in the Second World War, who tries to hide in a boarding school to escape the German troupes. I’ve already seen the film, which was great, and the book is really worth to read. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Hermann Hesse: The Steppenwolf / The glass bead game re-read: Siddharta / Beneath the wheel I didn’t like Hesse’s books for a long time because he wrote in a very detailled way and I just didn’t have the nerve to read his works back then, to be honest. Now I realize what a great author he was and how clearly he tried to present the personalities and emotions of the characters in his books. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Max Frisch: Andorra / Stiller Frisch is my all time favourite author and I always re-read his books every now and then. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Wladyslaw Szpilman: The Pianist This is the book to the Oscar-winning movie, that I wanted to read for about 8 months already. For the ones of you who don’t know: The book is an autobiography of the Jewish author’s survival in a concentration camp in the Second World War. He was not killed by the Nazis because he played, as a former professional pianist, for the Germans. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Henning Mankell: All his books I highly recommand Mankell’s books to anyone, whether he/ she doesn’t like reading thrillers. His books are about Inspector Wallander, a police officer living in Sweden, who has to investigate murders in his hometown. Mankell is a gifted author who knows how to write exciting books that you don’t want to stop reading until you’ve reached the last page. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Jonathan Franzen: The corrections Ian McEwan: Atonement Something always held me back from reading these books, and I have no idea what it is. I hope to be able to read them during my holidays in America. That’s it!
  8. What a lovely thread... I started reading when I was 4 years old or so and was therefore not allowed to read every book that I wanted to...but I did anyway in my room ;) I first read different fairy tales such as Cinderella. I loved anything by the Grimm brothers and later on, fairy tales by Hans Christian Andersen. I can still remember that I was pretty shocked and scared by “The Snow Queen” because of the boy with the splinter in his eye - after reading that one, I put the book away and have been scared of hurting my eyes ever since :eek: ...Today, I am convinced that I shouldn’t have read it because it is too scary for a 4 or 5 year old. I then started reading books by Astrid Lindgren, esp. “Pippi Longstocking” (Pipi Langstrumpf in German)and Erich Kästner, which I still love. These books were followed by “Around the world in eighty days” - which I read after watching the TV series - and “The animal farm”. Of course I didn’t get the intention of the book when I was young, but I was worried about the thought of pigs ruling the world! At the age of 10 or 11 I only read non-fictional books, mainly about the First and Second World War and the Nazis. I thought that “I had to”, because of the fact that I’m a German citizen. During my stay at my mother’s family’s house in the Philippines, which was at the age of 14, I had the only opportunity to read “Mein Kampf”, as this book is still strictly forbidden in Germany. At that time, I was also able to start reading English books, and the first book was “The picture of Dorian Grey” by Oscar Wilde; I don’t know why, but I liked that book so much that I haven’t stopped reading books by Irish writers, including James Joyce, ever since... @ Ari: I also read “The catcher in the rye” and could relate to what Holden “said”. I had long discussions about that book with my English teacher (who, afterwards, didn’t really like me anymore), because he read it for the first time when he was 24...too old to understand the thoughts and feelings of teens, IMO. There are so many other books that I could mention, as I was constantly reading when I was younger, but there's just not enough space ;)
  9. That's great, Alexandra! I always hoped that such a forum could be established but I was not sure whether I should ask or not because this is mainly a "ballet" - messageboard. A few people, including myself ;) , have already started threads concerning reading and books, now we know where to post them! Svenia
  10. Hello! I decided to revive the German ballet companies’ section again. So, here you are: some news from the website of the Munich ballet. "Exchange between dancers of the Royal Danish Ballet and the Munich Ballet One of the world’s most important and most traditional ballet companies, the Royal Danish Ballet, initiates an exchange with the Bavarian Ballet company. As Maria Eichwald and Alen Bottaini have already danced as Manon and Des Grieux in Kenneth MacMillans “Manon” in Kopenhagen, Femke Molbach Slot and Andrew Bowman will dance the roles of Olga and Lenski in “Onegin” in return." By for now, Svenia
  11. Hi! I tried to translate the whole article, but please excuse my confusing syntax. I hope you get the gist. ;) Stuttgart Ballet stops U.S.-Tour Reid Anderson cancels all the performances in New York - The war and the scare of SARS interferes with the ticket sales The news came out of the blue: Just on Tuesday afternoon, Reid Anderson of the Stuttgart ballet raved about the way the U.S.A.-tour goes. During a meeting with the company prior to their first performance in Minneapolis, he announced in the evening that he had cancelled the four performances in New York that should have taken place after the Easter holidays. The demand for bills concerning these performances was much less than expected. On all the four evenings in the New York City Center, modern ballets were planned to be performed. But the modern program was not the reason for the poor audience’s interest in the New York performances, said Reid Anderson. “I am very sad that the people in New York won’t be able to see our fantastic dancers”, regrets the ballet director during a short statement on the telephone from Minneapolis, “but I cannot take the responsibility for losing so much money.” Only about 25 percent of the performances’ tickets had been sold in advance at that moment. This would have been to little to cover all the costs. As the ballet company doesn’t get a fixed wage in New York, as it is usual in other cities, but has to finance all the performances with the income of their ticket sales, Anderson decided along with the New York agency and Hans Tränkle, the manager of the Stuttgart state theatre, to forego the performances in New York. Anderson blames the rapid loss of the audience, that can be recognized especially in the New York Theatre, on the economic effects of the war on the entertainment sector in the United States and the Americans’ insecurity due to the spreading of the lung disease SARS. “In New York, you can get tickets for every musical at the moment”, says Anderson. Even the Metropolitan Opera has got problem to fill their empty rows with audience. Additionally to the Stuttgart ballet, some other orchesters cancelled their performances in New York as well. Until now, the company’s tour, which was due to last seven weeks, was very successful. The performances of John Cranks “Romeo and Juliet” attracted a lot of people and some performances were even sold out. Also, the evenings with only modern ballets by the choreographers Christian Spuck, Uwe Scholz, Douglas Lee, Daniela Kurz and Kevin O"Day were very popular. Despite the cancellation, Reid Anderson takes a positive stock in between the tour: “I am very content, the dancers perform with excellence and the audience was fantastic. A lot of performances were praised with standing ovations. For him as director, it was especially important that all the local critics rated the dancers’ work as excellent. While all the performance of Romeo and Juliet, in which Anderson presented five new casts for the main roles, were praised, the reactions of the audience and the press for the modern ballets were diverse. “I expected the opinions to be diverse”, said Reid Anderson. “the way of choreographing in Europe is somewhat different.” For the company, only performances in St. Louis, Iowa City and Midland are left. There, the tour will end on April, 20th. The new cast for “Romeo and Juliet” can be viewed by the Stuttgart’s audience in June, when this classic by Cranko will be performed instead of ballet “Der Widerspenstigen Zähmung”.
  12. Here are the lyrics. I tried to translate the song in the best way possible, but it sounds really strange because there are so many German metaphors and I had to translate the sentences as they are so you get the plot: (DARK STAGE) Who knows, how many times a heart can break How many senses a man has got If feelings are worthwhile How many tears fit into a canal Do we live again / twice Why do we wake up What does time heal? (STAGE LIGHTENS UP) I am your seventh sense your false bottom your second face you are a smart prediction the principle of hope a shining light in the night someday I’m going to find and love you I am one of your colours you can choose me you can wear it (the colour) you can bleach it I am going to tell you all the secret numbers paint the wildest dreams for you I am going to explain to you what I don’t understand I am your seventh sense your false bottom your second face you are a smart prediction the principle of hope a shining light in the night someday I’m going to find and love you (BALLERINA DANCES ECHAPPÉS) life is pulsing through our veins in a red colour I am going to give it (life) to you on a golden plate red shines from the grey valley of tears makes all miracles happen at a time, that it takes my breath away (GRAND JETÉ) I am your seventh sense your false bottom your second face (GIRL SIMILING INTO THE CAMERA) your favourite colour your sportiest car your deepest dive your glider flight you are a smart prediction the principle of hope a shining light in the night I am going to find you and love you more than myself I love you more than myself I am going to find you someday I hope that helps to really understand the video
  13. Hello! I’m not quite sure if the link was mentioned before, but I came across this website a few days ago; it’s from the Nureyev foundation. On this website, you can read about the different medical aspect of ballet (anatomy, nutrition) and the newest medical researches concerning ballet. The whole site is divided into a “dancer” and “medical professional” section, because the medical researches are explained in an either difficult or easy way (I only speak for people who have a limited knowledge on medicine ;) ). The articles are written in English and/or French. Enjoy the website. Here’s the link: http://www.nureyev.org http://www.noureev.org Svenia
  14. Hello! I’m not sure if it has been done before but a German artist whose name is Herbert Grönemeyer shot a video with a ballerina dancing a piece which was exclusively created for his song “Demo (Letzter Tag)”. She is the only person that can be seen in the video and she dances in a beautiful theatre. The song itself is very touching because it deals with the death of the artist’s wife and what she meant to him; at first, the stage is very dark and the ballerina dances very slowly, but the more Herbert Grönemeyer sings about his wife’s beauty, the stage lightens up and the dance becomes more lively and energetic. My question is: What do you think of people using ballet in their videos? I think that it is great that ballet is shown to teenagers who may have prejudices towards performing arts and think that it is uncool or boring. But at the same time, it is not really appreciated as a lot of people on the artist’s message board wrote that the video is just trash and think that it is torture to watch it. Should this make the artists think of another concept for their video because ballet isn’t appreciated by the audience anyway and that it is better to keep it away from the people? I’m interested in your opinion on this topic. Svenia p.s.: Here's the link to the new video. You can watch it online if you go to the little box on the right handsight of the article which says: multimedia. Then you can choose between high or low speed. Enjoy: http://www.freenet.de/freenet/unterhaltung...eyer/index.html
  15. Hi Gigi1! Here's a link to all the french ballet companies: http://www.balletcompanies.com/Countries/France.shtml Hope this helps. Svenia
  16. Vladimir Malakhov is the director of the ballet company "Lindenoper Compagnie" at the "Staatsoper unter den Linden" in Berlin. He said that he wants to stage a new piece every season. Now that should be interesting! Sorry that this was a bit off-topic. Svenia
  17. The first time I ever went to a ballet performance was in June this year, so it wasn’t too long ago. I had just turned 18 and I was on a school trip in Rome; I saw the poster hanging in almost every shop window in the city, saying that “Romeo and Juliet” would be performed by the National Ballet in a theatre called “Il Sistina”. I was so desperate to see this performance that my teachers agreed to join us if one of my friends and I would buy the tickets, etc. So, on June, 26th, one day before we left for Germany, I was sitting in the theatre and watching the premier of the piece. Actually the performance wasn’t sold out although there were Monica Perego from the English National Ballet and Raffaele Paganini, who e.g. danced with the Zurich Ballet, dancing the leading roles. It was just during the performance that I realized that it was a modern piece where no pointe shoes were used, but it was something different from the classical ones that I used to watch on TV. Even though you could see some mistakes (the dancers weren’t always on time when they were supposed to dance the same steps) it was so amazing to see triple tours and jetés and the Italian audience was so much different from German one; they were cheering and clapping like mad at the end of each act . During the performance but especially before it began, I felt sort of excited or even nervous, as I always do no matter if I’m about to see ballet, opera or a play; I guess it’s just that special feeling when you sit in the theatre and try to think of what’s going to happen and then the lights go out and the artists enter the stage. That is always a great moment. I enjoyed the night so much that I now try to see ballet performances regularly in Düsseldorf and Cologne, and I may be able to write some reviews about them in the “International companies” or “Recent performances” section, although I’m not able to write as distinguished about ballets as other members on this board . Sorry, that this post is so long, but I still love to write about this event because it was so amazing to me. Svenia
  18. svemaus

    Juli Kent Photos

    Hey Amy_Dance! There are several beautiful pictures that I've found of her, but this one I found some days ago is my favourite. Here's the link: Paloma Herrera and Julie Kent The other pictures by Rosalie O'Connor and other photographers on the ABT-website are worth taking a look at as well (also including shots of Julie Kent): ABT galleries Enjoy, Svenia:)
  19. Thank you, Jorgen, for posting these links. Although I'm German, I understand Danish so it's great to have access to these articles. Svenia
  20. Yes, he's still listed under the "Repertory and dancers" category. Maybe his biography was deleted by mistake when they updated the site. The new corps dancers' biographies (e.g. Katie Berstrom and Savannah Lowery) can now be seen on the NYCB website. http://www.nycballet.com/about/dancers.html Svenia
  21. Hello! I found a pretty good website about the American Guild Of Musical Artists (AGMA) one week ago: http://www.musicalartists.org. On this site, you can also view the contract between the AGMA and the New York City Ballet concerning the dancers’ payment and their work schedule, etc. While looking through that contract, I came across the “Extraordinary Risk” section: “Extraordinary Risk payment will not be paid for the current repertoire as of August 30, 1993 with the following exceptions: Puck in A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM; Mother in the birth scene of APOLLO; Mother Ginger in THE NUTCRACKER; Pierrot in HARLEQUINADE, SWAN LAKE, “Vision” and UNANSWERED QUESTION the Artist who climbs a rope ladder, and the role of the Sousaphone” Now, can somebody tell me why these scenes/roles are so dangerous and risky for the dancers? Thanks a lot, -Svenia-
  22. Hi! Just a quick update about Alicia Amaitrian: she was promoted to principle dancer in september 2002. svenia:)
  23. Hello! Could you please tell me where the performances will take place as I only live 4 h away from Denmark and would be able to see them dance as well Thanks, Svenia
  24. Hello! As I’m still on a mission to change the peoples’ minds on male dancers, and after having written a newspaper article about male dancers and given a ballet class for my P.E. class (only girls) I now have to hold a presentation of todays dancers by giving an example. I’ve chosen Daniel Ulbricht as a “role model” for my presentation because he’s as old as we are, dances at NYCB, a world famous company and is called Martins’ new prodigy. I’ve already found the article in Saint Petersburg times “The barre and beyond” but would like to have further information concerning his position in the company, injuries he had in the past (I’ve heard something of knee problems?!), his ability, and basically everything you know about him ;-) That would really help me. Thanks! -Svenia-
  25. Hi Nadezhda! Well, I think that the video is a bit different from the book. The book shows all the exercises individually whereas in the video, you have a lot of movements combined in a choreography in one section. Here’s the list of the sections: 1.) Warm up (exercises 1–3) 2.) Stretching (exercise 4) 3.) Abdominals (exercises 5-6) 4.) Floor barre (exercises 7-9) 5.) Legs (exercises 10-16) 6.) Cool down (exercises 17) I advise you to watch the video first before you do the exercises cause by doing this you can get used to the music (which is very cool) and the movements and you don’t really have to depend on the voice of Peter Martins who is a lot of times lagging behind the music. I think that the video/dvd is a good addition to the book but: you should vary the workouts, e.g. do the twenty-minute total workout as shown in the book and the video workout the next time. My doctor told me that variation would be better cause your muscle don’t respond well to the exercises after some time if you always do the same ones. Oh, a big pro to buy the video would be the fact that there is a 30 minute bonus program at the end of the workout. It shows 4 NYCB-dancers, Heléne Alexopoulos, Albert Evans, Deanna McBreatry and Edwaard Liang, on a normal day, including, ballet classes, rehearsals…. I hope that I could help you, -Svenia-
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