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Everything posted by vrsfanatic

  1. This production was very good for South Florida. Most are not sophisticated balletomanes with expectations of anything but to hopefully enjoy what they see. Even with my sometimes professional teacher jaded eyes, it is clear that the South Florida audience loved this production. South Florida was thrilled to buy tickets and support MCB. MCB was able to sell 3 large venues within 60 miles of each other. Maybe even Naples, 90 miles from Miami. Sorry I did not follow it that closely. The point is, the South Florida audience is finally supporting ballet with enthusiasm and interest. While we may all have our personal likes and dislikes, the facts are this production works for South Florida. Ms Lopez is doing her job well. Ballet has a rich history of making changes to many productions. That is why we have so and sos version in classical dance and also in Balanchine. The question sometimes becomes, why not make a new ballet based on the new scenario? It is an age old question. I am happy to support good ballet. While I may not always like some of the dancing, MCB is producing good theatrical dance with a varied Repertoire which helps to educate not only the audience but also the dancers. Would I have prefered to see a dancing donkey rather than a manatee head with legs and read a program that was able to identify dragonflies (as the costumes obviously demonstrated) instead of butterflies? Yes. But for South Florida the main event was that good ballet happened on the stage in terms of production and most of the dancing. In order for South Florida to continue supporting ballet, we do need more productions like this one.
  2. I have been watching MCB since the 1980s. I know the dancers and their stories quite well. My comment is a general comment regarding the expectation of bodies suitable for classical dance when the costuming requires a tutu. In the 1st Act the varying body types were generally masked by the magnificent costumes. Wearing a classical tutu requires beautiful classical line. Just my opinion, but this was lacking for most in the 2nd Act. There was Messmer, in such glory, all covered up. Her body is excellent for classical dance and one could not see it. Instead we saw bent knees, ladies not quite arriving on pointe and a general lack of feminity which many might say is fabulous energy. Just not my cup of tea.
  3. I was also at last evenings performance. The production was magnificent on the Kravis Center stage. The lighting, projections, scenery and costumes were well done. I suppose I am accustomed to scrims. It did not bother me at all, but I was very close to center in the grand tier. The company looked fantastic in the 1st Act but only passable in the 2nd Act. The 2 Acts just did not seem to go together. They seemed like 2 completely different ballets. For me, beautiful legs and feet are required in classical tutus. In this area, the 2nd Act was lacking. I will attend next weekend in Broward as well.
  4. Thank you Natalia for your very vivid review!
  5. vrsfanatic

    Miko Fogarty

    I have worked various Asian Competitions, as a judge where Ms. Forgarty was the leading guest artist. She was without her mother and handled herself quite well with the young children and the international panel of judges. She is still a youngster. She will develop personally and professionally. As for the private lessons, I have no idea. Really only she and her teacher know that answer. I am not a private lesson fan so it is best I not begin on that subject.
  6. I cannot speak for all of the mentioned programs but in the case of one, if a student has the physique, talent and drive, yes.
  7. It true. Good teaching can produce incredible dancers in a short period of time. It is not by any means ideal, but it is possible. 5-6 days a week, 4-6 hours a day, for 4 years, 10 months a year with 4-6 weeks of additional summer study. A lot of good teaching with very talented and dedicated students. Natalia Makarova was in an excelerated program in Vaganova Academy. Her 1st year class began at age 12. She was graduated after 6 years of study instead of the usual 8 years.
  8. ABT Studio Company has separate touring than ABT. They do short engagements in places ABT, as a Company can not fit. The stage may be too small or perhaps too hard. ABT is governed by Union Rules that the Studio Company is not. It is a good way for ABT to be in the public eye in places that could never see the Company. As for paid by the performance for Appentices, I will check into that. Union rules may govern that as well. It would be quite difficult to live in NYC only being paid per performance.
  9. Thank you Fraildove for your beautiful post. An acceptance to ABT as a Studio Company member or an apprentice are paid positions, therefore quite different than "traineeships" to other US companies where the "trainee" pays the company in the manner you have decribed above. I was discussing ABT in particular. Hopefully Cynthia Harvey will be a wonderful asset to JKO. May ABT continue to thrive.
  10. I am not sure I understand you Amy Reusch. If a student enters a school having studied ballet 1 or 2 times a week for 7 years prior to the age of 13 or 14, the daily work being done in what some may consider a finishing school over the course of 4 years does become the bulk of the students training. To study ballet 6 hours a day 5 or 6 days a week for 10 months a year is substantial work. To begin ballet at the age of 4 to 6 with class for an hour to one and a half hours, twice a week for 9 to 10 years is not substantial professional training. It seems obvious that the daily classes for many hours a day surpasses the previous years of training. When this is the case, the final four years of training are much more than finishing years. They are life savers.
  11. The question has not been answered, what exactly is a finishing school? I believe our feelings about quality training and what makes a school, a school are actually quite similar. It is not important that we differ on what school may or may not be a finishing school. The teachers within a school know what they contribute to a particular class or student. As my late husband always said, "Misha would have been Misha regardless of where he trained." My late husband was thoroughly versed as a ballet master, teacher of professionals, children and teachers in the Vaganova method. I found it an odd statement however, having come across quite a few of these ballet spirits with great facility and minds for great ballet, as young people, I believe it more and more. While I never knew Mr. Baryshnikov as a child or an older student nor a dancer, except what I saw on stage, I am more apt to believe my late husband's statement, as my experience in working with young people of the high school age has shown that while it would be best for students to train in one method fully from the age of 10 to graduation from high school, it is possible to take 13-14 year olds who have horrible to no training to a high professional level by the time they graduate from high school. You are seeing them in high positions in the highest level companies in the US and across Europe. The ballet audience is unaware of where they were in their training prior to commencing high level professional training. If a four year program is considered a "finishing school" by some, then so be it. I invite you to come watch the brew from the beginning to graduation. As for the importance of working through an apprenticeship/trainee period, you make excellent points with which I agree fully. Perhaps I misunderstood the discussion, as my comments regarding a "finishing school" were based upon the fact that most students who finish Vaganova schooling are at their highest level of technical training when they graduate school. As teachers, we know for the most part, very few will ever exceed what they learned in school technically. What does occur after leaving school is life experience that helps to develop the artistry within the dancer. Dancers in company class receive few corrections at all. If you are in the corps, you receive little to no coaching. soloists and principal dancers are always seeking coaching or acting lessons outside of what a company is able to provide. Dancers develop over years of work. The product is never finished. Being a high level professional ballet teacher, since I began in the profession of teaching has taught me that miracles can and do happen if a student wants it badly enough, if the student is willing to trust in a teacher and a school. The dancers know who trained them for the most part. But there are those who have fallen prey to the marketing and self promotion of some teachers. The audience tends to know the big name teachers and schools, but not the ones stirring the soup from the bottom up because company bios do not reflect where or when the deep work took place. Dancerboy90210, your analysis is wonderful. I thank you for your heartfelt contributions to Ballet Alert. We may not agree, but you are polite in your discussions which is very appreciated by me.
  12. Having studied methodology at the Vaganova Academy as an international teacher for 2 years, I was very fortunate to watch this particular process develop. Of course, there is a difference between what happens at POB ballet school, Vaganova Academy and the Bolshoi Ballet Academy. I wish I could say there were not a difference, but there is. Our country does not have a system in place for the teaching of anything. Each State has its own educational system. For that matter, there may be differences from school system to school system within one State. We educate our students from a very young age that the grass may be greener elsewhere. It is very rare to have a student from the age of 8 or 10 until they obtain a professional career. These dancers are not the norm. I cannot name very many at all who have traveled this path. The reality is that students will seek different schools and different teachers. Often, it has more to do with how to land the first job versus where the best training may be, as there is no school in the US offering the complete package. Most company schools are "cash cows". They help to pay the rent and the salaries of the worker bees. Smaller conservatory high school programs are often challenged as to how to get their students seen by company directors since most company directors realize they must promote their schools by insisting that the students are hired directly from their schools. Seniors in high school find themselves auditioning for school directors, not company directors these days, unless an open cattle call audition is posted. In the case of ABT or NYCB, this does not happen anymore. The smaller Conservatory programs are finding that students who audition in Europe are being offered jobs in European companies as European directors are more receptive to dancers from other schools, not just their own. To get into a company like NYCB and ABT right out of high school is a thing of the past. We have had quite a few who were offered places in Studio or 2nd companies prior to graduation from high school. Many would rather take the job than risk not taking the job. Luckily finishing high school online is now much easier and more acceptable by colleges. I am hoping that you will understand there is more to this than meets the eye. As audience members, you know what you read. As a ballet teacher who is a long standing faculty member at a Conservatory with a track record of producing high level dancers, our viewpoint is from a different perspective.
  13. Looking from the outside in allows those of you not intimately involved in the training of dancers to form your opinions. As a teacher in a ballet program being discussed as a "finishing school", I assure you, we do take talented bodies with committed minds and a vast level of talent. However we train our students who begin in level one, from the bottom up. Four years can make a serious impact upon a student. A year, now that is a "finishing" effort. Four years can have a major impact upon a young mind and body. JKO has made a commitment to the professional training of talented students. They may take them from the beginning to the end of their training or they may get them from elsewhere because student in professional schools in the US are indeed transient. No school can guess the path of a student. We teach as if we will have these students until the end of their training. The question remains and always will, how might these dancers have developed had they not jumped schools and training? One will never know. JKO has done a good job of taking the students they have to a professional level of training. Speak with the dancers. Ask them if they think they went to "finishing schools". For the most part, you will find that they feel that their individual journeys were well constructed with key teachers in their lives who made a serious impact upon their development. We teachers are stepping stones. The students of today leap from teacher to teacher to find their paths. They attend certain schools. We live in a free society. Students jump from school to school seeking the training they think they need to propel them forward. May I ask what you mean by a "finishing school"?
  14. ABT/JKO did not produce Boylston. She trained as a child at Boulder Ballet, Her next step was The School of the Colorado Ballet for 2 years I believe. She then spent 3 1/2 years at The HARID Conservatory and accepted a Studio Company contract is the middle of her senior year of study. She accepted a 1st year corps contract to ABT after those 6 months in the Studio Company. She finished her academics online and is a HARID Conservatory graduate. Mr. Hallberg did not study at JKO either. He is a product of The School of the Arizona Ballet and one year at the Paris Opera Ballet School. While Mr DeVita deserves accolades for his work at ABT, these two dancers never worked with anyone at the JKO school except in their 4 week summer session.
  15. I am hoping to go to West Palm.
  16. What a pleasure last evening's performance brought to the audience and to myself. It was my first for this production. After having read the years of reviews both here and in the periodicals, it was a pleasure to see this magically mystifying and musical production. ABT is dancing with an increased exuberance and sense of theatricality. Simply, this production renewed my wonder of ballet. It restored my little girl love of ballet. As a teacher of ballet, it is so easy to become jaded. At times ballet can become less thrilling than the memory of the love. This production reminded me why I love ballet so much. As for the much discussed failed torch lift of the Boylston/Stearns 1st pairing, seamlessly beautiful. Ms. Boylston and Mr. Stearns compliment one another beautifully. There was magic happening on the stage last evening. Bravo ABT! Bravi to Ms. Boylston and Mr. Stearns!
  17. I am passing this information along because I find it interesting. There is history behind those pointing fingers of the Chinese dance in The Nutcracker. In the Chinese culture, those who were very rich wore gold finger thimbles that sat upon the index finger. The richer you were, the longer the gold finger thimble.
  18. All seats to the ballet are good seats. Buying a ticket is supporting ballet. Everyone has different objectives for sitting whereever they choose to seat. We are so fortunate to be able to choose! Let's enjoy the ballet. ☺
  19. Thank you. I will keep my fingers crossed. I think I am in row E or F.
  20. Is anyone able to advise me on sight line in Costa Mesa. I have heard that one needs to sit in Rows K and back in order to see over heads. Can anyone advise me?
  21. I was also at Swan lake. I did not stay for the rest of the program. Ms. Messmer was more beautiful than her 2nd show in Miami. Lovely to watch her grow and glow!
  22. Thank you. I will happily change my understanding of Serenade!
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