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Jaana Heino

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About Jaana Heino

  • Birthday 11/01/1973

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    adult student
  • City**
  1. If I would have to guess, I'd say it is a franglais combination of "gai" and "joyeuse", both meaning (according to my dictionary - I don't speak much French) something like happy, joyous, cheerful.
  2. I am still learning to watch ballet, so I am not sure the past tense in the question applies to me. Anyway, I know what I have always looked at in ballet, but I find it really difficult to describe - before starting to take classes myself it would have been completely impossible. What catches my eye and what I wait for in a performance is some kind of a combination of what I now think is called the dancer's "line" with his/her movement. Or the combination of the individuals' lines with the movement of the group, which is even better (I prefer watching group or crowd scenes over watching solos, go figure). Line is good on it's own, movement is good on it's on, but when these coincide to produce something more than their sum, that's when I go "ooooooh" and feel I have gotten what I paid for. Since I started taking classes myself, I have also started to look at the steps performed and checking if I know their names, and if I see something that doesn't feel quite right to me I try to spot if there is a technical impurity behind that feeling (surprisingly often there is a technical reason even where the moves look superficially ok).
  3. I think it's because of Ballet Alert that ... I have realized that The Way to really enjoy praciticing ballet is to do your best to work hard several times of week instead of going once a week just for the fun. I think it's because of Ballet Alert that ... I still take ballet classes at all. Without the support of other adult ballet students here I might have not continued over all the frustrations, not realizing they are perfectly normal troubles... I think it's because of Ballet Alert that ... I really appreciate the difficulties, dreams, triumphs and disappointments of pre-pro dance students and professional dancers, and respect even more the young dancers - also in my own school.
  4. Ok, I'll try. I read this only quickly, but I would summarize as: "She said she considered the dancing good, but she didn't like the sort of commercial athmosphere of the evening. For some reason I also got the impression she seemed to feel that some of the pieces lacked something, like feeling or spirit maybe, though she didn't explicitly say so." English is not my first language, though, so I might have gotten the nuances completely wrong... This is an interesting experiment; how different people read the review. I hope as many as possible posts, without reading the interpretations of others before they do.
  5. I would like to add that like koshka I don't regularly take classes with teens; in the school there's a division to age-departments, and then division inside each age group to six technical levels (except the very youngest kids have only the first 2-3 levels, and the adults don't have the highest level at all - not enough people advanced enough, I think). Teens are allowed to take adult classes, though, and every now and then they do, when they have missed their own classes or during summer. Now I generally like it when they come, but I might feel different about them if I danced every class with them, I don't know.
  6. I started dance classes at the mature age of 27. It's hard to describe why I do it - it's something so fundamental I don't think I have words for it. It's about me the same way my career of choice is about me - I can imagine doing something else instead, but it feels kind of weird, and I doubt I'd be as happy. As to why specifically ballet of all dance - ballet is at the same time creative and codified, it's a strict discipline but through that expressive and endlessly varying. It appeals to me the same way advanced University level mathematics (say, something like topology) does - though I doubt that that explains much to most of the readers of this board. As to how I feel about the advanced dancers - adults or teens - in the classes depends on how the day is. On a normal good day, they are an inspiration; on a bad day, watching them makes me feel like an idiot. I will never, of course, be professional level, but that doesn't matter, because what I love about ballet is learning and practicing it, not so much knowing how to do it. I watch it, yes - but mainly in learning purposes. During the two years I've danced, 2-4 four classes a week, I've been bored in class twice. It's demanding, but working hard is fun if you really love the work (and not only the results of it).
  7. In today's Helsingin sanomat, there was a story about an art exhibit of Bridget Riley's work in Tate Britain, London. The pictures of her work in the newspaper make me excited about paintings in a way that is not very typical for me (I usually regard visual arts with an indifferent and ignorant 'a-ha, nice picture'). Somehow the space and light and movement they created reminded me of dance. And mathematics. And other good, peace-of-mindy things. Has anyone seen the exhibit? Or others by the same artist? And wants to tell me about the experience? I think it's extremely irresponsible and unfair to print such an interesting article about something that is in London in a newspaper in Helsinki - do they have any idea what it costs to fly to London?
  8. Leigh, all those places where in the Helsinki Center. None in that program were actually theatres, but some, like Sanomatalo, were inside. This building is, I think, owned by the newspaper houses, but there are cafeterias and such around a central "plaza" in the first floor, they hold all kinds of events there. The Finnish National Opera / Ballet performs mainly at the Opera house, which is almost in the Helsinki Center (5 minutes in tram, maybe). I haven't seen it as much as I'd like to, due to it not being actually cheap, but I see about one or two performances per season currently.
  9. In the end of last week we had here in Helsinki a three-day festival called Tanssiva Helsinki ("Dancing Helsinki"). It consisted of free performances, mostly out-of-doors, in various dance forms. I didn't see much, as I only were around for a few hours on Friday, but I thought I'd post about what I did see, in case anyone's interested. I know some other Finns on the board saw other stuff, too, and might be persuaded to tell about what they did see. I spent most of my time in Sanomatalo, watching modern dance. First I saw performances by two dance schools, DCA and Tanssivintti. Unfortunately I missed the announcements, and don't know if the DCA choreographies were also by the students. If so, I'd call them "promising" - if they were done by someone supposedly already knowing their business, they definitely lacked some feeling. The kids all danced well, though the latter piece was affected by the need of the most agile ones to show off instead of dancing with the rest. This emphasized too much the fact that some of them were still developing the technical capabilities the most lucky ones already had. The technicalities brought out by this were such that possibly without the show-offs one wouldn't have even noticed...:rolleyes: The Tanssivintti "free students" danced a latino-affected piece, very catching. Most of the performers truly danced from their hearts; you could see and feel their joy for what they did. They were older and technically significantly more advanced than the earlier groups, too. You could tell that some of the dancers had a classical background - I'm afraid it showed even at places where possibly it shouldn't have, in the forms of the arms and pointed feet - but really, that was a very minor fault. Then I wandered to the Rautatientori just in time to catch the folk dance group Pitko's performance Delhi Katrilli (hope I got the name right), which was a mixture of Indian and Finnish fold music/dance. Can't say I much loved the choreography (the word "boring" comes to mind - it looked like fun to dance, but watching it was not a great thrill). The dancers, though, had progressed significantly in a year or so (can't remember exactly when I saw them last, but particularly some of the male dancers' technique was much more clean than I seem to remember it having been). The weather was far from perfect for this out-of-doors performance. Last, I went back to Sanomatalo to watch Tommi Kitti & Co's choreography "trio Milonga". The first third or so of it I spent wondering if it's dance, if there is no music, but then when the music started it really caught me. It was a dance for three women, slow and heart-tearing and full of undescribable emotions - something like sorrow/despair/hope/anger/compassion/resolve. I've never seen the group perform anything else - I'm terribly ignorant when it comes to modern dance, even more so than to ballet - but I'll definitely hope to see some in the future, particularly the work "Väärä sävellaji", from which this piece was.
  10. BW, it means a "bulletin board system". In the ancient times before Internet it was a certain kind of system you took contact to with your modem and could post thingos there kind of like to the Usenet or Web-boards these days. There were gazillions of these; each BBS could have different topics discussed there on separate forums or groups, but they didn't (mostly) share posts with each other. (So if you contacted one BBS and posted on ballet there, people could only see that by contacting the _same_ BBS; while these days you just contact to the Internet and whatever is posted on Ballet Alert you can see no matter who your ISP. I'm simplifying here. A lot.) These days I think BBS means just any kind of discussion forum e.g. on the Web; for instance Ballet Alert would be a BBS.
  11. I went temporarily insane and ordered Warren's "Classical Ballet Technique", Barringer's "The Pointe Book", and Grieg's "Inside Ballet Technique: Separating Fact from Fiction in the Ballet Class", though I really couldn't have afforded them all. They should arrive in June-July. Meanwhile, I'm patching up my science fiction knowledge by reading old classics I have missed for some reason. I just finished Frederik Pohl's "Gateway", and it was indeed briliant. It showed that really good sf doesn't get old even when the science and speculative history becomes impossible in the world we now know. Work requires reading, too, but I haven't compiled a list of necessary reading yet.
  12. Personally, I wouldn't bother so much about the regions when giving DVD advice. A lot of the DVDs are available in all regions, and even when this is not the case it's is perfectly arrangable (at least in here) to see a "wrong region" DVD too.
  13. Thanks. If that's what they are looking for, they will indeed get it. Everything checks.
  14. Leigh, could you clarify that remark to poor me, who knows only very little about Corsaire, and nothing about ABT's Corsaire?
  15. Ok, I went to see the Raymonda last night. Before I go forward, I want to stress that I'm definitely not an experienced ballet-goer, and that this was the first Raymonda ever that I saw. The program leaflet unfortunately does not describe the role of Kevin McKenzie in the production any more clearly than we had it already. It says, though, that in the choreography Anna-Marie Holmes has been very faithful to the originals, keeping many of the variations to the last detail, and restoring the role of the White Lady (if that's what she's called in English, the statue/spirit/foremother anyway). The ballet was pretty ok, but nothing more than that. In many story ballets the plot seems to me to be a side issue, and the dancing the point, but in Raymonda this was notable enough to approach boring. The problem seems to be that many of the "non-plot" dances don't portray any particular emotion either - they are just dream scenes or party scenes without any deeper meaning. Either the choreography is not to my liking, or some of the feeling that should have been there was lost in rehearsing. Either because of that lack of emotion or some other reason, the coprs was sort of out of touch. I can't put a finger on it, but sort of, instead of looking like a group that dances they looked like a bunch of people who just happened to be at the stage at the same time dancing the same thing. Especially the first act was bad this way. It could have been a deliberate stylistic choice, but I doubt it, and in any case I didn't like it too much. They were not bad as such, but something was missing. Minna Tervamäki danced Raymonda technically well, but something was missing there too. Somehow her expression seemed to be either forced or indifferent or both all the time. The second act was a bit better in this sense. (Personally, from what little I have seen Tervamäki dance, I wouldn't have casted her to the role. Had I realized to check in time, I would have gone on an evening when Carolina Aguero dances the name role - she might not be as technically pure, but she has an expression I might have found more suitable. But that's just my opinion based on seeing both of the dancers only about twice.) The highlight for me were the dances by Raymonda's two girl friends; especially Anu Viheriäranta in the second act was great and alive. Dario Franconi as Abderahman was wonderful, too, and all of the audience seemed to love him. Nicholas Ziegler was not bad at all as Jeanne de Brienne, either. The orchestra was great, as far as I can tell, which is not very far. (I was just told by a friend a corps dancer aqcuitance has said that she feels that the problems with the corps are because there are "too many dancers". I don't know if she meant too many dancers on stage in some particular scenes, or too many dancers in the production to make it smooth, or something else; I'll ask if I see her.) Päivi Savola was there the same night, maybe she can add something more knowledgable.
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