Jump to content
Dancerboy90210

Cynthia Harvey Named Artistic Director of American Ballet Theater Scho

Recommended Posts

I think its fair to say that almost every school in America is forced to structure their school as a cash cow, to some degree. Finding the balance between a revenue source and creating a viable training ground for dancers is the challenge. I don't expect every schools' alumni to be students that trained from the lowest level to the highest, because obviously that ignores reality. Students bodies change, their interests might change, etc.. I do think a quality school, especially of the caliber that JKO claims to be, should have a select group of students they've trained from the ground up. Having this, helps establish the school as a legitimate and quality training center. SAB has produced dancers from the ground up. This is especially true within their male graduates, likely because of their commitment to male enrollment through scholarships, etc.. The North Carolina School of the Arts also has a preparatory dance program (4th to 7th grade) that feeds dancers into the high school program, which has graduates in ABT, SFB, and NYCB. Ashley Bouder started her training at CPYB, and she is not alone. Some schools aren't set up for this, like Harid, because they only take students that are high school aged. I think Rachel Moore pushed for JKO to be a revenue generator. It is no secret that schools generate a lot of money. To her credit, she did also oversee programs to increase quality, such as ABT's National Training Scholarships to cultivate young talent.

In regards to ABT's National Training Curriculum. I think ABT has slightly over-stepped their boundaries. What gives a relatively new school the authority to produce a major training curriculum? Obviously, they are building on the ABT brand and legacy, but their methods haven't really been tired and tested. I think Moore pushed for its establishment for a variety of reasons. A curriculum helps increase their brand awareness, increase their "reach", furthers the idea of ABT as "America's Ballet Company", and being certified in their curriculum comes at a cost (it generates revenue). Personally, I think that "American Ballet" is diversity. I think its beauty is its versatility. I think this is well represented in the diverse training options available within America. If anything, I'd say that Balanchine's ascetic is the most American. While not a set training curriculum and more a variation on the Russian style, its history is rooted in America (at NYCB). Balanchine's legacy also helped establish ballet as a viable art-form in America and his influence helped create many ballet companies across the country (Boston Ballet, PA Ballet, Miami City Ballet, PNB, SFB). The old Ford Foundation scholarships, helped funnel talented dancers into SAB. I believe that Suzanne Farrell came to SAB on such a scholarship. This helped develop American dancers.

I also feel that JKO's National Training Curriculum is at odds with the evident style within ABT. ABT seems to have taken a major pivot "East", turning towards a much stronger Russian style. This seems evident in most of their new crop of principal dancers and their repertory (Ratmansky, etc.) and focus on full-length classics. I think ABT is at its best when their dancers represent numerous styles and backgrounds. To me, this provides the most interesting experience as a viewer. This might complicate uniformity within the corp de ballet, but years ago they seemed to make it work. Perhaps Cynthia Harvey can refocus the curriculum to something more in line with ABT. Devito has helped create a uniform corp de ballet, but to me hasn't produced many exciting dancers. The JKO dancers seem very dry to me. They have excellent facilities, but don't strike me as potential principal dancers. The exception might be Cassandra Trenary. I think its important for a school, such as JKO, to cultivate artistic intelligence, self-sufficiency (so their dancers have the ability to rise to the top in a company of ABT's size and sustain themselves with limited coaching), and create strong technicians. I know its still early to judge JKO's legacy, but it seems that it hasn't quite arrived as a major dance training institution.

Share this post


Link to post

The JKO dancers seem very dry to me. They have excellent facilities, but don't strike me as potential principal dancers. The exception might be Cassandra Trenary. I think its important for a school, such as JKO, to cultivate artistic intelligence, self-sufficiency (so their dancers have the ability to rise to the top in a company of ABT's size and sustain themselves with limited coaching), and create strong technicians. I know its still early to judge JKO's legacy, but it seems that it hasn't quite arrived as a major dance training institution.

I think Calvin Royal and Skylar Brandt are far from dry and are potential principal dancers. But that is just me.

Share this post


Link to post

KAB has actually gone back to a modified version of its pre-2009 model. Quality going back to Vinogradov era...but more inclusive & opening doors to the community. I'm just a donor/supporter but not on the Board or staff, so it's hard to explain why. The Russian model worked very well earlier; the Board may have desired a return to that model.... although my heart goes out to all who tried different things (such as the Balanchine stagings) for a short while.

Share this post


Link to post

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"?

Share this post


Link to post

Dancerboy,

What you expressed is what I have heard in talking to several dancers in their late teens who have trained at JKO for 3-4 years. What those students who have labored away in that program have found is that others can come in, land in Level 7 for a year (or less often) and get Studio Co and Apprentice bids. These dancers are seemingly MORE what ABT wants than the very dancers that ABT has trained for years. There are notable exception (Catherine Hurlin) but on balance, you have a better chance of dancing for ABT professionally by NOT going to JKO.

Share this post


Link to post

I believe Brandt and Royal got the bulk of their training elsewhere. Royal was only at JKO for only 1 year before joining the Studio Company then not long after joining the company. Brandt I believe studied at JKO for 4 years. Longer than Royal, but I personally wouldn't consider 4 years a product of JKO. I've noticed that ABT likes to claim quite a few of the dancers are products of JKO when their not.

I've seen the JKO students and I wasn't impressed. The training method, combining the French, Russian, and Italian schools sounds great, but actually seeing the students I was quite let down. Artistically their is nothing there. And technically they weren't very impressive either. No offense but if I had a child interested in ballet I wouldn't send them there. The JKO students that have impressed me usually didn't come up from from the school but have trained elsewhere prior, like Waski.

Share this post


Link to post

So. . .hopefully Ms. Harvey can better articulate JKO's educational mission for pre professional dancers and perhaps help produce the type of dancers that ABT likes and ABT audiences delight in watching.

Share this post


Link to post

I don't believe Catherine Hurlin began at ABT... I thought she started at a competition school in Westchester... Was she at ABT before she was Clara for The Rockettes Christmas Spectacular?

Share this post


Link to post

I believe Brandt and Royal got the bulk of their training elsewhere. Royal was only at JKO for only 1 year before joining the Studio Company then not long after joining the company. Brandt I believe studied at JKO for 4 years. Longer than Royal, but I personally wouldn't consider 4 years a product of JKO. I've noticed that ABT likes to claim quite a few of the dancers are products of JKO when their not.

If you don't consider four years a product of JKO, then you don't consider 90% of NYCB dancers a product of SAB.

I don't have an opinion on the JKO school one way or the other, but quite a few of their graduates (whether they received a substantial part of their training there, or were "finished" before entering the Studio company) are promising dancers in the ranks of ABT.

Share this post


Link to post

If you don't consider four years a product of JKO, then you don't consider 90% of NYCB dancers a product of SAB.

I don't have an opinion on the JKO school one way or the other, but quite a few of their graduates (whether they received a substantial part of their training there, or were "finished" before entering the Studio company) are promising dancers in the ranks of ABT.

If they only studied there for 4 years then no, I don't.

Share this post


Link to post

Good point... Four years is significant, particularly the last four years before becoming professional... It would be like not considering someone's Harvard degree significant because it was only four years and they had been to high school after all...

It will be interesting to see when the first ABT curriculum start-to-finish dancers arrive,,, how many of these have been graduated yet?

Share this post


Link to post

Hmm, a Harvard degree and ballet school isn't really the same.... I consider dancers like Vishneva or Guillem to be a product of their schools. They didn't just get 4 years or 1 year of training (basically finishing schooling) at POB or the Vagonova. More like 7+ years of training, beginning at the young ages of 11. Their foundation is with the school they graduated from, not 1 or 2+ ballet studios like most American dancers. I can see I'm not going to agree with anyone here (this is completely off topic to Harvey's appointment anyway) so I will respectfully disagree and bow out.

Share this post


Link to post

Yes but the Vaganova also accepts dancers who are extremely promising from other academies and lets them "finish" there. Examples: Tereshkina transferred to the Vaganova when she was 16 (she's from Siberia). Baryshnikov, same (he's from Latvia). I believe Natalia Makarova joined the Vaganova when she was 14, she was in another school before that. Zakharova only spent one year at the Vaganova.

So "graduated from the Vaganova" doesn't mean they spent 8 years there either.

Share this post


Link to post

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.

Share this post


Link to post

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.

I'm not suggesting that every student will or is expected to complete their training at one particular school.Both professional dancers and students seem to jump around a lot more than in years past. We live in a globalized world and its easier than ever. I don't think it is always "the grass is greener" on the other side. I think dancers/students have more control over their destiny and take more liberty in crafting their own paths. With so much information available online, etc, its easier to do research to find out what might be best for them. I'm also not downplaying the significance of a school that might have trained a student for 4 or less years. I just think a strong schooling system should have some percentage of dancers that have truly risen from the ranks, starting at the lowest level of the school. I think many schools are still able to keep some of their dancers interested in their programs from start to finish. I think schools without an affiliation with professional company, might be at a disadvantage, as their dancers aren't seen as much. This might motivate a dancer to leave prior to their final year. Some schools, to some degree, force students to make the jump. For example, entry into NYCB requires studying at SAB. Any knowledgeable student would likely understand that they need to make the jump to SAB at some point in their training, if they were interested in NYCB. Schools with professional companies have an advantage, as their students usually gain quickest entry into the corresponding company. We live in an age of instant gratification, so students will likely pursue the fastest route. However, if a student were to train at CPYB for 10 years and then do a year or two at SAB, I'd still consider them a product of CPYB.

I also don't think that directors only take from their schools, because they're simply only looking to advertise their schools. Ballet companies in America do not have the financial luxury of taking risks. They need dancers who have passed a vetting process. An audition class or video, doesn't usually give directors enough information about a dancer's ability to fit into the company/rep, their work ethic, how injury prone they might be, etc.. I think putting them through the school, a traineeship, or second company, helps ensure they will be a quality hire. Ballet companies give out season long contracts, so offering a contract to a dancer right out of school is a director taking a risk on that dancer. Giving a contract to a dancer with professional experience isn't as risky. Also, many of these second companies and post graduation programs help dancers make the transition to professional life. Going from hours of technique classes to one morning technique class, with often limited personal guidance, and hours of rehearsal, living without supervision, etc, likes time to transition. A structured program seems to ease dancers into their new lives.

I think that JKO has attempted to solve the absence of an "American training program", however I would question their motives. I feel its largely motivated by increasing revenue and building a brand, over producing the next crop of ballet dancers. Regardless of the quality of their school, JKO will always attract students because it gives them consideration for company positions at ABT and they get to take part in the ABT brand. To me, JKO has yet to prove that they are operating a system that produces excellent dancers. It is still primarily relying on its name/brand. Also, it hasn't been around long enough to really put itself in a position to be dictating a training system for other teachers follow.

Share this post


Link to post

The $64,000 Question appears to be: What is the Primary Mission of a ballet academy - To train future professional dancers or to be a Cash Cow? It's a real balancing act. I may add a 3rd spoke in the wheel: to produce competition winners, although that may be the same as

training eventual professional dancers. But not always! Some kids - and parents - seem to care more about medals than careers.

Share this post


Link to post

The $64,000 Question appears to be: What is the Primary Mission of a ballet academy - To train future professional dancers or to be a Cash Cow? It's a real balancing act. I may add a 3rd spoke in the wheel: to produce competition winners, although that may be the same as

training eventual professional dancers. But not always! Some kids - and parents - seem to care more about medals than careers.

Correct! Don't even get me started on competitions. Wish more modeled themselves after the Prix de Lausanne and resisted the YAGP model. This new "YAGP" generation is slowly turning ballet training into circus training!

Share this post


Link to post

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.

Share this post


Link to post

I would be interested to know the significant differences in the first four years of training. I imagine it might show up more in the dancers arms and shoulders, or in the transition steps, than in the virtuoso steps or positions of the legs... In other words, in the little things... And then only if the early training was daily and significant?. If "serious" daily training only began at a "finishing" school, would the early training show in the finished dancer? Does it influence the movement signature of the dancer?

My apologies, vrsfanatic, for using "finishing school" as a term before it has been defined, but I'm beginning to like the concept.

I think dancers could pick up Balanchine style from four years of "finishing" at SAB. Does Hallberg show the influence of his "finishing" at the POB? I kind of think he does. But perhaps there are things taught to a child that get absorbed into their technique that cannot be taught later. And even perhaps there are things learned by a child that are very difficult to unteach later.

Share this post


Link to post

I think dancers could pick up Balanchine style from four years of "finishing" at SAB. Does Hallberg show the influence of his "finishing" at the POB? I kind of think he does. But perhaps there are things taught to a child that get absorbed into their technique that cannot be taught later. And even perhaps there are things learned by a child that are very difficult to unteach later.

A couple of thoughts.

I think that you can see some POB in Hallberg because the potential for it was there already -- training makes us more of who we are, but I don't think of fundamentals as something you can add at the end. A particular kind of training will emphasize a certain way of connecting steps and phrases, will give you a perspective on what's a "good" line, will value some aspects of the art form more highly than others (and will therefore practice them more often and more thoroughly) -- but you will still be you underneath this. It's why some dancers have to rummage around a bit, to find the place where they fit, that fits them.

The valuable thing about spending a long time with one place is the chance to absorb the full process of learning -- going from the simple to the complex. The valuable thing about "finishing" somewhere that can help you make the next steps in your career is the intensity of the shorter term relationship.

Share this post


Link to post

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.

Share this post


Link to post

Correct! Don't even get me started on competitions. Wish more modeled themselves after the Prix de Lausanne and resisted the YAGP model. This new "YAGP" generation is slowly turning ballet training into circus training!

Funny that you would mention this. .. I was at a YAGP regional recently and talking to a school director who has produced a few winners. . .And this person made a point of saying that a big competition win gets you into an audition and captures the eye of an AD but will NOT get you a job. You have to get in class and you have to have the technique to back up your performance. . . . It's almost as if a big competition win incites both attention and a bit of caution from ADs and if you look really closely at some of the more recently celebrated "winners" you will actually notice that many are not going to the most high paying, big companies.

Share this post


Link to post

Yes, I would agree with that, vrsfanatic.

Also, any student with a more serious start, say such as one starting at the Vaganova Academy or at POB, would not likely "finish" at some other school, I would lay bets.

But there are relatively some good schools (usually attached to companies) around the U.S. where a student might train more intensely than two or three times a week, successfully audition for say SAB or JKO, and "finish" there. In such a case, would their earlier foundation show through much? Boston Ballet has a pretty strong school and I would guess has had students move to both SAB and JKO to finish ( though I know no names )... But I don't know that one could tell the difference in the resulting professional than say one whose path prior to SAB/JKO had started at SFB's school rather than at Boston....

I suspect there is more difference in the "finishing" schools (SAB/JKO) than the first several years of training (SFB/BB). But maybe there is a lot of difference in the early training at POB & Vaganova? I ask because I do not know. If the foundational training was so important, what are the differences in the foundational training? I suspect the differences become more distinct in the final years as dancers are pushed toward a particular school's idea of finesse.

Share this post


Link to post

I think first and foremost you have to realize that ballet education is like building blocks. One cannot progress higher until a solid foundation is laid. That is why it is very difficult to reteach a student with very ingrained bad technical habits, however if the facility and mental awareness is there, it's possible. It's just hard. I also do not agree with you that the bulk of the best schools in the US are ones affiliated with a major company. From having danced professionally to now being a teacher (and consistently a student, as I learn more about this art form every day) that observation does not hold true. I was just discussing this tonight with a student's parent. There are very few schools in the US that have consistently produced high-level, employable dancers right out of high school. Harid is one of them, Kirov Academy at the beginning was another. From there, you have to look to smaller schools, teachers and coaches who do what they do because they love it, not because of the money, although that would be nice. Every teacher who works with a student has an impact on what that dancer becomes. You cannot break it down by last year, or even last 4 years. However, from age 14-18 in this country is probably when most dancers are really formed. That is a very different way of training than anywhere else on the planet. Running a ballet-only school that has daily classes for children from age 10-18, with no major outside funding is incredibly difficult. Trust me, we struggle every day. And when we get very talented young dancers, we do encourage them to go away their last few years of training so that they become exposed to different styles and teachers. Have we trained a dancer from age 10 to a professional contract, yes, but only 2. And the ones who have moved on to other programs have never failed to mention us as their original teachers. Which is incredibly humbling knowing how easy it is, when limited to a few sentences, to only name the SAB's or ABT's.

You also asked if the primary training would be visible if someone only studied in a school for 1 or 2 years. Absolutely it's visible. Strong technique allows a dancer the versatility to play with style, to be able to deviate from the original method taught and to branch into other systems of study. When a dancer bounces around, sometimes that is lost. Ask yourself if a dancer trained at Vaganova, or POB, when dancing Balanchine, if a touch of their underlying style doesn't show through. Of course it does.

As for final year, trainee, apprentice then Corps structure, I call B.S. Sorry, but it just makes me angry. It is, in my opinion, a way for companies to get highly trained dancers who can perform in large company productions for free, essentially dangling a carrot in front of their nose with hope for an eventual company contract that may or may not exists. I've seen too many young, talented dancers go from studio company to studio company, having to waitress on their off hours, only to be told, 'Sorry, we like you, and after having you hear for two years we still don't have a contract to offer you". It's heartbreaking. If it was so necessary for an artistic director to have a few years to 'observe' dancers, then how on earth did all of the incredibly talented dancers of the past make it... I know companies are struggling financially right now. And I know the talent pool way exceeds the number of jobs, but when it becomes, what could be argued, as exploitation of dancers I draw the line. I believe the dancers at Washington Ballet went on strike when, due to finances, they were using the upper level school students instead of the paid company dancers for certain performances (I don't remember the exact details, but do remember that that was one of the complaints). I know that what I just wrote sounds a bit of a rant, but I've just seen to many talented dancers get caught in what seems a never ending circle. Unless you get very lucky and wind up exactly at the right place at the right time.

As for the ABT national curriculum, I don't feel that spending one or two weeks in the summer can 'certify' someone to teach ballet. There is a reason why ballet has been passed from teacher to student for 200 years. It isn't something one can learn from a textbook. It only comes from experience. And I've met some wonderful teachers who have chosen to become 'ABT certified', and at the same time some that have no business calling themselves a ballet teacher at all... I wish Ms. Harvey all the best, and hope that she adds her considerable knowledge to the curriculum that is in place now. As for non-company schools, I think it is very telling when ballet teachers would rather entrust their young students to schools like Harid, where classes are small and the attention to detail and artistry extremely high, than to a company school where they get a whole lot less. Will the more than likely spend some time at a company school, probably. But for the training that means the most, they don't have any higher track record than anywhere else.

Share this post


Link to post

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.

Share this post


Link to post
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...