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momtodancinggirl

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Reply with quote  #76 
Our *&^*(&^^ rehearsals started immediately so we can't travel to ANY AUDITIONS until February and all the reasonable driving distance ones are taking place now, I am so frustrated. I guess we'll make a DVD but in my experience there are no scholarships from DVDs
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momtodancinggirl

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Reply with quote  #77 

Mine will be 15 by the time the summer gets here and I'm not all that comfortable with the idea of her going off for 5 wks either. And then, like tendumom points out, I wonder about the value.  What would I really be getting for my 5K?  Am I spending more for a summer "experience" than ballet training?  Would I be able get more for my dollar if we stayed close to home and put together a schedule of open classes/private lessons/wkshops and local SI's?  It's definitely a lot to think about.>


Mine will be 15 in a couple of weeks and I am the same, I would really prefer a 3 week program. I see Carolina is on your list, I can't tell you how much my child enjoyed it last year, it was SPECTACULAR. Its very hard to find 3 week programs once you're at a certain level!

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ggsmith

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Reply with quote  #78 
Patel in Tampa has options for 2, 3, or 5 weeks.  DD (11) auditioned and was referred to the junior program.  We have family in the area, she might go.  Nice place to visit, close to Orlando, on the gulf side near beaches and the dolphin that swims with a prosthetic device.
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tendumom

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Reply with quote  #79 
Dancypants' daughter was AMAZING in her her contemporary piece. Fabulous choreography and just an excellent, excellent performance! It takes a lot to impress my dd and her reaction was "Now that's how it's done!" She said the judges will love it and obviously, they did! 

Dd keeps trimming down her list of SI auditions. She is dropping Carolina from the list now. She has rehearsals on the same day and while she is absolutely 100% excused from the rehearsals, she has decided that she probably would not go to Carolina over Ballet Austin. Just hope they take her again! She had a great summer there last year.  

Still no results here yet after 4 auditions. She was kept after 2 auditions. At one, the AD of the company wanted to chat with her. No offer of any sort though. Just chatted about what was on her registration card and who they knew in common. That one is a complete long shot.  At the other, she was one of a group told they would also be considered for the year round program. To me, that sounds like an SI acceptance, but not counting on anything until it comes through. With her audition list, she will likely end the season with few acceptances. Doesn't matter in the end as long as she doesn't let the rejections mess with her head like she did last year. I think it will be OK as she is working with some incredibly supportive instructors this year who are not only amazing teachers but wonderful, warm hearted people as well. 
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classydance

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Reply with quote  #80 
I think that the points that are being made about summer intensives being a big money suck are really on  point.  I agree that these things can be little more than a fancy dance camp.  We had that experience with the ABT Young Dancer Workshop. It was fun being in Nyc, the teachers were indeed excellent, but the instruction was too easy and not intensive and DD really didn't improve. 

When we evaluate SIs we are looking for what exactly we get for our money.  So, I ask questions about the # of dance hours per week, the # of classes per week (pointe and technique), if floor barre and pilates are offered.  I ask if dancers at my daughter's level will get pas class.  I ask how big the classes are. IN ADDITION,  I am now learning to ask WHO the teachers are, as in exactly what their names are and who will be teaching my DD.  If one believes that teaching makes a difference, then the quality of the teacher does and that quality does vary. Many of these smaller schools (e.g. Ellison, perhaps Gelsey Kirkland) have to hire teachers from outside to teach in their programs.  So you are actually not really getting their school staff. I also ask if the SI rotates the teachers or if the students will have the same technique teacher throughout the SI.  Many times is a revolving door and honestly that's not really helpful for what is supposed to be an intensive, focused experience.

The last 3 SIs DD did actually were Intensive, with more dance hours, more focused instruction, and improvement. But I am constantly seeking stuff out.  And a lot of times the big name places are offering the largest classes, with the least # of hours, and an age-based syllabus that has nothing to do with what your kid really needs help on.

I will say that our family does not spend money of competition dancing, costumes, rehearsal fees, because we have to save money for training, including SIs.  I started to ask myself the very same questions about competition dancing that it seems that people are asking about ballet SI--Is the money I am spending resulting in training?  Is it going to vertically advance my DD's dance skills? Or Am I paying for a fun "dance experience" with friends, make-up, cheer sections, and plastic trophies?  We would love to do both.  Because the comp world is great for performance experience, audition practice, and many other things ,but our finances do not allow it.

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heidi459

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Reply with quote  #81 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bellapitcrewmom
DD12 just auditioned for PNB this past weekend.  It was her first experience ever with a SI audition.  She was nervous but felt she learned a lot.  Next weekend is Joffrey Chicago which is the one she is most interested in.  I guess it is not the norm, according to all the other parents, but we were able to observe her audition for PNB.  I actually had assumed we would not be able to watch, but it was nice as a parent to see how they are run. Although she said it made her nervous.  [smile]


Just catching up on this thread to see if I'd missed anything & noticed this.  We had the same experience with PNB.  The audition was at Boston Ballet where many SI auditions are held... dd had been there for other auditions in previous weeks. The place is large w/multiple floors & many studios & the w/previous auditions the girls registered on one floor & were then marched upstairs.  PNB, otoh, had the audition in the studio adjacent to the registration area...where all the parents were hanging out....behind a wall of glass...w/the doors wide open.  Not the best scenario for the dancers.  I felt especially bad for the young girls within feet of the open door, having to stare into a lobby full of parents.  And was very disappointed in the parents crowding at the windows to peer in.  

On a positive note, finally heard from ABT & dd got into Texas.  Not one of their highest levels but, considering she's been pretty much limited to comp studio quality ballet training until our switch this year (well maybe a little bit better than the average comp studio but nothing like real serious ballet studio training), she was thrilled to have gotten in at all.  Especially since we know more than one better than average ballet dancer who didn't get into any of their sites.
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tendumom

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Reply with quote  #82 
Glad you finally heard, Heidi! Dd was accepted to ABT-Texas one year and had been accepted to a "higher" ABT program the year before and the years after. A dancer from her former school did go to that SI and did improve that summer. Based on dd's experiences, I wouldn't write off any ABT program (not say that you are... I know she auditioned for the experience). They may be large programs, but they seem to know what they are doing when it comes to teaching large classes. Dd got more out of her 30-something student classes at ABT-OC than she did at Orlando when she had only about 20 in her class. The quality of the teaching is what brought her back there twice.  

It's always surprising to me to hear that not everyone gets into an ABT site. It shouldn't be, but it is because the first few years that dd and I were paying attention to SI auditions, we had never heard of anyone not getting into an ABT location, but we were limited to those we knew from her home studio. Also, at her home studio, people never talked about rejections, only acceptances (glad her new school is more open and realistic about these things... part of that was the attitude of the director). I wasn't following the Ballet Talk boards and I don't think I had even found this site back then.  It wasn't until after dd started auditioning that I learned that not everyone is accepted and there are also people waitlisted. So glad we didn't know that going in to her first ever audition which was at ABT! She wasn't nervous because she believed she would get an acceptance of some sort. 
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heidi459

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Reply with quote  #83 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tendumom
 It's always surprising to me to hear that not everyone gets into an ABT site. It shouldn't be, but it is because the first few years that dd and I were paying attention to SI auditions, we had never heard of anyone not getting into an ABT location, but we were limited to those we knew from her home studio. Also, at her home studio, people never talked about rejections, only acceptances (glad her new school is more open and realistic about these things... part of that was the attitude of the director). I wasn't following the Ballet Talk boards and I don't think I had even found this site back then.  It wasn't until after dd started auditioning that I learned that not everyone is accepted and there are also people waitlisted. So glad we didn't know that going in to her first ever audition which was at ABT! She wasn't nervous because she believed she would get an acceptance of some sort. 


I had heard the rumor that "everyone" gets in somewhere but the more I thought about it, the more I questioned if that was possible.  Even w/it being a larger program w/multiple sites, they're such a big name that they seem to attract a huge pool of dancers from which to choose.  And even though a good %age will decline an acceptance... accepting everyone in the beginning of the tour runs the risk of having a limited number of spots available come the end of the tour.  And IDK.. that just doesn't seem reasonable. 

I think there were about 300 girls who auditioned in Boston.  Even if that was high and the average is closer to 200... multiply that by how many dates?  Over 25?  That's some potential for a boatload of kids! I'm glad I don't have that job.
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Nettie

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Reply with quote  #84 
Ok, I have a few questions....How do they choose what location your DD gets in? For instance, I want my DD to be accepted to Orange County, CA location but instead let's say she is only offered New York? I haven't received news either way because we had to submit her audition via video but I heard others who had audition for the same location just receive New York or both locations.
Lastly, if she is fortunate to be accepted will we get whatever locations are left because she sent a video rather than audition in person?
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heidi459

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Reply with quote  #85 
Your dd is auditioning for the Young Dancers program isn't she Nettie?  I don't know anything about that program but wanted to make that clear to others so they can be sure to give you the right info.
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Nettie

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Reply with quote  #86 
Yes, she is... She is 8 yrs. old right now but will turn 9 in a few months. We heard about the audition too late and that is why we have submitted a video audition....
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ggsmith

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Reply with quote  #87 
Excellent points, classydance!  I just realized I need to ask some detailed questions about the home school SI given some recent staff changes before we consider making a deposit.
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tendumom

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Reply with quote  #88 
Nettie, it's different for the Young Dancer Workshop. For that, they are auditioning for a specific location. It's the actual intensive where they decide where you will fit best.

ETA: That was for those auditioning in NYC at least last year.  Don't know if anything changed. 
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Phx115

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Reply with quote  #89 
Quote:
Originally Posted by heidi459
Quote:
Originally Posted by tendumom
 It's always surprising to me to hear that not everyone gets into an ABT site. It shouldn't be, but it is because the first few years that dd and I were paying attention to SI auditions, we had never heard of anyone not getting into an ABT location, but we were limited to those we knew from her home studio. Also, at her home studio, people never talked about rejections, only acceptances (glad her new school is more open and realistic about these things... part of that was the attitude of the director). I wasn't following the Ballet Talk boards and I don't think I had even found this site back then.  It wasn't until after dd started auditioning that I learned that not everyone is accepted and there are also people waitlisted. So glad we didn't know that going in to her first ever audition which was at ABT! She wasn't nervous because she believed she would get an acceptance of some sort. 


I had heard the rumor that "everyone" gets in somewhere but the more I thought about it, the more I questioned if that was possible.  Even w/it being a larger program w/multiple sites, they're such a big name that they seem to attract a huge pool of dancers from which to choose.  And even though a good %age will decline an acceptance... accepting everyone in the beginning of the tour runs the risk of having a limited number of spots available come the end of the tour.  And IDK.. that just doesn't seem reasonable. 

I think there were about 300 girls who auditioned in Boston.  Even if that was high and the average is closer to 200... multiply that by how many dates?  Over 25?  That's some potential for a boatload of kids! I'm glad I don't have that job.


Heidi - Congratulations on your DDs acceptance! I know for the Detroit audition that in the 11-14 age range there were under 70 girls auditioning. We weren't there for the 15+ audition. So, some sites are definitely smaller than others. [smile]

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Ktyyyyyyy

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Reply with quote  #90 
We finally heard from Ellison today. DD auditioned 18 days ago. She was wait listed. She was only auditioning for the two week variations intensive that was an add-on at the end of the regular intensive. They did say that priority would be given to those who were also auditioning for the full intensive. At least they gave us a date (Feb 23) of when we would find out one way or the other.
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Phx115

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Reply with quote  #91 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nettie
Yes, she is... She is 8 yrs. old right now but will turn 9 in a few months. We heard about the audition too late and that is why we have submitted a video audition....


The handout I received at DD8's ABT YDSW audition this past weekend said we would hear something ten days following her audition, which would mean the 27th. It also spells out that the deposit is due for those that auditioned 1/16-1/19 no later than 2/9. The deposit for video auditions submitted by 1/31 is required by 3/2.

I thought I'd spread the word just in case you didn't receive information about that.
 
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heidi459

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Reply with quote  #92 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phx115


Heidi - Congratulations on your DDs acceptance! I know for the Detroit audition that in the 11-14 age range there were under 70 girls auditioning. We weren't there for the 15+ audition. So, some sites are definitely smaller than others. [smile]



I was actually counting all ages Phx.  Although dd was in the 11-14 & they had about 125 so, yeah, your 11-14 crowd was smaller than ours.

Dd is actually feeling even better about Texas since she found out today that 2 older girls that she always looked up to from our old studio... the studio stars, if you will, w/amazing natural talent & faciilty, perfect ballet bodies, outrageously flexible etc, one who got into ABT NYC & the other into NC a couple of yrs ago..... were accepted into Texas & NC (again) respectively.  Talk about an ego booster.

But tendumom, I was hoping to ask you, given all your experience:  do you think programs that stress certain styles give preference to dancers who are trained in those same styles?  Just wondering if that is something to consider when dd starts to audition with the intention of actually going.  Koltun is very Russian (obviously) so I wonder, in the future, would she have more luck with SI's that favor the Russian style?  And have a harder time with those that are more, let's say, Balanchine inspired (like ABT)?  Of course at some point I know it's important to be exposed to different styles but I'm just thinking in the short term (next couple of years).
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Mom2Girls

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Reply with quote  #93 
I am outing my lack of knowledge here. I didn't realize ABT was Balanchine--I assumed it was classical. Our training isn't at all Balanchine but girls have gotten into ABT NY (and amazingly, with not the ballet body.)

Eta--I just realized it sounded like I was questioning you Heidi. I'm not--just surprised!
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heidi459

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Reply with quote  #94 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom2Girls
I am outing my lack of knowledge here. I didn't realize ABT was Balanchine--I assumed it was classical. Our training isn't at all Balanchine but girls have gotten into ABT NY (and amazingly, with not the ballet body.) Eta--I just realized it sounded like I was questioning you Heidi. I'm not--just surprised!


Maybe it's a bit of a mix, like most, but heavier on the Balanchine?  Someone is welcome to correct me if I'm wrong.  Maybe I'm confusing them with SAB.


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tiptoemom

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Reply with quote  #95 
Hey Heidi,

ABT is not Balanchine in style. They have their own national training syllabus. My daughter is at a new studio and the owner has been to their teacher training. At our old school, we are a mix of training and the girls and boys get into a lot of different SI. Don't forget that Balanchine was Russian trained. Balanchine is considered a style, not a method, if that makes sense? From what I've seen, good training is good training and teachers seem to recognize that. I actually think that classical training sets such a great foundation that they can then pick up various styles as they get older. Balanchine can be a lot of fun!
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heidi459

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Reply with quote  #96 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiptoemom
Hey Heidi,

ABT is not Balanchine in style. They have their own national training syllabus. My daughter is at a new studio and the owner has been to their teacher training. At our old school, we are a mix of training and the girls and boys get into a lot of different SI. Don't forget that Balanchine was Russian trained. Balanchine is considered a style, not a method, if that makes sense? From what I've seen, good training is good training and teachers seem to recognize that. I actually think that classical training sets such a great foundation that they can then pick up various styles as they get older. Balanchine can be a lot of fun!


Thank you for that.

I knew it wasn't 100% Balanchine, I just thought it was heavily influenced.  My dd commented about how very differently they were doing things...  the way they held their fingers, & their arms, positions (& prep, I think) when they turned & the way they did certain things at the barre.  As well as some of the vocabulary.   Not that it was impossible to mimic what they demonstrated but, since it wasn't second nature, it definitely impacted her presentation.  When I say Russian I'm thinking my dd's studio (Vaganova) where everything is... idk.. I refer to it as super sharp & precise. Not that it's better, it's just noticeably different.  Dd's teacher was trained at the Vaganova Academy & danced w/the Bolshoi & the Kirov (as well as over here).  She's not shy about her opinion of a lot of American companies... in her words they are "messy" & "all over the place".  So she's a stickler.

For whatever it's worth, my dd(14) doesn't really care for Balanchine right now, but all that may change.  And it's great to try new things so at some point it would probably be in her best interest to sample it.


and Mom2Girls... sorry about editing my post on you.  I must've been doing it at the same time you were responding. But thanks for the clarification[smile]
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tendumom

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Reply with quote  #97 

Yes, ABT is about as far from Balanchine as you can get. [biggrin] Dd did the ABT National Training Curriculum for several years, exams and all. One of her teachers at the time was one of those initially trained (former company member). Totally not Balanchine and a big reason dd needed to move on. There is no Balanchine introduced until the absolute highest level at JKO. SAB is the pure Balanchine school. [smile] I believe the ABT curriculum is supposed to introduce a little Vaganova and a little Balanchine and even some Bournonville in the final year or so, but dd's school did next to none of that. 

The ABT NTC borrows heavily from Cecchetti and adds in a bit of other schools here and there. The goal is to create a very clean, unaffected classical dancer who, at the end, should be able to perform in any style and meet the demands of any choreographer. They also work hard to make sure the curriculum is developmentally appropriate. An example of their style is that ABT is more about the whole arm and torso moving at once. In Vaganova and Balanchine, they move as separate parts. Dd has had to be retrained a bit this year. Half her teachers are from NYCB and pure Balanchine and the other half are Vaganova, trained at the Vaganova Academy and even taught there. They are fixing what was "broken."  

I do think it's great for dancers to be exposed to different styles when they are ready. You will find that some instructors shy away from this and for good reason. I know dd's old school would come up with a list every year of recommended programs, steering far away from any purely Vaganova program and any Balanchine program because the differences from the ABT NTC were too much. When dd asked about going to Bolshoi, after she had been to Russia the previous summer and had an amazing experience, the director said absolutely not because it took dd too long to readapt when she came home. That's something to consider when looking at programs. (As an aside, dd LOVED, LOVED, LOVED the Bolshoi teachers).

I do think a dancer with strong Vaganova training would fare better with Vaganova programs- Bolshoi and Ellison are two that come to mind. (Funny though how dd loved Bolshoi but didn't like the Ellison audition). CPYB has a Balanchine influence I have heard (not sure). SAB, MYB, BAE, PA Ballet, and PNB are all Balanchine. Miami City was and may still be but is apparently becoming more Cuban (which is more Vaganova). Orlando and Houston are more classical (closer to ABT). 

Of course, then there is the issue of some of these large programs. ABT does a good job hiring teachers that they know will stay closer to the ABT curriculum and style. DD went to Orlando one year because it is supposed to be a school that follows the curriculum. Unfortunately, they grow much larger in the summer and bring in teachers who teach other methods. She ended up with an RAD instructor as her main instructor. Not only gained nothing, she lost petite allegro skills as they never did anything remotely fast or complicated. 

 

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classydance

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Reply with quote  #98 
Are we talking about ballet companies or training?

I guess I ask because as a company ABT is not at all Balanchine. ABT does story ballets and has a large Russian following.  Balanchine was trained in the Russian classical method, at the Imperial Ballet school.  From SAB- "Balanchine's style has been described as neoclassic, a reaction to the Romantic "anti-classicism" that was the prevailing style in Russian and European ballet when he had begun to dance. As a choreographer, Balanchine generally de-emphasized plot in his ballets, preferring, as he once told a reporter, to let "dance be the star of the show."  So he did not do traditional ballets that told stories (Don Q, Sleeping Beauty, Coppelia).  With Lincoln Kirstein he started the School of "American Ballet' (his style) to train dancers. Today's teachers are some of the last that actually took class from Balanchine. (Watch the web series "city ballet" for a nice overview).  The Balanchine "style"  is heavily used throughout the US.  In fact, I think that any dancer who wants to be in an American ballet company should have training in Balanchine.

In terms of "classical" training.  I am not exactly sure what that means.  I thought that I knew but then everyone seems to use that term and attach it to their method.  There is "French Classical training," and Vaganova is considered a classical method? As is Ceccetti.   In fact Ellison calls the Vaganova approach "classical" that on their website.  I am sure that RAD would be considered "classical." 

So I don't know that the term refers to a specific method of training?  Can someone shed light on this?

My understanding was that the ABT dancers (the ones that they hire) are NOT Balanchine and tend to favor the Vaganova style?  I could be wrong? I have to see more NYCB shows but I have to say that I much prefer the expressive epaulment and port de bras of Russian trained dancers. I just find it more elegant. They just are more interesting to watch for me.

DD is Vaganova trained but we are seeking to try some Balanchine programs this summer. She's young enough to be able to try it out without the differences really messing her up.
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tendumom

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Reply with quote  #99 

I'm not sure there is a hard and fast definition of classical. I think Vaganova is classical, as is French (Paris Opera), Ceccetti and RAD. Perhaps Bournonville too. Not sure about the Cuban style which is superimposed upon Vaganova. I know that dd has sometimes been asked to demonstrate how she does a series of steps and the teacher will point out that her pure classical background is showing. It sounds to me that it is something quite subtle but something an advanced dancer would really pick up on. 

It's a good point that a company may not reflect the training at the SI. As a follow up, in the summer, the training at the SI may not reflect either because of the outside teachers they may bring in, especially at the large programs. I was talking about SI programs, not the companies specifically. There are companies that have a reputation for doing a lot of Balanchine, but their SI may not have the same reputation. 

I would say most of the dancers brought into the corps at ABT in recent years have come through the studio company, so they have some exposure to the ABT curriculum. They seem to come from a mix of places before the studio company. Few of them come all the way through the school, but I think that is typical of the bigger name company schools. It seems to me that many of these schools pick up new students in their SIs and assess out their previous students as they age. 

Apparently, Vaganova training is an important backbone for Balanchine work. And that makes sense, knowing that was how Balanchine was trained. Dd has one teacher who danced for Mr. B and another who is currently at NYCB. They talk about how you need to learn to do things the "right" way (meaning classically) before you can move in these other ways. 

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heidi459

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Reply with quote  #100 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tendumom
They talk about how you need to learn to do things the "right" way (meaning classically) before you can move in these other ways. 


Sounds like dd's teachers.  And as much as I like to argue, I simply can't argue with their level of success.  They aren't just teaching it, they've lived it.  And not just on a small scale.  

I will say to all of you that I'm thankful for the education.  Since dd didn't grow up in a ballet studio, all this talk is greek to me.  Thus far I've been pretty happy just watching without knowing all the ins and outs.  But it's helpful for me to have just enough of an understanding to assist dd in the process... until the time comes when she can take care of it all herself.  So again, thanx.
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