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 Post subject: I need help with the info inside
PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2003 6:16 am 
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I am currently trying to the best to pursue my career in Ballet, I just turned 21 and I am in my second year in Ballet, But I dance a Kay Duffy school of Dance, I am hoping to move to a higher standard school. So please if you can help me in any way you can.

Also I am going to ask a few questions I was told to ask. But if I am missing questions that I should've asked you along with them feel free to put the questions in and answer them for me please.

Ok I have checked the websites for these Buffalo Ballet schools.

www.buffalocityballet.com

www.aab-buffalo.com

www.royalacademyofballet.com

If anyone knows anything about these schools please help on that, because it would help a lot on choosing which one.

These are the questions I was told to ask. ( Remember if I did not ask a questions that I should have asked please put the questions down and answer them for me, thanks)

Any ways here are the questions:

1. I'm looking at these three ballet schools. Does anyone have any experience or opinions about them?

2. Anyone have any opinions on what to look for in choosing ballet training?

3. What is the Vaganova syllabus? What does it mean to have the Vaganova syllabus with Balanchine influence?

I know there are more questions I should ask but I have no idea which questions to ask you folks. Remember I am in my second year and I want the best training I can get myself, but in order to do that I need honest help from everyone who decides to help me. Thanks to everyone who decides to read this and help me.

Please help me here. I am about to go crazy here. :(

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 Post subject: Re: I need help with the info inside
PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2003 2:22 pm 
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Location: Seattle, WA. USA
Hi and thanks for your posting. I recommend trying a class or two at each of the studios you have found on the web and see how they work for you. Talk to the directors and teachers. I'm sure you'll be able to find a fit that is best. Keep us posted as to how you're doing! Best wishes for happy dancing.

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 Post subject: Re: I need help with the info inside
PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2003 9:21 pm 
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Location: bakersfield,ca
I agree with Dean there, try them and see which you like best and think the best possiblity of getting better there is at. And another thing balanchine influence/vaganova is redundant. Balanchine graduated from that school, and all his choreography is very much influenced by that style of training. He was the father of modern russian dance style influenced by western culture, not the other way around.


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 Post subject: Re: I need help with the info inside
PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2003 4:07 pm 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
AC, I'm puzzled by your comment that "balanchine influence/vaganova is redundant". As far as I am aware, the system in place at the Imperial School in the early part of the 20th Century was Cecchetti. Vaganova began teaching and developing her own approach in 1921, the year that Balanchine graduated. My understanding is that Vaganova is distinct from Cecchetti and I remember a demonstration with Alicia Markova, when she showed how the Diaghilev dancers would have performed one of the works in Ceccheti style, as opposed to the way it is danced today with Vaganova technique.

Surely Vaganova and Balanchine developed their own teaching methods from the same common basis. Thus the comment "...Vaganova syllabus with Balanchine influence" makes sense to me in the sense of linking the two strands. I'm keen to hear from those who have direct experience of the Vaganova syllabus.

<small>[ 24 December 2003, 12:43 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: I need help with the info inside
PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2003 8:39 pm 
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Location: New England
I think the meat of the question is: what does it mean if a school claims to teach "Vaganova Style with Balanchine Influence"?


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 Post subject: Re: I need help with the info inside
PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2003 12:54 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
You make a good point citibob. Here are some Internet references, which may be helpful as a starting point:

The Vaganova School in St Petersburg is where the vast majority of the dancers in the Kirov Ballet study and their website gives more background to Agrippina Vaganova and the history of her teaching method:

http://www.vaganova.ru/eng/hist_eng.html

There is also a statement of the structure of the syllabus:

http://www.vaganova.ru/eng/study_eng.html

On Balanchine technique, "Suki Schorer on Balanchine Technique" is often referred to, perhaps you can get sight of a copy. Here are some comments about the book:

http://thinks.com/cgi-bin/books/books.pl/item-0679450602/cds.htm

With some background information, do follow Dean's advice and talk to the various schools, including asking for clarification of what is meant in practise by "...the Vaganova syllabus with Balanchine influence?"

<small>[ 24 December 2003, 01:55 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: I need help with the info inside
PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2004 7:11 am 
What to look for in ballet training? I would think emphasis on placement, above all things. Good placement not only makes the movement look good and easier to accomplish, but helps protect the body from injury.

Avoid schools that try to rush the development of turnout or extension or 5th position, which IMO need to be done slowly--it takes a couple of years, at least to work up to a good 5th position, and forcing that too early can ruin your knees. Also, giving exercises and combinations that are far beyond the abilities of the class will not help at all. There should be a deliberate, progressive development in terms of complication and difficulty.

Trying out classes in all the schools you mentioned is a good way to determine which ones will help you.

<small>[ 17 January 2004, 08:13 AM: Message edited by: Beth ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: I need help with the info inside
PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2004 7:29 pm 
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Location: Seattle
Wow. Seems there are some large misconceptions about what the Vaganova Syllabus is. First off There is only one Vaganova Syllabus and anyone claiming to teach it with a Ballanchine flair or use any other name or school with it truly has not taken the certification to teach the Vaganova Syllabus. What they may be trying to emulate is the Vaganova style of instruction which is NOT The VAGANOVA METHOD as set forth in the VAGANOVA SYLLABUS.

It is not unusual for there to be uneducated comments about the method because there are very few instructors who have passed the training. The Vaganova Pedagogy is only taught in maybe two locations in the USA - And as far as learning it as a dancer - to teach and to dance are two different things.

What is the Vaganova Syllabus you asked... well, it is a very strict training method that was created to make sure that your muscles develop in a certain way and that you are strong enough to do the movements so that you don't hurt yourself. This does not mean that you should have to wait until you are a certain age or only after so many years should you go on pointe. I have seen ballerinas who haven't been on pointe in years have their bodies totally ready to perform on stage in just a matter of weeks! That is the Vaganova method.

To give you an idea of what you will look like if you can actually get someone that is certified to teach you. Look at the Russian corps -- study the way all of their muscle structures are the same. Do you think they started out that way? It is part of the program.

I studied for a year under Ms. Peggy Willis while she was the Director of Dance at Texas Tech University. She is a great choreographer. But imagine your dance teacher coming to class in dress clothes and boots. But amazing! The technique is like learning to read for the first time. I was lucky enought to be in class with a woman who had gone to a professional ballet school (8 hour days and book study at night) from the time she was in about 8th grade to her Sr. year. She told me that in two weeks she had learned more about Ballet from Peggy than she had in all those years at "real ballet schools".

If you really want to dance. Find a certified instructor - ask them who they took the syllabus from and if they hem and haw - keep looking. They should be able to show you their certification from a certified Teacher's instuctor.

Good dancing.

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Karen Cross
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 Post subject: Re: I need help with the info inside
PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2004 4:53 am 
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Location: Scotland/France
<small>[ 11 June 2004, 03:43 AM: Message edited by: balletowoman ]</small>


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