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 Post subject: Re: Longevity and the Dancer
PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2001 1:41 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
That's an interesting comparison, Marie. Deborah Bull's partner is a trainer and she has clearly benfited from his sports based approach. She points out that if she was to follow an athletic regime, the day before performing 'Swan Lake' she would only do some light training. In reality she often has to do a full dress rehearsal.<P>However, I think the links between dance, sports research and medicine are now well established and I suspect that procedures will change rapidly over the next 10 years. <P><p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited January 03, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Longevity and the Dancer
PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2001 4:25 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
As I have read it Prima Ballerina Assoluta Mathilde Kschessinska worked and kept in shape for half the year and the other half she did not, but that was to accommodate the social season. Seems reasonable to me. She lived to be a very old lady indeed, dying in her 90's, as I remember it.


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 Post subject: Re: Longevity and the Dancer
PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2001 9:38 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 4753
Location: Montreal, QC, Canada
I'm all for that Basheva, one must commit to ones social calendar. <P>Stuart, I'll believe it when I see it. I thought in University that things would be different than in the ballet schools, more education about training with regards to nutrition and sports medicine, but nope, it was the same old, same old. True, contemporary dancers can often carry a bit more weight than ballet dancers but since you can be called on to perform at any time of the year (and employment opportunities can be limited if you work on a short term contract basis as many do) it makes it almost impossible to have a schedule that resembles an athletes.


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 Post subject: Re: Longevity and the Dancer
PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2001 11:44 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 774
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
I always envy the sports teams at our school for the people they have to help them with nutrition, injuries/prevention, etc. The people who are available to us do what they can, but they certainly can't know everything- I don't expect anyone to. So, I do think we could benefit from some of what's been learned in medicine/training now as University students either beginning to dance, changing dancing gears, or getting serious about dancing. That way we can try to develop good habits and also take care of ourselves along the way.


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 Post subject: Re: Longevity and the Dancer
PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2001 5:44 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
Well, in my experience I have seen ballet teachers (and I can only speak of the ones I have seen) who attend conferences, courses, etc., on nutrition, sports medicine, latest techniques, procedures. Then they go back into their ballet studio classroom and don't change a thing. But, they do get to hang a piece of paper on the wall saying they attending such and such a conference.


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 Post subject: Re: Longevity and the Dancer
PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2001 5:59 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 1689
Location: USA
It sounds like it comes down, again, to finances. In what Priscilla says it certainly holds true. Universities have a lot invested in their sports teams, and it behooves them to take care of them. This is not a surprise, since many alumni booster clubs often pay for a football coach's mortgage! Many colleges are known for their teams, or sports programs, not for their dance companies! More's the pity. The amount of money made in professional sports is relative to the amount of money and time used to research and rehabilitate sports injuries. Mores prestige is connected with doctors who treat well known sports figures, or teams.<P>Many professional athletes have relatively short careers, and then they go and open a restaurant, or car dealership, or sell products on tv. Has anyone seen Farrell's used cars?<p>[This message has been edited by Maggie (edited January 04, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Longevity and the Dancer
PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2001 7:24 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Or Danilova's Diner?


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 Post subject: Re: Longevity and the Dancer
PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2001 8:55 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 498
Location: neworleans, louisiana
Re some of Maggie's comments:<P>I am reminded of a discussion I had with the current chair of the UW-Milwaukee Dance Dept. last fall. I had not been back to the dept. for over 20 years. Back then, we did have to take as much as modern as ballet,including both technique and comp,but it was clear that unless you had extremely strong technique in ballet, you would be weeded out, simply through failing grades. <P>The dept. is now a modern one, with a few ballet tech classes in the curriculum. I was introduced to her by a close friend who went back and completed her degree in her 40s after having danced professionally with Milw. Ballet and company in Frankfurt, Germany. The whole dept. seemed very different. When I attended, you were expected to have a strong foundation from the onset, at age 18. The chair told me that many of their students were starting at 18, and indeed, a number were considerably older. She said that with the exception of a very few university dance depts., most have had to change their view of today's student -- that is, that most of the very talented go directly to companies instead of to college because the universities don't have the kind of recruitment money for dance depts. that sports depts. have. I wish I could remember at this moment a few of the select university depts. she mentioned -- I'm thinking that perhaps in addition to places like No. Carolina School of the Arts, depts. like Utah, Illinois (Champaign-Urbana), TCU ...


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 Post subject: Re: Longevity and the Dancer
PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2001 1:34 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 54
Location: Glen Gardner, NJ
I enjoyed all the comentary but believe that many good modern dancers retire early,not due to esthetic or physical limitations, but due to low or irregular compensation. Beating one's head against the wall, year after year,<BR>without long term gaurantees of performance( the joy of dance) or pay checks takes a toll. At some point dance and a job becomes exhausting. Why not allow and encourage companies to arrange to employ dancers in a shared fashion---say 9 months of the year. For example East coast---West coast; 1'st quarter, 2'nd quarter, 4th quarter. There are enough companies who have similiar modern styles and tons of talented modern dancers to fill the slots with tons of dancers who can learn quickly. What we need is an industry wide scheduling system which shares the talent and money, creating somthing close to full time jobs for the talented but underemployed---both nationally and regionally. A talent registration system not necessarily dependent upon multiple auditions to pare down to the 6 or 8 best from 80 dancers. <P> H'mmmm I was thinking of becoming a fund raiser for dance companies when I retired---maybe the industry needs an "AGENT" more so. What do the modern dancers out there think---would an artist exchange work---kind of like a "modeling agency" with talent.


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