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 Post subject: Re: Female Choreographers in Ballet
PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2001 1:14 pm 
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From the New York Times:<P><B>Julia Adam: A Choreographer Who Can Make Dreams Dance</B><P>By JANICE BERMAN<P><BR> Image <P><BR> <BR><font size=1>David Allen/ San Francisco Ballet <BR>Julia Adam, a principal dancer<BR> with the San Francisco Ballet,<BR> also has a growing career as a choreographer.</font> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>SAN FRANCISCO -- "I WAS 6 or 7 years old in Ottawa," Julia Adam recalled, "and for an end-of-the-year school program I recited a poem about a black cat. I told the teacher I thought it would be a great idea if everyone stood in a circle and I was the cat." Watching the performance, her mother, a former ballet dancer, wept happy tears as she recognized her daughter's creative spirit.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><BR><A HREF="http://www.nytimes.com/2001/04/01/arts/01BERM.html" TARGET=_blank><B>MORE...</B></A><BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Female Choreographers in Ballet
PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2001 2:01 pm 
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Location: SF Bay Area
It is absolutely great to see Julia Adam finally getting national -- and international -- attention. In addition to the works cited in the article that will be showcased by SFB in Paris and London, Julia will also be creating a new work for SFB's 2002 season. As I have said many times before, this choreographer doesn't hold back; she is not afraid to throw a multitude of ideas into a single ballet.<P>And, yes, she is also quite an accomplished dancer. Her dancing in "Con Amore," "The Invitation," "The Lesson," and "The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude" are some of the best I've seen.


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 Post subject: Re: Female Choreographers in Ballet
PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2001 3:40 pm 
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I thought her comments on why there are not more female choreographers in the ballet, as opposed to modern dancer, were very interesting. I have always felt that way, too.


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 Post subject: Re: Female Choreographers in Ballet
PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2001 7:17 pm 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
I agree entirely Basheva. I think she is the first person I've read from the ballet world to express such thoughts. However, I think that much of it applies for men as well. Now that the Diaghalev tidal wave has finally come to rest, I believe that ballet needs to look to the modern dance world for an example of how to train choreographers. The alternative is that ballet will continue to be dependent on modern dance for much of its new material with some exceptions like the very talented Ms Diana who have broken free of the system.<P>Here are her illuminating words:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>In the modern-dance world, making up dances is part of the training. As a ballet dancer, it's not. In some ways, you're not allowed. Most of the women I know lack self-esteem. You're always being told what's wrong, not what's right. In classical dance, you're not allowed to truly explore.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited April 01, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Female Choreographers in Ballet
PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2001 7:27 pm 
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Julia Adam is quite an articulate and thoughtful person, especially for a ballet dancer. I enjoyed very much her interview of Mark Morris a few years ago (Christopher Stowell was the other celebrity interviewer).<P>Here is a link to the Voice of Dance chat transcript in which she discussed the creation of "Night":<BR><A HREF="http://www.voiceofdance.com/Insights/vchat.global.trans.cfm?ChatSchedule_ID=2000000000000026" TARGET=_blank><B>Julia Adam transcript</B></A><P>Note the question I ask of composer Matthew Pierce after Adam and designer Benjamin Pierce were disconnected from the chat... Image<p>[This message has been edited by Azlan (edited April 01, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Female Choreographers in Ballet
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2001 10:12 am 
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"Julia Adam is quite an articulate and thoughtful person, especially for a ballet dancer". Especially for a ballet dancer? Care to elaborate on that one? Image Do you find that normally ballet dancers are not thoughtful or articulate?..hee hee. Image<P>------------------<BR><BR>"If it's self expression you are looking for the place for you is the analyst's couch" - Merce Cunningham


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 Post subject: Re: Female Choreographers in Ballet
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2001 12:04 pm 
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Um, yeah, what about that "especially for a ballet dancer"? Image Oooohhh I think extra massages are in order for a certain ballet dancer that you know Azlan.


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 Post subject: Re: Female Choreographers in Ballet
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2001 12:35 pm 
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My experience has been that ballet dancers are not encouraged to have opinions. Certainly not in class. Certainly not in rehearsal (most rehearsals, anyway). We are taught from the beginning we are vessels for the choreographer. Grateful for any attention - especially corrections. <P>I really think it goes back to the roots of the ballet when the dancers were serfs of the Russian monarchy. They were taught to be eternally grateful for the opportunity to eat and dance. It is all part of ballet's history and culture. The silence in class. The reverence at the beginning and end of class. <P>An untoward word and one can be dismissed from class or a production - and that atmosphere or at least its afteraffects have persisted.<P>But isn't that some of the very things that some dancers wanted to break away from - and therefore was born modern dance? And so, it seems to me, more freedom both in movement and thought is part and parcel of the attributes of modern dance.<P><p>[This message has been edited by Basheva (edited April 02, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Female Choreographers in Ballet
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2001 1:23 pm 
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I agree with Julia's statements about ballet vs. modern training entirely. It was a rude awakening for me when I made the switch to modern dance. Many of the technique classes I took incorporated small improvisations during warm up or little compositional exercises spread throughout the class. I was taken aback -- never had I been asked to create my own movement in a ballet class. In fact, adding my own "flavor" at all was completely frowned upon. Ballet does breed low self esteem, I think, especially in women.<P>I found, at least in my training, that men were coddled when young -- perhaps because there are not nearly as many men in ballet and teachers fought hard to keep them there, to rise above the peer pressure. Women, however, do not have this advantage. I was trained with many "old school" teachers who never talked to you unless your work was abysmal -- nary a compliment about my movement, only stinging attacks at every misstep I took. It was an instilled fear factor and an ingrained idea that we should be seen and not heard -- that we were simply glorified canvas.<P>I have since encountered many nurturing ballet teachers who give their students more of a voice. I would like to think that the climate in ballet training is beginning to change, and as lines begin to blur between different dance disciplines, we will begin to see a more outspoken ballerina emerge and, hopefully, much more creative energy and original voices as females move into the choreographic realm.<P>tura


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 Post subject: Re: Female Choreographers in Ballet
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2001 1:49 pm 
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Okay, time to extract foot...<P>Dancers in general tend to be very focused; ballet dancers even more so. All artists have to be, to excel at their art. They express themselves well artistically but, as Basheva says, ballet dancers are not encouraged to express themselves through words. The ballet dancers I know (yes, including that one you refer to, Marie -- I've already given her all the massages she needs for the week!) are the exceptions (I hope this clears me from all manners of punishment).


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 Post subject: Re: Female Choreographers in Ballet
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2001 5:54 pm 
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Ok, I suppose I can accept that explination Image hee hee..From personal experience..yes I was always dead quiet in class & rehearsal..and of course you would never ask questions.of course that was only studio behavior..I am such a loud mouth at home! Image.and then I began modern dance! THat only encouraged me to open my mouth..hee hee..I remember in an interview w/ Shirley Maclaine in a dance video she said that making the transistion from dance to acting was like "whoa! I'm allowed to have an opinion and ask questions!" or something to that effect.. Image<P>------------------<BR><BR>"If it's self expression you are looking for the place for you is the analyst's couch" - Merce Cunningham


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 Post subject: Re: Female Choreographers in Ballet
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2001 6:59 pm 
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Oh, thank you Misa. I was afraid I might have to do heavy penance...


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 Post subject: Re: Female Choreographers in Ballet
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2001 7:38 pm 
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Perhaps Julia Adam is especially articulate and thoughtful because she is Canadian. Sorry, I couldn't resist. Image


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 Post subject: Re: Female Choreographers in Ballet
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2001 9:13 pm 
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I must also add that Julia Adam very definitely has a sex appeal, in an intelligent sort of way, on stage even if she has a designed plainness off it. Quite a remarkably talented and attractive person all around.


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 Post subject: Re: Female Choreographers in Ballet
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2001 3:51 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 12, 1999 12:01 am
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Location: The Bronx is up; the Battery's down
Azlan, in the photo above, she's anything but plain.<P>One reason there aren't more successful female ballet choreographers, I think, is that female ballet dancers tend to have less formal education than female modern dancers, so they've studied less art, history, composition, etc., all of which are, to say the least, helpful.

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