public forum
home forum magazine gallery links about faq courtesy
It is currently Sun Apr 20, 2014 10:44 am

All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 17 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

How important is it for ballet dancers to be trained in modern and contemporary dance?
Very important 40%  40%  [ 8 ]
Important 40%  40%  [ 8 ]
Neutral 5%  5%  [ 1 ]
Sometimes 10%  10%  [ 2 ]
Not at all 5%  5%  [ 1 ]
Total votes : 20
Author Message
 Post subject: Ballet, Modern, and Contemporary Dance Training
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2007 7:38 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 644
Location: Seattle, WA. USA
Many of today's ballet dancers are asked to do many different styles of choreography -- while still in ballet companies. Many, but not all, come to these companies with little exposure to anything but ballet. So today's poll question is: How important is it for ballet dancers to be trained in modern and contemporary dance? In addition to casting your vote, please take a moment to post your reasons. Thank you! :D

_________________
Dean Speer
ballet@u.washington.edu


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:16 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 943
Location: Santa Barbara, CA USA
I voted for very important because of the breadth of work dancers, even in classical companies, are asked to do. And if they don't do that, it increases their employability by making them more versatile. And even if they don't need to dance outside of the classical ouvre, it's just a general education thing that broadens their horizons and hopefully informs their dancing.

--Andre


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2007 12:48 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 259
Location: Key Biscayne, Florida, USA
How do ya vote? :?

Forget it now I see :roll:

_________________
Twitter: http://twitter.com/elitedance
BLOG: http://www.elitedance.com/blog


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2007 2:53 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Mar 20, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 3000
Location: San Francisco
I completely agree with Andre. Additionally, it has a physical advantage, rather like cross training.

I think there are a lot of people who think that ballet is really all you need, and that a well-trained ballet dancer can do everything. Well, they can -- sort of. But I think that when a ballet company performs a piece by a modern dance choreographer, the dancers who have taken it upon themselves to really spend time taking modern dance classes just look more authentic. The same goes for any type of non-ballet technique that the dancers are required to do.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 12:38 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 8612
Location: El Granada, CA, USA
I think it's very important and the earlier the better. Ballet dancers need to be very versatile nowadays, so training in other styles is simply smart. Besides, the chances of a kid in ballet class becoming a pro is so slim that diverse training can help them transition to toher forms of dance if necessary.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 1:10 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 11643
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
How much is enough in a pre-professional curriculum? Two or three times per week for an hour and a half?

Any specific training systems (e.g., Graham)?


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 6:44 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 51
Location: Germany
I also think that it is very important.

There are practically no companies I know of (over here) which do not do any modern /modern-based pieces in their rep.

As to the amount per week in pre-pro training, that does depend on the prior exposure the students have had.
At least three times per week would sure help, though.

-d-


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 12:46 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 8612
Location: El Granada, CA, USA
Even once a week is a help.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 3:21 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2003 11:01 pm
Posts: 2323
It seems (to people like me, not really familiar with modern dance) that ballet dancer can dance modern dance even without any training, but the reverse never happen.

That is why I voted "useless" :oops: . As regards the training, I think it is better for a kid who learn ballet, to wait he become a teenager to start learning any other style.

_________________
L'art naît de contraintes, vit de luttes et meurt de liberté


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 7:00 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 943
Location: Santa Barbara, CA USA
It's very easy to pick out ballet dancers who have not had modern training. While they may be able to reproduce the steps, the way the steps are linked together, the carriage of the body (a certain stiffness), and other things usually gives them away.

--Andre


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 9:58 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Oct 25, 2002 11:01 pm
Posts: 678
Location: Petaluma, California
I pretty much agree with everything previously posted. And, aurelie, I know what you mean! Ballet really is a good foundation from which to explore other dance forms. I voted for important, not very important, though. I think I'm beginning to have an issue with some contemporary ballets after viewing the ABT contemporary evening I attended recently. The only ballet on the program I enjoyed was C. to C. (Close to Chuck) by Jorma Elo. I have never been a Twyla Tharp fan and Benjamin Millepied's From Here On Out was a waste of wonderful dancers, IMO...


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 10:32 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 943
Location: Santa Barbara, CA USA
Gina,

I haven't seen the recent ABT contemporary program, but I did see them do Kylian's black-and-white ballets a few years ago. It was pretty terrible, so I don't expect much from them in this kind of work.

However, what do you think of Lines Ballet? Their dancers represent the kind of versatile mover I was thinking about.

--Andre


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 10:45 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 3373
Location: Canada
It's interesting that Millepied should be mentioned because he started as a modern dancer - his first training was in African dance (he lived in Senegal as a young child), and then he started in the conservatoire with a focus in modern/contemporary before shifting to the ballet track.

I was not impressed by the piece of his I saw in London, but I adored his contemporary version of the Nutcracker for the Geneva Ballet. In fact, the only part that turned me off was the classical pdd for the Sugar Plum & her Cavalier - which was a complete contrast to his stunning contemporary pdd for Clara's parents, a sublime piece of choreography. I wonder if he is not more comfortable and thus more successful when he doesn't have to stick within the bounds of 'contemporary ballet' and can stay with contemporary dance without any pretense of it having to be ballet (Geneva Ballet has a heavily contemporary rep, with dancers who have a contemporary bent).

And I think 'contemporary ballet' is a neither-nor medium ground, which is usually not very satisfying. The modern/contemporary pieces which succeed in the dance world don't generally try to bridge the gap - they use the strengths of the ballet dancers in a contemporary context. I think two of the best examples of cross-genre dances are Angelin Preljocaj's "La Stravaganza" and Jerome Robbins' 'West Side Story'. Neither are ballet, but in both cases the choreographers did not try to create a 'sort of ballet' - instead they used the strengths of the ballet dancers to add a new facet to another form of dancer (jazz, contemporary etc.). Other fine examples are Ulysses Dove's "Red Angels" and some of Forsythe's pieces.

I do think modern/contemporary training is very important for ballet dancers - a ballet dancer with no modern training cannot dance a modern/contemporary piece any more than a modern/contemporary dancer can step into pointe shoes and do Swan Lake. I think it's insulting to modern/contemporary dancers to suggest that a ballet dancer could just step into a modern piece. Modern dance has many styles and languages, and to dance Graham or Cunningham etc. etc. properly, you must understand the theory and methods behind the styles - no less so than you must be versed in ballet technique to be a ballet dancer. Modern dance very often uses weight in an entirely different way from ballet - and a dancer thrown into a modern piece without any training sticks out like a sore thumb. And there's no ballet company out there today which doesn't do some contemporary work - so a ballet dancer needs to be familiar with the style.

However, I don't think it has to be thrown in huge chunks at young dancers. A weekly or every other weekly class for young dancers is probably more than enough, with a more intensive class or two each week for professional track dancers. Ideally, I think it would be useful for professional track dancers to have a couple classes a week with the intent purpose of offering an introduction to the modern styles they might encounter - even if they don't remember or completely master it all, they have a foundation and an understanding of the differences. Which could make all the difference in a professional setting where there might not be much rehearsal time.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2007 11:59 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Oct 25, 2002 11:01 pm
Posts: 678
Location: Petaluma, California
"The modern/contemporary pieces which succeed in the dance world don't generally try to bridge the gap - they use the strengths of the ballet dancers in a contemporary context. I think two of the best examples of cross-genre dances are Angelin Preljocaj's "La Stravaganza" and Jerome Robbins' 'West Side Story'. Neither are ballet, but in both cases the choreographers did not try to create a 'sort of ballet' - instead they used the strengths of the ballet dancers to add a new facet to another form of dancer (jazz, contemporary etc.)." ksneds

This is it for me in a nutshell. Well put, ksneds...Some of the contemporary ballets that don't work for me are the ones that are just too busy... a step or movement for every count. I didn't get the point or message at all of Millepied's ballet for ABT. The music was jarring, the choreography too busy, the dancers were asked to perform ridiculously difficult movements and combinations that were not particularly interesting, meaningful, or beautiful...I really felt sorry for the dancers. And, they were giving it their best effort. I don't mean this to be a criticism of modern/contemporary ballet in general. Andre, I haven't seen Lines in a while, so I don't feel I should comment. I'll try to get down to see them in the new year!


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2007 1:51 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 8612
Location: El Granada, CA, USA
I actually agree with @urelie that modern training is probably wasted until the student is in their teens. They need a good foundation in basic dance technique first. In other words, they need to find their center before they can fall off of it.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 17 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
The messages in this forum are posted by members of the general public and do not reflect the opinions or beliefs of CriticalDance or its staff.
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group