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 Post subject: Bossov Ballet Theatre
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 2:55 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2000 12:01 am
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Location: Seattle, WA, USA
An interesting background story on Bossov Ballet Theatre, a residential training program in Pittsfield, Maine, by Stacey Chase in the Christian Science Monitor:

CS Monitor


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 4:16 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2004 11:01 pm
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Location: USA (Midwest)
It's a fascinating article to be sure, but there is one detail that troubles me: the casual mention of the bruising on the dancers. At no school that my children have danced at have I ever noticed bruises, nor would I consider them a normal consequence of ballet training. Here and there OK, but not enough to draw a reporter's attention as if they are a normal thing. But maybe that's just my interpretation of the sentence?

I know there has been some controversy about how the school is run, but since it's hearsay (to me at least), I'll just try to appreciate the article for its look at the school's unusual roots.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 5:24 pm 
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Location: Canada
Bruising does seem to be a bit odd, at least for younger dancers. Bruises are a regular side effect of professional level partnering and the occasional rehearsal collision - but I can't imagine these dancers are doing much partnering, let alone of that kind of complexity.

Kate


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2007 9:03 am 
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Bruising from too-complex or age-inappropriate partnering actually would jibe with what seems to be an increasingly normal facet of "Russian-style" training in US programs. I've had this explained to me by a number of teachers and I've certainly seen evidence of it in several schools and in many of these competitions that are springing up. Even though, as I understand it, Russian-style training actually goes at a fairly slow, deliberate pace (and doesn't even start til age 10 in Russia), in the US, the technical complexity gets cranked up at fairly young ages. The teachers will complain that it's because the parents demand it. The parents complain that it's what the teachers want. (and the competitions certainly reward it :? ) Somewhere in the middle is the truth, I'm sure!


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2007 12:33 pm 
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Location: Canada
And unfortunately the pressure will continue as long as these YAGP style competitions keep being created. I was disappointed to read that YAGP is now affiliated with the Prix de Lausanne in that finalists of one will not have to qualify for the other.

The Prix de Lausanne has always been one of the few competitions that - from my perspective - has been responsible in both health and dance issues. YAGP, unfortunately, whilst a good opportunity at the upper levels, is full of too-young girls on pointe doing very age inappropriate choreography. I shudder to think at the feet destroyed and time lost from technique classes in all the preparations. I feel strongly that YAGP needs to ditch all but the junior and senior levels, but it's probably a money issue.

I think it's very much of a 'want to do it all...now' kind of world, particularly in the US and parts of Asia. The European ballet academies tend to take it slowly and carefully, picking only the best suited body types and starting out with just an hour of class a day.

As to partnering - definately no need to rush it. It wasn't until a year or two ago that dancers at the Royal Danish Ballet school did ANY partnering until they became apprentices at 16. Since - especially the male apprentices - tend to get thrown right into things - it was decided that they should learn the basics of pas de deux before becoming apprentices - but most of it does not include lifts or the like.

I fear we will soon see a generation of dancers who end up with destroyed bodies. The problem is that the young dancers see the glory and the beauty, but don't see the pain and problems. For instance, Alina Cojocaru looks the epitome of balletic grace and beauty, but her feet and her foot injuries bear witness to being put on pointe at age 9 or so. Not a pretty thing.

Kate


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2007 8:42 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2007 4:32 pm
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Location: New England
"bruises showing through their opaque tights"
If this was referring to the female dancer interviewed in the article, it was actually icy hot grease stains on her tights.


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