welcome rabbit! this must be my lucky week in terms of meeting new & interesting posters! (i've never heard of fernie, btw).<P>i especially like the bit about 'painting yourself into a corner'! i noticed there were only 2 or 3 paras to go, and wondered how you were going to 'get out' of this one, in such a short space!
<P>angelica, i'm glad you asked that question: i would like to hear others thoughts on this. rabbit approached the topic, but i felt that s/he was talking about the older dance student, rather than the young ones...? (maybe not intentionally).<P>my personal feeling is that dance class is to 'work' at, not to 'play' at - but that's because my frame of reference is ballet class. if i was teaching creative dance, i'd be of a different mind. <P>so what i am getting at here is, i don't want students to perform in their ballet class, it's not about external appearances to entertain others, it's about internal focus in order to attain skills.<P>it is lovely, of course, to watch a finely crafted presentation class - perhaps an end-of-term demonstration, where the focus is on displaying what HAS been acquired, rather than on actually (right there in that moment) acquiring anything new into one's repertoire....but i don't think most classes should be this way.<P>if you WANT to make them this way, then one way is to introduce less common movements, including those which change directions or levels, and those which move away from and back to the barre - for example: <P>- a waltz away from & back to the barre, perhaps a waltz turning along the barre,<BR>- finishing an exercise in a kneel facing your audience (away from barre),<BR>- maybe a pas de basque away from the barre, something returning like a glissade, with a relevé to a finishing pose.<BR>- changing directions or sides within the exercise - change of eye focus is very necessary to give a sense of performance.<P>there are any number of ideas one could come up with in order to become more 'choreographic' as it were, in class - but choreographic experimentation is not usually the purpose of ballet class...(nor is 'performance, in my view...)<P>an intermediate stage might be the examination class, especially at major level - where what one has acquired by working with the exercises, must then be displayed as performance, and this transition from the complete work ethic to the performance one doesn't happen without being cultivated - so this is an area where i can agree that there is a challenge to move from one way of doing it (perhaps) to another. but my feeling is still that the well-trained dancer will perform major-level exercises pretty much as if they were performance pieces anyway - with dynamics, musicality, even facial differentiation of 'mood' (at least on a good day!)
<P>hope it doesn't seem i'm contradicting myself, but i don't want to go on and on, before others chime in.....
<P>rabbit: i very much appreciate your different approach to analysing the problem....<P>readers here may also find this thread of related interest - it's about the effects of teaching to a timeline, with or without a standardised 'outside' syllabus: <A HREF="http://www.criticaldance.com/ubb/Forum7/HTML/000077.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.criticaldance.com/ubb/Forum7/HTML/000077.html</A>