CriticalDance Forum

school rules to keep technique 'pure'
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Author:  grace [ Fri May 19, 2000 3:39 am ]
Post subject:  school rules to keep technique 'pure'

in another thread, azlan had asked maggie: "I think SAB, for example, has a policy that students take class only at SAB to help keep their technique pure. Is this right? Any comments".<P>i have quoted this to start a new thread, so as to keep distinct issues separate, for a more focused discussion on this and on the other issues.<P>thanks for this question, which is bound to provoke some opinionated responses.

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Fri May 19, 2000 8:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: school rules to keep technique 'pure'

The same rule did apply with the Royal Ballet School in Deborah Bull's day - don't know what the position is now. But Bull describes how she had the opportunity to attend the School run by Svetlana Beriosova and was refused permission to do it. It's a lost opportunity that she has always regretted.

Author:  Intuviel [ Fri May 19, 2000 6:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: school rules to keep technique 'pure'

SAB does have a rule that their dancers not take ballet class anywhere else. But they are allowed to take classes in other forms of dance. I believe this is because Balanchine encouraged his dancers to take jazz class. <P>------------------<BR>~Intuviel~

Author:  grace [ Sat May 20, 2000 3:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: school rules to keep technique 'pure'

it seems to me that there are two issues is ballet students taking ballet classes with different teachers - who possibly teach in different ways/hold different beliefs/adhere to different 'methods'; and the other is about classes in different genres (or dance styles) such as ballet, jazz, tap, flamenco, modern, contemporary, etc.<P>i believe on the first issue, that there are excellent grounds for a restrictive policy (such as described in posts above) up to about the age of 15, after which the dancer should have both the solid technical base and the intellectual and emotional maturity to handle different approaches: indeed, s/he then NEEDS to acquire exposure to the varied world s/he will meet in the job market and company life.<P>on the second issue, i think "more (of anything and everything)is better", up to the point where the amount of training interferes with the quality of what is being gained. <P>in other words, humans have limits. teenage dancers especially are very keen to do more, more, more...often this ends up being too much - with injures, overtiredness, emotional vulnerability and instability, illness due to lowered resistance and so on. responsible teachers and parents need to guard students against this (and sometimes the only way is to prohibit more or 'outside' classes).<P>but as long as general progress is continuing to be made by a fit healthy 'body', i believe EVERY different dance style is a valuable addition to the potential dancer's repertoire of skills and knowledge.

Author:  Maggie [ Sat May 20, 2000 4:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: school rules to keep technique 'pure'

That's a very good reply, Grace. I particularly liked the part about different exposure. When I was growing up, my primary training was ballet. My school also trained us in flamenco, modern (Graham) and bharata natyam. Respected teachers in these areas were brought in. We were trained not just to have a knowledge about these other forms, but to be able to perform them as well. We were also taught other schools of ballet. I never felt confused, only fascinated. <BR>Now that I am older, I look back with deep appreciation and gratitude to my teachers for giving me this kind of training. It has enriched my life in many areas besides dance and has had a tremendous impact on me. <BR>On a historical note, I suppose Ruth St. Denis, and Ted Shawn should be credited for their influence on American dance. Whatever one says about these two. (I know all the stuff!) They did have an impact. (By the way, I'm not THAT old. Ted Shawn taught me how to tie my first pointe shoe. I came out of the dressing room for my very first pointe class, and he was sitting on a chair and started chuckling. He was visiting our studio at the time, being friends with my teacher. I had crossed the ribbons twice on my leg, and tied them into a bow, and looked a bit like some confused Greek dancer. He propped my foot on his knee and retied them before I walked into the class, and into real trouble. <p>[This message has been edited by Maggie (edited May 20, 2000).]

Author:  grace [ Mon May 22, 2000 3:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: school rules to keep technique 'pure'

good story, maggie!<P>BTW if people are interested in different traditional ballet teaching methods or styles, Intuviel has created an excellent website on this subject. you'll find it in a separate thread here, titled "Balletica": worth a look! Image

Author:  Intuviel [ Mon May 22, 2000 4:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: school rules to keep technique 'pure'

Shameless plug Image: the link for my site is: <A HREF="" TARGET=_blank></A> <P>Thanks for posting my site, Grace Image!<P>------------------<BR>~Intuviel~<p>[This message has been edited by Intuviel (edited May 22, 2000).]

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