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 Post subject: Re: Ballet Teaching Methods in NZ?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2000 3:44 am 
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the excerpts above were from October 10: <A HREF="http://www.stuff.co.nz/inl/index/0,1008,421801a11,FF.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.stuff.co.nz/inl/index/0,1008,421801a11,FF.html</A> <P>now to October 11 - some commentary from eminent NZ dance personalities: <A HREF="http://www.stuff.co.nz/inl/index/0,1008,425826a11,FF.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.stuff.co.nz/inl/index/0,1008,425826a11,FF.html</A> <P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR> "I read it and shrieked with laughter," said veteran Kiwi dancer Sir Jon Trimmer.<P>"It would make a wonderful movie, and you can quote me on that." - - -<P>Sir Jon also said some parents and teachers could go too far.<P>"We do see pretty pushy mothers around, but you find that in all arts and sports."<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>sounds like sir john and maggie should meet!<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Director of the New Zealand School of Dance Garry Trinder today dismissed the survey as "an awful lot of myth", blaming it on failed dancers.<P>"I have been in dance over 30 years, and have never seen anybody pushed down the stairs or have splinters of glass put in their shoes."<P>Dance required total commitment, he said.<P>"We acknowledge it's a calling, it's something you commit to almost like a religion.<P> "It's like sport or anything else. The standards are getting higher, the technical expectations are higher . . . the demands on a dancer's body are more extreme these days."<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Royal New Zealand Ballet artistic director Matz Skoog acknowledged that "pushy" parents did go to extremes to achieve success for young ballerinas. <P>"There are a lot of pushy parents out there. I think parents should just stay clear . . . they can be extremely stupid." <P>He said there were many "mediocre and halfbaked" would-be dancers whose parents refused to accept they weren't going to make it.<P>Ms McDermott said she had seen constant heartbreak during her 12 years of teaching dance and wanted the issues brought into the open.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

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 Post subject: Re: Ballet Teaching Methods in NZ?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2000 3:49 am 
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october 12:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Katy Fransham, director of the Flying Pig Academy of Dance, in Wellington, was concerned the survey report would affect ballet student numbers.<P> "The findings are completely out of date and they don't reflect the true nature of the industry."<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>sorry, i couldn't resist quoting that bit! Image given ms. mcdermott's analogy between becoming a ballerina and winning the lottery, one has to wonder about choosing the Flying Pig Academy to comment..... Image<BR> <A HREF="http://www.stuff.co.nz/inl/index/0,1008,,FF.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.stuff.co.nz/inl/index/0,1008,,FF.html</A> <P>

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 Post subject: Re: Ballet Teaching Methods in NZ?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2000 3:52 am 
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October 12: <A HREF="http://www.stuff.co.nz/inl/index/0,1008,426821a1934,FF.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.stuff.co.nz/inl/index/0,1008,426821a1934,FF.html</A> <P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>National Ballet and Dance School founding director Ann Judson had been teaching dance for 27 years and had never experienced the extreme behaviour noted in the survey. "I'm quite appalled at the way some people obviously behave and I think it's up to teachers to provide a very caring environment."<P>If such behaviour was occurring it was good that it had been put in the spotlight, she said. "I think most of the dance community will be quite shocked by it."<P>Freelance dancer and choreographer Stephanie McMillan said she recalled going through a three-month phase of surviving on little more than a cup of dried soup a day as a teenager.<P>However, she questioned whether the pressure to stay thin came from parents and teachers or from the young dancers themselves.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

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 Post subject: Re: Ballet Teaching Methods in NZ?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2000 3:57 am 
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Val Deakin Dance School teacher Jane Roseman said her school did not have any difficulties with pressure as they did not hold exams or competitions.<P> - - - Costume co-ordinator for the Lynne Gilbert dance trust, Elsie Edwards, said of pushy mothers: "You would have may be one<BR>in a hundred that may put some pressure on their child, or student to do better."<P><BR>"I've seen more damaging competition on a soccer field," said New Plymouth Competition Society president Bonnie Moss,...."They might take their tensions out on their own children, but never on a rivals," said Ms Moss, who has been involved in dancing for 21 years.<P>"The ladies are all friends and while the competition is strong they (the girls) welcome it. It makes them dance better."<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><BR> <A HREF="http://www.stuff.co.nz/inl/index/0,1008,426862a1885,FF.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.stuff.co.nz/inl/index/0,1008,426862a1885,FF.html</A> <BR>

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 Post subject: Re: Ballet Teaching Methods in NZ?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2000 6:06 am 
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just checked the new zealand papers - there don't appear to be any more stories on this.<P>i did contact marian mcdermott by email on saturday, to ask if she would like to comment here...

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 Post subject: Re: Ballet Teaching Methods in NZ?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2000 6:10 am 
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i THINK this is a new one:<BR> <A HREF="http://www.stuff.co.nz/inl/index/0,1008,428920a1895,FF.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.stuff.co.nz/inl/index/0,1008,428920a1895,FF.html</A> <P>it's about behaviour of competitors and parents at dance competitions....same old stuff.....

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 Post subject: Re: Ballet Teaching Methods in NZ?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2000 3:05 pm 
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I think some of you have missed Marian's message. I draw your attention to the New Zealand Sunday Star Times 15/10/00. This article gives a clearer statement of what she is really trying to say. Plus the NZ Herald Arts section 16/10/00.<BR>This is not the last we'll be hearing from her I can assure you!


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 Post subject: Re: Ballet Teaching Methods in NZ?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2000 4:33 pm 
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This is the first chance I have had to respond to you all. <P>I am not about bringing ballet down but rather I am deeply concerned about some of the negativity within its culture. <P>I believe it is time for us all to look very carefully at the best ways to teach our students to dance. I have dedicated myself to developing a positive teaching approach where all students are acknowledged.<P><B>grace</B> intrudes: i have moved the full text of marian's commentary to a new thread. please join us there for futher discussion of her input. thank you! Image<BR> <A HREF="http://www.criticaldance.com/ubb/Forum7/HTML/000179.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.criticaldance.com/ubb/Forum7/HTML/000179.html</A> <p>[This message has been edited by grace (edited October 17, 2000).]


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 Post subject: Re: Ballet Teaching Methods in NZ?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2000 10:07 pm 
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welcome kevin also, and i will try to find those articles you mention, if they are online....(do you know?)<P>i hope you too will follow us to the other thread! Image<BR> <A HREF="http://www.criticaldance.com/ubb/Forum7/HTML/000179.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.criticaldance.com/ubb/Forum7/HTML/000179.html</A> <p>[This message has been edited by grace (edited October 17, 2000).]

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 Post subject: Re: Ballet Teaching Methods in NZ?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2000 3:47 am 
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although our discussion on this is continuing in the new thread, i was hoping to put some more of the news articles in here - but i am not getting any past the 13th...it seems unlikeley that the subject would have just disappeared from the press, when it had received such intensive coverage up to then, so i wonder if anyone in new zealand can tell me, whether there are still new reports, and if so, where i might find them online?<P>i think kevin mentions something on the 15th, but i haven't been able to find that....

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 Post subject: Re: Ballet Teaching Methods in NZ?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2000 6:12 am 
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update: i've found a couple more.<P>this one sort of beggars belief - not the subject matter, but the way the reporter uses the opportunity to spin a ridiculous story of her own!:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Concealed behind a curtain, I watched the senior ballet<BR> dancers flutter across the stage, deeply resenting my<BR> own lime-green leotard. <P> Suddenly a handful of long fingernails interrupted my<BR> gawp, gouging my seven-year-old arm and tugging me<BR> backstage. <P> I had broken the most important backstage rule by<BR> standing in the wings, explained my grumpy ballet<BR> teacher, who later transferred me to a modern dance<BR> class. My scant flexibility was to blame for my miserable<BR> failure as a ballet dancer. <P> These sombre memories came spinning back this week<BR> after a survey about the alleged oppressive nature of the<BR> New Zealand ballet world. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><BR> <A HREF="http://www.nzherald.co.nz/storydisplay.cfm?thesection=news&thesubsection=&storyID=155289" TARGET=_blank>NZ Herald article</A> <P>the lady at the centre of all the fuss:<P> Image <P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Coverage of McDermott's research has upset other<BR> dance teachers but she is unrepentant. "What I want to<BR> happen is the ballet experience to become positive so<BR> even the least-talented have a wonderful time. In the end<BR> we need those people to have a passion for dance, to<BR> carry it on so they go to support dance and we might get<BR> bigger audiences. <P> "Take rugby. There are piles of people who play but only<BR> a few can ever become All Blacks. But it's fine to play. <P> "I think the main goal for ballet teachers is for students to<BR> become ballerinas. But not everyone can become a<BR> professional dancer. I'd like us to move on to the idea<BR> that the very first time you dance, you are a dancer." <BR><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><BR> <A HREF="http://www.nzherald.co.nz/storydisplay.cfm?thesection=entertainment&thesubsection=&storyID=155435" TARGET=_blank>NZ Herald article</A> <P>i have to say this is depressing to me - that i am increasingly coming to the conclusion that new zealand newspaper reporters are one of the lower forms of life, and that new zealand dance teachers can't be much better....i really don't want to malign my peers, across the way, on such a scanty basis.....can life really be this 'old-fashioned' in NZ? it's as if they're all in a 50's time warp - which USED to be the kind of thing that got said about new zealand....but i haven't heard that sort of attitude for at least 25 years.....does it still apply?<P><p>[This message has been edited by grace (edited October 18, 2000).]

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 Post subject: Re: Ballet Teaching Methods in NZ?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2000 1:33 pm 
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Grace Thank ,you!<P>For many years I have searched, researched and re re searched for a 'station' in life where comfort may be found. The biggest problem being on arrival at a set destination, the 'prize', was never quite as thrilling as the chase.<P>I surrender. The search is over. You have revealed all. My station in life has been found !<P>As a dance teacher, I am one of the 'lower life'.<P>Please excuse me whilst I go downstairs to the servants quarters where I belong! Ring the bell Ma'am when you wish dinner to be served!<P>


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 Post subject: Re: Ballet Teaching Methods in NZ?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2000 5:16 pm 
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ah yes, tip_toes! it's reassuring isn't it? when one is at the bottom, there is not much farther to fall.....but i think the new zealand papers portray ballet teachers more as pond scum, than as anything so elevated as servants in a nice house...no, indeed.....<P>in fact, this morning i received an email which described ballet teachers as people who <P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR> destroy the lives of their charges. And any that are missed, the Mothers of the other dancers finish off, right? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>as you might see by the question mark, this commentator had tongue in cheek! Image<P>one has to retain a sense of humour about these things, even though i imagine dance teachers in NZ are understandably really het up about this. it is an assault on all of us as teachers. <P>and i WOULD rather expect that it would have at least a minimal impact on enrolments next year...something which i'm sure marian wouldn't have intended (?), and which is terribly unfair to good teachers, for whom financial survival is ALWAYS SUCH a struggle....oddly, from what i've seen, the LESS good teachers seem to attract kids in droves!!!!!!!! maybe marian should have looked at THAT phenomenon!<P>this will blow over, tip_toes. keep your head up high!<P>i feel there are two conclusions to be drawn:-<P>1. would be: that mcdermott is a nasty vindictive selfish person who is out to destroy the market for ballet teaching in NZ, glorifying herself along the way. i am resisting that conclusion. <P>2. that mcdermott is someone who cares about ballet teaching -but is perhaps(?) rather isolated from her peers in NZ and elsewhere, therefore underinformed? - who has been naively used by the press, to stir up controversy, in a way that is only damaging to what she cares about....in which case, SHE would be as distressed as you are, by the way this has been portrayed, and the effects it will have......indeed, the effects it has already had, on good people like you...<P>of course, the 3rd possible conclusion is the one i offered (in jest) above.....that NZ ballet teachers REALLY ARE "the pits" - i'm still resisting THAT one! Image<BR><p>[This message has been edited by grace (edited October 19, 2000).]

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 Post subject: Re: Ballet Teaching Methods in NZ?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2000 6:08 pm 
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tip_toes, i DO hope you realised my comment in the previous post was a sarcastic one....did you receive my recent private email to you?<P>can you fill us in, in the other thread - maybe you have already done so? - as to what action is being taken about this in NZ? please? Image

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