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 Post subject: Product Review: "Allegro" CD & teaching manual
PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2000 6:22 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 4725
Location: Australia
this review appeared first in dance australia magazine, and will be featured as one of our CD articles or reviews, when the appropriate pages are ready. in the meantime, re-printed with thanks to dance australia:-<P>RE: <B><U>Combinations for Allegro</B></U> by Moira Coops, Barbara Hannan, Tony Llacer, Benedict Tan<P>"The dance as a whole is built on Allegro."<BR>Agrippina Vaganova<P>This book/CD set is a real innovation. <P>I agree with Colin Peasley who writes in his Foreword, "I sincerely hope that it is only the first of a series" to address the ballet teacher's need for stimulation of interest and invention, "a welcome addition to...the very small library of available literature on classwork.". <P>Here is relief for those teachers who feel they don't "have the ability to invent enchainements that allow students to feel the joy of dance, as well as ....fulfilling the teaching objective." <P>Peasley adds that he had the luxury of observing and learning from guest teachers all his working life, an opportunity many teachers don't regularly get. This book can offer some of the same inspiration and professional development. <P>The attractive spiral bound notebook presents 52 allegro enchainements, "based on the Balanchine style" , choreographed by Philippino Tony Llacer, who studied at the School of American Ballet, and now heads Dance Arts in Singapore. <P>Each enchainement is described in the usual balletic combination of French and English, as well as being notated clearly on the facing page. Singapore-based Englishwoman Barbara Hannan recorded the notation using the MacBenesh software developed by Canadian Rhonda Ryman.<P>Each enchainement is matched to at least one tune on the CD -and each tune is played at two speeds - an inspired idea which dance teachers will really appreciate. <P>The slower speed is for learning the exercise; the faster speed for performance. <BR>It's probably fair to say that many students will only handle these 'fast footwork' enchainements at the slower speed.<BR>But that is more a reflection on the students than on the appropriateness of the tempi!<P>The work is set at Elementary to Advanced level, with most of it labelled Intermediate. Pointe work is specifically catered for.<P>Llacer's choreographic style is evident, with , for example, lots of batterie, pas de bourrees, sissones, pas de chats, temps de cuisse, and releves with accents both up and down. Petit allegro dominates, with some medium allegro, but no grand allegro: I hope that's in the next book!<P>The piano accompaniment is composed and played by Singaporean Benedict Tan, who has been accompanist for Singapore Dance Theatre since 1988. His playing shows he knows what's needed to motivate a ballet class. <P>There are 28 tunes, each played at two speeds, plus a reverence at the end. Most pieces are 32 bars in length, consisting of a wide range of dance styles including Honky Tonk, a gavotte, scottische, an Irish 6/8, a Spanish waltz, and so on. <P>There is a good variety of time signatures and music styles. Because it is lively, it would be suitable for open/adult ballet classes, as well as the intended audience: the major level or pre-professional student. <P>The CD in itself is a valuable addition to the ballet teacher's resources, whether or not the enchainements are used. <P>But it is in the enchainements that this set really has something new to offer: class work to expand the teacher's repertoire, and to challenge the student.<P>The whole product has been detailed with copious background notes, and meticulously cross-referenced. <P>There is a Bibliography, a Glossary, an Index to relate every CD track to one or more exercises, and listings of time signatures, numbers of bars, levels of difficulty. <P>There is even a directory of steps, enabling teachers to select which exercises focus on a particular step - for example, Brise dessus appears in exercises 23,26,33,39 & 44. <P>The set is clearly a labour of love for this small Singaporean team, who were inspired by Australian member Moira Coops' habit of writing steps down to remember them.<P>Like the RAD syllabus books, this book also provides useful exposure to Benesh notation, enabling the teacher with just a little Benesh knowledge to recognise steps, and further develop their knowledge by relating the text to the notation. <P>The only oddity is the deliberate omission of body, arm and head movements, these being left to the teacher's discretion. This does make the notation easier for the novice to read.<P>Bloch's will be the Australian distributors and the set will retail at A$75. Thoroughly recommended!<P>BY: Susan Whitford, Jan 31, 2000.<BR><p>[This message has been edited by grace (edited July 27, 2000).]

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 Post subject: Re: Product Review: "Allegro" CD & teaching manual
PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2000 6:25 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2000 12:01 am
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Location: Australia
further notes and information can be found via the links, at the base of this page:<BR> <A HREF="http://www.dtol.ndirect.co.uk/bab5a.htm" TARGET=_blank>http://www.dtol.ndirect.co.uk/bab5a.htm</A>

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 Post subject: Re: Product Review: "Allegro" CD & teaching manual
PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2000 12:56 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 15, 1999 12:01 am
Posts: 90
Location: Salt Lake City
It is too bad that the website does not present any samples of what the CD/book is like.<BR>It is very difficult to spend $75.00 on something sight un-tried.<P>I have always had a problem with teachers who rely on others to do their combinations for them.<BR>It is like the records in the USA which feature one side music and the other side the music with the combination.<P>So many teacher will stick the record on and say ok, do it.<P>I think part of the creativity of being a teacher is to create combinations for your classes.<BR>How else can you get the freedom to stop, and change the combo because it is too difficult, or the majority of class is having problems with a certain step.<P>Any type of class that is set, is something that I can not relate to.<BR>I, personally, have always needed the freedom to create my own classes.<BR>And to give this freedom to the more advanced teachers in my school.<BR>It is part of the teaching process.<BR>If you don't do this, then you are a robot, just following the lead of someone else.<P>IMO<P>------------------<BR>bek<BR>CCA CREATIONS<BR>Website:<BR>http://members.tripod.com/~Casalino<P>

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 Post subject: Re: Product Review: "Allegro" CD & teaching manual
PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2000 4:27 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2000 12:01 am
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Location: Australia
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>It is too bad that the website does not present any samples of what the CD/book is like.<P>It is very difficult to spend $75.00 on something sight un-tried.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>sure, but this is what reviews are FOR! and *I* wrote this one, so you can rely on it! Image<P>btw, that site is not a site FOR the CD/book. it's just a recommended product AT that site. and there is more information than one ever normally gets before making a mail-order purchase....or even some online ones.<P>bek, when you make your comments about teachers composing enchainements, you are speaking very much from an american point of view - well, why not? you ARE! Image - however, believe me, your comments do not relate DIRECTLY to ballet teachers in my part of the world, (or in england) where the syllabus comes FIRST, and the other stuff is a challenge which may or may not EVER be addressed. <P>NOT saying this is how it SHOULD be, just explaining how it IS! Image<P>

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 Post subject: Re: Product Review: "Allegro" CD & teaching manual
PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2000 4:29 pm 
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Location: Australia
oh yeah - forgot to say: australian $75 is about US $30. Image

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 Post subject: Re: Product Review: "Allegro" CD & teaching manual
PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2000 5:51 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 15, 1999 12:01 am
Posts: 90
Location: Salt Lake City
Yes, you are correct.<BR>Everything I say is from the point of view of a teacher in the USA.....<BR>Not north america, or the Americas, but only the USA.<BR>We have a totally different system over here.<P>Many of the members here are from overseas (my point of view), therefore are into using a set syllabus.<BR>In the USA, we pride ourselves on making sure the students learn many different combinations, and altho some studios will give a set barre, most center work is totally done and put together by the teacher.<P>(please remember I am not including those teachers who have joined the syllabus crowd)<P>bek<P><p>[This message has been edited by grace (edited September 08, 2000).]

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 Post subject: Re: Product Review: "Allegro" CD & teaching manual
PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2000 2:56 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2000 12:01 am
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Location: Australia
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>most center work is totally done and put together by the<BR> teacher.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>bek - that's what this CD is FOR - but it's made with a view to assisting those teachers who are uncomfortable or unfamiliar with setting their own combinations (in petit allegro). or for those who know their enchainement composition skills are somehat lacking! Image<P>just for info, in the recreational sector in australia (and in the UK) most teachers DO stick with syllabus - or at least use syllabus as a BASIS - which was all it was ever meant for - a BASIS, NOT the be-all and end-all. (however, time restrictions have always limited teachers' capacities to go beyond that, when students will only come once or twice a week, but still expect a good exam result!)<P>but in the vocational training sector, most teaching is like your american model, with all enchainements composed by the teacher, either pre-class or in the class, or a mixture of both.<P>i really wanted to get a syllabus/no syllabus discussion started, a while ago, but no-one seemed interested. however, that would be for another thread....! Image

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 Post subject: Re: Product Review: "Allegro" CD & teaching manual
PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2000 8:24 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2000 11:01 pm
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I just want to say I have seen and heard this CD and book from Sinagpore and it is very very good, I think. I recokmmend it to other teachers of ballet class.


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