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 Post subject: Re: MORE on NZ Ballet Teaching
PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2000 6:24 pm 
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Location: Australia
also, for information - and i hope i have not got this wrong? - i believe marian may have been one of the people who played a founding role in new zealand's Footnote dance? is that right, marian?

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 Post subject: Re: MORE on NZ Ballet Teaching
PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2000 11:33 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2000 11:01 pm
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Location: new zealand
I entered your little site to see if there was any truth in the articles I had read in the media about "ballet bullies."<P>...and what did I find? The very same attitudes that have earned ballet teachers this reputation in the physical world, is alive and well in cyber-space too. It didn't take you guys long to show your true colours either.<P>


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 Post subject: Re: MORE on NZ Ballet Teaching
PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2000 12:29 am 
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kevin, which little site are you refering to? is that my AICD site, because i don't think there's anything there that could be construed this way...please advise, if so?<P>kevin, you seem defensive and angry about this subject, rather than wishing to embrace it, so as to effect change.....as teachers, WE are naturally angry at the insults hurled via the new zealand press, supposedly from marian.....but we are STILL attempting to get to grips with exactly what she is saying and why, so as to assess its validity and take it from there.....<P>i got the impression that you may know her (?), and therefore be better able than we are to know exactly what's going on here; to be able to fill us in, on some of the gaps, perhaps?<P>people are trying to arguing with the <B>ideas</B> here- that's what the site is for, for people who love dance to share their ideas and learn from each other....<P>stating one's opinion is NOT bullying, even when you use the international media and/or the new zealand press to do it, as marian did. nor when we use the internet to do it. <P>this forum is interactive - it enables people anywhere, to engage with the <B>ideas</B> - rather than to attack any <B>person</B>. if personal attacks occur, the posts will be removed, so as to enable vigorous informed relevant discussion, without fear.<P>this is the opposite climate of that which encourages bullying to survive.<P>please do engage with the ideas, kevin....i, for one, would like to talk with you, and to understand your perspective, but i cannot understand what your perspective is, yet, except that you react to criticism of marian's ideas - that's all i can pick up, about your intent here...? so it's hard to establish a dialogue.....<P>as staunch an ally as you obviously are for her, ought to be able to defend her ideas, IF they are defensible. you seem to want to. if they are not defensible ideas, well: that's precisely our concern....<P><BR>i would really like to ask also that you have a look around at some of the other threads here, so you have a feel for the kind of people, and the kind of teachers, you are meeting here...your accusation would be most insulting if there were any truth in it, but i have come to know these teachers, and i respect every one of them. i hope you will too when you've had time to read a bit more here.....<p>[This message has been edited by grace (edited October 19, 2000).]

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 Post subject: Re: MORE on NZ Ballet Teaching
PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2000 8:23 pm 
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I've followed this discussion with interest, have danced and also taught young students-professionals myself and find that there is a lot to be said for both sides of the argument. I would like to speak to you, Marian, either by email or telephone and was wondering if I may have your contact details. Is this possible?<P>Thanks,<BR>Emmi

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 Post subject: Re: MORE on NZ Ballet Teaching
PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2000 11:36 pm 
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hi emmi and welcome Image<P>i will leave this here, to see if marian responds to you directly. if she has not by monday, then i am willing to ask her, if i may pass on her contact details. given the reason for your interest, i am sure she would want to talk to you, even though she must be extremely in demand at the moment.<P>btw, it may not come across here, that we teachers ARE deeply concerned about such issues as marian raises - but understandably defensive about the sensationalised way this has been aired, the lack of rigour in the so-called 'research', the gross generalisations, and the avoidance of any recognition of all the positive work put in over many years by good teachers everywhere, AND the dreadful effect this may have on individual people, (already HAS had), on our reputations and on businesses/livelihoods.<P>there is no question that there are bad teachers, maybe far fewer in new zealand than in the united states, from what i am hearing at other boards....just as there are poor examples in every profession, but to blacken a whole profession in SUCH a damning way, while all the while saying 'I' do this, 'I' do that, 'I' am working out how to do it properly - as if the rest of us haven't been making wonderful strides for literally generations, is contemptible, in my personal view.<P>even the existence of this forum, at this board, is proof of just one of (my) many endeavours in this direction, and i get the feeling maybe marian could learn a lot more from the teachers here, than we could from her.<P>at the same time, i am concerned that IF she is sincere, the backlash she is experiencing, due principally to the way this has been presented in the media, would most likely only alienate her from the very people she needs to meet, and dialogue with and learn from - such as the responsible teachers here.<P> it may be yet another case where irresponsible media coverage only serves to obscure the facts, and make a situation emotionally charged.<P>the only indication i have that this may NOT be the case, is the fact that marian has made no attempt to address the teacher's concerns, in the new zealand press - at least not that i have seen...i hope i'm wrong, and that marian is as distressed as we are, by the way this has been depicted....but i have so far seen no indication of that.<P>in her introduction marian wrote:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>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...<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>i think what so frustrates people like myself, is that we feel the "time to look very carefully" was a LONG time ago, and we've been DOING that - and "developing a positive teaching approach..." in an ongoing way, for years and years now, as is evidenced by all the literature along these lines from australia, america and england (those are just the areas i know about personally). i admit i don't know of any from new zealand, but i don't therefore assume that NZ teachers aren't responsible - just that this area is a gap in my knowledge.<P>i did emphasise earlier that the paper marian provided has only POSITIVE aspects, but i have seen NO indication of this side of things in ANY of the coverage....wierd! Image<p>[This message has been edited by grace (edited October 20, 2000).]

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 Post subject: Re: MORE on NZ Ballet Teaching
PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2000 1:46 pm 
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Location: New Zealand
Over the past couple of days I have pondered over this whole issue and have come up with a couple of observations you may or may not agree with.<P>If the introduction to this document had read :<P>'Many teachers around the world have a great love and passion for ballet and dance in general. Research, both here in New Zealand and abroad, has highlighted several issues concerning the way dancers are trained'.<P>Then if the article in Danz had continued in a similar vein, perhaps 'educated' teachers may have taken the time to contact the writer for questionaire details.<P>A major concern, for me, was the writing style, in particular the grammatical errors, paragraph and sentence structure. If the piece of writing contained phrases such as: "research has shown, according to Buckroyd in her book 'The Student Dancer'" etc, - instead of: "I consider", "I believe", "I remember", more teachers would have responded.<P>The sad fact is many teachers have unfairly been mis - represented. There is no denying that the 'traditional military style of teaching approach' does exist, but to say the tradition is 'still common in the ballet class today' is unfair. <P>In the experience of Ms McDermott, this style of teaching may be evident, on the other hand, in the experience of many other teachers in this country this behaviour no longer exists.<P>The sentence beginning "I am concerned at the number of stories I hear..." is hearsay. If the paper was marked by a university lecturer that whole paragraph may, justifiably, be ignored.<P>Teachers in this country are not on a Marian McDermott 'witch-hunt'. It must be considered, if the paper had been written in the third person, with bibliographic references, would the newspapers have been as interested in the document and the opinions of the writer?<p>[This message has been edited by grace (edited October 20, 2000).]


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 Post subject: Re: MORE on NZ Ballet Teaching
PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2000 4:32 pm 
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an excellent response, tip_toes. and i can see that, even though you are not one of the teahers marian refers to, and you do not know any such teachers, you are STILL worrying, over a period of days, on the matters she raises and their possible relevance....this is a tribute to you, but also an unfortunate consequence of marina's actions. <P>i think this is an appropriate observation:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>In the experience of Ms McDermott, this style of teaching may be evident, on the other hand, in the experience of many other teachers in this country this behaviour no longer exists.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>i believe this too, and that only makes me wonder about the circles marian moves in, which then makes me feel even more circumspect, about her knowledge of the very issues she professes to care about....positive teaching approaches.

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 Post subject: Re: MORE on NZ Ballet Teaching
PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2000 7:04 am 
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as some of these are long posts, and i'm sure there's more to come...i have opened a new thread for this subject, as the situation moves into another phase, where dance teachers are commissioning a larger survey in hopes of looking more objectively at the issues marian raised.<P>please go to:<BR> <A HREF="http://www.criticaldance.com/ubb/Forum7/HTML/000191.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.criticaldance.com/ubb/Forum7/HTML/000191.html</A>

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