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 Post subject: Re: Compatibility Betwixt Dance and Dance......
PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2001 11:30 am 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
Really very interesting Christina. <P>I would like to get back to my question in the post of January llth - do you think you can tell the different in the movement of a ballet dancer doing ballet if that dancer has only studied ballet as opposed to one who has also studied other forms of dance?<P>


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 Post subject: Re: Compatibility Betwixt Dance and Dance......
PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2001 12:31 pm 
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Location: Montreal, QC, Canada
Yes, I think so. There's a difference in the way one uses weight and where the impetus for movement comes from, ie., where your centre is. Dancers who only train in ballet tend to move from a higher centre and tend to drive from that point instead of initiating from the pelvis.


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 Post subject: Re: Compatibility Betwixt Dance and Dance......
PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2001 12:39 pm 
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Location: neworleans, louisiana
I'm not sure, Basheva. The best answer I can give at this time is that I think it depends on just who the dancer studied ballet with. Was the teacher sufficiently well versed in other forms of dance as well as music(and life!) to instill his/her ballet classes with some extra punch?<P>I am thinking of a group of pre-teens I taught who only studied ballet. Each week, I spent about 10-15 minutes going over a ballet piece with a character flavor to it for their annual recital (I've always done recital pieces this way, so that by the time they are performed, there is no chance of panic and we have been able to spend much time polishing and having fun with the piece). <P>When they were standing in a line, holding hands at the beginning of their piece, I wanted to give them a reason -- not just an order to perform -- their epaulement just the right way. So I crudely threw my head to the side and said, "Yeah, whaddya want, ma?" Then, I gently turned my head in that sort of 3/4 way with a tilt, and said, "Yes, my dear mother, what would you like?" <BR> <BR>Does this make sense? It seemed to spark their imagination in a way that a completely conventional approach to ballet might not have done, and it elicited the look that I wanted without my having to personally take their little heads and place them just so. <P>In other words, a ballet teacher who has additional background in theater, music, jazz, character, etc., can infuse his/her ballet classes with these elements so that a student who takes only ballet -- if it is from this kind of teacher -- will still glean some of the knowledge from that teacher as to other forms. <P>More on this from anyone?<BR> <p>[This message has been edited by Christina (edited January 12, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Compatibility Betwixt Dance and Dance......
PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2001 12:48 pm 
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Location: USA
There is compatibility most definitely. One dance form often enhances another. The dancer becomes enriched, more well-rounded in experience, not only technically, but culturally, if taught well. I am speaking in terms of more than "tapballetandjazz" as the experience. I think it's extremely important, and often lacking in today's dancers' training.


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 Post subject: Re: Compatibility Betwixt Dance and Dance......
PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2001 1:17 pm 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Elsewhere, the PNB Principal Olivier Wevers said that he had learnt a great deal from the modern dance he has done and that he had been able to carry that knowledge over to improve his work in the classics.<P>Gailene Stock is keen to do more modern dance at the RBS, as she feels that it teaches the students more about their bodies.<p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited January 12, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Compatibility Betwixt Dance and Dance......
PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2001 6:08 pm 
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Location: Australia
gosh, this thread has run away with itself!<P>stuart, you might be interested to know that the RBS upper school used to have regular graham classes from Diane Gray, who then moved back to New York to head the Graham School - i think i've got that right - anyway, my point is that she was really 'high up there' in terms of the graham method, and yet, any RBS students i heard mention it talked of it with disdain or contempt....quite unappreciative of either who she was, or what she had to offer - one thing is, they are very young, often immature; another is that those who have acquired the technical level to get in there, have usually had quite a focused (if not closeted) upbringing dance-wise before arriving, so generally, they were fairly narrow-minded about ballet and modern dance, and there was not enough acceptance of what they were being offered to really make good use of it. and IMO, that lack of appreciation of more modern genres DID show in their ballet work onstage, when in the company. if stock can move them forward, and i'm sure she can - so much the better.<P>i agree with christina that there are teachers who can offer a far richer experience of ballet than some others. one of my best-ever, most inspirational teachers was an RBS graduate who went into the rambert company, then studied at the graham school in new york, then danced with rambert again when it had moved into its more modern phase....(marilyn williams - now in edinburgh, i believe.) <P>she would give ballet class with parallel as well as turned out positions, with contractions in the plié exercise, etc - with off-center balances, and so on - in other words, her ballet class COULD be a very challenging mix of ballet and graham, and all the better for it, technically as well as dynamically.<P>when gretchen ward warren was last here, she was asked at a teachers seminar which i organised, what training she thought ballet dancers needed these days - in these very terms we are speaking of - and her answer was contemporary/modern class at least twice or three times a week, in addition to ballet every day, of course.<P>basheva, with regard to your very first question, i would think the opposite way:- that, physiologically, for example, a dancer (or anyone else) who spends a lot of time in high heels, would be well-advised to also spend a lot of time without heels......to balance the demands on the musculature....

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 Post subject: Re: Compatibility Betwixt Dance and Dance......
PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2001 11:06 pm 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Very interesting grace. I think a change has taken place and the collaborations with the modern dancers Siobhan Davies and Wayne Mcgregor indicate that.<P>McGregor's 'Symbiote' received excellent media coverage and we will see another collaboration with him this year. The commitment and interest from the dancers was very clear. <p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited January 13, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Compatibility Betwixt Dance and Dance......
PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2001 6:05 am 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
Going back to Marie's post which was an answer to my question as to if one can tell if a ballet dancer dances differently if she/he has other training also ---and Marie thought it would alter the way that ballet dancer would dance.<P>Then one can ask... is that alteration a positive one?


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 Post subject: Re: Compatibility Betwixt Dance and Dance......
PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2001 1:14 pm 
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Location: Montreal, QC, Canada
IMHO, it doesn't really matter. Some people want to do beautiful penche arabesques, some people want to figure out how to get from that penche position to the floor.<P>What matters is what the choreographer wants to achieve or portray. If the end result is to showcase a certain school of dancer then they should hire dancers with that specific training. The problem, from the dancers end, is there are too few jobs in particular companies that wish to cultivate a particular style, a la, NYCB. <P>I was wondering though, if a ballet teacher gives a "classical" class without any turned in plies, etc., but still has a varied dance background, is that diversity still imparted to the students? And if so, how?<p>[This message has been edited by Marie (edited January 13, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Compatibility Betwixt Dance and Dance......
PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2001 2:51 pm 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
Welll, Marie - first I have to tell you that - I have never given anything other than a classical ballet class, because that is all I know.<P>However, I have observed for many years an excellent teacher who was extremely knowledgeable in both ballet and modern. She taught the class before mine at the college where I taught - so I spent literally years watching her. When she would teach a classical ballet class, which she was entirely capable of, she would then also teach variations on a theme.<P>For instance, she might be teaching how to do a classical pirouette, with the lifted leg in passe' and turned out. But when the students had that "message" well in hand, she would then say, it is also done with the leg turned inwardly in modern and therefore mechanically a pirouette can be accomplished either way. But the ballet technique is turned out. Therefore the students did know that the turned out leg was correct for ballet, but a pirouette could be mechanically accomplished both ways.<P>I think it was a plus for the students - they were college level - to know this.<P>She and I once danced together - I think I related this in another thread. We took the same exact choreography and did a duo - together - at the exact same time. It was extremely interesting. It seemed as if everytime I was going up - she was going down. We started together, ended together, did the same choreography, hit certain points of the music at the same time, but it looked altogether differently on each one of us. It was a fascinating experience as we watched it develop in the mirror and then on tape.<P><p>[This message has been edited by Basheva (edited January 13, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Compatibility Betwixt Dance and Dance......
PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2001 11:34 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 54
Location: Glen Gardner, NJ
Berry and Marie---on Graham. An early PBS show on Martha and her company said she wouldn't audition you unless you could prove at least 9 years of ballet training. I'm sure the company never taught ballet but had immense respect for all it does for a dancer. Many experienced dancers(well versed in their chosen form) take classes from dancers whose movement they admire---be it modern, ballet,improv,jazz or even something ethnic. They know that the movements studied will stretch their abilities and appeal. I known at least a 1/2 dozen (M&F) SF modern(let us say extended or multi diciplined) dancers / choreographers who are truly spectaular; but, only one has or shares a company at this time.


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