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 Post subject: Re: Dancing In a Big Way
PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2001 1:34 am 
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basheva, you are really poetic, as well as being full of good advice! Image

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 Post subject: Re: Dancing In a Big Way
PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2001 7:23 am 
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Thank you most kindly, Grace. You are a credit to your name.


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 Post subject: Re: Dancing In a Big Way
PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2001 4:19 pm 
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ha ha Image

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 Post subject: Re: Dancing In a Big Way
PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2001 5:31 pm 
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Grace - when you have time - I know that you are busy - I would really like to hear about some of the methods and techniques you have employed or seen employed to accomplish the goal of this thread - moving in a large way.


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 Post subject: Re: Dancing In a Big Way
PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2001 5:50 pm 
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gosh, basheva, when i read everyone else's suggestions in these threads, i feel pretty unimaginative - usually....<P>maybe one thing i could say is that someone mentioned cultural differences - i think it was berry in the jazz syllabus thread - and i find this to be true. and in this regard, australians have a reputation for being big movers - it is their main identifying characteristic in europe - you hear people say it all the time - identifiable not just in dance, but even on the footpath - they stride through space, so can be noticed even on the street!<P>but it is still something one wants to <B>encourage</B> in the dance studio.<P>i liked the idea of doing something big, medium and small, to cultivate that awareness of possibilities.....<P>i have used a very small studio, and a quite large professional studio, in the same year with the same kids, and found that when they became used to the small one, they didn't use much space in the big one - and if they became used to the big one, they then, all of a sudden, couldn't fit things in the small one - very UNadaptable!<P>also found, to my frustration, after rehearsing a dance for up to a year in a small studio, that when it was put in a big one, it developed that they had NO CONCEPT of the shapes they were making in space, in terms of the floor pattern - it 'appeared' that they did, as long as they were in the same space - boy, did that make me mad! - because it was such an unintelligent way to have approached the learning - as long as they could mimic, they were OK, but they hadn't absorbed the awareness of what they were doing intellectually, to be able to reproduce the patterns, larger......a good lesson for me....<P>getting back to your Q - hmmm.....of course i use the basic concepts of 'reaching' and of 'extending' a shape into infinity, ....<P>thinking about this very practically, in terms of my recent teaching experience with children under 15 (mostly), i think i have had much more problems this year in getting them to 'contain' things; that is what i remember nagging about, a lot more this past year, than about breadth of movement.....<p>[This message has been edited by grace (edited January 09, 2001).]

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 Post subject: Re: Dancing In a Big Way
PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2001 9:43 am 
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Grace, I found Berry's post about the cultural differences of great interst too. <P>I remember reading Nureyev saying that he found that Americans and Russians danced similarly in a large way and he felt that this was true because of the breadth of the respective countries - which would hold true for Australians. However it wouldn't explain why people from Holland dance in a large way. <P>And placing it in the context of the studio space is interesting too. There was a very tiny studio here - really teeny-tiny, but taught by a fantastic teacher Madame Kaliskis. Four of her students were among the original recipients of the Ford Foundation Scholarship Grants - they were chosen by Jillana and went to SAB in New York on those scholarships. They were BEAUTIFUL dancers, but because they had done just about all their training in such a tiny space I don't believe any of them really "made it" - in the larger world of New York. <P>I took from Madame Kaliskis twice and while I liked her and felt I could learn a great deal from her - I couldn't bear the tiny space - it was literally one grande jete' long in the diagonal. I really love to cover space - R E A L L Y - C O V E R - S P A C E--------------><P>I was always blessed to teach in large studios (public schools or private) and so I didn't run into the problem of having the students adapt. I guess the only comparison would be when the students dance in a group as opposed to going in singles or doubles. In a group setting - like a corps de ballet - everyone has to stay within their own space. So there is adapting there.


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 Post subject: Re: Dancing In a Big Way
PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2001 3:41 pm 
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yes basheva: holland DOES present an interesting puzzle, doesn't it? - my guess there, is that it may reflect the tolerant broad-minded social views that holland seems to embrace...but i wonder if berry has a theory to put to us (please, berry?).....<P>one more thought i had yesterday, in response to your question, is using imagery - but again, this is really standard stuff - you know, like martha graham was famous for - invoking images of eagles in flight and so on - i am no martha graham, but sometimes these images just COME to you, partly out of frustration, i suppose....! one which i remember christopher gable using, was of 'battleship ballotés' - (not for travel, but for big dynamics) - he referred to those old B/W B-grade war movies, and asked the students to be battleships, going up and over the waves heroically......in a balloté en l'air exercise at the barre. it worked!<P>i find it interesting that (in my experience) kids use whatever space they get given, so that, if i am working in the theatre studio, which is quite large, and i have only a few kids that day - maybe 2 or 3 - they still place themselves across the room (so i have to talk loud! Image ) and they use the whole studio to dance, even if they are rehearsing something where they know the stage space is far far smaller......frustrating. i have to cordon off the imaginary stage area, to get them to stay in it.<P>and i have found that when i teach in the small studio i have at home, which originally i thought was TOO small for anything other than a private lesson, it has actually helped to build a more personal bond with the students, because there is a more intimate feel - they can see your facial expressions better and you don't have to talk loud to get heard, and they are all more accessible for re-assurance or a touch, etc....it has had benefits i would never have anticipated...

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 Post subject: Re: Dancing In a Big Way
PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2001 3:42 pm 
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probably i should have added, that my strategy now, is to have each class do one lesson in each venue, each week...to get the best of both worlds!

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 Post subject: Re: Dancing In a Big Way
PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2001 8:27 am 
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR> holland DOES present an interesting puzzle, doesn't it? - my guess there, is that it may reflect the tolerant broad-minded social views that holland seems to embrace...but i wonder if berry has a theory to put to us (please, berry?)......<HR></BLOCKQUOTE> <P>I have a nice guy from Australien – his name is Troy Mundy - her in Germany at the moment. Do you happen to know him Grace? He is choreographing a piece called “EGO”.<P>He worked in Amsterdam (National Ballet), in the USA and of course in Australien. He seems to be (or should be) an expert in the question “different cultures”.<P>To the idea of his choreographie he wrote me:<BR>Troy: “I decided to make this piece after reading the book “Cultures and Organisation”, which contained an amusing story over an American who applied and received a job in a Dutch Company, and a Dutch man who applied a job and received a job in an American Company.<BR>After 2 months, the Dutch Company had to stop empolying the American work, realising that he didn’t have the high level of all the abilities he’d displayed on his resume. The American Company however was delighted. Their new Dutch employer had many abilities that he hadn’t mentioned on his resume.<BR>This story simply highlighted the pressures of living in different cultures that accept and promote different levels of ego.<P>Berry: actually this is not my experience. I have the feeling Dutch are also blowing up their resumee. At least much more as German are doing. German are in a way more modest in dance classes. As I said: they like “dancing on the spot” and “dancing in the back (of the class)”. I have to train my German students not to hide themselves, when they are going to auditions. <P>Do you see any connection between “staying in the front” and “move bigger”?<P>Yes, Holland is a small country. But Dutch have a big mouth (ha,ha). Perhaps they think “all the oceans belong to them”. And from that point of view, Holland is really big Image<P><BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Dancing In a Big Way
PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2001 10:36 am 
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Now that you mention it Berry, I do see some correlation between those that stand in the front and those that move in a large way.<P>I have seen dancers in class who were really quite good, but always stood in the midst of the group in center work and could literally make themselves invisible. It was an interesting phenomenon. Sometimes I found that the teacher actualy couldn't remember that person being in class, when I later mentioned how well that student did. And, no, it wasn't entirely the teacher's fault.<P>As for me, I almost always stood in front. As long as the teacher approved, and I could do the work, that was my choice. I do like to move in a large way - and in front there is more room. I also like to challenge myself because in the front there is no one to follow. I also like very much going down the diagonal first, again because of the challenge and room to dance. My second choice is to go down the diagonal last - again because of having more room. <P>I am trying to remember if there were any dancers in class who stood in the front and also didn't not enjoy covering ground, and I can't. In fact I had one teacher who would search out students to place in front so that they would move more largely, but usually that only lasted for one class. That student would by the next class - place themselves in the back. <P>One dancer told me she didn't like to stand in front because if she made a mistake that would embarrass her - I guess that never bothered me. <P>As a teacher, I regularly had the students change lines all the time - back people moving front, front people moving to the back. And that seemed to work.


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 Post subject: Re: Dancing In a Big Way
PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2001 5:20 pm 
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basheva, as an examiner i can verify that some students have the knack of making themselves invisible even in very small groups (say, 4 candidates)...and that's even when the observer is trained to give equal eyetime to everyone! part-way through the exam, you look down and see that, "my god! the page is blank! what on earth can i write?!" - panic stations ---so you TRY REAL HARD to JUST watch that one for a while, and believe me it's difficult! and then even when you HAVE done, you still don't have any words in your head....wierd! (of course, you still have to fill the page....) Image

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 Post subject: Re: Dancing In a Big Way
PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2001 5:30 pm 
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just saw your very funny post on the previous page, berry - and i can understand that culture/ego story (no, i don't know your friend)....<P>in a way that 'ego' story is the story of my life! i am very objective, aware of all my faults, and quite quick to point them out to people, qualifying much of what i say....so i don't get the jobs that less-qualified people DO - because they are more self-promoting.<P>this happens particularly in 2 ways - one is that i find younger people today have been TRAINED to self-promote; and the other is that american universities offered dance degrees for many years before dance was an acceptable subject for tertiary study in australia. because of this, when australia started setting up dance programs in universities - who was available to staff them? - who had masters degrees or higher in dance? only americans.....so they were imported...even though we now know that their dance degrees were not at all of the level that we now expect..however once these people got footholds in these institutions from the outset, they have gemerally proven impossible to displace! (that comment is not aimed at anyone, but rather a reflective comment on what happened in the 80's and 90's....)

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 Post subject: Re: Dancing In a Big Way
PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2001 5:53 pm 
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It seems to me that there may be cultural differences in how people dance "in a big way". Which is an interesting turn of thought - .........


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 Post subject: Re: Dancing In a Big Way
PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2001 1:49 am 
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Dear Grace, Basheva, et al.,<P>Having found my way back to dance, I remeber that when I danced previously I used always to stand in the back, or the middle, hardly ever by choice at the front!<P>Now I am thinking a bit differently to then. I think a lot might be in the mind/attitude. If I think bigger or about being more expansive and expressive then I may end up being so. I still make silly mistakes, but I will give going in the front row a try. I think my port de bras are better than before because I "feel" them more.<P>(By the way Basheva, you gave some advice on grands battements about not letting them drop down but placing them down. I have been doing this and I find it has been helping in getting them to go up in the first place! The supporting leg is an important thing to think about too!) Sorry to interrupt the topic.<P>What about the fact that men jump higher, etc than women, does this affect spacing?<P>Regards to all,<P>Nigel.<P>------------------<BR>

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 Post subject: Re: Dancing In a Big Way
PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2001 7:07 am 
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Nigel, the fact that men jump higher than women does affect spacing, and it also affects timing. The men should be dancing to music of a different tempo - a bit slower to allow them time to reach that jump and use the plie'.<P>I am glad that my advice about lowering the grand battement leg, rather than letting it drop is working for you. It does increase the strength of the leg and therefore the power to lift. And it will not increase the bulk of the leg, either. Nothing in the ballet (that I can think of) is allowed to drop - unless purposely choreographed to do so. <P>I also think that as we grow more comfortable in class, and as we get a bit older too, we lose some of that shyness about making mistakes. Don't think of them as mistakes - think of them as opportunities to improve the next time. <BR>


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