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 Post subject: Rural Retreat - Lausanne 2006
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2005 4:21 am 
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Posts: 142
Location: London
December 2005

PRESS RELEASE

International heads of ballet companies and ballet schools meet to discuss crucial issues of ballet training for the 21st century

At a time when serious questions are being raised about the training of ballet dancers for the 21st century, the Directors of the world’s top ballet companies are meeting with the heads of the ballet training schools from across the globe to focus on the future training of ballet dancers. This crucial meeting takes place at the international Rural Retreat, The 21st Century Dancer: Nurturing Talent” The event is produced by DanceEast in partnership with the Prix de Lausanne and will take place directly following the 2006 Prix in Vevey, Switzerland from 29 January - 1 February 2006.

Key issues identified for discussion by the directors taking part are:
• Ensuring that keen young people starting training at the age of 10, many as boarders are provided with a wider frame of reference beyond dance; a full academic education and social environment
• Looking at the problems of a young and short career; life after the stage and those who don’t make it to a professional career; seeking guidance from sport on how to compensate for short, injury prone careers
• Dealing with young people who come from a “star” MTV consumer society – a society of instant gratification and star culture where the work ethic is not part of the culture
• Making ballet relevant to young people growing up in today’s globalised, multi-cultural society

The Retreat will also provide an opportunity to question
• Whether young dancers today are quipped with the necessary skills required to work in today’s ballet companies or if there is a mismatch between training and what is needed
• How to eliminate stereotypes
• How to raise the profession to adult status
• How to facilitate more interface between company dancers and students
• How to train dancers to be part of team not on being a star
• If training today is too comfortable
• Are we training ballet dancers or classical dancers


Assis Carriero, Director of Dance East said: “Training is at the heart of the world of ballet and dance. Companies around the globe rely on the schools to supply their dancers; the schools need the companies to employ their students. Yet more often than not these two worlds have gone about their business and had little time to communicate. Are the graduating dancers equipped for the jobs being offered them by the companies or is there a mismatch between what is being produced by the schools and what is needed by the companies?

“Today directors of both schools and companies realise the importance of communication and want to clarify their respective responsibilities.
What both have in common is young people – highly gifted young people who from a very young age make a decision quite single-mindedly to follow a career in ballet.”

The 3rd Rural Retreat will be facilitated by Sue Hoyle and Prof. Christopher Bannerman and guest speakers are Serge Dorny, Director General
of the Lyon National Opera and Richard Meen, M.D., D. Psych CRCP Clinical
Director, Kinark Child and Family Service Associate Professor of Psychiatry, University of Toronto.


Members of the Rural Retreats Steering Group include Assis Carreiro (Director, DanceEast), Jane Hackett (Director, Central School of Ballet), Roanne Dods (Director, The Jerwood Charitable Foundation), Sue Hoyle (Deputy Director, Clore Leadership Foundation), Prof. Christopher Bannerman (Head of Centre, RESCEN/ Middlesex University); Alistair Spalding (Artistic Director and Chief Executive, Sadler’s Wells), Deborah Bull (Creative Director, ROH2/The Clore Studio), David Nixon (Artistic Director, Northern Ballet Theatre), Jeanette Siddall (Director of Dance, Arts Council England), Mavis Staines (Artistic Director, Canada’s National Ballet School / Artistic President, Prix de Lausanne), Bruce Sansom (freelance producer), and Jeanette Siddall (Dance Director, Arts Council England) and Cynthia Harvey (international teacher and coach).

The 3rd Rural Retreat is supported by Arts Council England East, The Jerwood Charitable Foundation, the Prix de Lausanne,The Rudolf Nureyev Foundation, Freed of London, Ricki Gail Conway, Harlequin Floors and the East of England Development Agency.

Directors confirmed for Rural Retreat: Nurturing the 21st century Dancer
1. Australian Ballet - David McAllister
2. Bayerisches Staatsballett - Ivan Liska
3. Boston Ballet - Mikko Nissinen
4. Dutch National Ballet - Ted Brandsen
5. English National Ballet - Wayne Eagling
6. Lyon Opera Ballet - Yorgos Loukos
7. Northern Ballet Theatre - David Nixon
8. Royal Ballet of Flanders - Kathryn Bennetts
9. Royal Swedish Ballet - Madeleine Onne
10. Scottish Ballet - Ashley Page
11. Stuttgart Ballet - Reid Anderson
12. The National Ballet of Canada - Karen Kain
13. The Royal Ballet, Covent Garden - Jeanetta Laurence
14. Finnish National Ballet - Dinna Bjorn
15. Ballet du Grand Theatre de Geneve – Philippe Cohen


Confirmed Ballet Schools:
1. Australian Ballet School - Marilyn Rowe
2. Beijing Dance Academy, China – Lin Yang
3. Canada's National Ballet School - Mavis Staines
4. Cuban National Ballet School - Ramona de Saa
5. Ecole Superieure de Danse de Cannes - Monique Loudieres
6. English National Ballet School - Jane Hackett (as of Jan 06)
7. Elmhurst School of Dance and Ballet - Mary Goodhew
8. Hamburg Ballet School - Marianne Kruuse
9. Houston Ballet Academy - Shelly Power
10. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School (ABT) - Franco De Vita
11. John Cranko Schule - Tadeusz Matacz
12. Royal Conservatory, The Hague - Wim Broeckx
13. Royal Swedish Ballet School - Kerstin Lidström
14. Schweizerische Ballettberufschule, Zurich - Oliver Matz
15. The Royal Ballet School – Gailene Stock


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2005 4:27 am 
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I was lucky enough to be present at the time when these ideas were discussed by the different persons participating in the initiative.

There is plenty of food for thought and undoubtedly there will be a lot of controversy regarding some of the issues for discussion. Still, it is important to see that dialogue in the dance world is happening at all levels and that healthy discussions are being encouraged across the borders.

How "international" the forum and its outcomes will be is still arguable, as some of the most important ballet companies and schools are absent from the debate...

However, putting students and young dancers at the centre of the discussion is most encouraging for the future of the art form!


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 9:36 am 
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PRESS RELEASE

Leipzig Ballet, Lyon and Prague Conservatoires join line-up for International summit on ballet training for the 21st century

Paul Chalmer, Director of Germany's Leipzig Ballet and Jaroslav Slavický
from the National Conservatoire for Dance in Prague, are among the latest Directors invited to attend the international summit on ballet training, The 21st Century Dancer: Nurturing Talent. The international Rural Retreat is produced by DanceEast in partnership with the Prix de Lausanne and will take place directly following the 2006 Prix in Vevey, Switzerland from 29 January - 1 February 2006.

At a time when serious questions are being raised about the training of ballet dancers for the 21st century, the Directors of the world's top ballet companies are meeting with the heads of the ballet training schools from across the globe to focus on the future training of ballet dancers. This crucial meeting has attracted 32 participants from 12 different nations as far afield as China and Canada, Australia, Finland, and the UK.

Key issues identified for discussion by the directors taking part are:
* Ensuring that keen young people starting training at the age of 10, many as boarders are provided with a wider frame of reference beyond dance; a full academic education and social environment
* Looking at the problems of a young and short career; life after the stage and those who don't make it to a professional career; seeking guidance from sport on how to compensate for short, injury prone careers
* Dealing with young people who come from a "star" MTV consumer society - a society of instant gratification and star culture where the work ethic is not part of the culture
* Making ballet relevant to young people growing up in today's globalised, multi-cultural society

The Retreat will also provide an opportunity to question
* Whether young dancers today are quipped with the necessary skills required to work in today's ballet companies or if there is a mismatch between training and what is needed
* How to eliminate stereotypes
* How to raise the profession to adult status
* How to facilitate more interface between company dancers and students
* How to train dancers to be part of team not on being a star
* If training today is too comfortable
* Are we training ballet dancers or classical dancers


Assis Carriero, Director of Dance East said: "Training is at the heart of the world of ballet and dance. Companies around the globe rely on the schools to supply their dancers; the schools need the companies to employ their students. Yet more often than not these two worlds have gone about their business and had little time for open dialogue. Are the graduating dancers equipped for the jobs being offered them by the companies or is there a mismatch between what is being produced by the schools and what is needed by the companies?

"Today directors of both schools and companies realise the importance of communication and want to clarify their respective responsibilities.
What both have in common is young people - highly gifted young people who from a very young age make a decision quite single-mindedly to follow a career in ballet."

The 3rd Rural Retreat will be facilitated by Sue Hoyle and Prof. Christopher Bannerman and guest speakers are Serge Dorny, Director General
of the Lyon National Opera and Richard Meen, M.D., D. Psych CRCP Clinical
Director, Kinark Child and Family Service Associate Professor of Psychiatry, University of Toronto.


Notes to Editors
Following the Retreat there will be simultaneous major press conferences at the Royal Opera House in London and the Hotel des Trois Couronnes, Vevey, on 1 February with Minister for Culture, David Lammy as a guest speaker.

Members of the Rural Retreats Steering Group include Assis Carreiro (Director, DanceEast), Jane Hackett (Director, English National Ballet School), Roanne Dods (Director, The Jerwood Charitable Foundation), Sue Hoyle (Deputy Director, Clore Leadership Foundation), Prof. Christopher Bannerman (Head of Centre, RESCEN/ Middlesex University); Alistair Spalding (Artistic Director and Chief Executive, Sadler's Wells), Deborah Bull (Creative Director, ROH2/The Clore Studio), David Nixon (Artistic Director, Northern Ballet Theatre), Jeanette Siddall (Director of Dance, Arts Council England), Mavis Staines (Artistic Director, Canada's National Ballet School / Artistic President, Prix de Lausanne), Bruce Sansom (Director, Central School of Ballet), and Jeanette Siddall (Dance Director, Arts Council England) and Cynthia Harvey (international teacher and coach).

The 3rd Rural Retreat is supported by Arts Council England East, The Jerwood Charitable Foundation, The Rudolf Nureyev Foundation, Arts Council England, Freed of London, Harlequin Floors, the Prix de Lausanne, Ricki Gail Conway and the East of England Development Agency.








Directors confirmed for Rural Retreat: Nurturing the 21st century Dancer

1. Alberta Ballet, Canada - Jean Grand-Maître
2. Australian Ballet - David McAllister
3. Ballet du Grand Théatre de Genève - Philippe Cohen
4. Bayerisches Staatsballett - Ivan Liska
5. Boston Ballet - Mikko Nissinen
6. Dutch National Ballet - Ted Brandsen
7. English National Ballet - Wayne Eagling
8. Finnish National Ballet - Dinna Bjorn
9. Leipzig Ballet - Paul Chalmer
10. National Ballet of Canada - Karen Kain
11. Northern Ballet Theatre - David Nixon
12. Royal Ballet of Flanders - Kathryn Bennetts
13. Royal Swedish Ballet - Madeleine Onne
14. Stuttgart Ballet - Reid Anderson
15. The Royal Ballet, Covent Garden - Jeanetta Laurence


Confirmed Ballet Schools:

1. Australian Ballet School - Marilyn Rowe
2. Beijing Dance Academy, China - Lin Yang
3. Central School of Ballet (London) - Bruce Sansom
4. Conservatoire National Superieur de Danse de Lyon - Jean-Claude
Ciappara
5. Finnish National Ballet School - Hannele Niiranen
6. English National Ballet School - Jane Hackett
7. Elmhurst School for Dance in association with BRB - Mary Goodhew
8. Hamburg Ballet School - Marianne Kruuse
9. Houston Ballet Ben Stevenson Academy - Shelly Power
10. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School (ABT) - Franco De Vita
11. John Cranko Schule - Tadeusz Matacz
12. National Ballet School of Canada - Mavis Staines
13. National Conversatoire for Dance, Prague - Jaroslav Slavický
14. Royal Conservatory, The Hague - Wim Broeckx
15. Royal Swedish Ballet School - Kerstin Lidström
16. Zurich School of Music, Drama and Dance - Oliver Matz
17. The Royal Ballet School (England) - Gailene Stock

For further information, images and interviews please contact:
Assis Carreiro at DanceEast on 01473 295238 or assis@danceeast.co.uk <mailto:assis@danceeast.co.uk>
Sue Rose on 0780 858 7248 or suerose.pr@hotmail.co.uk <mailto:suerose.pr@hotmail.co.uk>


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2006 7:33 am 
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press release

International ballet leaders to set up network to address industry needs

DanceEast's 3rd Rural Retreat: The 21st Century Dancer - Nurturing Talent, concluded this morning in Vevey, Switzerland with a record 32 directors of ballet companies and schools from 12 nations across four continents united in their determination to work collectively and individually to strengthen the training and professional development of dancers for the 21st century.

The directors agreed to create an international ballet network to facilitate continued dialogue and address the needs of the industry. The network will promote international exchange and champion the art form as well as ensure its relevance to the breadth of communities served by companies around the globe. A web forum will be developed imminently.

The three-day gathering allowed directors to come together for the first time to debate openly and constructively the pressing issues facing dancers and the art form in a rapidly changing globalized world. Open dialogue was stimulated by guest speakers Richard Meen M.D., D. Psych CRCP Clinical, Kinark Child and Family Service Associate Professor of Psychiatry, University of Toronto and Serge Dorny, Director General of the Lyon National Opera, who provoked and challenged current thinking and the relevance of the art form to today's and to future societies. Dorny asked directors to look at their heritage, seeing it afresh in the context of today's diverse societies, ensuring widening participation and attracting new audiences.

The directors of schools and companies identified models of good practice in the selection and development of dancers from student to professional, and committed themselves to achieving smooth and effective transition between training and company life.

Concerns were raised about the level of resources available for dance training and performance. The directors recognised that like sport, ballet is an elite activity requiring rigorous training to produce professionals of outstanding excellence. Effective and appropriate collaboration with educational policy makers was felt to be paramount to ensure worldwide standards of excellence in training professional dance artists.

Assis Carreiro, Director of DanceEast said: "This Retreat has been a unique gathering of directors of both schools and companies who have come together with a wealth of backgrounds and experiences to share their vision and concerns for the future of ballet. It has been an intense and challenging journey where all have shared their issues and concerns in an environment conducive to open debate and discussion and where they have agreed to disagree in a spirit of unity and with a passion for the future of the art form.'

Sue Hoyle and Prof. Christopher Bannerman facilitated the 3rd Rural Retreat. Members of the Rural Retreats Steering Group include Assis Carreiro (Director, DanceEast), Jane Hackett (Director, Central School of Ballet), Roanne Dods (Director, The Jerwood Charitable Foundation), Sue Hoyle (Deputy Director, Clore Leadership Foundation), Prof. Christopher Bannerman (Head of Centre, RESCEN/ Middlesex University); Alistair Spalding (Artistic Director and Chief Executive, Sadler's Wells), Deborah Bull (Creative Director, ROH2/The Clore Studio), David Nixon (Artistic Director, Northern Ballet Theatre), Jeanette Siddall (Director of Dance, Arts Council England), Mavis Staines (Artistic Director, Canada's National Ballet School / Artistic President, Prix de Lausanne), Bruce Sansom (freelance producer and Director designate of Central School of Ballet), and Jeanette Siddall (Dance Director, Arts Council England) and Cynthia Harvey (international teacher and coach).

The 3rd Rural Retreat has been supported by Arts Council England East, The Jerwood Charitable Foundation, The Rudolf Nureyev Foundation, Arts Council England, Freed of London, Harlequin Floors, the Prix de Lausanne, Ricki Gail Conway and the East of England Development Agency.

Artistic Directors in Attendance:

1. Alberta Ballet - Jean Grand-Maitre
2. Australian Ballet - David McAllister
3. Ballet du Grand Theatre du Geneve - Philippe Cohen
4. Bayerisches Staatsballett - Ivan Liska
5. Boston Ballet - Mikko Nissinen
6. Dutch National Ballet - Ted Brandsen
7. English National Ballet - Wayne Eagling
8. Finnish National Ballet - Dinna Bjorn
9. Leipzig Ballet - Paul Chalmer
10. National Ballet of Canada - Karen Kain
11. Northern Ballet Theatre - David Nixon
12. Royal Ballet of Flanders - Kathryn Bennetts
13. Royal Swedish Ballet - Madeleine Onne
14. Stuttgart Ballet - Reid Anderson
15. The Royal Ballet, Covent Garden - Jeanetta Laurence


Ballet Schools in Attendance:

1. Australian Ballet School - Marilyn Rowe
2. Beijing Dance Academy, China - Lin Yang
3. Central School of Ballet (London) - Bruce Sansom
4. Conservatoire National Superieur de Danse de Lyon - Jean-Claude
Ciappara
5. Finnish National Ballet School - Hannele Niiranen
6. English National Ballet School - Jane Hackett
7. Elmhurst School for Dance in association with BRB - Mary Goodhew
8. Hamburg Ballet School - Marianne Kruuse
9. Houston Ballet Ben Stevenson Academy - Shelley Power
10. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School (ABT) - Franco De Vita
11. John Cranko Schule - Tadeusz Matacz
12. National Ballet School of Canada - Mavis Staines
13. National Conversatoire for Dance, Prague - Jaroslav Slavicky
14. Royal Conservatory, The Hague - Wim Broeckx
15. Royal Swedish Ballet School - Kerstin Lidström
16. Schweizerische Ballettberufschule, Zurich - Oliver Matz
17. The Royal Ballet School - Gailene Stock


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 1:08 am 
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Psychology is key to finding next Darcey Bussell
By Louise Jury, Arts Correspondent
The Independent
Published: 03 February 2006
Quote:
British ballet should adopt psychological performance techniques used by the country's sporting elite to help find the new generation of Darcey Bussells.

Up-to-date training could help Britain to overcome the dearth of home-grown stars in its main companies where Russians, eastern Europeans, Spaniards and Cubans have taken many of the best jobs in recent years, insiders said.

An international conference in Switzerland of 32 ballet leaders from 12 countries was convened this week by British dance administrators because of concerns about training and inadequate collaboration between dance schools and the ballet companies.
READ MORE


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 Post subject: No, No and No
PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 4:03 am 
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Posts: 358
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No, No and No.

There is something very wrong with this debate, if it really took the turn reflected in the Independent article above.

Someone, somewhere, is pushing to assimilate classical dancing to sport.

IT IS NOT A SPORT.

WHO is Misha Botting the sports psychologist, and WHAT locus does he have, to grab us by the throat like that?

We rattle on about "excellence" but no-one cares to define that term.

Does it mean turning nine turns? Jumping over a house?

Or does it mean being as "excellent" as Bournonville, who sang and played the piano and violin - admirably - spoke German, French, Italian, English and Swedish fluently, learnt Russian at age 70, drew and painted, composed sixty ballets, and was thoroughly conversant, not only with the entire lyric opera repertoire, but with the major philosophical and scientific debates of the day? Is that "excellent" enough?

And what's a "star", if most choreographers today are so ignorant of the sort of things that Bournonville or Jules Perrot were NOT ignorant of, and so ignorant of the principles of musical composition, that precious little of what's produced at the moment is worth five minutes' of a dancer's time?

Or does "excellence" mean "learning" from psychologists how to trample over one's rivals like some thrusting Olympic gymnast, and "clamber to the top" before one retires, badly injured, at age 28?

And what's a "star", if 90% of the classical troupes in Europe and the USA have been closed down for lack of funds?

Isn't that our problem? This monetarist privateer ideology, where everything, including art, must slither and crawl and become "commercial" and "saleable"?

Where in the USA, the artists' photographs appear on the programme, with the words SPONSORED BY some mustard-and-hotdog firm underneath? What kind of artistic freedom does that leave them?

What's "excellence", when even classical dancers are no longer certain what's meant by "classical" dance, and dilute, water down, the technique with tics and mannerisms from modern dance?

Finally, only in the last fifteen years have we begun to realise that striking, tormenting and making humiliating remarks about people's body, is not a "teaching tool". Why turn the clock back, to introduce Soviet-style brainwashing methods that are simply another form of torment?

In any event, below a Letter (unpublished) to the Telegraph, in response to a similar misguided statement by Jeffrey Taylor late in 2005.


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 Post subject: Reply to Jeffrey Taylor
PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 4:07 am 
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REPLY TO JEFFREY TAYLOR’s PIECE
dtletters@telegraph.co.uk
nreynolds@telegraph.co.uk

Sirs,

Allow me to take exception with an article by your arts correspondent Nigel Reynolds in Telegraph dated November 7th 2005, under the byline “Why Political Correctness is killing off our Dying Swans”.

Mr. Reynolds has relied, essentially, upon quotes from one Jeffrey Taylor, co-chairman of the National Dance Awards, who told the press earlier this month that British ballet training had become "a disgrace".

As someone who lives in France and has much occasion to observe a very fine ensemble, namely the Paris Opera Ballet, I believe it wrong, quite wrong, to call British training a “disgrace”. If that be true, then it has long been so! because virtually all the leading lights in Ninette de Valois’ original enterprise were Commonwealth born and trained – including, by the bye, Monica Mason herself.

Were the English product so great a “disgrace” as Mr. Taylor suggests, no self-respecting international star would cover himself in ridicule to appear amongst a “rinkie-dink” corps de ballet at Covent Garden or Birmingham, when he could preen on the stage of the American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet or the POB

Moreover, whether all the “international stars” that we have taken to buying, be great artists, is moot. Some are, some may so become. Others are simply expert in whatever technical stunt happens to be flavour-of-the-month, from Schools, notably those in the ex-Soviet bloc, that have no qualms about twisting the human form into a pretzel. Alina Cojocaru, who is but 23 years of age, already suffers from severe disorders, that she attributes to her Kiev schooling.

The big American and Western European theatres can buy, or, if you prefer, “cherry-pick” from amongst six billion people, the world’s thirty or forty smartest, toughest, least injury-prone survivors.

But an art form is not – or should not be - a Darwinian battle for survival of the fittest.

Building a great artist takes time. Ninette de Valois knew that if a lad leave the School at 16, he will need six to seven years on stage, not only to refine his technique and stagecraft, but to educate himself as a human being, before he may hold down a major role creditably. But today, as public subsidy to the great theatres is everywhere slashed, and replaced by private-sector sponsors, for whom “art” is just another market-ploy, we are expected to be Commercial. We must sell. We jockey and vie for sponsorship. We are in a rush. So we hold auditions, and “buy” a pre-cooked, Microwave-able star.

Secondly, and more importantly, if we are to go by Mr. Taylor’s view of “proper” dance training, it would appear to hearken back to an outdated approach, akin to sadism, now thoroughly discredited not only from a moral, but from a scientific anatomical standpoint.

For example, Mr. Taylor writes,

"You have to push their bottom forward, pull their stomach in and push the shoulders down and back. But you're not allowed to now, so they're being disadvantaged right from the start.

He would appear, rather clearly, to refer to the now-discredited pelvis tuck, that destroys the knee, and the old-style Vaganova “crack a walnut between the shoulder blades” that projects the rib cage and shortens the spine. As he himself puts it “You are asking students to get into the most unnatural and often painful position”. Quite. Painful, unnatural, and, in the light of modern kinesiological science, WRONG.

And Mr. Taylor continues, "When I trained 30 years ago, the teachers would be on their hands and knees forever pushing your feet out”.

Yes indeed, that WAS the way turnout was often, wrongly, trained thirty years ago. As turnout comes from inside the body, from the placement of the torso over the hip-joint, that allows the head of the femur the freedom to rotate, but PRECLUDES forcing the turnout in the foot, “pushing your feet out” is an accident waiting to happen a few years down the road.

As for Mr Taylor’s claim that "dumbing down and political correctness" are putting British students at a disadvantage, again, the example he gives is, to say the least, most unfortunate.

Mr. Taylor reports,

“The contrast with what goes on elsewhere is very marked. Three years ago I watched a class of boys at the Vaganova Academy [St Petersburg's top school]. "They were being worked into the ground. They were crippled, sweating wrecks. And then their teacher turned to me and said, 'When the physical gives out, that is when the artist appears."

Well, sweat goes with the terrain, but we do NOT want people to be “crippled wrecks”.

A dancer who is being “worked into the ground” will come in groggy one morning, turn a knee for the fourth time in the season, and be out for six months.

Lest we forget – and Mr. Taylor, as a former dancer, does seem to have forgot – a single serious injury may end one’s career. Might one venture to suggest that the Vaganova School staff, in a system still heavily scarred by Soviet practices, would not necessarily care to brief Mr. Taylor on the School’s “kill rate” – how many serious injuries, anorexia cases, nervous breakdown, how many drop-outs on account of permanent structural damage?

A “kill rate”, by the way, that is certainly not exclusive to the Academies of the ex-USSR.

In the light of the above, I question the underlying premises for Mr. Taylor’s arguments, and would thus be grateful, Sirs, were you to publish this letter.

K.L. Kanter

November 2005
http://auguste.vestris.free.fr


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 8:20 am 
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I notice that one of the stated aims of this international meeting was:

Quote:
• How to train dancers to be part of team not on being a star


However in the Independent article individul coaching is suggested for "the mental training designed to develop the necessary resilience and determination to succeed."

In other words, not being part of a team. I'm starting to feel a bit confused here.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 8:22 am 
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I notice that one of the stated aims of this international meeting was:

Quote:
• How to train dancers to be part of team not on being a star


However in the Independent article individul coaching is suggested for "the mental training designed to develop the necessary resilience and determination to succeed."

In other words, not being part of a team. I'm starting to feel a bit confused here.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2006 10:21 am 
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By Louise Jury, Arts Correspondent
[url=http://enjoyment.independent.co.uk/theatre/news/article342860.ece]
The Independent[/url]
Published: 03 February 2006

Quote:
One of the key presentations was a paper by Misha Botting, a sports psychologist, and Madeleine Grealy, a psychology lecturer, suggesting that, to develop and shine, ballet dancers needed the individual training programmes already common in sport. Some countries, including Australia, have already incorporated performance psychology into their training curriculum for young ballerinas.


I don’t know how anyone can deny that ballet has sporting elements after reading ‘DANCE is a Contact Sport’ by Joseph H. Mazo back in 1976. No earth shattering news there. I hope ballet only adopts more Sport training methods. Ballet should distance itself from Sport as far as possible. Ballet is living workings of art dancing music to life! We can all be thankful the only score in ballet is musical! Let’s keep it that way.

I hope someone stood up at the Rural Retreat to suggest that ballet companies consult their fans from time to time. You have the perfect avenue to do so via the web. Allow subscribers or those that give to help shape a season. Ballet companies need to promote themselves better and show ballet that regular people want to see. Like it or not, ballet companies will have to present their share of fluffy Nutcracker/Don Q fun ballets. Too often companies pour money into ‘Contract’ ballets. It seems for every brilliant ‘Four Seasons,’ there are 5 duds. Think before you invest in a new ballet. If you do show an obvious flop, mothball it! Owe up to your mistakes and move on.

* Question, do ballet companies take meticulous attendance figures and crunch those numbers to decide whether a particular ballet should have a life in the future? I hope so.

:arrow: Anybody who only wants to create ballet for themselves or highbrow artsy fartsy people should fund the damn thing all by themselves! Don’t ask the government for a handout; don’t ask big business for a handout; and most important of all, don’t ask me for a handout. Fund it yourself and present it to an audience of a dozen or so.

_________________
The world revolves around the beauty of the ballerina.


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 Post subject: Erstwhile-illict substances
PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2006 3:56 pm 
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By the bye,

or not so by the bye,

once a record has been set in the sports field by a person taking erstwhile-illicit substances, everyone else "must" take those substances too.

For the simple reason that the human body has not changed significantly in the last several hundred thousand years, save in height,

but pressure from so-called "big business" in the sports area, has changed significantly.

Sportsmen no longer own themselves, nor even their own bodies.

They are owned.

Don't ask by whom.

Over the last six months, in France, erstwhile-forbidden substances that one had seen openly sold in shops in the USA - steroids in various permutations and all manner of "athletic-performance-enhancers", have suddenly become available in France.

Huge "bidons" as the French say, huge plastic cannisters of performance-enhancers, have sprouted like brightly-coloured and distinctly ugly cabbages, in French pharmacies and "druggists".

Some of them, curiously, are on sale rather close to the Centre de danse du Marais and other Urdang-like Parisian centres.

One imagines, given the "energy-driven" dance scene at present, that this is but the tip of the iceberg.

How French legislation suddenly changed, or "was changed", to permit this is a question, to which the answer is somewhat obvious. N'est-ce pas?

The sports scene is bad enough as it is.

The dance does not need this. And if thinks it does, then this is an erstwhile-art-form.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2006 5:58 pm 
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Few would disagree that the Uk and Australia have made great strides in the area of "The Healthy Dancer" schemes that have been developed over the past 10 years. For instance, Birmingham Royal Ballet now has world-class facilities in this area for the benefit of their dancers. While the body has not changed over the past ten thousand years, out understanding of how it functions has changed, even over the past 10 years.

Much of the inspiration for these developments has come from the sporting world where the far greater finance available has provided the opportunities to research how the body functions under stress conditions.

Thus, it comes as no surprise to me that it could well be fruitful to look at other areas in sport research for knowledge that could be useful in dance.

The participants are not saying that ballet is a sport. They are saying that valuable lessons have already been carried across from sport to ballet and there well be other benefits in other areas.

There is a general point here, that advances often come by taking developments from one field of endeavour and applying them elsewhere or combining different areas of knowledge to make fresh breakthroughs. In Mathematics, Fermat's Last Theorem was cracked after 400 years by applying an esoteric theory that most assumed had no practical applications, to an unexpected and apparently unrelated area. Einstein's advances in Physics are well known, but he is also remembered in philosophy for his work on combining different areas to make something greater than the parts.

There is no question that ballet has many problems today, but I share the views of those who want to look at a range of developments in other disciplines to assist in solving those problems. Ballet is one of the most traditional and hierarchical art forms and perhaps that is the reason that is facing many problems today.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2006 6:28 pm 
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Quote:
Over the last six months, in France, erstwhile-forbidden substances that one had seen openly sold in shops in the USA - steroids in various permutations and all manner of ‘athletic-performance-enhancers,’ have suddenly become available in France.


The above was courtesy of Kanter.

I whole heartedly agree that ballet does not need the above. I seriously doubt the above would help a dancer. I don’t see the quality of dancing as a problem. The problem with ballet attendance is intense competition from other forms of entertainment and poor management. ADs better wise up to the fact ballet is ENTERTAINMENT. :wink:

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2006 9:56 am 
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I agree Michael, ballet is entertainment and suffers from competition of all other entertainment forms including professional sports.
Unfortunately I don't think performance enhancing products have been, nor will be, ignored by the dancers. Their career depends upon being able to perform at the utmost peak of physical performance. If it's available, legally or not, then the chances are it's being used. Just look at the fiascos in professional sports, look at the past Olympics, in the equestrian field gold medals were lost because of performance enhancing products in the horses.
The safety and health of the dancers is a major issue in the awful Washington Ballet dispute. It's time the dance industry (and yes, I believe it is an industry) looks at and deals with these types of issues.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2006 11:06 am 
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What performance enhancing drugs could be of benefit to a dancer? I don’t want to see a bulked up ballerina on steroids. I don’t want to see a dancer zonked out on amphetamines. I don’t want to see a 7 foot ballerina on human growth hormone.

To a certain extend I could envision male dancers using steroids and everyone using pain killers to mask the effects of an injury. What performance enhancing drugs would a dancer use that could be of benefit in their art form without serious side effects?

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