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JoJo

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  1. Biometric data (fingerprints) has been required for every Russian visa application since Dec 2014. This means you have to go in person to one if the visa centres - they are in a London, Manchester and Edinburgh.
  2. Thanks for the nudge Pas de Quatre! My daughter trained at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy (also known as Moscow Choreographic School or MGAH). She graduated in 2016 and is now working professionally with one of the State companies in Russia (Astrakhan State Opera and Ballet Theatre) - so she has been in Russia for six years! She started at the Bolshoi at the same time as the girl who wrote the post featured in the link DD Driver has shared, and knows her well, and the other three students mentioned in the articles. It's true - the Bolshoi is not for everyone - tough and relentless training, the Russian students are always put first, however my daughter found the training she was looking for there and is convinced that she would not be the dancer she is today without the four years she spent at the Bolshoi. (She is also certain she would not have become a professional classical dancer - her training to that point was just not good enough). She describes the training as providing her with technical strength along with the ability to dance from the soul! She wrote a blog called Life at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy which you can Google - she wrote a particularly popular article which is still being shared lots called Top tips for international students thinking about training at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy. There's lots of good advice in both the post and the very many comments linked to it, so it might be a good general read for the original poster, TwoLeftfeet (There is also a post called A day in the life of a Bolshoi Ballet Academy student). The blog and posts will come up straight away on a Google search. Since leaving the Bolshoi my daughter has started another blog which focuses on providing advice to students and parents, based on her experiences. It's not meant to be prescriptive but just tells one person's story of how to work your way through the complex world of ballet and come out the other side! One post of particular relevance to this thread is "Russian Ballet Training - Why It Makes All the Difference" - I've pasted a link here https://www.talaleeturton.com/single-post/2018/02/01/russian-ballet-training For any other information, she shares lots about her life as a professional on her instagram account @talaleeturton. Happy to provide any other information from a parent's perspective either on this thread or through the private messages so please do get in touch. It's definitely hard having your daughter train and live in Russia from the age of 16 but seeing her flourish has helped me through. An added bonus, her company tours in the UK each Autumn (as Russian State Ballet and Opera House) so I actually get to see her dance lots without having to go to Russia! Result!
  3. My daughter has been in Russia for six years; four years training at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy and two years now as a professional. She describes the style as ‘much dancier’ with more flair and a big emphasis placed on acting, aswell as dancing, the roles - dance acting is one of the core classes at the Academy. She says Russian dancers ‘dance from the soul’ and because they are trained with rigour from a young age, the technique is in their bodies and they can layer the acting on top of this. She wrote a blog during her time at the Academy which provides an insight into her life and training there which you might find helps. She was introduced to Russian training by Chika and Yury at Bristol Russian Ballet School and trains with them if she can when she is back in the UK. She highly recommends them, as do I, as they also provide fabulous support to parents of dancers, something which I found invaluable.
  4. Training at the Academy is six days a week. It’s very rigorous and intensive but made my daughter the dancer she is today, honing her technique and focus in a way that enables her to dance, as she describes it, ‘from the soul’. She graduated after four years in 2016. She wrote a post post on her blog about a day in the life of, which I think I posted before but here it is again. You’ll see the days are very long, with a combination of vocational, academic and rehearsal. https://talaleeturton.wordpress.com/2014/11/30/a-day-in-the-life-of-a-bolshoi-ballet-academy-student/
  5. My daughter had this issue. Brushing teeth on demi pointe in retire has been the norm for her for a number of years now, she does a range of foot stretch exercises daily each morning and evening, including use of a theraband and she has specially developed insoles for her day shoes from her podiatrist (she’s worn these from about the age of 11). All helped - she’s now a professional classical dancer and keeps all of this up.
  6. According to my daughter's research, Ann Stone was the first Brit at the Bolshoi in 1959: https://talaleeturton.wordpress.com/2014/03/08/brits-at-the-bolshoi-ballet-academy/
  7. It's fixed two metres so not adjustable. To give you a better idea, my daughter also uses it for teaching and it fits four - two on each side easily.
  8. I have this one: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Portable-Fitness-Practise-Katz-Dancewear/dp/B015HFBRBS/ref=cts_sp_1_vtp?_encoding=UTF8&pf_rd_m=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&pf_rd_p=1069525627&pf_rd_r=GN4TFE15MJYD1RZF9AWV&pd_rd_wg=xSEEm&pf_rd_s=desktop-detail-softlines&pf_rd_t=40701&pd_rd_i=B015HFBRBS&pd_rd_w=bkyHA&pf_rd_i=desktop-detail-softlines&pd_rd_r=GN4TFE15MJYD1RZF9AWV It is very robust and although it is portable, you wouldn't want to take it too far as it is very heavy! It's very easy to assemble. It's £195 plus delivery.
  9. This is the only version I can find of it! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rd_Aeox5Eq8
  10. JoJo

    Gaynor Mindens

    My daughter has transitioned to Gaynors over the last couple of years and is a big fan. (She always wore Grishko prior to that.) They last her a long time and she has machine washed them with great success (including washing out copious amounts of blood from blisters and grass stains when she used them for a modelling shoot!) She teaches younger students, however, when she is home in the UK, and only encourages use once confident and strong en pointe, as they don't help you to learn how to use demi-pointe and articulate your feet, so definitely not for beginners.
  11. Yes, that's right they are I may actually nip over to see it. Though I will get to see her in Swan Lake in Italy in December. She will be performing it on her 21st birthday in Rome! She is with the Royal Ballet of Moscow. No plans for England, Scotland or Wales - the Belfast show is part of a Northern Ireland/ Ireland tour.
  12. A little late posting on this as I went to Friday evening's final performance. The photos above are lovely - what an amazing performance from Carlos and Marianela. A great mixed bill and a fabulous finish with Carlos dancing the contemporary piece Memoria - so fitting showing off his power and his agility. And what a poignant and powerful finish to the evening as Carlos sat in a corner of the stage in the semi-darkness, getting slowly changed back into his warm-ups to then stand and wave farewell to the audience as he left the stage. The crowd erupted and gave him a well-deserved standing ovation and I saw many members of the audience were moved to tears as, indeed, I was! His speech to the crowd illustrated what a humble man he is, crediting his success to his audience and thanking us for giving him so much. A truly amazing person - so pleased I was there for his last classical dance and wishing him all the success with his company and school in Cuba.
  13. My daughter has just graduated from the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow after four years of training. If there were any children with "sadness in their eyes" at the Academy, it isn't through lack of food options! The canteen at the Academy provides plenty of options and there are a remarkably large number of supermarkets within easy walking distance that you'd be hard not to find a handful of students topping up their supplies at any one point in the day. The weight chart always causes much interest. My daughter shared it and commented on this in her blog post "Top tips for international students wanting to train at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy", https://talaleeturton.wordpress.com/2014/03/08/top-tips-for-international-students-thinking-about-training-at-the-bolshoi-ballet-academy/ , which has been and is still being widely read and commented on. The presentation and commentary on the weight chart in the Haglund's Heel blog post do not represent the practice and reality of how it is used at the Academy. My daughter's experience is that it is used as a guide. There are no differences in weight expectations for Russians and internationals at the Academy. There are weigh-ins twice-a-year and students are advised if they are too heavy or too light. Those where there is a cause for concern are given very "Russian-style" advice (i.e. direct) to lose weight or put weight on and those advised to gain weight are carefully monitored. Teachers will tell students in class if they need to lose or gain weight; it is the Russian way to be very direct. Marks can be lost in exams if you are underweight or overweight. My daughter has witnessed examples of both. The weight chart is very much a guide though. All female students participate in duet (pas-de-deux) regardless of whether they are over the ideal weight as indicated on the weight chart. I have observed my daughter's duet classes when visiting her in Moscow and all female students are actively encouraged to participate even though many will not fit within the weight chart. Size and shape is very important at the Academy but what is more important is technique and particularly turnout, alongside facility and good feet, of course. That is the real focus of the classes that my daughter has participated in for the last four years. And that's what has helped her find work professionally. In terms of the point of the original post, I do think, based on my daughter's audition experiences, you need a good mix of all in order to successfully gain employment in a classical company upon graduation.
  14. Wow - thanks, SwissBalletFan! I'm a big admirer, not just of his ability as a dancer but also of his views on a dancer's position in the hierarchy of the ballet world and how that might change. Can't wait to see the film even more now!
  15. My daughter has just graduated from the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow. She had previously taken RAD exams amongst others but did not have a problem adapting to Russian style training. If you would like an insight into Russian training at the Bolshoi, my daughter has written a blog documenting her four, intensive years of training. There's lots of information on there, with specific insights into all aspects of her training. You can find the blog at the following link: https://talaleeturton.wordpress.com/
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