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Michelle_Richer

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About Michelle_Richer

  • Birthday March 26

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  • Gender
    Female
  • Location:
    Spalding, South Lincolnshire, England
  • Interests
    Social Dancing and Ballet

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  1. Simply Adult Ballet

    Oh yes, its normally made to order, however they had one in stock so I bought it and arranged delivery for the 18th. My only real shortage now is the 6 mirrors, on Friday (Day3 of the uPVC build as in the picture) when the roof was installed, I was able to check the track clearance, and there is no problem at all. Unfortunately when I went to order the mirrors, the supplier is out of stock and so is the manufacturer. At the moment I’m not too worried as I can’t install them until the Harlequin sprung is installed, it’s not due for delivery until the 25th. One thing I hadn’t anticipated, I will need scaffolding to install the ceiling lights and rotating mirror ball from the old installation. Luckily that’s no problem.
  2. Simply Adult Ballet

    Finally I have my studio installers on site to install the 4 meter uPVC extension, unfortunately things haven’t gone as anticipated, as there is some compatibility issues between the existing structure and that of the new that wasn’t picked up by their designer. It has meant all but the door end the end section of the old structure has been scrapped. Fortunately as the error has been theirs, there is no additional cost to me, but it will have extended their time on site for a further day. As thing are now, the old structure has completely gone and the existing sprung floor covered by tarpaulins to keep it dry. The loss of the old structure leave me quite sad, however they are hopeful that the roof will be on by the weekend if the weather holds but they will be one uPVC section short, which they expect delivery in the next two to three days. The new structure is slightly higher than the existing one was, so hopefully the two spars that extend across the room at ceiling height will give enough clearance so as not to foul the top of the mirror slides, I really hope there is no more surprises this week, as the week started off badly when I had to cancel my hall booking on Tuesday for a practice pre-run of our rehearsal Tuesday evening. This was due to flooding of the River Glen that flows past my property. Although the property itself is on quite high ground, my path and seating area next to the river was flooded, part of both landing stages were floating precariously off the river bed, which also posed a problem to one of my boats, when Adrian an I see that, that took immediate priority and the river was running fast and still rising. We did manage to get lines attached to both landing stage to secure them, should that attempt to float away. Just before leaving for London we checked the river again, part of the boat was sitting on the edge of the landing stage as the water had fallen, it was listing quite badly, at least we were there in time to gently push it off . As the water was likely to rise again on the next tide, I would then be in London at rehearsal, it was necessary to prevent that happening again with a large pole for the boat to slide up and down on. The loss of the pre-run through that morning really showed up at rehearsal, I felt I was rubbish, even though I had watched our video of last weeks rehearsal on the train to London, its just not the same as doing it. At least most tings are in place now for the new studio, sprung floor ordered, additional venetian blinds ordered, ballerina statue ordered for the entrance, only items outstanding are 6 mirrors which will be ordered once I can check clearance with the spars, and curtains to give it the theatre feel to videos taken in there, but there is no hurry for the curtains.
  3. Barre Less Class

    Wow interesting observations, I guess mine are not too dissimilar; however I would question ones objectives. Like Fiz, I enjoy the barre, however for me it’s not so much about strengthening the core, turnout and alignment etc, but of course they do matter, it’s about dancing the barre with feeling, to really appropriate and beautiful music. What I really hate, is doing what appears more akin to a military drill for a penguin with arms permanently stuck out to second, with poorly chosen music. For me music makes a tremendous difference and thank goodness our teacher at the Alive Ballet Company does have some really nice and appropriate music, not all teachers do. As for barre in the centre, I done quite a lot of that too, and of course that’s harder and bit more of a challenge, but I’ve no real objection to that. Often the transition from barre to traditional centre practice is somewhat blurred. I see one of the comments suggested it was more efficient at strengthening the core etc, I would think it is when taken in isolation, but there may well be even more efficient methods of strengthening the core through body conditioning exercises etc. I think at the end of the day it’s a case of creating the right blend for ones own self. For me where I draw the real distinction is with paid one-to-one repertoire coaching, where the cost of an hours session including the associated studio hire can be as much as ten fold against that of standard open ballet class. If I’m paying that sort of premium then I want 100% rep coaching, but never the less adequate warm-up still needs to be addressed, for me its simple with my Monday session as the same teacher runs an open body condition class which I also attend, before my rep session. Thursdays is somewhat different as there is no pre-warm-up, but we tend to be less aggressive with the rep and walk through marking it two or the times to refresh ourselves with the sequence before going all out to dance it, it seams to work for both of us.. The only time we go back to the barre is, if a particular movement is difficult to grasp where the additional support of the barre may help.
  4. Simply Adult Ballet

    STUDIO Its beginning to look like progress at last with my studio extension, I’ve had an email from the Conservatory company to say they have all the uPVC materials in for my four meter studio extension and they are planning to install on the Wednesday after Easter and will confirm on the Tuesday. I will chase them on the Tuesday as that’s my Rehearsal day in London and would hate to miss their call. I took the opportunity today to revalidate Harlequin dance floors quote and check possible delivery dates, as I will not place the order until I have definitely got the uPVC installers on site. If all goes to plan the floor will be delivered on the 24th. Although once the uPVC installation has taken place, to some extent the studio will be partly usable. At the end if the month when the remaining floor installed it will be more utilised. Never the less the spend is still not over, we have additional mirrors to buy, venetian blinds for the extended sides and 3 sides fully curtained to give practice videos taken a real sense of theatre, well that’s the plan. BLACK SWAN SOLO On the down side my Black Swan solo is still fighting back, sadly I am without Emma my rep coach until the 16th, due to her Ballet Schools show and the Easter break. I thought the break would be useful to allow me to get on and finish this piece. In practice the promenade fouette combination needs a lot of strength in the supporting leg as you are on it for three whole repetitions of that combination, its extremely tiring. Although the adapted Alfredsons heel drop protocol has show significant improvements of the ankle, the strength behind the plie to assist the snap-up of the releve and sustain it through the repetitions needs greatly strengthening without sustaining repetition strain injury which I’m very mindful of. Similarly re-choreographing the menege used at the end to improve its musicality is defiantly challenging, its got somewhat of a strange count that I cant get my head round unless there is something I’m missing. The count goes something like this: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 and 1, 2,3,4,5,6,7,8 and1,and 2 and 3, and 4 and 5 , slow single blast on each of 6 7 & 8. Then 8 fast counts which the artist uses chaines to finish into the final pose, I will most probably utilise that ending, but the other appears to be danced through.
  5. Simply Adult Ballet

    Thursday was the end of the period I gave myself to see if my body had recovered sufficiently to take on an unusual version of the Black Swan solo for my stint at Ballet West this summer. The first Thursday was spend by myself and my coach learning the choreography excluding the menege at the end, as I had rejected that part as having poor musicality. The first session went better than anticipated, as we had covered all we had intended, however I miss interpreted the three promenade / Fouette combination. I assumed after the 3 step promenade, the gesturing leg was taken through a passe into prep for the first fouette, then followed into a second fouette. That I could do, but with the loss of strength and stamina since my injury, it was always going to be challenging. It became apparent on my second session the following Monday with Emma my coach, that the solo dances the promenade / fouette combination a little differently. The first fouette could be thought of as not a fouette at all, however it does rely on momentum from the promenade, to sustain the first full turn as there is little additional momentum created from the arabesque of the promenade to the to retire for a the full turn. Only then is the second fouette launched in the usual way with extending the gesturing leg in front and whipping it round into retire to create momentum. Although on the third turn the gesturing leg is extended in a similar way, this time as rotates around and is extended into arabesque to commence the next promenade. In some ways it’s a if the second fouette it a convention fouette, but the other is almost formed in two halves, then end movement from the first and the launch from the end or third piece. My main issue with this in learning it, there is no time to stop and think between the promenade and first fouette, otherwise you have lost the momentum to carry the turn around at retire, arms and head are not sufficient on there own. At the end of my second session I still really hadn’t cracked this, the main reason I think, I was still in think mode breaking partially, and tying to break doing it wrong in the first place as two conventional fouettes and not having enough strength to sustain it, as the whole period of doing the 3 promenade / fouette combinations are done on the same supporting leg all the way through, the only time the gesturing leg come down to ground is for a coupe to launch the first promenade. My thoughts at this time was, I would not be in a position by the third and final session to make any significant progress to carry this forward, it was far too soon after my injury, I just didn’t have the strength. I left that session very disillusioned, but by this time I really had fallen in love with the piece. I knew to continue practice wasn’t enough. I had some serious ankle strengthening to do, but that wouldn’t be without risk, I virtually needed a miracle as I basically needed to get up on releve to sustain that full turn in retire with virtually no momentum to even stand a chance. For ankle strengthening I went back to Alfredsons heal drop protocol which I used some years ago for an Achilles overuse injury that was very effective. Well I used my variation of it by including rises as well as the drops, but with the same number of repetitions as the protocol. But I only had 4 days to get some form of positive result. Thursday the day for my final session came, I did a pre-run session down my local hall, although I thought there may be some minor improvement in ankle strength I was still of the opinion that I was going to have to drop this solo for this year, although I did look at altering the position promenade, to reduce the travel of the first fouette in retire, I know it was a bit of a cheat, but I was getting desperate to carry it on. When I finally see Emma my coach, I mentioned altering the promenade positioning to reduce the travel of the first fouette and showed her, then she said show me from the start and I want to watch and see what’s going wrong. Essentially I was stopping even if only momentarily in think mode, and then literally hurling myself around for the fouette, I just simply didn’t have enough momentum. I think part of the problem was psychological and confidence, as my brain knew what I had to done, but my body used to slow or stop while I thought about it, Grrrr it was really annoying. Emma came up with a brilliant idea, dance it from the top so as not to get too pre occupied with that particular step, but just keep going. After a few full tries it really was starting to get better and better. Whilst I can’t 100% consistently execute this piece, I have achieve a several successful run though's and know what it feels like. Emma was really pleased with the breakthrough and has agreed to extend this piece for a further week (two more session) as she and I now believe this stands a good chance of success. We did spend a few moments on Thursday looking at the menage music at the end as I really don’t like the musicality of choreography of this piece. I tried a few combinations but it will need to be a menege of some kind to fit the length of the remaining music, for the moment that’s still on the back burner. Progress with the Nutcracker Grand PDD seamed to be struggling this week, both Adrian and myself had been working pruning trees all day until our 2 hour session down the hall that evening, I think we were both over tired to make any real progress but never the less we danced it through several time , but it did give us ideas how to layout the new studio when the extension if finally built. At least I did get to enjoy one of my favourite winter jobs when its really cold as it was with the beast from the east No 2 this weekend. That was standing round an incineration bin in the garden burning tree small tree branches and cuttings, and being really warm and cosy in defiant of the weather.
  6. Simply Adult Ballet

    Hi Linda You should have checked trains going the other way from Peterborough to Kings Cross , those alone are at 3.25am, 4.10am, 5.10am, 5.40am, 5.47am, 6.10am , 6.15am and 6.37am. There are also trains to and from major destinations across country too. As for staying in a waiting room, even if these trains were not running , wouldn’t be a big issue for me and I really wouldn’t feel particularly unsafe to the pointe of spending an unnecessary £60 on taxi fares. If I were put out on the street as I once was in Brighton, particularly in our present winter climate, then that would be a risk too far, not from being hurt by anyone but exposure to the elements as I’m not accustomed or equipped with sheltering for hours in shop doorways, that would really be degrading. I am more concerned about the risk I am taking this week, rather that staying for a few hours in a waiting room. I have put off practicing a challenging solo (at least for me) for my week at Ballet West in the summer. It is an unusual Black Swan solo, that has a promenade and two fouettes repeated three times in succession. I know that this will be extremely wearing on my legs since my injury last year. I have started it this week, and said to my coach that we will give it until the end of next week, if it looks like its likely to result in further injury, then we will drop it until next year as damage limitation and drop in the Bluebird female solo instead which is far less challenging, plus I have danced a couple of different versions of Bluebird before. So far I have found technically excluding the ménage at the end very doable, I love it. My only real issue is the stamina to consistently repeat the promenade / fouette section for three times. Although I have done it, it is extremely tiring, usually after the first set I’m starting to get extremely bushed. The plan now is to try and do a small number of these sets each day to build sufficient strength by my session on Thursday, so I can at least sustain these for a few solo run-throughs. The ending of the solo I will be changing, not that it is too difficult, Its simply I really don’t like the musicality of it, otherwise it is a really beautiful piece.
  7. Simply Adult Ballet

    Hi Linda I wouldn’t be overly worried about being on the station for 6 and a half hours in the early hours, Peterborough has at least 3 waiting rooms, one on platform 1, patform 2 and 3 share, platform 4 and 5 share and I think 6 and 7 share too, but I have never been on 6 or 7. Ive just checked London trains through the night, it appears the Northern rail trains stay running at least one each hour thru the night, so I guess there must be some staff on duty during the night but I don’t see very many when I get back at midnight each Tuesday. My worry was getting kicked off the station, as that happened to me once when I went to a Salsa party in your neck of the woods. I was staying at Eastbourne at the time and went to a Salsa party at Hassocks by train. I enjoyed the dancing and left much later than I had planned, I managed to catch the train back to Brighton, it was around midnight, the situation was similar to Peterborough, there wasn’t a train until around 6am, however Brighton closes the station just after midnight and anyone on there is escorted to gates other than staff and locket out, that happened to me. Outside the station gates were seats but there were guys sat on them drinking, so I couldn’t even wait there for the early morning train, I really felt extremely uncomfortable apart from all that, I was dress for a dance party and not being outside for hours, in the early hours in March. I guess it was pretty stupid of me, so nothing has changed there. Fortunately I see a sign which said something like “When the trains go to bed, the busses keep going”, I finally found and got on to a bus for Eastbourne around 2am, needless to say when I got back to my hotel the doors were locked but thankfully someone was still on reception and let me in.
  8. Simply Adult Ballet

    Hi Linda Your comment “The things we do for Ballet”, almost bit me in the bum this weekend. Sunday morning Adrian and I was travelling into my local town of Spalding , suddenly the car lost power and I pulled up on the verge very close to a drop pavement, also about a hundred metres in front the road changed to double white lines and not a good place to stop. I tried to restart the car; it would run for 3 or 4 seconds and die, seams like a fuel pump problem. I really didn’t want to risk having to stop on a road with double white lines, so we stayed put with our hazard warning lights on. As I have breakdown cover it was no problem, I phoned the helpline and someone was with us within 45mins. I had the car dropped back at my local garage and Adrian and I walked the short distance home, unfortunately as it was Sunday we could not contact the Garage. The next problem was sorting out ballet for this week, Monday there was not time to make any arrangements as my first session was at 10am, and my only option was to cancel both sessions. Tuesday rehearsal is another issue, that isn’t something I would miss if at all possible. Adrian and I downloaded bus and train time tables to look at the feasibility of using public transport, getting to London for rehearsal wasn’t a problem, other than I would miss my pre-rehearsal practice down the hall that morning and Adrian would have to catch buses to find his own way home to his flat. For me the problem was the return journey, which meant I would be stuck at Peterborough station between midnight and 6.30am for the first train from Peterborough to Spalding. From there I had 10minute to walk to the bus station and catch the bus home, anther 20minutes at home to get changed and clean myself up and on the next bus to Spalding for an hair appointment at 9am, that bus gets in to Spalding at 8.30am, so time for a coffee and a little breakfast if I can keep awake. I think the worst of it would be feeling like a vagrant dossing down for the night in one of Peterborough station waiting rooms and likely to get moved on by station staff, that would feel awful. I wonder how many dancers other would go that far for ballet, needless to I most definitely would. You can’t image how I felt this morning when I went over to the garage to see “Barry” the owner, about what had happened to my car, and he said “would you like to borrow the little KA while your car is in for repair”, I was so so grateful. Apart from missing Monday’s classes, the rest of the week will run as planned, whoopee.
  9. Simply Adult Ballet

    Thank you Linda Yes its amazing what we do for ballet. Even today now the weather is a lot calmer it was a pleasure to be working outside. Adrian an I put scaffolding around a tree that would have overhanging branches over my new studio. I was taking some scaffold boards up and placing them on the top, one of our neighbours came past and asked Adrian if I was building a tree house ha ha. The overhanging branches were remove as well as branches that were likely to become a hazard in the future. Adrian turned the removed branches into logs for one of our neighbours. We have a similar operation to perform on an almost overhanging willow tree tomorrow if the weather holds. For me this makes very good sense as one day I will not be able to do this, so its a case of future proofing as best as I can the arrival of the new studio. Today also had what could have been a nasty mishap, yesterday I inadvertently walked on to our snow covered out-door porcelain practice turning area for PDD pirouettes and promenades which normally is extra slippy, yesterday it was extremely slippery, I slipped on it and nearly went over. With that I cleared it of snow so it could be seen and avoided . Overnight we had a little more snow about half an inch, but enough to cover about half of it. Silly me, without thinking I strayed on part of the snow covered porcelain with both feet, needless to say they shot out from under me and I fell flat on my back with a real bang. I was really really lucky I didn’t sustain any injury , but I felt so stupid, especially after the prolonged recovery after my last injury incurred by jumping off a wall.
  10. Simply Adult Ballet

    Oh what a week with the beast from the east. Its entrance to South Lincolnshire was early Tuesday morning when we were greeted with about 4 inches of snow, although not unusual in itself it was also my most important ballet day of the week with rehearsal in London. Although it meant we had to shovel the snow out of the drive to move my car, I though it would be prudent to keep the shovel in the car with me as there was some talk about high winds and in the flat Lincolnshire fens where I live are liable to drifting. Not only was Tuesday rehearsal day, it was also the day I had promised to take a selection of costumes in to our dancers so they could best decide what type of costume would best be suited to the neoclassical piece we were to dance at the Ultimate Dance Showcase, It was important that I made the effort to be there. Although I did a pre-run practice in my local hall of the neoclassical rep we had learnt the previous week, access to the premises was no problem. I checked that trains were running as normal for the East-Coast main line before setting out. My journey to London began early in the afternoon with a car journey first to drop Adrian off to his flat and then on to Peterborough train station, as I got closer to Peterborough the snow fall had been less, only an inch or two, but most of the main dual carriage I was using, only had one carriageway clear. At the station I spoke to a lady who said her husband was convinced that the snow storms predicted for later that evening would miss us, at that time I had an open mind. After travelling between 10-15miles south of Peterborough, the landscape was totally free of snow and the sun shining just like a beautiful spring day, then I started to think about what that lady had said. I arrived in London about 4.30pm, the ground outside King Cross was wet but no real trace of snow. However once I got to Oxford Street although there was barely a sprinkling of snow the pavement, they were extremely icy, particularly the roads running off Oxford street. Rehearsal was quite uneventful, there was a consensus on the type of costume our dancers desired, our teacher / rep coach was in general agreement, so mission accomplished. I was back at Kings Cross just before the train was due to leave just before 11pm, so I range Adrian to check on the weather, as there was no more snow in London. To my surprise it was snowing heavily back in Lincolnshire, oh poo I knew I was not in for a nice journey home, just hoped Adrian was exaggerating things a bit. When I arrived back at Peterborough station there had been 3 to 4 inches of snow, my care was completely covered with at least 3 inches of it, including all window and the temperature was bitterly cold. I opened the driver side passenger door to put my case full of ballet costumes in; the door wouldn’t fasten closed properly, although I couldn’t see anything to stop it. I ended up using my scarf to tie the door closed, by tying the door to my headrest, it did the job but left the car quite drafty and cold. I started the engine up to warm up the car while I was clearing it of snow, even the headlights were covered. At least the window screen had a cover over it so it was free of ice, once the windows etc were free of snow I turned the headlight on, they remained on for a second or two then one went off and the lights alarm indicate came on, a bulb had failed, that’s all I needed on a really awful night. At least I still had the fog lights to assist me driving home. The journey home was absolutely horrendous, many places barely passable, even though I went through several blizzard conditions the wind speed was quite low and drifting hadn’t really started, the closer to home I got, the deeper the snow, the final piece of the A16 (Spalding bypass) I met a slow moving convoy of lorries going about 10-15 miles/h, I followed them for about 3 miles before turn off down an industrial estate, the road there was reasonable clear from the volume of traffic, my last 2 miles out the other side of the estate was through newly laid snow and very slippery. Normally I arrive home just before 1am, but Tuesday it was well after 2am and I was really shattered. I unloaded the car, and somehow managed to close the passenger door, and virtually went strait to bed. The following morning there had been a little more snow so I decided to cancel my fitness class, and went out to check the vehicle, this time the passenger wouldn’t open, rather than try and force it, I left it until temperatures rise significantly( back to around 0 on Friday and the door now functions normal). I also noticed both front wheel arches were absolutely jam packed full of ice, I had to chisel it out. The one good thing that happened Wednesday was Ballet West has confirmed my Intensive Rep week, so Hotels are now booked while accommodation is still available. Thursday, two of my ballet classes cancelled due to severe weather, which luckily meant I would be able to picking Adrian up much earlier, it was lucky because snowdrifts by this time had become a serious problem and many of the roads to him had drifting. Friday I think was my best day of the week, not necessary what had been achieved, but more so what had been avoided. Friday is reserved for our PDD rep practice for the material Adrian and I are presenting at Ballet West, currently the Nutcracker GPDD. Adrian at the moment has been finding it quite difficult in remembering it all, we got to about 3 minute of 5.45min of rep and things were reasonably ok, but the later stuff seams to be overloading him. Today I thing he was on the verge of throwing the towel in and believing it was just too much and too difficult to remember. The last half an hour is usually spent running through from the top all that we have that is reasonable clean, and we don’t add to it until any new piece is reasonable well understood. However today I tried something new, walking it through from the top with no music, instead of stopping at the new material, I carried on, and on until we are literally seconds from the end. We managed to repeat it three times and I know now he feels much more comfortable with the whole of the rep, another week or so I will add the music as need him to be totally familiar with its signatures and timing to get our best joint musicality out of this piece. This potentially could be his best piece yet to take to Ballet West. I guess the awful weather has set back my studio extension again, oh poo.
  11. Simply Adult Ballet

    Although I’m still not up to my full schedule of ballet, I’m adding another hour/week in for pre prep for our “Alive “rehearsals as we started last week on our neo classical piece for The Ultimate Dance Showcase at The Greenwood Theatre at the end of April. A really nice piece of good news after chasing the company doing the upvc build, mine is the very next job, they should be with me in a couple of weeks or so. Unfortunately we couldn’t clear the existing studio last week as Adrian and I was attending Ballet West’s performance of Giselle at the EICC in Edinburgh. The performance was fabulous as usual, before the performance we manage a brief chat to Uyu Hiromoto principle dancer who I met last time, this time she was dancing as Myrtha Queen of the Willis, I also had a really nice chat to Jonathan Barton one of their main teachers and principle dancer, unfortunately he is not dancing as he sustained an injury a couple of weeks ago. He partnered me at one of there summer school body conditioning classes a few years ago, this is the first time I have seen him other than on stage. Finally Gillian principle of Ballet West and our rep coach arrive back at their stand, I asked the date for our annual session with her, that is still up in the air somewhat, she’s still waiting for conformation of dates for Ballet West’s Malaysian tour in August, so we will need to work around them. After the performance we went to the champagne reception, there we get to meet most of the cast, so I managed to meet their Choreographer and Artistic Adviser “Daniel” for the first time. I also had a really nice chat to other principle female dancer Natasha Watson who was dancing as Giselle, Natasha also teaches for Ballet West too. It gets to feel almost like family, especially when Tony, Gillian’s new husband, said to Adrian and I," I will follow you two, to the reception" as neither of us knew where it was in the building, needless to say I found it. It really was a fantastic night and both Adrian and I enjoyed it enormously. The downside was to journey home the following day, it was just over 4 hours on the train with one change. My right leg stiffened up enormously where I could hardly walk, let alone dance, I was really worried and cancelled my Monday classes , by Tuesday is was somewhat better and I really had to attend our first rehearsal, things seam to have cleared up but it feels like a warning Im not quite fully recovered from my injury just yet. No ballet this weekend, its totally clear my existing studio of all equipment and electrics ready for the extension installation, then the real work begins.
  12. Rad discovering repertoire classes

    Hi Youngatheart Thank you for your sentiment. Yesterday I received an email from Suzanne Partridge of RAD about the taster workshop, there are still plenty of places left at all levels. My interest for the moment is only casual, as I really wont be restricted to the actual choreography, music and costume set by RAD, if I had more freedom, I guess it may well be another story. I do like balletgremlin’s suggestion of buying the DVD’s of the rep, at least it would satisfy my curiosity for £75.00
  13. Rad discovering repertoire classes

    Hi balletgremlin First of all thank you for your help with the document and video references. I think for the moment this is probably academic for me as I only have one local RAD ballet school with a single studio that I hired for a couple of hours a week before my injury. It’s unlikely that they would have sufficient numbers to warrant running such a course. For me, I would be unwilling to travel any great distance to find a school running this, as I already live on quite a diet of rep, both with the amateur performing company I belong too (The Alive Ballet Company) and the work I do with Ballet West in Scotland. At least with Ballet West I have full control of the repertoire , that is not just the choice of the piece but its make up too, as most are generally hybrids created from a number of different sources including some choreography of my own, I also get to choose the music and edit if necessary, as some variations rely on the artist working with the conductor, in which case the artist can start the opening port de bras before the music starts. Last year I took 6 solo’s and 2 Pas de deux’s up to Ballet West for their final polish and presentation. That suits me far better than the RAD offerings, however I wouldn’t totally rule them out. For the Alive Ballet Company I have to dance what is set for the company by our Artistic Director or our rep coach, however once a year the dancers get the opportunity to do there own thing, this is with a friend and family sharing evening. A time limit is set at a maximum of 2 minutes. The dance can be either a group piece, Pas de Trios, Pas de deux, or a solo, needless to say I choose solo,s I’ve tried to get the sharing evening idea adopted by other ballet schools I attend, but there is little or no interest from the adults, a real shame. The beauty of the way I work, if something is particularly difficult, I can work on it as long as it takes, there is no one pressing me to give up (not even my twice weekly rep coach), or alternatively I can put it on the back burner for later if I need to develop additional strength/flexibility in any particular part of the body. Since my injury that has become an essential strategy, but in saying that I have my first two solo’s finished in terms being able to dance through them at there normal speed, but they do need polishing, one of them has taken me close to repetitive strain so it most certainly has been put down for later. The first Pas de deux (Nutcracker GPDD) has been dance with my partner Adrian to around half way through, some of the choreography beyond needs to be changed to avoid lifts as Adrian has a weak shoulder, a large section of that has been danced through by me on my own, to get some idea of the musicality fit of my choreography, but it still needs the acid test with my partner too, otherwise I will get picked up Ballet West for correction. At least I do get to see my teacher from Ballet West and the company at their performance of "Giselle" in Edinburgh this Saturday, I’m really looking forward to it.
  14. Rad discovering repertoire classes

    Hi Mummy twinkle toes I always get the shudders when words like modified or adapted are used. Hi Balletgremlin Do I assume you never attempted any of the Level 3 variation stuff. Ive certainly danced 2 different versions of the Bluebird female solo. Although my company danced Paquita for our summer show last year, we didn’t dance the PDT 2nd female variation, one of our girls danced the first, that’s how I recognised the music, I guess it sort of haunts me from all the rehearsals we did . For Level 4 I have certainly danced Odette's solo several times at either intensives or rep workshops, as for the Sugar Plum Fairy variation, it was one of the first I took up to Ballet West a few years ago, although only the music was present in your video clips, if that’s representative, it's the version that also contains the tricky mixed turn menege. I also noticed the pianist used for one of the videos was Jonathan Still; he was our pianist for several years at our LAB rehearsals held at RAD HQ in Battersea. It’s interesting that there is no prerequisite for any of the levels or the variations themselves, I guess if one wishes, you could actually do all six pieces of rep and totally disregard the barre and centre elements.
  15. Rad discovering repertoire classes

    Hi Mummy twinkle toes Can you explain how RAD are likely modify the Spanish solo of Coppelia and the female solo of the Peasant PDD of Giselle ? Hi Balletgremlin Do I assume for Level 3 Princess Florine, is the female solo of the Bluebird PDD of Sleeping Beauty., Do you know which of the Paquita PDT female solos are to be used, I particularly like the first, that music haunts me. Level 4: Do I assume this is Odette’s solo following the Big Swan dance of Act 2 Swan Lake. I guess the Sugar Plum Fairy is the female variation that follows The Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier Grand PDD in the Nutcracker, please correct me if I’m wrong. Finally i) Are both solo’s required or are they optional. ii) Is there a mandatory entry requirement for each level . iii) Can levels be mixed for study at any one time.
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