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  1. I doubt Li Cunxin applied for the position. There is disappointment and frustration from many in the Australian ballet community that Mr Hallberg was chosen ahead of a prominent female ex principal ballet dancer with more management experience.
  2. They don't ban them, they just won't supply and pay for them. The only pointe shoes that the company will supply at no cost is Gaynor Mindens or Grishko. After paying for her pointe shoes when she was training, I was really looking forward to the day when a company would pay for them.
  3. Oh wow, my DD has had custom made Freed's made by Triangle maker (Allan Doherty). She would dearly love to wear them again, they're her favourite but they're not allowed by her present company
  4. You might like this video from Freed My DD loves Freeds but unfortunately they're not available where she is at present
  5. Thank you, it's fascinating and makes me feel much better about the considerable cost of buying pointe shoes for my DD when she was training. Given what is involved in making them, I think they are good value! She used to wear R-class shoes too.
  6. I agree Fiz. He's wearing too many clothes in this video and his jacket detracts from his amazing synchronicity with the music. I remember reading something about why male ballet dancers wear dance belts. It was to the effect that when the music stopped every part of the dancers body should stop too! The video for 'Take Me to Church' is mesmerising to me because it's a perfect combination of Sergei's artistry and Hozier as a musician.
  7. Thank you Jan, although we visited Moscow too the Bolshoi was closed for the annual vacation so we unfortunately didn't see any ballet there.
  8. I almost didn't post as I knew my review was going to be an 'overview' and a different perspective from serious ballet enthusiasts. Nonetheless through my daughter I have grown to appreciate the art and certainly have some understanding of the dedication, commitment and tenacity that is essential for any ballet student who dreams of dancing professionally. Oh and did I mention the family financial commitment?!
  9. Whilst we were in St.Petersburg in August I booked tickets to Le Corsaire at the Mariinsky Theatre. This was a performance by the Primorsky Stage of the Mariinsky theatre (Vladivostok) which was probably why there were still tickets available a couple of days beforehand. The tickets are quite expensive and the reduced rate on the website is only for Russians or people living in Russia. The performance was at the Mariinsky 1 theatre which dates from 1860 so you have to be a little careful where you buy a seat or you are in danger of not being able to see anything! The website has a good seating plan and also has an English language selection. It’s quite straightforward buying tickets although I was unable to download the PDF file but just took the booking receipt on my phone to the booking office to pick up the tickets. Ensure you only buy tickets from the official site https://www.mariinsky.ru/en/ there are a few spoof sites around. I had never seen the ballet Le Corsaire before and was pleasantly surprised. As to be expected the sets and the costumes were impressive. I found it easy to follow the story line because the dancers beautifully mimed their parts. The dancing was fabulous although no one dancer stood out. The corps were very cohesive and of high standard. It was a lovely evening. The only downside was that the theatre was extremely hot, no air conditioning. I imagine the new Mariinsky (Theatre II) is much cooler and as the old theatre is due to be renovated soon all future ballet productions will be performed there.
  10. I had the opportunity to visit Novosibirsk, Russia in July. Whilst I was there I went to a performance of Cinderella, in Russian ’Золушка’ (zolooshka) by the Novosibirsk State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre (NOVAT) https://www.novat.nsk.ru/en/ The theatre is the largest in Russia and seats 1774 people, it was built during World War 2, opening in May 1945. Novosibirsk is the third largest city in Russia with a population of around 1 million people. For this production Mikhail Messerer has revived the choreography by Rostislav Zakharov and this was the premier of this version for NOVAT. The Mikhailovsky ballet performed the world premier in St Petersburg in September 2017 and there is an excellent review by Graham Watts on DanceTabs http://dancetabs.com/2017/10/mikhailovsky-ballet-cinderella-st-petersburg/ I’ll just explain myself first and my perspective. My daughter insisted on me enrolling her in ballet classes at a very young age. I thought she would ‘grow out of it’, she never did and in fact became more determined than ever to fulfil her dream of becoming a professional ballet dancer, which she has, to my amazement. So I have watched quite a lot of ballet but from a performance enjoyment perspective rather than the critique of dancers and technique. I’ve seen a few versions of Cinderella (Dutch National Ballet and Queensland Ballet) but this version was quite different due to the amazing 3D video overlay onto the stage. Although there was also a traditional stage setup and the most beautiful and elaborate costumes, the addition of the video overlay gave an almost ‘out of this world’ effect. I imagine that ballet traditionalists possibly might be appalled by this ‘magical’ manipulation and feel that it detracts from the true essence of ballet but I felt it was a brilliant fusion of modern technology with a classic art form. 
I was pleasantly surprised at the high standard of the dancing, particularly the timing and unison by the corps. There was wonderful expression of emotion by the dancers and funny moments too. The prince was Ivan Vasiliev, who was flawless, energetic and spirited, I also enjoyed the athleticism and antics of the jester. The dome shaped theatre is impressive with an enormous chandelier. All the productions for Cinderella were sold out whilst we were there. Going to the ballet is very popular in Russia and it’s not unusual for performances to sell out. It was lovely to see people dressing up for the occasion and although the food and drinks in the interval were expensive (by Russian standards) they were beautifully presented and served. So if you have the opportunity to visit Novosibirsk, I highly recommend booking tickets for the ballet at NOVAT!
  11. For a graduating student a two page resume is ample. It’s always tough for teenage student dancers to continue their education and also train for enough hours in these formative years to be of the required standard to audition for a professional company. It’s great that that the NBA offers a degree option for those students that wish to persue it. I’ve not met a student that has regretted taking a dance degree option even though they are usually older than the other auditioning students. Many AD’s like older graduates with more life experience.
  12. Pehaps there is confusion about academic qualifications. In most Western countries it’s necessary to continue your education to a certain age, but most students do not attain a university entrance qualification. In Australia that is to the end of Grade 10 (usually 16 years). Most serious ballet students in Australia complete their high school education via distance education and this rarely gives them a University entrance qualification. Therefore they would not be able to enrol on the BA degree course at the NBA. The majority of NBA students do not enrol in the BA degree course. If you have worked hard to achieve a Bachelor of the Arts in classical ballet why would you not put it on your resume?! Just another ‘string to your bow’ and you never know what each AD is looking for. Besides if you’re in the all too unfortunate position of not pursuing a professional career you still have a internationally recognised degree and can enrol in some postgraduate courses.
  13. Can’t edit the above post but on re-reading it sounds like that i’ve implied that gaining a degree means you’re smart and intelligent. Not what I meant as there are many different types of intelligences. I guess what I meant that it shows academic commitment and also perhaps more ‘well rounded’ as a person (dancer).
  14. The BA is an internationally recognised University degree from the Amsterdam School of the Arts. It’s necessary to have the required academic entrance qualifications to start the BA (classical ballet) degree at the NBA. Overseas academic qualifications (usually the qualifications that you would need to gain entrance to a degree program in your own country eg IB/ A levels) are assessed to see if they are of the required standard. Many of the overseas students, in particular the younger ones will not have attained the required qualifications and so can not study for the BA degree and so are ‘trainees’. Dutch parents are usually very keen for their DC to keep up their academic studies. The degree has a high number of practical hours but also has assignments and a mini thesis. I disagree that it is not worthwhile, some students like the academic challenge and the break from ‘everything about ballet’. Although gaining that professional contract will primarily be about how a dancer performs in an audition, many AD’s like smart, intelligent dancers. Besides it’s so much cheaper to gain an internationally recognised recognised BA degree in the Netherlands than the majority of other Western countries.
  15. How exciting! Can’t help you with classes in Kiev but if you’ve never visited Ukraine before I highly suggest learning the Cyrillic alphabet before you go. It will make your life much easier 😊
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