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  1. Oh no - I remember seeing her with the Australian Ballet. And in my ballet class one term, we were working on an adapted version of the Kitri solo for which she was so famous. The music we used was of the arrangement conducted for her - it was fast! (faster than it would usually be played) - I remember my teacher saying that was because it was arranged for Lucette Aldous, and she was little and could jump (my teacher was also small and could jump like nobody's business!). This year is taking away so many ...
  2. I've been really impressed by the way all my teachers have adapted to Zoom. I attended Christina Mittelmaier's new Intermediate class at Pineapple last night as a Zoomer (rather than a 'roomer' in the studio) and she was wonderful at keeping a careful eye on us all, and adapting centre work for my kitchen. Although I sort of gave up at grand allegro, partly space, but also tiredness (I'd done 5 sets of heavy deadlifts at 75kg & then run very fast on the gym treadmill in the morning!) @Laura F. we are all very excited for you, so do keep us up to date about how things go. And @Colman's probably right about the 6 weeks! In my annoyance with myself at not being able to beat assemblés at the moment, I forget about what it's like to start at the beginning. I took up lifting heavy weights about 3 years ago, and i'm still learning how to squat & deadlift really really well.
  3. Yes, this is a really good point! I have a teacher from my late 20s/30s (while I was writing my PhD) who's still in my head. And I've done class with some teachers over the last 10 years that others rave about, and I haven't enjoyed. That's about me, not the teachers, I hasten to add! But I think we're lucky in the UK in that there is a growing body of expert teachers who actively enjoy teaching adults. It also helps if you are "teachable." That is, you actively take on corrections, and conduct yourself in class with respect for your teacher, and also your fellow students (don't be late, and don't get in the way of other dancers ...)
  4. It's never too late! I've done ballet most of my life - from syllabus classes in my early teens - a terrible teacher, so I stopped. Then took it up again at university when I was 20, and have mostly done at least a class a week ever since (it's now 40 years or so). And what you're planning to wear is perfectly appropriate. You could start to do some conditioning to help with getting used to using your body in unaccustomed ways of moving. Flexibility isn't really as important as people think - what is important is mobility and then strength. Flexibility is no good if it's static, and you can't hold it. Gentle yoga or Pilates are good complementary movement practices to help develop both of those things. You could also do some "kitchen ballet" classes on Zoom, if you wanted to get the hang of things before starting in-studio. I do a range of online and studio classes - I'd really recommend doing very basic beginners' classes - I still do them to keep me honest about the basics. One of my online teachers (the excellent Hannah Frost at Pineapple) always says to absolute beginners that it will feel strange and weird, but that you need to give it about 3 weeks at the very least, to help your body learn - muscle memory takes a while. I think one of the tricky things for absolute beginners is that that sense of grace & fluidity of movement which makes ballet look so wonderful to do, is really quite hard, and takes some time to learn. But - the huge advantage we have as adults is that we can think & process, and we know how our bodies work, so we can take on the advice of our teachers. The other thing that sometimes adults find tricky is the ballet practice of 'corrections.' If your teacher is good, they'll be constantly 'side-coaching' - that is, they'll be calling out adjustments and corrections that individuals & the whole class need to attend to. You have to learn to keep going, while taking on the corrections as your teacher reminds you. It's quite different from current day teaching in other contexts - rarely a "It would be lovely if you could just pull up your abdominal muscles, please, if you could manage that." It will be "Pull up! Navel to backbone. Get those shoulders down, and straighten your knees!" It's direct & speedy. Sometimes adults feel this is criticism - it's not. It's advice to make you a better dancer. Ignore at your peril. Good luck and I hope you get to the point where it is fun! There's nothing like moving to music with grace and control, or crossing the floor in a series of pirouettes, or jumping and turning.
  5. I saw her dance Giselle with the Australian Ballet back in 1977. I can still remember it - mesmerising. I think that's where my fascination with the ballet Giselle started.
  6. I've just received this from an email list for dance in HE: The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Ballet is a landmark publication for the fields of contemporary ballet and research. We will celebrate the release of the book at a special online event with invited guest artists: Adji Cissoko, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Cathy Marston, Mthuthuzeli November,and Justin Peck. The Handbook's co-editors, Dr Kathrina Farrugia-Kriel (Head of Research, RAD) and Dr Jill Nunes Jensen (Senior Lecturer in Dance, Loyola Marymount University), will engage panelists to discuss the many ways in which ballet functions as a global practice in the 21st century, providing new perspectives on its past, present, and future. The event is free and will take place at 19:00 BST on 7 June. Registration for this event is required. RAD Members will be given a 30% discount on the book. Click here to purchase your copy and use the code AAFLYG6. See also: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_S1-BSYgySMyxyydQ7x-_aA
  7. This is excellent advice! I've been taking MORE classes during the pandemic than ever before, because I can do them via Zoom.
  8. I've seen your posts on both fora, @LM_Rose I think the issue is that it's hard to advise if we don't know where you are, and of course, you may not wish to disclose that. And we can't see you, so don't know what your standard is. If you've had a patchy ballet training, I'm afraid that - speaking generally - it's pretty unlikely you'd achieve a professional job. But you could be a natural phenomenon! However, there is huge satisfaction to be had from taking your training seriously as an end in itself. It can be a serious pursuit without it having to be your job as well. Lots of adults dance this way, and get a lot of satisfaction out of it.
  9. but I wonder if the choreographers of the 1830s (height of Romantic ballet) would have said that about the choreography, style, and technique of the 1890s? I suspect they would.
  10. Whew! So we can keep Giselle, then? 😉
  11. And let's remember! Petipa took Romantic choreography and developed it into classical era ballet. As did Nijinska. Or we could go backwards and look at what M. Vestris did to develop the repertoire of steps choreography in the romantic ballet - or Bournonville. And so on. Things change & develop.
  12. In terms of dance history, this is correct. Strictly the adjective "classical" refers to a particular time period - generally the latter part of the 19thC. I'm far less bothered though by the kinds of distinctions others are making here: I think that, for example, Forsythe's work, MaGregor's work, and Marston's, all use the vocabulary of ballet, but in contemporary ways. My favourite Australian choreographer, Graeme Murphy, was even more extreme in his pushing of the ballet vocabulary & repertoire, but the dancers were all fully trained 'classical' ballet dancers. Whereas, dancers trained solely in contemporary technique (eg Graham or Cunningham) have a very different look, style, and even shape of the body.
  13. You've not missed anything - that is the proposal. It makes an inaccurate distinction between performing & creative arts courses at conservatoires and universities, by assuming that only the graduates of 11 conservatoires nationally, make any contribution to the creative/cultural sector. It focuses only on training of a handful of performers, whereas there are many more types of employment, and pathways to such employment in the cultural industries. Some of those jobs might be done by anyone without specialist training, but others not. And there are some surprising crossovers - although not surprising to anyone in the industry. The man who taught my brother how to use a follow spot in big arena concerts (my bro is now a technical director of various huge public events such as Olympic ceremonies) also knew his music & his ballet. He was once asked by a colleague how he managed to get the follow spot straight onto a dancer as the dancer jetéd on stage from the wings. "I count the music, of course" the lx man answered. He knew the ballet, he knew the steps, he knew the music.
  14. Ys, that was my reading as well! It's also internally contradictory - things like acknowledging that creative arts education is very good for students with mental health issues, but that that is not enough of a priority. It's blatantly ideologically driven (and I've had this confirmed by someone with Westminster insider knowledge). Given that we have a PM with one of those really "useless" degrees in the arts (what does on do with a Classics degree?) it's bafflingly anti-arts & humanities.
  15. Kate_N


    I'm still doing ballet class in my kitchen. I can do doubles quite easily in the studio, but prefer to keep to singles in my kitchen, so I'm focusing on finishing the pirouette up on demi-pointe, and in retiré, and then put my foot down slowly and cleanly. It is very difficult!
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