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Everything posted by Kate_N

  1. Speaking as someone involved in the training of performers (although ones older than 13), I'd say that for the moment, it might be worth building on her current focus on port de bras and expressivity of the body as an organic whole. This sounds like a really wonderful learning moment for her (and an unexpected benefit after the frustration of injury, I hope!) The music is the huge help here - just filling the music will require a co-ordinated use of breath, nuance of movement, and tempo that will help with expression. The very worst thing is a focus on "face acting" and forced expression - I see this too much in my 18-20 year olds, and it's based on a very fundamental misconception about acting that might help your daughter in developing nuanced and subtle expression. Here it is for what it's worth: A lot of novice performers think performing is about expressing their feelings. It's not. It's about making their spectators feel something. I use this a lot in duologue/dialogue work, and improvisation - the task is not to show me your feelings, but to elicit feeling in the partner you're working with. Otherwise, all I get is a rather self-indulgent overflow of wrought up emotion - and I have a very low embarrassment threshold for this (it's a bit of a professional problem sometimes - but I've taught myself to smile & nod!). But at 13, I'd say developing musicality and whole body expression - and avoiding face acting - are sufficient goals. She needs to feel she is enough on stage, for other people to enjoy watching her (if that makes sense?). And that is hard for a 13 year old girl to feel ...
  2. And thanks for merging my post with Jan's thread, Alison. I do see a lot of dance, but I don't always get the time to post about it here ... I first met Maliphant 20 years ago when he was artist-in-residence in a university department I was working in at the time. He was doing some of his early experiments with MichaelHull, which resulted in that extraordinary piece, Two, made for Dana Fouras. I saw an early version of that in our departmental theatre space. I know enough about the technicalities of lighting to know how difficult and experimental the work that Maliphant & Hull do together is. And Silent Lines is further experimenting with the interplay of light & bodies. But like Jan, I could have sat through the piece a second time straight away - although I doubt the dancers could have managed that! None of them stopped for pretty much the whole hour.
  3. I saw Russell Maliphant's latest show last night - it's on a regional tour, from their base in East Anglia. I would urge anyone who can get to see one of the performances, to go!!!! https://russellmaliphantdancecompany.com/shows/2019/silentlines It's only an hour long, but it is one of the most intense hours I've experienced recently in the theatre, and I see a lot of performance. It is utterly beautiful and mesmerising, and such beautiful pure dance. NO storytelling - just an investigation into what bodies are capable of doing - and yet there are no cheap tricks. Maliphant's signature style - really beautiful use of spirals and extended arms, is matched with a video artist's projections onto the dancers' bodies, to make for quite a thrilling and moving experience, about what the human body can do, and is capable of. Not ballet as such, but Maliphant & Fouras both trained and danced with the Royal Ballet. And it's just gorgeous.
  4. Birmingham is excellent for ballet training, but presumably not within the BOA. For someone who wants to do this full-time, it would be worth looking at various colleges of Further Education - Solihull had quite a good dance programme when I lived in Birmingham, but I don't know if this is still the case. What I know as the BTEC - but I think it's now called a National Diploma? Good results in this will be accepted for appropriate degree courses at universities (we take applicants with Distinctions at BTEC level and I teach at a research intensive elite university). But my point re overall aims stands - if it's teaching/choreography, then this ambition is probably best served by a good dance degree at a university. There will inevitably be more contemporary dance than ballet, but the degree courses I know (which is not all of them!) - at universities, not conservatoires - all have ballet as part of their curriculum.
  5. Thank you for these links - wonderful programmes. Thank you! I'm wondering how the young Kirril will develop - he danced beautifully, in the exam, I thought, while clearly quite ill. And his truculence was both frustrating but heart-breaking. They are so young and work so hard, and have to be so driven.
  6. I was coming in to post pretty much what @balletbeanhas posted. If your daughter is interested in a teaching and choreography career, then she should be aiming for a university dance degree, probably with some modules available in pedagogy and choreography. So one way of looking at your current conundrum might be to work backwards: * identify 5 university courses (that's how many choices in a UCAS application) which are of interest** * look at what their entry requirements are * see what post-16 choices best enable desired university course entry ** to choose appropriate university courses: The UCAS website is a good first start, as well as searching discussions here Then go to the specific degree programme website on the university's own website Try to get past the advertorial selling pages (we all have to do it - us academics don't like it) and get to the pages for current students Have a look at the broad structure of each degree programme The Departmental information will tell you approximately about time in the studio and time in seminars & contextual studies It's likely that university dance degrees will focus more on contemporary dance than ballet, but many will offer ballet as part of the studio training component of a degree It's likely that most dance degrees - other than the solidly vocational at conservatoires such as Central or Laban - will require 50% of the students time in seminar/theory/research based modules. HOWEVER, this sort of learning will be vital for anyone wanting t teach or choreograph. Choreographers need to have a wide knowledge of art, music, the history of dance & movement more generally. There should also be some sort of option offered in 'employability' style studies eg entrepreneurship, study of the creative industries etc. My strong advice for post-16 education is to keep up the academic studies, so that your daughter has the best chance of the widest possible choice of university dance degrees. Normally, I'd advise going strongly for the dance training as bodies can't wait. But if her long-term goal is to teach & choreograph, actually she'll need deep and broad learning and also analytical and critical thinking. This latter is paramount.
  7. I should think Google is your friend here. And your child should be doing the research - not the parent.
  8. Gretchen Ward Warren’s book is one of the best sources for this sot of thing. It’s very comprehensive: Classical Ballet Technique. Anti beautifully illustrated, with both clear line drawings and photographs.
  9. Sometimes my students come up with this sort of research method, but a problem arises if there hasn't been specific training in interviewing and qualitative research. As you know, there are specific - and quite high level - skills involved. And those skills are not usually taught in a performing arts/dance degree - we're too busy covering discipline specific content and skills! At my place, this kind of research would also require ethical clearance, and quite a lot of secondary source reading in sociological research methods. Just tagging on to @Bluebird22's post - this is a more nuanced way of doing the kind of research the OP seems to want to do. My only problem with this - as a dissertation supervisor - is, as Bluebird says, that there's no body of primary source material to analyse.
  10. These anecdotes are interesting, but can't be used in a university dissertation!
  11. Hear hear, Valentina! All the stuff I read about exams sometimes makes me wish we could just get rid of them. They don't really indicate whether you're going to have a successful career as a dancer or a teacher. I've seen some adult dancers with misalignment and not much control of their turn out, who don't seem to be able to point their toes, who have apparently got Merit or whatever in vocational exams. Hmmmm - sometimes, I wonder (in my harsh moments) whether sometimes it's just about what the Americans call "bragging rights."
  12. It sounds as though it's strength, not "not good enough." I'd guess he's at the age when boys start to develop the more "manly" bodies and strength that typify the male dancer. Maybe he's just not quite there yet. Slow and steady is really important in ballet training, as the risk of injury is just too great otherwise. And I really recommend @Peanut68's question: "what is the priority?" Exams are just a means to test how a student is progressing, they are not an end in themselves. Please don't let him do anything that might potentially damage his growing body!
  13. This sounds more like an affirmation, than an actual argument. You need to reframe your interest as an hypothesis around which you can gather evidence. So starting by saying the benefits of dance teaching isn't an hypothesis as such. In order to find something that 'hasn't been done to death' you need to do a LOT of reading around your broad topic. This will take time, and you will do what my less successful students call "wasted" reading. It is not wasted - you need to know the broad outlines of the field of your topic, and the chief researchers and scholars in the field. An undergraduate dissertation doesn't need to be "original" (that is the central criterion for a PhD) but it must be independent. One way to approach this is to think about examples of dance practice you have undertaken or observed. For a dissertation presumably to be written this year (your final undergrad year, I'm assuming), you can't rely on practical work you've done in the past, but you could extend or develop this in this year. Can you sit in on "Dance for Parkinson's" sessions, for example? You won't be able to do that for dance therapy as that is confidential therapy work. Or what about thinking about areas that aren't dance as such, but areas of practice which are influenced by dance? But whatever you do, you need to have a body of primary source materials - that is, direct evidence of direct work, not just a series of summaries of what others have said. And my serious advice (25 years of supervising dissertations in this broad field) is that primary evidence in these sorts of areas is very difficult for undergrad students to get access to. How are you going to prove the benefit? Do you have statistics training? Or training in questionnaires or ethical clearance for talking to students about their perception of benefit? These are all serious and weighty questions. In short a dissertation can't just be a statement or affirmation of what you believe. It must be an argument, supported by your gathering together and analysis of the evidence, including counter-evidence.
  14. Schweizer Deutsch always sounds weird to me (but not as hard as understanding a deep Bayerische accent)
  15. Wonderful news - what an exciting opportunity to live and work in another country. You'll have the opportunity to learn a number of languages and experience a different culture from the inside. And yes, Basel has ballet activity: here are a couple of possible leads which look OK: https://www.you-dance.ch/ballett you're looking for Ballet Erwachsene (adults) Kürsinfo https://braswellartscenter.com/adult-dance-classes (You could also search or studios on Instagram).
  16. Ha ha ha yes, TYR I’ve heard that and seen the shudder.
  17. Oh, I'm glad I'm not the one who misunderstood here. I was just a bit taken aback by this person, who kept talking about her "rad ballet course." Then I finally twigged, and went "Oh, you mean R.A.D." Maybe she thought I was being rude ... And I say ISTD as in the initials But RADA and LAMDA as if they are words. Although in my world, "Central" means Central sChool of Speech and Drama, not Central School of Ballet.
  18. I was at a studio in central London on the weekend, taking class with one of my favourite teachers. Chatting in the change room afterwards to other members of the class, one of them said that she wouldn't be there for the next ten weeks because she was going back to her 'rad classes' (as in a shortening for 'radical.') I thought, Wow! Radical ballet classes! Where? Then I worked out (slow), that she meant R.A. D. classes. I've always pronounced that as Are. Ay. Dee That is, as the initials, rather than made into a word. So how do you pronounce the shortening for the Royal Academy of Dance?
  19. Kate_N

    Vale Mum

    Oh, so sorry for your loss, jmb. And many thanks for taking the time to tell us about her and her recent love of ballet. You make me think of how fragile life is and how we need to remember those close to us. My mother is 10 years younger than yours - like yours, she emigrated to Australia (but about a decade later) and has never looked back. Sadly, my mother is slipping gently into serious old-age memory loss - in a sort of opposite process to your mother, she rarely watched things like Midsomer Murders, but now switches the television on at 5pm and lets it wash over her. But I think our mothers would have got along famously - particularly in love of ballet (my mother trained and worked professionally) and Australia!
  20. That GMA clip is awful. The presenter is just plain ignorant of UK education practices, in addition to being rude about ballet (also religious studies). I am loving my Instagram feed of all the recordings of the mass ballet class in Times Square. I've just been in New York - oh I wish I could have stayed on to participate! I saw some of my favourite NYC-based teachers there. Sometimes, this sort of gaffe can actually serve to promote the very thing that was ridiculed. This is one of those times. Bravo and brava to all the dancers in Times Square.
  21. Thank you SO MUCH for those links, Anna! Reminds me how much I love, love, love this version of R&J (and I don't really usually like long "story ballets" so much ...) Lucky people seeing this production - it looks amazing in rehearsal.
  22. Seconded & thirded. I often read these reports, and determine to travel more - cheap weekend flights etc etc. But work & quotidian life take over ... So thank you for the reports from all around the world written here!
  23. That's good to hear, Colman. I think maybe my experience was because a) I'm not a regular; and b) it was a very basic beginners class and I didn't get to move! I got one useful correction, but not really any approach to working the body generally which I found illuminating. There's a teacher in New York I really love to take class with - Julia Gleich - who teaches a very basic beginners class, but I really like her approach to ballet & I always learn something new about my body & ballet. Anyway, I"m off-topic, and it's just my very limited experience - I look at her Insta and really like what I see there, so I was obviously in an off-mood!
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