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DD Driver

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  1. Just to say that - while students who attend will have a great time, it can be extremely expensive. Especially for international students going to London or HK. Our feeling is that you get more bang for your buck when 13 years and older.
  2. Be careful what you wish for! If acceptance is based only on how someone looks then you will have a very mixed bag of talent at the Intensive. Also,some programs are committed to taking everyone 'back to the basics' rather than challenging them with new or advanced skills. You may prefer your home school to teach the fundamentals and use intensives for a different perspective. It can be traumatising for a parent to pay for course fees, travel and accommodation etc and then watch their dancer doing the chicken dance at the end-of-course performance 😂
  3. I would also promote the importance of building strength and flexibility through focused exercises - not just adding more classes. I think you hit a wall with the value of adding more and more dance classes. This year my daughter substantially increased her dance hours and this has gone hand in hand with more time at the dance physio and home exercises. She is seeing the physio semi-regularly e.g. weekly when she had injuries and growing pains, through to once a term when all is going well. My daughter's physio gives her exercises to do each day to improve on particular aspects of her ballet skills or to prevent injury. No amount of dance classes could achieve these goals. She also does daily warm-up classes and some Pilates, Conditioning and Progressing Ballet Technique (PBT ) classes.
  4. Yes, there are several academic schools in Sydney that are serious about dance training (contemporary and ballet). They also (usually) allow their students to attend part-time after-school classes at a dance studio. This means that students can be doing substantial hours of ballet whilst still in mainstream schooling. I think - as Leotardmum points out - many of these dancers then start to look at full-time training at 14/15 years old, if pursuing ballet.
  5. In my experience (in Sydney) this is not a large number of 11/12 year olds going full-time. Most students entering full time are 14/15/16 year olds. Some young students go full time because they live in an area that can not offer elite training. Also, homeschooling and Distance Education have a long history in Australia. Everyone under 16 follows a curriculum overseen by a state-based Board of Education whether it be through a bricks & mortar school or alternate education option.
  6. I don't think Fateyev was insulting the Vaganova Academy. I think the translation or his English didn't capture his full meaning. It is a compliment to the Academy if the majority of their graduates are good enough to be taken into the company. Also, it is true that attracting more children into ballet leads to even more talented dancers being funneled through to the professional level Dance does have more competition these days from sports (and often these are better funded and more accessible).
  7. Yes leotardmum it is always interesting reading. The question around 'why so few UK applicants?' was explained well in last year's discussion. As you say, a different training model from some other countries (vocational schools which also provide the academic curriculum and their commitments etc) https://www.balletcoforum.com/topic/18740-prix-de-lausanne-2019/
  8. Impassioned differences in opinions about these dancers reminds me of something Nikolay Tsiskaridze (Bolshoi Theater) said in a mini-documentary for Dance Channel TV: Meet Nikolay Tsiskaridze 2:10 "Everything I've done on stage has had supporters and opponents. The main distinctive feature about great artists is that no one is left indifferent when disagreement arises. It is horrifying when everyone likes or dislikes something, because it is immediately forgotten. I bring out this kind of disagreement wherever I dance. In Tokyo, New York, Paris and Rome there were always people who were for or against me. They write enthusiastic reviews and terrible ones. It creates a certain wave." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0no3EwDHkWQ
  9. hmmm thank you Sophoife. I could have done with some more classical ballet favourites. Maybe I should keep a closer eye on tours by overseas companies for that in 2020.
  10. Thank you, Valentina. Fair point - unfortunately she is in the phase where 'mother never knows best'. (so I keep my comments to the minimum and positive.) I think she will come out of this in 5 to 10 years. Fortunately her teachers are on the ball here. Also she sometimes has a lesson from other teachers in the faculty and this seems to provide a good opportunity to get a fresh perspective.
  11. Yes - I've relaxed a bit and I'm appreciating that time and maturity is probably how it will all come together. I think acting lessons would help if we can get some non-ballet time in! My DD had an injury lately. That means she has to attend class to watch others and take notes. As she recovers, she is marking the exercises and dances, focusing more on her port de bras. I am more aware now that expressiveness is about your whole body and the quality of movement, so I think we have had an unexpected benefit here!
  12. Oh! We went out of our way to see Natalia Osipova recently in Sydney. Would have loved to make it to Melbourne for Evgenia Obraztsova - but can't. By the same token I would be thrilled to see Tiler Peck, Isabella Bolyston, Ashley Bouder, Yuan Yuan Tan etc
  13. Great viewing, thank you! What an insight. Gorgeous dancing. Yes, LinMM - that was difficult to watch. Part 1 15:00 "You have a month to get down to your ideal weight. Do everything you can to lose weight." Yikes! And maybe she did lose the weight but her look/bone structure just didn't fit their aesthetic. It's like Western schools before the HR department, legal recourse etc landed! Nikolai Tsiskaridze also spoke his mind without a filter. e.g. He excluded Kirrill from the graduation performance and snubbed him saying. "Lazybones" in passing (Part 2: 39:00) It wasn't said but probably Kirrill broke the rules when he reached out independently to get an audition with the Bolshoi (?) Maybe this was the last straw after the support he had been given. Anyway I expect things are very similar in Western schools - just more implicit messages rather than explicit.
  14. There appears to be big differences in the approach to this around the world. At many big ballet comps participants do both ballet and contemporary solos and classes. I have heard presenters at the Prix de Lausanne say however that some students have had very little experience of Contemporary training. At the bigger dance and ballet schools near us, students are usually offered ballet, contemporary and jazz from about 8 years old. The contemporary may be more ballet-based or commercial depending on the studio. Either way the focus is on learning to create shapes, using your core etc etc A nice clip of a young boy learning technique below...
  15. Thank you Peanut68! No quick fixes and you're right - being able to 'switch it on' in the studio is not necessarily the pathway towards a moving performance.
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