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    Assistant Administrator at Lisbon Performing Arts College https://www.lisbonperformingartscollege.com

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  1. Well done DD of Balletbean. Good news indeed
  2. To add my twopenneth to this debate, my DD started two A levels staggered over the three years of a ballet diploma and successfully pulled off good grades over all disciplines in and out of the studio. She has now been accepted onto a part-time degree at an academic university in a highy academic subject with 2 A levels and her Level 6 dance diploma. This will allow her to compliment a dance career with a transition later into other areas. Part -time study has prepared her for multi-tasking and time management as well as feeding her intellectual needs. Infact it changed her direction and helped her discover other depths,which was precisely what she expressed in her personal statement to the university and they had no hesitation in accepting her, having a proven track record in success on a non-conventional route. So best to go for quality not quantity, in my opinion. She spent the first year with face to face study with her tutor on a Sunday morning and the last two years working remotely because of Covid and a physical move away from the area. Despite that lessons were never interrupted. If you need recomendation for a tutoring service, I would really recommend her very keen, highly organised teacher, with clear lesson plans and goals and a good pass rate. Always supportive, fun and encouraging, despite having a young family to look after and finishing her own doctorate. Hope this helps. You have time to find solutions.
  3. Portugal and we have Ensino Articulado which is a Ministry of Education funded route for combined artistic studies with academic education in certain institutions. But virtually every major city has one public school and conservatory combining to give music or dance or both . So its a baccalaureate- style academic selection of general studies with general music or art missing for music and Physical education and music replaced for dance, though the artisitc students end up doing more hours overall than the average school week. There are specific rules over which sorts of dance institution can apply, because it is tax payers. money. That is the course structure, the hours dedicated in strict units for Ballet, Creative dance, leading to Contemporary when old enough, Historiuc dances, character dances, and other supplementary physical preparation, these are all laid down in law. The curriculums of instructors are a factor and the school facilities, ie number of studios equipped appropriately, classrooms for theory, teachers common room , students common room, girls and boys changing rooms. So its not a free for all but its certainly enlightened compared to modern UK. I remember my youth in Hertfordshire with similar projects in music for which my brother, I and countless others were the grateful recipients. However the local school did not have this , but it did have two teachers who qualified in the Vaganova Academy and the Moscow Theatre Arts University. who applied the same Russian rules and discipline as they had experienced to some lapsidaisical portuguese kids and their families, with the result that the determination of these kids and supporters ramped up and notch or two. They learned how to fundraise Uk-style from yours truly and others to send their kids round Europe in competitions, that paid off dividends in school results. It wasn't just ballet they learned. It was a discipline for life and a gratefulness for the generosity of others that put them on international stages periodically. As another contributor has stated, schools can sometimes measure progress by exams, others by artistic performance in shows, others by particiaption in competitions and festivals. I would suggest a balance. Competitions showed my DD what could be achieved by hard work and dedication in an artisitc direction, she then followed to strict vocational school with few artistic outlets,more the concentration on technique and no competitions just internal evaluations, then later she had to relearn how to let go artistically and develop a personna on stage. Now she is old enough to appreciate that the laying down of a strong technique is designed to free the artist in order to feel secure on stage to assume the role. But from that golden start to a straight-jacket class, she passed through a period of doubt ,then blossomed later. So at 7.5 your DD is just starting out ,as are you to support her, and you will find a wealth of honest and heartfelt opinions and experiences on this forum to help you, as you have had on this feed. I wish I had found it ten years ago. I am still learning now, and my DD is more able to express more about those early days and what she felt then and with hindsight considers important now. Listen to your teachers and experiment short courses in holidays to hear other opinions- Keep training light but productive. What we have not had here are associate programmes until now, though I have contacts who are due to start that concept here, but this seems to me a rather high pressured experience for precious family weekend hours, what with auditions and the have they, haven't they. So maybe at 7 try to stay local and save your and her energy for later. So what is important, IMHO , is not to take on more than the family can cope with as a social unit or financially( we lived luckily 10-12 mins drive from ballet school and music academy ), what the school work and timetable allows(ours was simple) , choose the best instruction and results over hours, measured by quality of presentation, diversity and general sense of artistry/ inventiveness at shows, exams and frequency, or particiaption in festivals and comps. We had one town school that did shows where parents paid for each costume whcih could limit participation of their DC, and exams (expensive with external examiners ), and the other did internal assessments but national and international competitions and shows , with limited parental financial contribution but massive fundraising that united the school body into the effort. The two major schools still attract different social groups, interestingly. Overall at 7 , it should be fun, instructive and develop a sense of discipline,selfworth and positive social interaction. If they end up continuing it ten years later then so be it. How come I always write too much? Someone tell me to be quiet!
  4. She was on a set special artisitic course, that had one hour instrumental 2x , piano for her, one hour theory, and 1.5 choir. Her sister did the same and is now a MusicD in bassoon on a B Music Performance in a conservatoire. School here is compressed and finishes early with timetable allowance made for special artisitic FREE courses from aged 10 to those with interest and talent. Yes when we had ballet shows and music recitals it got really testing. But I am pleased to say they never missed one, so they always got picked for all the civic events because we never let down any of the teachers. Indeed when they moved away to other schools in the capital, the local mayor commented on their absence from the line up. The fun thing was scheduling, music normally came first , then dance, so they left for school at 08.10 and started music at 15.30/ 1600 and then went to dance at 1800 and arrived home at 2030/ 2100, with home work done over a soup or bifana in a cafe. If you had them going in opposite directions and doing their buns in the car and changing it got fun.I suppose when I read of parent here on this forum doing these weekend associate programs, it reminds me of those days. We got through a tank of fuel a week. Now we use one a month. Ballet parents do not save the planet, but shush don't tell Greta.
  5. At 7 , my DD was training 1.5 hours in ballet 2x per week and 1 hour 3x week in Character dance (and 4.5 hours music lessons)if not more , resulting in a gold medal win in a world competition 8 months later in national dance group dance that set her and one other on the road to vocational studies in the long run plus launched three medical students and three architects students, one into pschychology and another into medical sciences. The value of that world class win that was repeated with other excellent presentations in other years and allowed small town kids from the end of the world to think bigger than working in the local tourist restaurants and changing hotel beds, and with these Covid times, thank goodness. If your DD has the desire and stamina get ready for the ride because it sets them up for anything later.
  6. What a good idea! Gets 10/10 from me.
  7. Hello Jan, I cannot talk about Budapest, but I have some knowledge of Jean Philippe Dury's Elephant in the Black Box. One of my DD'S old class mates had completed her level 3 diploma in Contemporary Dance in Portugal last year and has now spent a highly successful year with the new Junior company in Pau, France. Her talent was quickly spotted and appreciated. Jean Philippe Dury is a delightful mentor,who though classically trained in Paris,values the potential in a dancer more than a classic physical type, curriculum vitae or specific college course/ballet background, so he will look for different things at audition than other AD's and offer opportunitiy or scholarships to some very surprised students from non-conventional places. Indeed my DD won a scholarship with a ballet repertoire competition piece for the summer school but was unable to attend, but another young man we know was also offered for a contemporary piece in a world dance competition where he was adjudicating, and the young man had moved sideways from Ballroom into Contemporary not from ballet. JP will often allow shortened tasters to interested parties . He is well respected by a wide range of industry professionals and the recent expansion from the main and original base Madrid to the setting up of the second unit in France, clearly shows he and his colleagues have a winning and popular formula. Did you note that the new RB choreographer has also worked with him? Dolly Henry has taught jazz for several seasons there too. So dance training is broad and there are frequent guest choreographers. If someone is interested, they should log into the accessible classes online through Instagram for a true feel. I know that I would be very happy for my ballet/ neo-classical loving DD to spend some time there at some stage, whether junior or senior company. It is one of the pre-professional course I would definitely pay for if that was required, because I know that the experience would represent value for money and give a lot of happy, productive learning. Furthermore, both Madrid and Pau, though different, are super places to live.
  8. Another good summer school is the Ballet Cymru in Newport. They have a variety of age groups. They announced a live summer school last week and today was the last day for entries, but its probably still worth enquiring if there are places left or a waiting list. Seniors, 17 plus, get to dance at professional level with their pre-professional and company dancers. My DD really enjoyed this course and even the online one last year.
  9. As someone living on the other, EU , side, we have to fill out a customs form to send anything bigger than a letter or 'small packet', and list the items and value if we are sending to Britain, just as we would to send or receive from China or the U.S.A. So I will not be sending any Christmas , birthday presents and will probably be usisng an online greeting card service and Interflora type transactions. Everyone here that buys on Amazon( and personally I have no intention of making Mr. Bezos any richer) has had to swap to the German or Spanish branches not UK. So leotard -wise and shoes, my DD will buy UK stuff in the Uk , and European in Europe. Brexit, the gift that just keeps giving.
  10. Yes thank you, but some state that you have to be over 18 to even apply for audition, so it would seem a little pushy to apply especially with the stiff competition. She is patient and finds plenty of avenues to develop her skillset further in and out of the studio. She can just apply for a company class later and might do better that way.
  11. I do hope that the colleges make some effort. I am glad you have a flight booked BalletBean. That's more than I have. Enjoy the moment in whatever way it comes. I will have to send a UK-based substitute. My DD is just graduating on a diploma course, as she is also wrapping up her A levels and is still under 18 till the very end of August. She looked at all the auditions going across Europe principally, and the age required, usually set at 18,and realised that there was no point in putting together a show reel because it would be a waste of effort. The restrictions on access to studios and colleagues with the technology and know-how in other bubbles didn't help. However she would be blanked automatically by companies as under age. Gone are the days of apprenticeships at 16 plus. Employment laws, insurance, safeguarding and health and safety have put paid to that. However her appetite for academic study has increased and so DD is thinking of continuing in this direction for a while, whilst continuing with classes and delaying the applications by at least one year. She has time on her side. She may get some freelance work to put on the CV after she is 18. Who knows? She did have the opportunity to do a three day showcase with the ballet company of her college , which she adored and some material may be available from this for showreels in the future. Usually the college tours but they restricted that this year. I do not know if any company AD's attended. Tutor feedback was positive. Her old YAGP films and others, though of an excellent standard and good enough to audition a year ago, will not represent the dancer she is now after yet more intensive instruction. Improvement is constant,the quality of technique and interpretation , maturity of expression and indeed figure and face. The difference between looking like a 'student ' and a company dancer can be great. The college did give classes on employability and audition technique, but bubbles and limitations on studios prevented students having chance to do showreels easily. Not sure how many have been successful at audition, because I am out of the loop. Choreography ventures were suggested for online transmission through the year, which were highly inventive in terms of techniques, storytelling , locations and a great use of technology, and I should think that some students involved then used this material for their reels. There will be some form of live graduation ceremony but bubbled.
  12. I think this is what Carlos Acosta is trying to do. He seems to have a more accessible position to the media, than some other directors, it appears, as barely a month goes by and he is quoted somewhere. In response to Angela, critics I would say have the power to make or break a production with a well chosen adjective, and should not be the best to represent the genre to the ticket-buying public. I am afraid to say, as a mother of a professional dance student, that it was the traditional folk-tale ballets that enticed her into the studio and still maintains her interest, long before she knew what modern ballet, neo-classical or contemporary ballet looked like, and I suspect that she is not alone. When we see how much literature has been transformed into modern 'classics', Eugene Onegin, Anna Karenina, Anastasia and the list goes on, there is still much material to be interpreted in a classical style, and that's before we get to modern ballet and contemporary re-imaginings. As another thread here discusses, Ashton's work needs to be revised and presented to new audiences. There is a wealth of traditional material that will always pay the bills of the company by putting bums on seats, whilst new works are in production with emerging choreographers. It is all a question of balance, artistic and economic, I would say. I can understand directors wanting to be less 'elitist' in style and wanting to present a broader palette of genres and mixed styles of dance and music. I would suggest though that it is the still the same audience that buys tickets, regardless of whether Vadim M , Stephen Mc, Sarah L from ROH or the company of BRB are suddenly girating,moonwalking and body-popping to Eminem or MC Whoever . Grannie still wants to buy a ticket for the grandkids for the Nutcracker, and then they will want Giselle, Swan Lake etc and later more contemporary works.
  13. Yes , when the present government announced that' Fatima is retraining', they had no idea of the poltical monster they were creating. Wishing strength. resilience and patience to all our artist children, their teachers and company directors ( oh, and us).
  14. My DD , a vocational student since aged 10, has completed A levels in her own time, a teaching qualification, Benesh Notation modules , a pilates instructor course, alongside full time dance studies resulting in a level 6 diploma and all before reaching 18 years old, and now has to choose between converting Level 6 diploma to Level 6 BA( with reduced years), or joining a pro-professional program or company or having had a political awakening given the current Brexit/ Covid/ underfunding of education/ underfunding of culture and arts that she is wanting to sign up to a BA in Politics ,or address these issues in a BA Dance dissertation. Whatever, she chooses, discipline learned in the studio, concentration, dedication and time keeping will carry her through. She has her heart set on being Minister for Culture and Arts in 20+ years, ready to defend our corner. Believe you me, dance students are fit for anything and everything.
  15. Hello Laura, Just to give you more encouragement, I started at 45 ish and I am still going on at 60. Up to about Intermediate Foundation level and probably static now, but won't ever get on pointe. Too many broken bones so far in my life, that I won't risk it now. Just love the discipline in my life and the challenge of remembering combinations and cleaning them up, until the teacher changes them again. Pilates is brilliant for strenthening the core and flexibility, so you go girl! Will be watching out for your progress reports.
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