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Everything posted by Lusodancer

  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.
  16. Yes, I felt very sorry for her being presented with such a dilemma, and frequently do feel sorry for these sports people coming in after a very public 'bad day' to face the press and explain themselves. If I had to go through the triumphs or challenges of my day, every day, it would begin to make me uncomfortable. At least if your other half says' had a good day?' you can choose how you reply and they are none the wiser! I hope that the issue is out in the public domain with these championships and some discussion occurs in boardrooms of associations.
  17. Hello Beezie, Depending upon where you are in Europe, there may be auditions for certain schools that have programs linked to official courses and therefore a quota. I know that where I live, certain schools have government paid places for vocational students, that are linked to the education program and school day, and grades count towards school reports. For a place , commitment is required for a fixed term and there is no dropping out if enthusiasm wanes.These would generally in my country be post aged 10. Sometimes others announce 'auditions' just to assess level to age in order to fit the child in the right group for age, physical or knowledge characteristics. Other schools will just admit for age or grade without tests. Some have capacity always and others are sought after for the limited places. But , it looks good on your publicity if you offer 'auditions'. Sometimes your DC has to 'try a few classes' to see if it feels comfortable as much as they might be choosing your DC too. And after that, its the logistics as a parent-taxi driver that count....oh, and cost!
  18. For a long while, it has been evident that whilst Europe produces high quality dancers in contemporary and ballet, the London colleges train excellent all-rounders for the more commercial areas of dance and stage. A group of interested parties have united to create a new course that will follow the London professional diploma in a fabulous location, so I would like to introduce the following press release to the readers of this forum: Lisbon Performing Arts College intends to bring London-style dance and musical theatre professional training to Europe with the objective of producing industry-ready creative artists with a wide palette of performance skills for stage, television and film. The diplomas will be accredited by the highly acclaimed Urdang Academy of London. Urdang Academy was founded in a time of great social upheaval in 1970, and based on the principles of breaking the mould of traditional elitism in the theatre dance arts. Its vision has always included diversity as an aim, in pupils, faculty and teaching repertoire, and thus produces a high caliber multi-faceted employable graduate class of singer-actors that dance, and dancers that can sing, equipped for starring roles in West End and touring shows, cruise ships, television and films. The Lisbon Performing Arts College is founded on the premise that there are many talented young artists who desire to become professional all-round performers but have no access to such courses in the UK and where better than to be based in Lisbon. Lisbon is a great city for inspiring artists and is internationally recognized as a wonderful place to live, full of a rich global history and natural beauty. The institution wishes to share this experience with both national and international students and faculty, and to participate in the cultural exchange of the city. The teaching will be in English by an international faculty and guests, with the view to producing confident skilled performers, able to work internationally in all areas of the industry at the end of the three year diploma. There will also be a one year foundation year for those who wish to get a flavour of the course, with access to continuation into the second year and beyond. The theatre craft repertoire, for example, will be based on past and current West End hits and will be led by a Portuguese star of the West End, Ricardo Afonso. The college is grateful for the support and encouragement of Jazzy Studios, whose network of high quality studio facilities will be greatly appreciated, and is proud to announce its first patrons are Kerry Ellis, actress, singer and musical theatre star, and Claudimar Neto, dancer and graduate of Urdang. The first in-person auditions will be held in Lisbon on 29th May Jazzy Dance Studios Santos and 6th June in Porto at Jazzy Porto. Other in-person dates will follow at the beginning of July. A first wave of online auditions for international students can be made by 15th June, and a second for 30th June. Registration for audition is via: info@lisbonperformingartscollege.com. Please search the site www.lisbonperformingartscollege.com for more details, or contact me via messages and I will explain more.
  19. You realise folks if we all pooled our audition fund and our pre-professional fund money together , we could probably form our own junior company! Hire a few guest choreographers for a short contract to build a repertoire, studios, line up a few theatre dates ,etc . Anybody game?
  20. He is exactly that Balletbean! Always giving of his time to anyone who wants to talk , have a selfie, and quick to congratulate others, and as big as team player in group choreographies as he is as a soloist. He is inspirational to many young bys starting, and has had an important infIuence on the Portuguese parents who don't understand bys dancing He will be an asset to any company in the truest sense of the word.He doesn't seek the spotlight , it finds him. Really lovely young man whose feet are on the ground when not flying through the air. And Abdel's responses to his prizes showed him to be built in the same mould, Fiona, didn't you think? Certainly a lovely dancer with a great future and I agree it is difficult to be objective sometimes.
  21. Well , it was no surprise to us that Antonio Casalinho won. He has been marked at as I said since 7 or 8 as one of the greats. He has won DWC and is their ambassador, YAGP and virtually everything across Europe that he can fit in round his school studies, Beijing, Varna... Prix was just another. All that remains is Moscow and the Rudolf Nureyev. It is a shame that Kiko 219 did not make the final prizes, but he, Guilio 216 and so many of the others will have attracted attention regardless. But it should be said that Antonio Casalinho and Francisco Gomes have been dancing together since they were 6 or 7 and there has been very little to choose between them for all that time. Antonio if you would ask me , always had the edge in Classical, but Kiko could definitely hold his own in contemporary so this healthy competition was the glue that held them together as friends constantly driving each other forwards , and their teachers were smart in keeping them on different projects and yet centrered in class and group work. They had excellent company from some older young men who have entered companies directly and pupils like Guilio who arrived a few years ago, and they all benefitted from superb partners in the girls, too many to number but Laura Viola( Prix) and Maia Rose are just two, and of course Matilde Rodrigues who was accepted directly for the BRB this last season. Watch this space for more pupils at Prix from this school in the future. Back to the others, gosh that must have been hard for the judges. So glad Luca picked up his prizes, and the Brazilian lad. I wanted the other there too. Yes I too liked Ashley Coupal, but I still thought IMHO that the contrast between Esmeralda and the contemporary moves of Jooyoung had the edge over her colleague Seojeong, but just by a hair's breadth, but I am not a teacher, dancer nor judge, so its just a feeling, my feeling. I reassessed my opinion of Rain upon seeing the boys do it.I think the girls made it too delicate, too classical. Could be me. A Variation for Diogo I loved with its elements of character, which is another area of important concern in the Portuguese school. They have the most fabulous Russian character/ folklore teacher who is adored by my DD, since they first met, and all her pupils. Check out YAGP or DWC films to see her work. This is an area still highly valued in Portuguese vocational schools and adds to the curriculum for company jobs. And Grinding the Teeth , well as a dentist, I will have to check Antonio's now , so well and thoroughly did he perform it. My DD commented that she did not like the format compared to normal as in her words' it is easier to do rerecord' if not perfect , and I would have preferred to see the finalists perform live at least one of the choreographies if not both, not a rerun of the original recording for greater accuracy in performance technique. My DD had had many friends go for the competition and the choreogrpahic project so she has followed it for years. We did get to see the usual habitat of the dancers, some with considerably better facilities than others, especially where certain countries are completely shut out of studios and theatre spaces and therefore working in less safe environments or smaller spaces, but never-the -less I am sure the judges took this into account. Let's hope its back to normal next year. It just remains to be seen the offers that these youngsters now receive, and back to encouraging our DC's and supporting our teachers.
  22. Okay, Well 216, 218 and 219 did not come as any surprise for me, nor the fact that there are so many young men in the final too as it is a particularly strong cohort of 'boys' this year. These young dancers from Portugal have been important pathfinders for other young boys across the Iberian pennisular and have had the benefit of driving each other on in friendly and supportive competition in class since the beginning of their training. Likewise the young ladies of the Conservatorio have had the benefit of partnered dance and pas de deux work since ten years old or younger. So I would have liked to have seen Laura and Maia Rose pass to the finals too, but hey ho, they performed very well in a very very strong field and I am sure offers will follow regardless. As an aside, I would sincerely recomend the summer intensives at this school to anyone, travel bans depending. It is really accessible. Local families can and will accomodate for a few weeks, even months if someone wants to spend a term or a year there. It is an international crowd studying, teaching and coaching, with masses of stage practice and full classical ballets professionally prepared and performed, and an accomodating state school used to students passing through. But back to Prix, will be watching Luca and Liya and I think it was Jooyoung who caught my eye in her contemporay, though I was trying to concentrate on something else at the time, so I got a bit lost. Loved the contemporary variations, though Time got a bit monotonous. Can't wait till tomorrow. Well done to all the competitors, their teachers and long suffering families. Bring on the boys. Let's celebrate these young men and let them lead the way for more to enter this art and yes I will be sitting there, sniffing, watching through teary eyes, pretending its just an eyelash.
  23. Will say later. For now I am just enjoying the performances, but as I say , it has been an honour and a priviledge that my D's and I have been able to accompany, perform with and appreciate the artistic growth of these youngsters, albeit that DD was in a different school and met them many times over the years in different competitions, summer schools and events. Being part of an organisation that arranges competitions, I understand the requirements of impartiality, and prefer to be working behind the scenes and occupied with making it happen, because being a dancing mum, I turn into a very emotional 'everybody's mum' if I have to sit in the audience , teary-eyed and sniffing in the dark auditorium. The standard of each year of Prix is excellent and though this year is arranged differently, hats off to the organisors, teachers and candidates for all the preparation and execution.
  24. Well I am taking particular interest this year as I know three of the dancers very well and two more by reputation. The three dancers I have known for 7 plus years and to see them flourish as they have was predicted if you could have seen them dance at just 10 years old. There was never any doubt of their talent, hard work, patience and humility. Such a pleasure to watch them develop as artists every step of the way. It will be exciting to see what opportunities come their way in the future.
  25. Both of these institutions are worth asking and just knowing about. Hopefully they may have a list of local useful specialist practitioners for dance, Diagnostic services, Physios,orthopods, ostepaths, etc....
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