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About Michelle_Richer

  • Birthday March 26

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  • Location:
    Spalding, South Lincolnshire, England
  • Interests
    Social Dancing and Ballet

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  1. Hi LinMM The Ballet Exercise with the big ball thingy is called Progressing Ballet Technique, I think there is also a large franchise behind it. I used to attend PBT classes at one time until they were dropped do to lack of numbers. My former rep coach used to add in periodically those types of exercises in her Monday morning body conditioning class but would never call it PBT. Similarly my Wednesday body conditioning class run by my Cecchetti teacher uses the large Swiss balls in the same way. Ok about your comments about my escapades with RAD: The comment : ....I think it was because you were formalising it more: This wasn’t something that just happened or developed, it was planned. At the beginning of the half term before Christmas, I laid the plan out complete with full documentation of the Corps de ballet rep, a sample template of the Certificate of Achievement, at the end of the previous term I had discussed it too. For me this was always intended to be formal and presented as professionally as I could make it. The plan was 3 such sessions over the year, each resulting in a video showcase performance to be presented to their patron Anglia Rippon. The first which we were working on, was inspired by the Coda from Act2 of Swan lake, I would kick it off with Odettes solo (me). Costumes for my Swans, I was providing in he form of romantic tutu skirts and feathered head-dresses, they would provide white T shirts. The Summer piece was to be inspired by Don Q, with he Market place scene, followed by the Entrance of Kitri (me), then my lovely villages would dance an adapted Seguidilla (fan dance), I would close it with Kitri’s solo from Act 3. Costumes for this one is quite easy with colourful gypsy skirts and tops., I have a plentiful supply of fans and roses for their hair. Christmas piece was to be inspired by the Nutcracker, with my lovely ladies dancing an adapted version of Waltze of Flowers, Sugar Plum Fairy solo (me), Grand PDD if I could persuade my Adrian to partner me. All would dance an adapted version of the Finale. As for “If your teacher has let this go for so long now it could be because she saw the break as technically out of her supervision.” I really don’t think that applied and to be fare she was usually in the studio watching with the ladies who were not dancing (our audience), and I certainly remember here passing the comment to me, “they did really well didn’t they” As for “You will just have to go and get the Silver Swans qualification to teach Michelle!” “ No I have no wish to be a BALLET TEACHER”, I see coaching rep as being somewhat different. In any case if I were on a course with RAD being taught how to teach its likely to result in a big of clash of cultures, I’m talking now specifically about teaching rep. I have fallen out many times with RAD, particularly at Elmhurst when the only information they would release, was the name of a ballet for a rep workshop, for me that’s unacceptable, it seams totally unstructured and down to what that particular teacher feels like teaching on the day, the focus is on her, not her dancers who are paying for a service and represents extremely poor value. The thing that sets me apart from RADs style, I have the rep documented before we start coaching any rep, which includes pictures of all significant poses etc, every dancer has a copy, I always give the schools teacher a copy out of courtesy too Dancers will follow my demonstration which would be much the same as any other class. However before I close the session, I dance through the next week’s work so my dancers know what to expect, rather than being freighted of the unknown for the following week. Hi FlexyNexy Just coming back to your original question about what Adult Dancers wear, if I can take my Swans first of all. When I first joined them, it was either dark mostly black leggings or thick tights, but always ballet slippers, again I think at that time they were all black but I may be wrong, it was like being at Saint Trinians. As time as gone on and possibly because I wear traditional ballet class wear, several of the ladies have now wear colourful wrap round skirts and a few leotards too. No one has copied me yet with a tutu, as for about the past year, every other week, I have danced a solo in full costume during their break, but never at class. Basically go in ballet slippers, that’s a must and comfortable clothing and see what everyone else is wearing. Hi Meadowblythe Thank you for the link, sadly I see Saturday the 29thh Feb is affected when I have a Pointe-work workshop. I think my only solution is to drive down to Cockfosters then pickup the Piccadilly line into London Grrrrr, another early morning start
  2. Murphy's law is a popular adage that states "Anything that can go wrong will go wrong". Or so it seams. 1) The day before Christmas ever our economy 7 supply to night storage heaters stopped working, its down to a faulty time switch which is part of the sealed tag electricity meter installation. I reported it to British Gas, our supplier, the day after boxing day, we cant have anyone out to fix it until the 10th Feb, I’ve also raised a complain email with them too. 2) Adrian my partner fell sick with a really nasty cold and hasn’t shaken it off and sadly wasn’t able to accompany me to ENB Le Corsaire performance at the Coliseum yesterday. 3) I ordered a DVD pointe course from Australia and tracked it back to the UK, found when it had arrived at my local Post Office sorting office that duty was due and could be paid on line, I called in that Saturday morning but was told it hadn’t been processed on their system yet, but I could pay the duty on-line. Needless to say I paid it that day on line expecting it to be delivered Monday morning. Monday morning the Postman bought a bill for the duty, I told him I had paid it, showed him the on-line receipt. He said I should be OK for me to collect it. At the sorting office they wouldn’t allow me to have as it had been put out for delivery the next day, however If I hadn’t paid the duty, but brought the card in to pay, and paid the duty to them then, they would have given it to me there and then Grrr. 4) A new year phone call from my Silver Swans teacher and dance school owner advised me someone from RAD had forbidden them to allow me to teach the Silver Swans rep, as I hadn’t been trained by RAD for Silver Swans, also I wouldn’t be covered by their insurance. To be fair that was a real shock, especially as the request to be included in my rep during their class brake came from the Silver Swans themselves. But never the less I have always seeked the permission of the teacher and discussed everything before hand with her and it had always been a really wonderful and supportive relationship . I guess it all started when I allowed one of the ladies to accompany me as the Queen in the Fairy of the Crystal Fountain Variation. The roll was largely passive but contained a lot of mime gestures between us through the choreography; I also took in a royal robe and crown for her costume. I think the thing she loved the most, was at the end of the piece, when I took her hand and we both took our curtseys together, I know she really loved it and it gave me such joy to see her pleasure. Since then I have had several of the ladies express an interest in doing something with me. At the end of the last half term before Christmas I approached the teacher about coaching volunteers from the Silver wan ladies during the break between the Ballet and Tap classes, she was very supportive and at the end of the class that day told all her dancers I had an announcement to make. I announced what I had proposed for volunteers after the half term break, I also indicated my method of coaching, and for those that attend rehearsal to the final video showcase there would be a “Certificate of Achievement” in recognition of voluntary participation etc. This would be signed by me as the “Choreographer and Repertoire Coach”, and not the teacher. As I explained to the ladies their teacher teaches the ballet steps and movements between them, I create the dance and how its to be performed, I know some will think I’m splitting hairs but that my perspective, I’m as careful as I can be without knowingly treading on anyone’s toes . By signing as “Choreographer and Repertoire Coach” I’ve also included on the signature line Member of the International Dance Council – CID and the crest of the International Dance Council, both of which are on the signature line which I am perfectly allowed to do under the membership rules. This last Tuesday I went in to say my “goodbyes”, I felt really awful that I had let the ladies down, however the ladies and their teachers have made me promise to come back periodically and do class with them and perform more of my solo’s for them as I have been doing over the past year or so. I think everyone of the ladies gave me a hug before I left, it was so sad and I felt quite choked. 5) Pointework: Although I have been strengthen for pointe since just after Ballet West in August with the help of my rep coach, I lost her at the end of November, however just before she left I took a foot stretcher in as I was getting frustrated with progress even though I had physio working on my feet and ankles too. What we did find using a foot stretcher with my old broken bloch point shoes, it did allow me to create a reasonable line without a huge amount of pain, afterwards I was starting to see some meaningful improvement. I was hoping by December I would at least be doing some relatively basic exercises on pointe but that wasn’t to be and I extended it to Christmas day. I think it was the day after boxing day that I first put my new Freed pointe shoes on, I had attached the ribbons with the help of my teacher/coach back in August when I was first had them fitted. I remember her advising I should walk around in them first and do basic rises well before attempting to physically break them in by hand. Well that hasn’t been that successful and quite uncomfortable even though I’m using gel pointe shoe pads. So I have invoked plan B, last Monday I bought some of my original Bloch Serenade pointe shoes, I didn’t even bother getting the fitted as I have had them before and my old ones fit like carpet slippers, they are really comfortable other than I have broken the backs on them. I checked before hand I had both tread and ribbons, collected them on Monday only to find the ribbons were too narrow, however I did find some of the original, just about enough to do one shoe. As I was I Sleaford on Friday for a fitness class, I would call in to the ballet store and get the ribbons then, which I did. In the mean time I have followed the pointe shoe preparation guide on the DVD by Lisa Howells and Vicky Attard, as far as I have gone is to locate the arch at the beginning of heal and start to massage the shank there, its much tougher than I expected, Lisa suggests massaging it in increments which is as far as I have got, already it’s a really nice and comfortable fit to stand on pointe, I’m still to do the softening for the semi-pointe break and sew the ribbons on, but that’s all work in progress. I’ve also booked a beginners pointework workshop with Franziska at Holistic Ballet at the end of February. 6) I have finally have a rep coach for the future but unfortunately for her first week she has had to cancel, oh poo I really wanted to get started on La Bayadere for our intensive week with Ballet West in August, I'm doing less there this year as I'm effectively on a war footing for dancing on pointe, as I’m throwing everything in to it, I even suggested at one time my physio use a steak tenderiser to bash my feet to soften them to increase the arch in his foot stretching. However most of rep for Ballet West will not be on pointe, only one PDD if all goes well. 7) Rail Disruption: Yesterday was another on-stage workshop at the Coliseum with English National Ballet learning a piece of rep from my favourite Ballet “Le Corsaire” and then I planned to seen the afternoon performance with Adrian my partner. Sadly Adrian was ill from a nasty cold and was too ill to make it. The day before I checked train times as it’s usually an early start for me. Oh shock the normal 50 minute train journey from Peterborough to Kings Cross was going to take 2 hours including a change at Ely, to do this I was up at 3am, if I hadn’t booked to see the performance I think I would have cancelled the workshop, but I made it and really enjoyed it. 8) When I arrived home Adrian had the presents of mid to check rail disruptions for the following weekend as I planned to be with Enavant Ballet doing a Pirouette Master-class. Things were even worse, the 50 minute trip was going to take around three and a half hours with 4 changes each way most with replacement buses, needless to say I cancelled the Pirouette Master-class. 9) So I think Mr Murphy has really had a hand in all these things going wrong and finally to top it all, I had a ballet mug with two pointe shoes on it and my name, I have had it since around 2013/14 and Adrian bless him broke it last week. Do you really have to be this tough to survive with Mr Murphy around in ballet?
  3. A very enjoyable first class with Jo on Friday, most exercises were barre based, lots of plie’s in first and second position which included pulses with the ankles on a rise, I certainly felt the effect of that in my quads the next day. The session also included a little bit of centre and floor based exercises including a few jumps towards the end. Although most exercises were derived from ballet a few were more traditional fitness stretch exercises too. I would certainly recommend it, and will be going again next week.
  4. Declaration; I have no commercial interest in this venture but I will be attending the class . These sessions start on Friday 10th January between 10am and 11am, those that can do come and support it., its a drop in class for Fridays. To contact GoDance Studios Tel 01529 300930 An innovative fitness workout based on the principles of classical ballet. The class will strengthen and tone all the key muscle groups. Using the latest dance music. All levels welcome. Contact Jo on 07826374922.
  5. Is this the WavePad Sound Editor by NCH, if so I have it, or at least an evaluation version which I have never used, although I think it came as a suit of programs from NCH. I know each time I boot up this laptop up, its asking me if I want to buy it, I guess the full version. I have just checked that it does in fact run, but I don’t know all the features that are excluded, but the full version does allow the import of some video files, the free one doesn’t
  6. I think one crucial point is what is your source of your music, from an orchestral CD, or from a video clip of a ballet. For me the accenting of the music is likely to be quite different. The reason I ask I have tried to load video files into Audacity, admittedly mine is from an old version 2.1.2 and it didn’t appear to load any video files at all. Goldwave on the other hand does load both .WMV and .AVI files which extracts the audio which can then be saved to 15 different audio file types, I tend to use .MP3 mostly but have used both .WMA and .WAV. However I did find video files of .MP4 and FLV did not load with Goldwave. Hope this helps
  7. Gold wave in its effects menu has a function called "Time Warp", and Time warp has 3 selectable options Rate Which does change pitch, Similarity that does not and FFT which also does not and but give best quality for music. Before selecting the effects menu, you would set the start and stop time in the music for the segment you wanted to modify
  8. Goldwave is worth looking at, I used to do all the music editing at a previous Amateur Ballet Company and at one time its sister contemporary dance company too. Goldwave will certainly do all you’ve ask for, amongst other things it will allow you to change the tempo of a phrase for things like pirouettes which is sometimes very handy without cutting the music rendering the transition virtually undetectable. I found this particularly useful for the third Odalisques variation in Le Corsaire for its sequence of 5 pirouette / arabesque combinations.
  9. Thank you SwanFlake, but in reality as time goes on I’m trying to do less in terms of classes, as that’s not really effective for my learning. I’m trying to leave sufficient time for analysis correction and preparation, rather than hoovering up all available classes, which I once did. I think my special thanks must go to Peony and the other members of the forum tat tried to point me in the direction of the Enrico Cecchetti Dipolma DVD. Unfortunately I’ve only just started to look at it. Its absolutely brilliant, there is so much commonality between that and Advanced 2, in many cases even the music is the same. Sadly I’ve only had time to look at the first 3 sections on the dvd, there is no Barre section on the dvd. These are 2 Port de Bras, Traditional centre practice, 3 Adage and 4 Centre Pirouettes. I guess the only significantly big difference is with the pirouettes which are 4 turns instead of doubles with Advanced 2. For me one of the things I like about the way this dvd has been put together, it less like a demonstration and more like a ballet class with a teacher Diane van Schoor. She corrects a small number of dancers, even though those dancers are all professional, 3 from the Royal Ballet and 4 from Birmingham royal ballet. The studios used in the pieces I’ve seen, look like those in the Royal Opera House as I recognise the Macmillan studio in some scenes. I would certainly like to do class with that teacher. As it is I will be starting my one-to-one Cecchetti on Wednesday the 8th of Jan, I know its not going to be easy by any means, as every little bodily movement will be scrutinised until it conforms to Mr Cecchetti methodology. Rehearsing the Swans is sorted for Tuesdays, at least I know where I’m going with that one. Finish the Swan Lake act2 Coda we started, Summer its extracts from Don Quixote as this will be an easy one to costume, then Nutcracker extracts for Christmas, assuming I can keep our ladies suitably inspired. Rep for Ballet West looks like Mondays now, although I was hoping for Fridays after attending a New Ballet Fit class close by, I’m now just waiting conformation with my new rep coach for Monday mornings. As regards classes for pointe, for the moment I'm going to wing it, I have the plan that me and my previous coach set up, plus I’ve ordered Lisa Howell’s beginners pointe DVD to help fill any gaps in the short term. However I know my Cecchetti teacher also teaches pointework and she is aware I will be calling on her in the near future.
  10. Wow how things have changed, in the past I have always looked forward to the holiday break from a fairly intensive weekly schedule mainly of rep, for me it has felt the equivalent of work. I think now I have lost my rep coach together with the Christmas break compounded with a future which is a lot less certain, I’m foundering a bit. I have approached one person for coaching that I have felt a real connection with, but that has sadly fallen through, there are a couple of others but there are compromises which I don’t really want to make at least not at the moment. For the moment I’ve tried to keep busy with a few workshops over the Christmas period, and upgrading my studio. As the days go by, it seams very much like a series of Saturdays, it’s very uncanny. The tracking camera system was a bit of a challenge as it took much longer to sort out than I had anticipated; as a result I lost 4 days working around that. That in itself had an impact on my pointe prep program which I try and dedicate at least 5 days a week to (2 days at 3 hours, the remainder just over an hour) with no more that a single days break at any one time. I’m glad to say the tracking camera system is finally sorted out and fully functional. Its now on to the integrated lighting system, but that has come to a bit of a halt as the lamp assemblies I need to check out, are on back order. I guess the only thing that is keeping me going for the moment is the focus on pointe prep from the program that my rep coach and I developed, prior to her leaving. So for the moment I’m on my own, however I’m adding to the mix Lisa Howell’s Beginner pointe program as I already have a physio and a masseur as part of my team helping me with this initiative. Ultimately I know my Cecchetti teacher also teaches pointe and I will most likely will engage her on a one-to-one basis. After Christmas I must start to re-familiarise myself with the Cecchetti Advanced 2 Syllabus I was taught last term, especially as I will be doing one-to-one with my teacher next term and a second class with her on alternate weeks while I’m not rehearsing my Silver Swans. I contacted Catherine Hutchon Chair of the Cecchetti Society Classical Ballet Faculty at the ISTD for an update on the revised Advanced 2 Syllabus: It will be on the Cecchetti pages of the next issue of ISTD Dance magazine that is about to published. The Advanced 2 Technical notes and Manuscript are now available from the ISTD shop. The CD is due to be available in January, but the DVD is not ready yet and teachers will be notified when it is, so essentially no real help there. As suggested by my good friends on this forum, I’ve now invested in the Enrico Cecchetti Diploma DVD from the Royal Opera House shop, I think it was the only one they had, it’s a single DVD but the pack also contains a Blu-Ray disk too, quite expensive at £99.95, but hopefully it will be a good reference I can draw upon. Sadly I haven’t had a chance to look through it as yet. My BBT performance group sadly still has no teacher for the New Year. I do hope we still get to do a performance in June again. My one-to-one Intensive at Ballet West is already booked for August 2020 as is the accommodation in that part of the World for Arian and my self, at least that part of my schedule is still there.
  11. Although it seams strange running up to Christmas without my rep coaching sessions, at least some things are coming together. When I arrived at the Silver Swans before their class, it seamed unlikely we would get enough dancers to proceed. At the end of the class I was fully expertly to have to call a halt to teaching our showcase piece, but miraculously we had 6 dancers. It probably sounds a bit crazy that I now have 2 columns of 3 dancers for my Coda Corps de Ballet. This week I danced their steps with them as a member of the corps, but with Odette’s gestures for their cues, they seam to get on much much better. That was my last week with other than the 10th which is their Christmas lunch, which of course I will attend. Cecchetti: I’ve finally got my teacher to agree to do weekly one-to-one with me, which releases me to attend the Swans every week while I’m conducting their rehearsal. Once we have this piece finished, I will return back to attending every other week and dance a solo for them as it has become expected. The next Swans piece I will launch around Easter. As for Cecchetti when I’m not with the Swans I will get both Cecchetti sessions in during that week. I’ve just started on phase 2 upgrade of my home studio to a mini performance recording space. My first acquisition is a PIXIO robot Cameraman, it’s a camera system that track a dancer wearing a tracking device. I haven’t yet selected the actual camera as apart from 4 K UHD and possibly auto zoom, but it must have external audio/mic input, as my audio is processed and comes from a mixing desk for special effect if needed. Backdrop and lighting is next.
  12. It seams that I have come to a bit of a cross roads with ballet, as I now need to change things somewhat. Firstly: I have lost the lady that has been both coaching my rep and also preparing me for pointe. Sadly for the time being she is leaving teaching dance at her school and taking up full time work outside of dance, never the less she is still carrying on looking after the admin there, her two remaining teachers are taking up the slack. God how I will miss her, we have been working together one-to-one twice a week for something like 6 years. However she has offered the possibility of doing the odd infrequent session at my studio, but I have said leave it until you have settled in as it would be a big ask on my part. The rep side for Ballet West, most is already there as we were not able to dance it this year through injury. As for pointe strengthening, it’s a case of carrying on with the same plan until the shoes go on, then I have a pretty good idea who will assist me with that. So I guess I will be looking for a one-to-one coach for only one day a week initially, I have a couple in mind, but the relationship between a teacher and coach is much different, so I hesitate just a bit in using one of my existing teachers. Secondly: Cecchetti isn’t going quite as well as it should, mainly because I miss alternate weeks. Although I see my Cecchetti teacher every week for body conditioning and try and quiz her on the session I’ve missed, sadly I was given the wrong info about the last session. Instead I was well prepped up on what I was expecting as it made sense against the flow we had through the Syllabus, other than the number of reps were a little different in the Australian video version. Grrrr on the next session I attended, it turned out that they had be doing something different. I know it would make more logical sense for me to attend that class every week, but to a degree my heart sometimes does tend to rule my head, even so I have asked my Cecchetti teacher if I can do a one-to-one with her every week. It just didn’t get the enthusiastic response I was expecting, but she didn’t say no. Thirdly: My conflict is the alternate weeks with the Silver Swans, although I learn absolutely nothing from the class, I have enjoyed immensely performing solo’s for them during their break between ballet and tap classes every week I go. I think my last piece for them was the Odalisques third solo. Just before the last half term break I canvassed opinion as who would like to join me in dance, as one of the ladies played the queen in the Fairy of the Crystal Fountain variation for me with various mime gestures passing between us during the dance, she loved it I was overwhelmed by the response, however it was short lived; when I went back to that class I had only 2 volunteers for my Corps de Ballet in a simplified version of the Coda of Act 2 Swan Lake. As I had everything prepared I decided to kick it off with my two dancers in the hope of inspiring some more. The teacher asked how many do I heed for the absolute minimum, I said 6, but I could probably just about make it work with 4 (Just hoping for more as potentially we have 17). The next session they manage 3 and I was fully prepared to abort it and sadly let that class go. Magically a fourth person appeared. We went though what I had scheduled for them in week 1 and 2, but progress is extremely slow. To help them I have fully documented their rep with pictures of all significant positions and poses. Not only do I dance it with them, I dance the next session for them as a preview so they know what to expect rather than apprehensive of the unknown. If I can successfully pull this together for a showcase for the school, then I really will need to attend every week to keep continuity with them. In that case I will have to persuade my Cecchetti teacher to do one-to-one sessions with me. However when I’m not conducting the Swans rehearsal, it’s my intention to drop back to every other week with them and carry on dancing my solos for inspiration. As for Cecchetti I would continue the one-to-one session but attend the other class on alternate weeks. Christmas: I guess I’ve finally succumbed to the idea of getting the Cecchetti Diploma DVD for my own Christmas present, after all if all that strict discipline get to much for me, I can always go back to ENB to regain my freedom of expression, as this is what it felt like as I enjoyed one of their on-stage workshops this weekend at Milton Keynes.
  13. Interesting comments my lovely dancing friends. 1) Kate_N’s comment “it's about having a feel for the style and its nuances, as much as the strict adherence to a textbook.”, I couldn’t agree more, but when things feel intuitively unsound, I find it very difficult accept without proper verification, especially if my teacher is unsure too”, these are quite rear events so please don’t get hung up on my comments. For me now, I have two main video references, a full set of Advanced 2 video downloads from Cecchetti Ballet Australia Inc and the UK Advanced 1 DVD. The presentation by the dancers are somewhat different the Advanced 1 DVD seams very clinical and without emotion, almost boring to watch. Where as the Advanced 2 from Australia, the dancer at least smiles and appear to enjoy their dance including the barre. On the down side some of the Australian videos demonstrating double attitude and arabesque turns are somewhat insecure as they almost approximate a promenade. Even so I still have a few issues with both video sources about the absolute correctness of some movements within certain enchainements. 2) Several have made the comment, that queries should be made to the teacher, in simple terms I have. I’m also aware that my teacher has addressed queries through two other teachers, I have no idea how they fit into the faculty at the ISTD, qualifications or membership, however what I am aware of (from my teacher) that they are not teaching the Advanced 2 Syllabus until such time as the UK Advanced 2 DVD is released. That result for me in the short term is, I’m not likely to get my issues resolved fully, other than a consensus of what we three think. But it I think it must be clear by now that I am not one to wait. 3) What is really disappointing, is when I have raised issues with the Cecchetti Faculty, they have largely been ignored, to me that is down right rude and unacceptable, a simple reply to say “I’m sorry we can’t help you with that”, would have been better than nothing, otherwise one is waiting in anticipation unnecessarily. It begs the question “Is this part of the wider ballet culture that has evolved”, the reason I ask this, when I was with the Alive Ballet Company, it was a real issue getting email replies from studio’s and performance venues by my Artistic Director, so much so I took over the roll of production manager to make things happen, I had the time and the mindset, the strategy was simple; If I got no email reply with a couple of days, I would follow up with a phone call, that resolved most, if that was unsuccessful then I would visit the afternoon before my rehearsal. Although the strategy was simple it was still an awful lot of work with sometimes up to 60 venues to check out for availability and costs for two dance companies, as we had a Contemporary dance company too which also had to be catered for. To be fair I quite enjoyed it and took on the roll of Head of Costume and Music Editor too. It was a sad day when our Founder and Artistic Director emigrated with her family to Australia, however it looks like us dancers who were with Alive Ballet Company in London will be invited out as guest dancers in Australia towards the end of 2020, can’t wait. 4) As for LinMM comment on petit battement, my experience has been similar, but the wrapping leg has mostly been off the floor for a full foot supporting leg, I’ve been racking my brains as to who taught keeping the wrapping foot in contact with the floor, always remembered it as polishing the floor, and of course Cecchetti does, one of my very first correction. On releve the supporting foot for Cecchetti should be on ¾ pointe and the wrapping foot just off the ground (toes are inline with the arch of supporting foot). This is the same for both Traditional and Additional, but as Kate_N indicated arms are different, 5th en bas traditional and second additional, the only other difference in our barre exercise is 16 petit battements battus (Serre), have been added with a slow port de bras to additional. Initially traditional and additional start the first part of the exercises on full foot, similar with frappes. The only time I do petit battements on a full foot now, with the wrapping leg at cou-de-pied is on a balance board. I guess in some ways this has been one of the best classes I’ve attended for actually learning, both in terms feedback and then having to successfully repeat the movement with corrections correctly, everything is closely scrutinised but in a really nice way. The one thing I find annoying difficult to do, is Cecchetti very basic port de bras, Not the port de bras exercises themselves, they are quite nice and very pretty, love them. But it’s mainly that which is used in barre exercises. Whilst I know what is expected, my view is it just seams far too stiff and without feeling, even taking that on board, I really cant freeze my wrist action on breaths or opening to second Grrr, it almost involuntary. My teacher refers to it as being wafty, but to be fair I have suppressed my quite wafty flamboyant port de bras which I think originated from my days with ENB. I remember having a conversation with Sarah Lamb at a rep workshop on Juliet’s solo from act 1 about port de bras with the skirt, she very much frown on it , although its was used by Alessandra Ferri when she danced as Juliet, I really like it and incorporated in my version I took up to Ballet West this year. Similarly Natalia Osipova does a beautiful port de bras with her skirt in Giselles solo of act 1, again another one I incorporated. I guess that’s my other passion, dancing rep. Hence I can only attend my Cecchetti class once every two weeks, the other is at my local Silver Swans, at least there I get a captive audience to perform a different solo in costume each time I see them every two weeks. I just wish I could incorporate both every week.
  14. Hi Peony I didn’t mean that we did additional on one side of the barre and traditional on the other, however some times we do. Its teacher’s choice as how we do a particular exercise on both sides or not as with the direction. Doing a single exercise on one side and a different exercise on the other is more about time management and leaving sufficient time for exploring exercises that we haven’t yet covered as they are seldom strait forward. I guess its also worth pointing out our other dancer is a ballet teacher in her own right, in fact my first ballet teacher. Ok about your comment “There is a list of teachers with the final diploma somewhere”. I have contacted Sharon Orme coordinator of the faculty for Cecchetti at the ISTD for the contact details of one of their guru’s that would be able to help us with the interpretation/queries that we have with the Syllabus exercises, but as usual no response, what a surprise. I contacted the same office through email, text and phone, I even intended to visit them to get a response to when the UK DVD would become available, eventually it was kicked upstairs to Catherine Hutchon Chair of the Cecchetti Society Classical Ballet Faculty before I got a response, so I am by no means passive. I just wish they were as responsive and helpful as Cecchetti Ballet Australia Inc. Finally, I would be grateful if you would share the reference to your definition of Traditional and Additional, as requested in my previous post.
  15. Hi Peony Many thanks for the definition of “Traditional” and “Additional” exercises as used in Cecchetti Ballet, I must bow to your extensive historical knowledge of Cecchetti. After seeing your posting I did do a search for your definition in both each of the Advanced 2 course documentation and also on line, unfortunately I could find anything, I wonder if you would please share your reference. As for the flic flac according to Gail Grants Technical “Manual and Dictionary of Classical Ballet” it came from the Russian School. Her mention of the contact with the floor she describes it as “brushing the ball of the foot along the floor passing through fifth position and finishing with the pointed toe crossed in front beyond sur le cou-de-pied” I cant help but think the length of time the foot is actually brushing the floor is quite variable if in fact it does actually touch, I definitely would never describe it as solid as a “CONTACT WITH THE FLOOR” the time in the clip below is extremely short but is very much in line with the young lady demonstration the advanced 2 exercise. https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=723697021039921 The comment that I made about the Advanced 2 video “in the video example the gesturing foot actually just touches the floor about 2/3rds round, to give a little extra push to finish face front.”. After looking at this again in slow motion the dancer dances this exercise each side twice through, only the first time does her foot accidentally hit the ground which I would use your words as in “contact with the floor”. However what I have discovered, the following exercise which should be faster version of the one described, is danced somewhat differently although the caption of movement preceding the exercise is the same. My first thought was the UK and Australian versions may be different, however the Australian videos caption, doesn’t match what the dancers doing, but it does fit the music. Just some of the little inconsistencies we come across. Your comment “If you were to do the exam you have to know both versions and the examiner asks for which they want- it’s a huge syllabus! “ Firstly I agree whole heartedly, it is a huge syllabus. Secondly we are always dance both versions. Thirdly not only are we covering the whole syllabus we are covering the none exam exercises too, that is all combinations where the dancer has a choice in the exam, eg 2 from 4 different types of turns. Fourthly learning a combination in our small group (2 dancers) is quite a slow process as it has to be thorough. Mainly it’s a detailed study of the references from the associated documents which are quite detailed, so a bit of a debate follows and we walk it through; it really is a joint effort from all three of us, where a quality training video would help enormously. What we now have is extremely helpful but I guess non of us fully trust it to be exactly the same as the UK version, but it is a lot better than nothing Fifthly once we have learnt a combination we are expected to dance it from its description each time our teacher calls for it. There is no following the teacher at this level. With only 2 of us, our teacher gives lots of helpful corrections, you cant help but learn, however you know when she is displeased, thats when you get the same correction a second time, even a week or two later. For me I like it even better when I get the opportunity to do a one-to-one with her, usually when our other dancer is on holiday. There is one tiny thing that sets her apart from most other teacher which I think is a bit special, its when we part company at the end of class and we say our goodbyes. As I only attend that class every other week, I usually say “I will see you ???” and she will always reply “Oh yes please”, that really makes one feel special and valued.
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