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CeliB

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  1. My understanding from DS is that students from Vaganova who are happy to work in Russia and are of high enough standard would see no need to bother with PdL so those who do go either want to look for work outside Russia or do not feel they are likely to get offered a place in Russia (sometimes this may not be to do with quality - one year I recall DS saying one of the boys who went to PdL was quite short, which is not generally liked in Russian companies). Tbh the 2 big companies in Russia have such a huge corps they do take a lot of students every year- in DSs cohort of 5, 2 went to Bolshoi and 3 to Mariinsky. And there are plenty of other highly respected smaller companies (Mikhailovsky and Stanislavsky for a start). And they already (a bit like RBS students) consider themselves to be in the best school in the world so where's the gain in going to a comp if you don't want the prize on offer?
  2. I'd agree with Rowan that short term company slots for a 16 year old would be unusual. I would think a high level summer school such as Prague Masterclass (https://www.balletmasterclass.com/pages/) - or perhaps better would be a summer school associated with a company (obviously it would want to be a company you are interested in joining) such as the one Dutch National runs (https://www.atd.ahk.nl/en/dance-programmes/dutch-national-ballet-academy/summer-school/). These tend to be a bit more focused on performance plus they are linked often with the company so you get a bit of insight into the company's teaching/repertoire. I would suggest at 16 you should already be thinking a bit about the type of company you are interested in joining and the best route into those companies e.g. does your teacher have contacts, do the companies hold open auditions, do they take people directly from their associated school e.g. like New York City or Dutch National (or to a certain extent Royal ballet and English National Ballet) such that doing a final year at that school would give you the best chance or getting in etc. My impression is that getting a company place via open audition when you have no connection or school behind you is pretty tough (although not impossible). It also depends on if you are looking at purely classical, or other forms of dance as well, as this makes a big difference to your planning... Are you particularly keen in coming back to the UK to dance? To be honest many UK trained dancers end up elsewhere in Europe due to lack of opportunity in the UK, so you need to be open to that possibility... Good luck with your studies anyway...
  3. errm me! I loathe all ALW musicals (or what ive been able to tolerate of them eg about 5 minutes) and tbh pretty every other musical I've ever been subjected to... I got dragged to see Wicked (my daughters friends birthday) and spent most of it flinching; watched Les Miserables (the film) and wanted to put my fingers in my ears through about 90% of it. Urgg. The only musical of any kind I've ever liked was Galivant because it was hilariously funny (though I'm not sure it was ever on UK TV- only saw it as DH did the visual effects) Youngest DD saw Cats last night- Id have expected her to be perfect audience aged 12 but she said it was ghastly...
  4. when my DS was rehearsing this for the first time the sheep was unaccountably absent (on its holidays?) so his partner's mother rigged them up a large toy truck to act as a substitute. I found this an even funnier concept than the sheep itself (which, lets face it, looks totally ridiculous). He says its one of the most pointlessly difficult PDDs hes ever had to learn - it's really hard to move the sheep around and not accidentally knock or pull it over ...!
  5. Grishko do a wide fitting both my son and daughter favour grishko canvas split soles I think style 5. Just ballet sell them. Ds used to prefer black but since in russia its always white...
  6. Lyndon Alexander are Oscar's middle names! Someone clearly hit the carriage return at the wrong time hehe....
  7. in the Chanel, in ensemble pieces, but he's been incredibly fortunate to be asked to stand in for the principal men in rehearsal on numerous occasions so has had the amazing experience of partnering Miss Zakharova too- he's loving the whole experience and really looking forward to performing on home turf
  8. On the other hand I do think it's a little easier when your DC is NOT fantastically academic - DS is severely dyscalculic and a bit dyslexic so wasn't giving up a glittering academic career so much as enthusiastically waving it goodbye with a huge sigh of relief - it must be much harder if you have both on offer and have to choose...
  9. If you can find a travel company that doesn't end up prohibitively expensive then that's a great idea but I just want to say that it isn't all that bad going independently. You can get a letter of invite dowloaded in 5 min from the internet (it costs 9 pounds but means you can do it without having to decide on accomodation) and if you fill in the visa form correctly you are in and out of the Visa office in less than 30 minutes usually. We have stayed in Airbnb's in moscow every time (around 4 times a year for the last 2 years and also in St P for a few years with similar frequency) and have found them all lovely, reliable and economic and also means you dont have to eat out all 3 meals a day which can end up being a bit wearing. There are lots of local grocery shops so not hard to buy food. It's also really worth having an uber app on your phone as you can then travel by uber cab which is super cheap (if you think metro will be a bit daunting). Otherwise buy a metro card and top it up like oyster is less stressful than buying single trips. I am a really nervous traveller but last time I travelled to Moscow alone and found it fine. But appreciate all of the above requires some travel savvy and may be too stressful for an elderly relative. Please do pm me if you want DSs contact details when you go- I am sure he would be happy to be an emergency point of contact. .. any questions do ask ...
  10. So has she decided Russian training in Russia is too daunting? DS always regretted not going at 16 (he stayed on in USA at a Russian based school mainly to get his high school diploma but in retrospect that was a mistake - he'd have been better off at the Vaganova sooner....)
  11. CeliB

    Good feet

    also just to note having very flexible feet does have its down side. my DS has unusually arched and flexible feet for a boy but they have been prone more to injury during his training years (especially as they are relatively small considering his height). he has ligaments more than once.. so there is almost more need for strength where the foot is flexible than when it less so. like most things you need a balance between form and function!...
  12. If you'd like to PM me I would be happy to give you a lot of info about training and working in Russia- my DS is currently dancing with the Bolshoi. It would be good to look at an ambition of dancing in Russia with a realistic idea of what that entails. I don't want to put all details on open forum as some of it is personal to my DS and perhaps not appropriate to share widely. I would say that Russia is not alone in liking taller dancers so it's not exactly your DSs only option - so he needs to think hard about what attracts him to dance in Russia beyond just being worried about getting a job elsewhere....
  13. oops sorry I should have remembered that - I'm not very good at equating BCo and real names (and no doubt losing my marbles as I get older...) C
  14. So pondering your post whilst I potter around my Sunday domestic chores and I think what is worth saying (amongst the good advice above) is: do you and, more importantly, your DD know what it is she is aiming for? Does she really want to pursue a career in ballet (or any kind of dance- and recall these 2 aims may require very different training) and thus want to know if she has the potential for this? Or does she just want to be the best recreational dancer she can be e.g. fulfil her potential to the best of her ability but not make dance her whole life? Or is she mainly a bit bored of doing the same class over and over again and frustrated with being in mixed ability and not really challenged (and believe me I understand this- as due to scheduling issues my DD ended up doing the same RAD grade 5 class for 3 years after having done grades 3 and 4 together in 6 months!). I get from your post above that ballet is not your comfort zone (and I've certainly got that t shirt) so I wonder if you/she have any idea what you might be letting yourself in for if she decides to 'take it further'? At 15 she would need to get up to speed REALLY fast to have a chance at vocational school at 6th form level. Most serious ballet dancers at 15 are doing upwards of 20-25 hours a week at vocational school and whilst it is possible to get into vocational school 6th form with less hours it is the minority who manage this (and would I think require a pretty ferocious level of innate talent). Clearly it's hard to answer these kinds of question without knowing what her potential is (it's a bit chicken and egg isnt it?), so I totally would encourage you to find someone who can give you a good evaluation. But it's worth starting to think about and discuss her the eventual aim at the same time so that you have some idea where to go with the outcome of the evaluation! I speak from experience, having been somewhat stunned when our DS decided to try out for summer school, went, was offered a full scholarship to vocational school and left home all in the space of 6 months. And at 15 she can't be hanging around too long before committing (if she wants to go for a career). Sorry - reading this back it sounds a bit doom laden - I don't mean to be, just warning you that if she steps on that roller coaster you need to be prepared to feel the G force!
  15. In case you are in the Brighton/Sussex area I have to say DSs teacher (does classes in Brighton/Hassocks/Hurstpierpoint) has always been absolutely honest about dancers potential - and her assessment of DS's potential was pretty accurate (he made it to the Bolshoi after all). Other dancers she has assessed as having potential have gone on to get places at top vocational schools... She is very kind and encouraging and happy to teach anyone who wants to learn -my DD continued to take class with her up to leaving to go to med school despite knowing she had no expectation whatsoever of ballet other than a hobby, and she has a dedicated adult class too, so she isn't elitist, just very, very good at judging ability... Happy to forward her details...
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