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  1. 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....)
  2. 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!...
  3. 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....
  4. 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
  5. 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!
  6. 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...
  7. To be honest there are always principal dancers who attract negative comments by people who think they aren't good enough and shouldn't have been promoted. I don't consider myself sufficiently qualified to judge but on the basis of his lovely character alone Xander deserves all the promotion he gets IMO. In his interactions with my DS he has been unfailingly warm, encouraging and kind - a true gentleman (in every sense of the phrase). He is a fabulous spokesperson for the art of ballet and his story is also a real success story to inspire those who may be struggling...
  8. Depending on how adventurous she is and whether she has any leanings towards Russian style do consider Vaganova international program. The cost I would say is pretty competitive (all in for about 15,000 US dollars including board and meals and Russian language lessons) and the training really first rate. St Petersburg is a beautiful city and actually relatively small and easy to navigate (and in my experience surprisingly friendly). I know when DS was there they had an Australian boy older than your DD (I think maybe 23 ish?) who had been there for several years so they aren't all that concerned about age - they tend to tell them to stay until they are 'ready'. Under Tsiskaridze the training seems to be only improving in quality so no worries on that score. A couple of the boys went to Prix de Lausanne last year and did well. If you'd like any more details just ask. It may not be something she is interested in at all but I thought I would mention....
  9. No he was perched on the balcony wall next to me (we had a joint ticket with a seat for me and a 'let this one in he's an honoured artist of the Bolshoi' designation for him- which wasn't quite honourable enough for a chair! but then the kind people in the next box ushered him into a spare seat with them, so all good ) It was nice for him to watch as an audience member (he doesn't often do this) and he says it does feel very different and makes him remember all over again just why he wants to be a dancer. Which is odd because you'd think being on stage would do that more - but perhaps when you are so young all you think about is not stuffing it up!!!
  10. I was lucky enough to be in a box right next to the stage courtesy of DS whom I was visiting and having never seen Bayadere before (as I've said before I'm a total ballet newbie) I was actually blown away by the shades- found it hard to believe they could be bettered as they were so perfectly in time and elegant. After reading Dawnstars comment I looked at some YT clips of RB and have to say (I'm going to be controversial) thought RB corps were infinitely less impressive - certainly in terms of being in time with legs and arms at the same angles etc. Also didn't like their excessive bending over compared to the Bolshoi dancers who were more contained (and seemed to me therefore almost more ethereal). But perhaps its the difference between seeing live and seeing a recording or maybe just that difference in style (I honestly haven't seen much of RB and have really only seen ENB or mostly the Russian companies live so Russian style is my kind of benchmark). I agree there wasn't all that much chemistry between the leads, the children capering around in blackface were quite appalling, and I was particularly unimpressed with the bronze idol (maybe he was having an off day). Loved the 3 shades especially Shrainer though the conductor seemed to be rattling along too fast for her liquid movement (she has the same quality I noticed in Sarafanov when I was lucky enough to see him in the Madrid gala), and also really liked the soloist who danced with the little girls with flowers in her hair. Overall it was a great spectacle (and I had a very famous principal dancer and the conductors mother sitting behind me so felt in exalted company and therefore inclined to be easily please )...
  11. That's interesting- the cabriole is just a standard jump but in these 2 clips they are doing a high single and not a double (which I think is what is usually in this variation). I found a clip of Chudin in the variation and he also does the high single. But equally I've seen Tissi do it as a double and DS has not particularly been instructed to do cabrioles 'Bolshoi style' (and he was taught by Tsiskaridze) so maybe there's variation even at the Bolshoi... I personally think Ovcharenko looks incredibly elegant in this variation....
  12. on the other hand it does note in this article one of the female dancers squat lifting 100kg so maybe that's not so unusual!!! https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2018/jul/15/raising-the-barre-how-science-is-saving-ballet-dancers
  13. Actually plenty of the female dancers weigh more than 50 kg though probably not much more than 60 (don't forget muscle is heavier than fat so even lean dancers might be quite heavy if they are reasonably tall). My DSs first partner was 5.6 and weighed 60 kilos... Though my DS would say it's not the weight that matters as much as the dancer- some 'help' the lifts by springing up themselves, while others (he says, and you can see it) are like lifting a bag of spuds. You only have to compare with the experience (those of us who are parents and grandparents rather than male dancers!) of lifting up small children - some seem to almost fly into your arms whereas other are dead weights - and it's not related to size. As for the gym weights question - for squats and deadlifts- the goal is to lifting own body weight (for my DS who is 6.1 this is 72kg), for bench press or shoulder press the goal is to lift approx partners weight (55-60 kilos). So probably not 100kg unless you are super keen!!!
  14. Just as a side note we were told categorically that our DS at 13.5 needed to be in FT ballet school in order to reach his full potential.... he started therefore at only just 14 somewhat against our better judgement in terms of family/social/education but trusting the teacher's opinion and hoping we could make the rest of it work.... He considered that he remained behind his peers at least until 19 and might (I haven't asked him recently) consider even now he would be better had he started earlier... At 14 he was probably doing around 20-25 hours a week (including rehearsals and other forms of dance although these were a relatively small proportion of the training...)
  15. a little vote for grishko performance canvas split soles. DS particularly likes the elastic in the arch which keeps it snug for those with high arches... and although a bit pricier they are incredibly hard wearing compared to the cheaper shoes (so for example he would go through a capezio canvas shoe in a month, but the grishkos lasted him a term or more). until he got tor stage of getting his shoes supplied the company he never wore anything else.. just dance stock grishkos...
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