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Anyone here has attended London amateur ballet summer intensive before can you share some experience?


Tr2163
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I am thinking of doing their summer intensive this year. Since it's quite a commitment for me, (one week off plus international travel), I need some feedbacks from people who has done it before.

 

I've read from the previous post that there were lots of dancers (80?) and I am wondering if it is still the case now. I saw that they only have two classes so 40 people dancing in one group would be a little bit too crowed for me.

 

Also, do they divide dancers into different levels? How difficult is the final performance ?

 

I've noticed that they have added a two days short program for the spring intensive. Does it include the performance as well?

 

Sorry for so many questions. I tried to email them but didn't get a response.

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Hi Tr2163

 

My experience of LABs intensive is a little bit dated but I don’t think its changed very much.

 

The 80 dancers you mention was in Spring of 2014 when it was 70 something, that was Sleepng Beauty held at the Royal Ballet School in Covent Garden, then we were divided into three groups for the Corps de ballet work, however the solo’s which were danced as groups, we learnt each one, but then had to decide which one you wanted to polish for performance. For me I liked that choice, to the best of my knowledge we had Aurora’s solo, the first fairy and one other fairy which may have been the fourth one.

 

The corps de ballet piece was the friends dance as me and another girl led the dancers on as the opening scene. I cant remember what else we did

 

That was thought to be too big and unmanageable, although I liked it, Intensives after that were generally limited to around 35 – 40 dancers.

 

At the beginning of the first day dancers are generally divided into at least two groups with there family name in alphabetical order, later that day some dancers may get allocated to a different group better suited to their ability, it really is a mixed bunch of abilities.

 

As for “How difficult is the final performance” it will challenge you, but it’s like anything, you will get out of what you put in. However there is lots to help you, not only is there a really good team of teachers led by Tom LAB’s founder and Artistic director who is still my Monday night teacher at English National Ballet. But there is often one of the dancers taking a videos of the more difficult sequences, they are encouraged to share them in the close group area on facebook between all intensive members. I do remember when we did the Swan Lake Summer Intensive at the Royal Ballet School, LAB provided us with three profession student dancers, I think from ENB, to dance at the side of the stage area out of site of the audience to help prompt the dancers for the next steps. I found that particularly helpful when we danced the opening of Swan Lake Act4, as it’s a very long piece and we had to learn it in 3 or 4 different chunks over the week. Seeing them dance the steps certainly prompted the memory.

 

Those professional students also joined in some of the centre work and provided excellent examples to follow if you wasn’t sure.

 

That same year we had a second summer intensive, this time on the ballet “Don Quixote” also at “The Royal Ballet School”

 

The offering of the 2/3day course came about from a request from some of the dancers which couldn’t get the full three days leave.

 

One point you should be aware of, although its not compulsory, most dancers wear the recommended romantic / classic tutu and leotard especially for the end of course performance, these are available from the LAB shop and most probably from a stand at the course venue.

 

Hope that helps

Edited by Michelle_Richer
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Thank you so much !!!! That's a whole lot of information and I feel more excited and confident after reading it.

 

I would love to join it if it will still be at the Royal ballet school. Richmond would be too far though.

Edited by Tr2163
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It's at Rambert this year. From their Facebook page:

 

Hi, The LAB Summer Intensive is from the 1st to the 6th of August 2016. It's also at The Rambert School and the cost is £375... we hope that your holiday fits with that and look forward to seeing you in the studio this Summer!

 

It will be 3 years since I went so not sure whether any info I have will be very useful but do ask if you have any questions not yet answered you think I might be able to help on. If I can scrape together enough pennies I'll be there this year.

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Hi Tr2163

I wonder why you say Richmond is too far, it is on the London underground system via the district line and can be travelled to from almost anywhere in London.  See tube map via Link https://tfl.gov.uk/cdn/static/cms/documents/large-print-tube-map.pdf

 

Once at the station I think its about a half an hour walk, we performed LAB's Christmas show at  Rambert Ballet Schools studio theatre last year. There is a bus route between the station an Rambert but I have never used it. I guess you could always get local accommodation in Richmond.

 

Just to give you some idea of the number of dancers that follow the recommended (BUT NOT COMPULSARY) guidelines for the end of course performance, see photo of our Swan Lake performance at The Royal Ballet School.

 

 

SwanLake1a_zps7d276253.jpg

 

 

Do go for it and the very best of luck.

Edited by Michelle_Richer
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Thanks for the details ! I am not familiar with London and I have never been to Richmond. So I was just guessing from google map:). Besides Royal ballet school is in the city center and DH can have something to do while I am dancing. But it's good to know that it's on the metro line.

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If I go I think I will be staying with a friend over the other side of London (Docklands-ish area I think) and commuting across each day. It's easily do-able. Obviously up to you if you're not sure about it not having been to London before, but if that's the only reason not to go then don't let it stop you :) There are lots of tube maps and things and always Google maps on your phone for the walking bit (or there may well be a few people walking from station so could potentially meet up).

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