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RAD Discovering Repertoire classes

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4 hours ago, Dance*is*life said:

We had a teachers' course on DR not long ago. I felt that the classes were not challenging enough for the level, the barre was particularly limited in content.  That might be because I believe I read that it was originally planned for adult dancers, but I may be wrong about that.  The solos on pointe would on the other hand be very challenging, so I am not sure about it.  I also felt that having to show the development exercises in the exam was unneccessary.  I would have preferred a more advanced class with a choice of set repertoire variations.  It's useful that you can take the exam in sections, so you can fit it in wherever it works in your particular school.  I had thought to use level 3 for my last years Intermediates, but decided I'd rather challenge them with Advanced Foundation. 


your students , while eligible to  take the  qualification are not it;s target market - which is  'working age adults' either new to ballet and looking for something after   beginners class or those  returning  after a long  time off 

Adult dancer =/= never stopped  , the growth market  in adult ballet is   peopel who are new to ballet  or  who return after  childhood  classes ... 

the option to do the variations en pointe is  to 'dual hat' the qualification as  enrichment for VGE  students 

Edited by Nicola H

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I think the target market is squarely the second option, i.e. the adult returners. I can't imagine an adult complete beginner being able to work straight through this syllabus to Level 4 (without doing a lot of hard work outside it, anyway.)

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8 hours ago, youngatheart said:

I think the target market is squarely the second option, i.e. the adult returners. I can't imagine an adult complete beginner being able to work straight through this syllabus to Level 4 (without doing a lot of hard work outside it, anyway.)

i think that depends on your time frame doesn't it ... 

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1 hour ago, Nicola H said:

i think that depends on your time frame doesn't it ... 

 

I can imagine colleagues who aren’t interested in doing the curriculum exams doing these after a few years of basics.

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21 minutes ago, Colman said:

 

I can imagine colleagues who aren’t interested in doing the curriculum exams doing these after a few years of basics.

exactly 

a  year of beginners ,  a year or two  of improvers  and then DR   rather than  various degrees of Capitalisation of the 'I' in Intermediate Adult ...  

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20 hours ago, youngatheart said:

I think the target market is squarely the second option, i.e. the adult returners. I can't imagine an adult complete beginner being able to work straight through this syllabus to Level 4 (without doing a lot of hard work outside it, anyway.)

 

However there is a large number of very keen, enthusiastic and hard-working adult beginners and post-beginers who do several classes a week and attend workshops etc. I think many of them could tackle Level 2 and the most keen could go right through to Level 4, over a number of years. This syllabus allows for taking it in smaller steps so could be tackled in a longer time frame, and unit work could be added into a general class rather than people necessarily taking a purely syllabus class. This is how it's being done in one school I know of. Adult students, not all of whom are returners, are taking Vocational Graded exams  and I think DR Level 2 would be an easier first step than IF  .

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I should add that many enthusiastic beginners and post-beginners seem to be particularly keen on repertoire work as they are frequently attend rep workshops, bravely tackling some challenging variations.

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Not saying otherwise - just that you couldn't do it by going straight from level 2 to level 3 and level 4 in the same way as you would Grade 2 to Grade 4. Level 4 is very advanced!

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1 hour ago, youngatheart said:

Not saying otherwise - just that you couldn't do it by going straight from level 2 to level 3 and level 4 in the same way as you would Grade 2 to Grade 4. Level 4 is very advanced!

Oh yes, I think DR provides enrichment at each level rather than a single basic structure for learning.  I think it would be difficult to make systematic progress by doing only the DR syllabus, and a level is a much greater step than a grade (more like three years or more of work). Maybe this supports the point that the RAD often make that examination work shouldn't be the only content of a class, even a syllabus class.

 

 

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I think I've commented on another thread about this as last summer did some introductory sessions on this RAD Rep class.

 

First I agree that a complete adult beginner would not cope with even level two of the Rep......it would suit returners to ballet more who already have some basic understanding of how to put steps together.

A COMPLETE new  beginner to ballet would need at least one to two years of classes before attempting the level two.

 

I also found a discrepancy between the barre level and the Rep level. Level two barre is far too easy in my view( though ironically might suit beginners!) 

I asked the teacher about this and ...if I haven't misunderstood this....was told you can sort of mix and match at exam level....

that is you could do the level three barre in the level two Rep exam....though Imthink they are examined separately anyway so I found it all a but unnecessarily complicated to be honest.

However the pieces we looked at were really nice to do from level two and three anyway....only briefly looked at level four as this is or seemed to be more of a jump in technical ability required etc.

So they don't quite naturally follow on as it were.

Also another thing that occurred to me .....for example we learned the level two Rep in one evening!! Is that although of course this all needed to be perfected and improved to be ready for examination etc ...how long was the expected time of study ....I think I would be bored after one term of this!! So it didn't seem that you would need a whole year of study for example ....as possibly would with a grade exam. 

So perhaps a course just to dip in and out of every so often but if you are an Adult dancer and really enjoy doing Rep I would say that there are many workshops and courses you can attend which may have more to offer in a way unless you just enjoy doing exams!! 

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1 hour ago, LinMM said:

I asked the teacher about this and ...if I haven't misunderstood this....was told you can sort of mix and match at exam level....

 

 

Yes, each DR level is split into 3 units, Barre & Centre, Variation 1 with preparatory exercises & Variation 2 with preparatory exercises, You get a unit certificate with each & when you've completed all 3 you get a total level certificate.

The way we're learning it at the moment, Barre + 1 variation each from level 2 & 3 I'd much rather focus on one barre & variation complete that then move on, as it is we'll take a lot longer & be ready for 4 exams at the same time which doesn't make huge sense to me, typically I believe the people taking DR exams so far have been taking barre + 1 variation (so 2 units) at a time, although some have been doing barre + variation 1 & 2 at the same time.

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While you can't move through it the same way you could from Grade 2 to Grade 4, that comparison sort of falls away if you look at moving through from Intermediate to Advanced 1, which is really what the target is... Obviously it gets a lot harder, going from your first 'attempt' at double pirouettes in intermediate to fouette turns in Advanced 1! Seems similar to the advancement in difficulty of the DR levels. 

 

I have no interest really in DR as my sole ballet training because the class work looks incredibly simple, but as a supplement to other classes I find it rather enjoyable. So far I have only done the development exercises as a way of learning the variation, I have to say I hadn't really considered what it would be like to have to drill these exercises over and over to exam readiness, considering it only consists of steps that you will eventually show in the variation anyway? And then actually performing them in the exam, knowing you're about to perform the exact same steps in a slightly longer sequence...I'm not sure I totally see the point, and imagine it might actually be a bit dull for the examiner? But clearly they trialled the syllabus and there was positive feedback about it so there must be interest. I'm not doing it in a standard class, just as a bit of fun in a half hour private every fortnight so I'm not really getting the proper DR experience which might also colour my responses.

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That's what I meant by it could be a bit dull to do in the end because week after week of the same two variations would personally remind me of piano exams where I was really fed up with the pieces in the end!! 

So perhaps if you just dip in for a term and try and go for the exam within about three months say then have a rest from DR and then go back for the next level .....again hopefully in one term 3/4 months at most then you wouldn't get bored with the pieces. 

It would be the thought of plugging away at them for a whole year that would put me off! 

I have sometimes found that if you keep doing the same thing over and over again it doesn't always get better and in fact has a "tip over" point where it starts getting worse!! 

I cannot explain this ....its a bit odd and may not happen to others I don't know! 

It definitely feels like a sort of additional syllabus which used in the right way could be fun especially for adults who are not attracted to taking the Grade exams so much ( but like doing the classes for technique progression etc) but might be able to give this sort of an exam a whirl. 

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1 hour ago, Viv said:

So far I have only done the development exercises as a way of learning the variation, I have to say I hadn't really considered what it would be like to have to drill these exercises over and over to exam readiness, considering it only consists of steps that you will eventually show in the variation anyway? And then actually performing them in the exam, knowing you're about to perform the exact same steps in a slightly longer sequence...I'm not sure I totally see the point, and imagine it might actually be a bit dull for the examiner?

 

I can only guess that the point is to show the examiner that you have the correct technique during the development exercises, and then the variation can be all about the performance because (s)he already knows how well you can do the steps.....

 

And as Sophie Rebecca said above, they are not always exactly the same step as in the variation - sometimes they are the "pure" step from which the choreography would have been derived.

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13 hours ago, youngatheart said:

I can only guess that the point is to show the examiner that you have the correct technique during the development exercises, and then the variation can be all about the performance because (s)he already knows how well you can do the steps.....

 

But learning ballet has never been about showing how well you can hold your technique separately from how well you perform. It's always been about doing both simultaneously, which is why my teacher encourages us to start 'performing' from the very first plie at the barre. If the exam is designed to demonstrate that you can do the step well enough on its own, or in a relatively simple combination, but then show that when you perform you can't maintain your technique throughout the whole variation, I'm afraid I'm still struggling to see the point. Honestly I feel that the development exercises are more likely to show the examiner early on where your weaknesses are so they know what to look for in the dance!

 

Really I can't wait for this syllabus to start being examined properly. I want to know how people who are studying DR in a proper class format, to exam readiness, and then performing it on the day, feel about all of this. That's the true test of a syllabus and the feedback of people who have done that will be the most valuable in my opinion. I'm thoroughly enjoying learning DR because I like rep and I like the idea of chunked 'exercises' to help you work on technique that you'll later perform. For that DR works perfectly for me. I suppose I only struggle with the actual exam part of it, or like @LinMM with the amount of time one would have to spend doing the syllabus before being ready to move on. But then, despite beginning ballet as an adult 5 years ago, I don't really feel like I'm the target market for DR either.

Edited by Viv

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Actually Viv I do agree with you! I was just trying to think of a reason. I guess the other point is that the variations only have some of the steps on one side, whereas the development exercises have to be shown on both sides.

 

Most people who have tried DR so far seem to have plunged straight into learning the variation itself (which is, of course, what the "main attraction" of DR is in the first place!), whereas I would imagine that the pedagogic intention would have been to start with the development exercises and get these fully mastered before then learning the actual variation last.

 

Can't see many classes being that patient though! 🙂

 

I will be interested to see what standard of dancing would be required in practice to pass....

 

 

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8 hours ago, youngatheart said:

Actually Viv I do agree with you! I was just trying to think of a reason. I guess the other point is that the variations only have some of the steps on one side, whereas the development exercises have to be shown on both sides.

 

Most people who have tried DR so far seem to have plunged straight into learning the variation itself (which is, of course, what the "main attraction" of DR is in the first place!), whereas I would imagine that the pedagogic intention would have been to start with the development exercises and get these fully mastered before then learning the actual variation last.

 

Can't see many classes being that patient though! 🙂

 

I will be interested to see what standard of dancing would be required in practice to pass....

 

 

 Thus is the nature of bringing in a new  (type) of qualification  in a field ,  the first  few  iterations will be  people who  were existing practitioners prior to the qualification coming around  rather than those who were genuinely new  to whatever activity it was .

-I 've seen this with  qualifications  in volunteering work i've been involved in where the  first  2 or 3  sets of assessments  have  been 'conversion' courses  from what came before  or  the  previous local arrangmeents  before you  start to get significant numbers  of  genuine neophytes coming to assessment

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I wonder how many people have started sitting these exams. It would be interesting to see how the results compare to the graded and vocational ones. 

 

Also I wonder if it would be possible to take the same variation unit twice in one term - on flat and on pointe. That way you could get a good comparison and indication of your pointe technique. 

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5 hours ago, DeveloppeD said:

I wonder how many people have started sitting these exams. It would be interesting to see how the results compare to the graded and vocational ones. 

 

Also I wonder if it would be possible to take the same variation unit twice in one term - on flat and on pointe. That way you could get a good comparison and indication of your pointe technique. 

All RAD exams can be repeated as many times as you like. I have come across several people who have repeated an exam that they have already passed once. There are some videos on Youtube of an adult student who seems to have retaken Grade 8 a number of times, choosing different options each time.  

 

Doing the DR variation units twice over once on demi and once on pointe seems to me to be a reasonable idea, allowing for  a lot of personal development. I'm hoping to do DR Level 2 next, after my Grade 6 exam. I would do all the units on demi but I have been thinking that the Coppelia unit on pointe would not be beyond me and I'd like to do that later on (ie not in the same exam session).

Edited by The_Red_Shoes
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Coppelia en pointe was just about the death of me, because of the speed of those darn chaines turns! But then I learned it first in flat shoes and only tried the variation en pointe at the end of one lesson to see how it went. The giselle variation I have learned entirely en pointe, including some (but not all) of the development exercises and I find that one, while challenging, much more achievable. And fun! Of course, I'm also 6 months further down the road than I was the last time I did Coppelia so who knows, I might try it again en pointe soon and be pleasantly surprised :) Pointe is also not my forte due to weak, hypermobile (yet completely flat) feet and ankles, so another dancer may not struggle with that aspect of things. 

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Has anyone taken a DR exam yet? I haven't done a DR class since November last year but I'm still interested to hear how people who have stuck with this class to exam readiness have found the syllabus. 

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On ‎10‎/‎02‎/‎2018 at 08:16, Mummy twinkle toes said:

The level 2 exam is equivalent to grade 5/IF. Do not forget these variations are danced by ballet principals so should be sufficiently challenging to do well although they have stated level 2 will be modified.

 

Ah.  That would explain why I didn't find it recognisably like any other Coppelia I'd watched!

 

On ‎16‎/‎03‎/‎2018 at 15:31, The_Red_Shoes said:

Glad to see that they have finally dropped grand plie in 4th.

 

What took them so long?! :( 

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I find this syllabus very badly thought through. The fact that both the male and female preparation exercises are set to the same music, although entirely different steps says it all. It is case of "what can we fit to this music" rather than what is actually helpful. I am working with a student on level 4 - all sections and we find that the preparation exercises in many cases hinder rather than help - Being on different feet, different timings and in some case entirely different steps. For instance the "gargouillades" in the Sugar Plum variation are something students come across quite rarely and therefore you would think that the preparation exercise would take this into account. But no - the prep step is plain pas de chats ? Not helpful. Some of the preparation steps are almost impossible for anyone less than a professional to do on pointe and other exercises with multiple releves are very heavy going on demi pointe. The fact that on the video demo for the Odette solo - prep steps are done on flat and the solo on pointe says it all. I initially thought the Rep syllabus was a great idea for those students who would not be technically strong enough to get through Inter and Advanced but still wanted to do "proper ballet"  however the class section is too easy and doesn't marry up with the solos which in most cases are too hard for the level. As others have said maybe better to mix and match, but exam wise I am not sure what that achieves - All way too complicated. Must be a nightmare for the examiners, with some examinees on pointe others on flat, how do you mark fairly and with an open mind ? - We will not be doing this syllabus next year - back to struggling through the vocational grades !

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As an adult dancer I got very excited about this when I first heard about it.

But after attending a couple of workshops have now changed my mind. 

I absolutely agree that the class section and then the solos danced are not on the same level. 

So what solo would you match with the level two class section....which is just about at grade five level ...of those on offer!! 

The solos all seemed at least a level above the class section .....though didn't do the level four class section so not sure what level that would be at? 

The idea of this is good in theory but maybe not that good in practise yet!!

 

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