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MayKwok

Aspire Ballet - summer intensive for adults 2019

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Following the success of 2018, Aspire Ballet will be holding the next summer course for adults on 14-20 July 2019.

 

The course will be held at the brand new headquarters of English National Ballet, at London City Island, near Canning Town in London.

 

Content to include EBAS, ballet technique class, pointe and variations, workshops, and group repertoire. There will be an in-studio sharing performance at the end of the course.

Returning from last year we have Scott Putman and Natalie Krapf in our faculty.

 

Sign up early to qualify for £25 early bird offer. You can also benefit from refer a friend discount by telling your friends about us. Further details on our website.

 

Please feel free to reply here, PM me here, find us on Facebook, or use the contact us page on the website. I will be very happy to answer any questions.

 

May

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1. Were the intensives you once attended in the USA... Sun King Adult Dance Camp?

 

2. Would Aspire ever consider also including (daily) pas de deux sessions as options for interested male and female registrants, as part of choreography/ rep / variations?  Partnering experience is certainly the one thing that is challenging to acquire as an adult enthusiast, so there is a real need I think. I know of only one such class (at Ballet Arts in Manhattan across from Carnegie Hall).  They are too far and few between.

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Hi @BeaverElliiot,

 

Yes indeed it was Sun King that I have been to!

 

We can consider Pas de deux lessons but the main concern is we need male dancers. This is the second year I'm running this and we had no male participants last year. As yet I do not have it in my budget to hire male dancers like Sun King does, but is certainly something I will look into for future years.

 

If you are interested in joining for 2019 or in the future, please do send me a PM, we can always see what we can work out for you.

 

Thanks,

May

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Pax de deux and boys’ technique classes would be something that would make me much more interested in an intensive. Not that it would help in this case, since I’m pretty sure I have our local adult summer camp that week, but *in principle*.

Edited by Colman

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I know the London Performance Company run regular pas de deux workshops and classes in London ....usually on Sunday's. 

Also Ballet for You ....but you have to attend other classes regularly with them to be included as a pas de deux student. 

All Amateur companies would have some pas de deux going on for those capable etc. 

 

One has to be very careful though with amateur pas de deux as very often the men are at a very much less advanced standard generally than the women. So there is only so far you can go with it. 

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Hi May

Could you be a little more specific in what your content includes: you mention “Variation(s)”, does this mean repertoire solo’s if so which do you intend to teach or adapt from, similarly you mention “group repertoire”, again that sounds like corps de ballet pieces, perhaps you could indicate what specific rep you have in mind.

 

Many thanks

 

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Hi Michelle,

 

Variations are indeed solos and group repertoire are corps de ballet pieces. We have not yet decided which pieces to do. 

 

 

In 2018 the variations were from Sleeping beauty prologue fairies. The group piece was an original choroegraphy by Scott.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Thanks,

May

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Hi May

 

Thank you for your prompt reply

 

You mentioned you did the prologue fairies from Sleeping Beauty, do I take it that you taught everything from Candide the Fairy of the Crystal Fountain to the Lilac Fairy, did you also do a studio sharing performance at the end of last years Summer Intensive, if so did your dancers have a choice as which of the fairy variations to perform or did every one perform all 6 on the final day. I’m also curious as to which company the repertoire for the variations were taken from, as there are quite a lot of different versions for each of the fairies.

 

What ballet attire was used for the Fairies studio sharing last year, normal practice gear, or Tutu’s, as that was the kind of thing we were encouraged to wear at a LAB intensive on Sleeping Beauty a few years ago.

Edited by Michelle_Richer

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Good morning Michelle,

 

Thanks for your questions. The Advanced group did the Crystal Fountain variation, and the Intermediate group did the Enchanted Garden variation. The Intermediate variation was adapted to the dancers' abilities. They were based on the Royal Ballet's versions.

 

We had leotards and practice tutus for the studio sharing. Not everyone had a tutu and our participants were very generous in sharing!

 

It may be worth noting that what we wanted to achieve in the course was not solely on performing repertoire. In order to fit everything in the timetable and not overwork the dancers, we've combined the pointe and variations class together. In the beginning of the week the class would be a full pointe class. Once the sufficient foundations are laid then the variations work is introduced. We wanted to allow the students to process what's been covered in EBAS, technique class and the workshops and apply those principles into the dancing.

 

(Not that we claim that foundations of pointe work can be laid in a few days! But we go back to the fundamentals and explain before building it back up. We have the luxury of seeing everyone every day, and being immersive in the same language for the whole week does allow the information to transfer faster into the bodies. We also have the opportunity to have the same movement explained in maybe a different way than you normally would hear it explained, and able to discover a more efficient way of moving.)

 

Not that performance is an after thought (it's why we go to class afterall!), but we wanted the course to be an opportunity to allow dancers to really understand technique, as there usually isn't enough time during normal weekly classes to discuss the "how". We then apply the "how" into the "what", and have a little performance at the end to embody what we've learned in the week.

 

Does this make it clearer somewhat?

 

Thanks,

May

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May, this sounds great! I will have to look at dates and work/travel commitments ...

 

Is there further information about the EBAS system? I'm always interested in learning new ways of approaching movement, particularly with my ageing body.

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The main website for EBAS is here: https://doebas.com/

 

In our program page there is a video from Scott which talks about EBAS: https://www.aspireballet.org/summer-2019

 

Speaking from experience as someone who's been doing this program for a few years (when I manage to get an hour spare at home...!):

 

The exercises for Level 1 link up as a series can be completed in around 1 hour. You start sitting and activate and mobilise the spine, while activating the legs and accessing turnout from the leg rotators. You then progress to lying down facing the sky, then return to sitting, finishing with a stretch series. After the hour I always stand up feeling like my spine has been lengthened, my pelvis is level, rotators gently engaged, without feeling like I have to work really hard in order to get things aligned. I try to do them regularly, maybe once a week. I try to do as much of the exercises as possible before a class as it always sets me up well.

 

The way it works through the week for the summer course is that Scott would take time to fully explain the exercises, and in the first day it would only be the first few exercises. The next day we'd do the same exercises quicker then introduce new ones. By the end of the week he would cover the Level 1 program.

 

I understand he's working on getting the videos for exercises packaged up to be available in some shape or form. I shall update once I have further info.

 

@Kate_N it would be lovely to see you! If you cannot make the full week please still do PM me, we can work out a plan so you can participate some of the days if you wish.

Edited by MayKwok

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Thanks for this, May. I went to your Aspire website & found lots of useful information - so thank you for an excellent & informative website. The EBAS system sounds really something I'd like to experience. I currently do a weekly PBT class and find that helps with my stiff upper back, and tunes up my core placement. And EBAS sounds like it works even more deeply and carefully.

 

But <sob> the dates for this year are precisely the week I've been invited to teach at a week long workshop in my field in California (it's a tough job but someone has to do it). So I'll be looking at classes for adults in Santa Cruz instead ...

Edited by Kate_N

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Kate_N, I want your life! You seem to get around the world AND fit in ballet classes! 👍🏻

Edited by Peanut68
Typo

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You can have my 12 hour days 6 days a week as well, if you like 😃

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On ‎26‎/‎02‎/‎2019 at 09:10, MayKwok said:

Good morning Michelle,

 

Thanks for your questions. The Advanced group did the Crystal Fountain variation, and the Intermediate group did the Enchanted Garden variation. The Intermediate variation was adapted to the dancers' abilities. They were based on the Royal Ballet's versions.

 

We had leotards and practice tutus for the studio sharing. Not everyone had a tutu and our participants were very generous in sharing!

 

It may be worth noting that what we wanted to achieve in the course was not solely on performing repertoire. In order to fit everything in the timetable and not overwork the dancers, we've combined the pointe and variations class together. In the beginning of the week the class would be a full pointe class. Once the sufficient foundations are laid then the variations work is introduced. We wanted to allow the students to process what's been covered in EBAS, technique class and the workshops and apply those principles into the dancing.

 

(Not that we claim that foundations of pointe work can be laid in a few days! But we go back to the fundamentals and explain before building it back up. We have the luxury of seeing everyone every day, and being immersive in the same language for the whole week does allow the information to transfer faster into the bodies. We also have the opportunity to have the same movement explained in maybe a different way than you normally would hear it explained, and able to discover a more efficient way of moving.)

 

Not that performance is an after thought (it's why we go to class afterall!), but we wanted the course to be an opportunity to allow dancers to really understand technique, as there usually isn't enough time during normal weekly classes to discuss the "how". We then apply the "how" into the "what", and have a little performance at the end to embody what we've learned in the week.

 

Does this make it clearer somewhat?

 

Thanks,

May

Hi May

 

Yes that does make things a lot clearer, as I was thinking it would have been very ambitious of you to teach all 6 Fairy variation to each of your dancers during that course as well as your corps pieces and everything else.

Strange as it may seam, we were only rehearsing the Fairy of the Crystal Fountain last Sunday evening for our performance in June.

 

In your reply you make reference to “pointe” several times, do I take it is a pre-requisite of the intensive,  that each dancer has to have the ability to dance on pointe.

 

Is the EBAS DVD only available from the US on Merchandise link from doebas.com

 

Sadly although the Intensive sounds really interesting, I cant make it as I need all the time I can get from after our June performance to my and my PDD partner’s one-to-one intensive with Ballet West  in early August, we work all year on our own rep in preparation for that, this is our 6th year

 

Many thanks

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Dear Michelle,

 

We ask that if a dancer has not been en pointe before to not start learning pointe during this course, but to participate in the class in flats. Dancers can also start the class en pointe and of course take shoes off as and when they need to. They can also choose to do the pointe class en pointe and then take shoes off to learn the variation.

 

The EBAS DVD was available from Scott directly through his doebas.com website but I'm not sure if it is still in stock. I wouldn't recommend trying to learn the work through the DVD as the dvd is recorded as a series of cues without any of the explanations. In my personal opinion it wouldn't make much sense to someone unfamiliar with the work. I'm really looking forward to the new set of videos that Scott is making at the moment.

 

Best of luck with your Ballet West intensive, and also with your leg injury! I've been reading about your journey of trying to get a correct diagnosis and treatment, fingers crossed it all goes well for you.

 

Thanks,

May

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Dear May

 

Thank you for your very informative reply and your good wishes .

 

Ok about the comments on pointe work that makes a lot of sense. For me I have no great desire to dance en pointe for solo’s, however for Pas de deux’s that’s another story, I find pirouettes are extremely limited with a partner on demi, singles are ok but I usually have to do doubles without contact with my partner other that the grab-stop, the only truly successful one I have done, is in some versions of the Nutcracker GPDD where it’s a series of 5 assisted singles that never stops giving almost the illusion it a multi-turn pirouette. Also promenades are very much easier with far less floor contact resistance.

 

I did initially start pointe work some years ago at a local school but it only lasted a few weeks as some temporary studio space became available, needless to say it didn’t really get very far.

More recently about 18month or so ago, my old ballet company, the Alive Ballet Company started to run weekly pointe classes in studio’s of the Royal Ballet School Covent Garden, I booked and paid for the term, sadly my injury occurred just before the classes started and I never got to go. I remember the first few weeks offering my apologies and saying I expected to attend the following week, but it was never to be.

 

At this present time I have developed a workout which has been built up on both strengthening for pointe and muscle strengthening exercises produced by my physio at Northern Ballet for my injury, I’ve also included various other pieces, I guess making more holistic. Unfortunately it’s too large and intense to do daily, its over 2 hours but likely to extend to 3, done 3 times a week. Most of this now is documented and set to music, I’ve also include where possible diagrams of the muscles engaged too. Hence my interest in EBAS.

 

I do hope you run your intensive again next year so I can schedule it in.

 

You take care

 

Michelle x

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Due to unforseen circumstances we've had to have a venue change for our summer course.

 

We will now be at West London School of Dance at Shepherd's Bush for 14-19 July. For 20 July we will be at The Urdang, The Old Finsbury Town Hall.

 

All info is updated on our website. Please feel free to reach out should you have any questions!

 

Thanks,
May

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Hello. I will be in London the week before your summer intensive (july6-11). Do you offer any drop in classes for adult level? I am 19 and in a preprofessional program in the US. Thanks,

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Hi @resiegenthaler I'm afraid the intensive is the only program I'm running at the moment. There's plenty of open classes in London: Pineapple, Central school of Ballet, Danceworks, spring to mind. Do a search on the forum I think there's a thread somewhere which might list places that I've missed.

 

Such a shame that we're not on when you're here! Hope you have a great trip in London!

 

May

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I'd add to May's advice to search this forum. If you're over 16, then all the classes at Danceworks, in Central London (just near Selfridges on Oxford Street) will be available to you. They run excellent, professionally taught, 90 minute classes at all levels from basic Beginners, to Professional.

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Dear all,

 

We have officially launched a short day option for our course. 

 

Start with either EBAS + Ballet (£200) in the morning, or just ballet class (£120). Then add pointe / men's technique (£85), workshops (£85) and/or group repertoire (£80). The full course adds stretch class at the end, is £500. All prices here are for the full 7 days.

 

PM me if the number of days need to be tailored, or if you have any other questions.

 

Thanks,

May

 

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Posted (edited)
On 03/06/2019 at 09:34, Jan McNulty said:

This may be a good thread to read:

 

 

 

 

Hi there ballet forum friends in London.

I’ve not yet tired of life and have been here 3 days.

Philipp Bolloev’s 3:30 pm class for men on Saturday

(plus a 12-y.o. boy who was throwing away triples, naturally gifted)

at Danceworks by Selfridges was terrific!!! Encore! More! Plus!

We did a couple of cool male variations in the 60 minutes

as there was no barre to speak of,

just quick warm ups at the barre and centre.

 

Looking to next try out

> Central Nights

> Ballet For You (mens class).

> Friday Night Ballet Bite (of Ballet4Life)

 

But I cannot make it to May’s Aspire SI as much as I would like to 😞

as I’ll be heading to Vienna to audition for a super role with the ABT (SwnLk)

(That would be Vienna Virginia USA near Arlington just west of Wshntn DC.)

 

If I’m successful then there’d be 3 performances Wolf Trap National Arts Cntr

which is an outdoor amphitheatre sort of set up,

Edited by BeaverElliot
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Great @BeaverElliot glad you're enjoying Danceworks. @TYR may be able to advise on the best Central Nights classes. I always try to do Nina Thilas-Mohs class on Friday night there - very juicy pretty simple barre, that gets you ready for dancing full out in the centre, with a Balanchine style of attack. Lots of people here rate David Kierce's classes - I've done one of his and enjoyed his teaching very much, and learned things, but there were just too many people - I couldn't really dance out in the centre (or at the barre for that matter). 

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Renato Paroni has stopped leading at Central except for Tuesday 1900-2045 (or really, when he thinks you're cooked) in order to make time for his new job at ENB. I hear on the grapevine it's a bit of a gamble whether he shows up (nothing new for him). Nina has taken over the Thursday night class he did - they used to grade up in difficulty through the week, and her own Central class on Friday is distinctly tougher. She also leads on Sunday at Danceworks, first a floor barre class and then a Balanchine class comparable with Friday but usually faster. Nandita Shandarkass, who I occasionally saw both as a student of Renato's and a substitute teacher, took on the Wednesday.

 

Central also has David Kierce's classes, which are quite strictly graded according to a scheme of his own devising, Hannah Frost's beginner on Friday, a pointe class and a few others I know nothing about. Desirée Ballantyne took over RP's Sunday class.

 

I keep trying to work up the courage to try that men's skills class of a Saturday.

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