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The first three topics at BalletcoForum are 1) Performances seen & general discussions, 2) Ballet / Dance news & information and 3) Dance Links - reviews, news & features.

 

The forth is Doing Dance. Interestingly, the forth, your’s, has as many posts as the first three combined.

 

And interestingly, there appears to be little crossover of readers. Is this true? If so, maybe we could try something.

 

Maybe some folks here would like to know what us primarily audience members think and value and visa-versa. I’ve sat next to ballet students who don’t know who Ulyana Lopatkina is. I, as an avid fan of ballet, don’t know the first thing about technique. Maybe we could just float some thoughts. I for one, could perhaps suggest various performers and performances that I could recommend from a spectator point of view and say why.

 

I might also post a link at the first three, referring posters here and visa-versa.

 

Any thoughts or suggestions? It might at least be fun.

 

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28 minutes ago, Picturesinthefirelight said:

I occasionally have a look across there but I’m more likely to visit the opera section. 

 

Can i I make a confession. I’m not really very into ballet. I’d never choose to go and watch a ballet (MT every day for me). But obviously I support my child hence this forum. 

 

Thanks, Picturesinthefirelight. That's honest enough. I haven't actually looked at this topic until today. I would imagine that many students here are interested in ballet and many primarily ballet viewers have ideas about other forms of dance and performances. Also, we as parents, or grandparents (myself), who might simply be interested in supporting whatever our children or grandchildren do, might ask our children/grandchildren what they think. My granddaughter does MT but would not be the least bit interested in doing singing or dancing on its own.

 

And maybe many hardworking or busy parents have gone to bed by now. 😊   I'm in California at the moment although I'm generally half the year in Europe.

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Buddy:  You may have started something.  Having been here since the beginning, I can tell you that 'Doing Dance" has consistently provided about 52% of all Forum posts since we started, and something similar pertained on ballet.co, whence we originated at the end of 2011.  My perception has been that, by and large, crossover to/from Discussions and News in either direction is limited.

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 I am another like @Picturesinthefirelightwhose interest in ballet is largely confined to supporting my (now adult) daughter. This forum is a fantastic place for mutual support whilst you attempt to navigate the often difficult world of dance training. Often the discussions are as much about parenting and financial management as they are ballet though.

 

 I decide to give up posting a short while ago actually as I felt that with my DD being an adult now I was getting a bit out of touch with things and didn't have much to say. But its hard to break a long term balletcoforum addiction so I have dropped in a few times this week! 

 

I do occasionally read the other forums, but apart from Not Dance I don't think I have ever posted. To be brutally honest, I would be a bit scared to. I don't know enough and everyone else seems super knowledgeable.

I have something to offer here. In the 19 years since my DD took her first class I have picked up quite a lot of knowledge one way or another (including from here of course.) So I can offer opinions and advice on all kinds of related topics from sewing pointe shoe ribbons on to funding options and exam syllabi. I even know a bit about technique. But I would be a fish out of water on the other forums. I am very grateful that there are people who watch so much ballet and can compare different productions etc in such an erudite manner because without audiences our young dancers would have nothing to aspire to. But I am not one of those people and I never will be so I don't think I could make any meaningful contribution to most threads outside this section. However, if anyone wants to know more about ribbon selection and the difficulties of sewing invisible elastic then I'm your girl! 😂

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12 minutes ago, Pups_mum said:

 

I do occasionally read the other forums, but apart from Not Dance I don't think I have ever posted. To be brutally honest, I would be a bit scared to. I don't know enough and everyone else seems super knowledgeable.

 

 

What I feel ultimately matters, Pups-mum, is how something effects you and not what the 'great consensus or knowledge bank' suggests. Your perhaps 'uneducated' comment is as valuable as any one else's.

 

And thanks for your comment, Ian. I’m pretty sure that it’s a statement that you posted a long time ago that triggered this all in my mind.

 

May I please make an initial contribution for anyone interested in ballet. It’s a short video. This is a bit of a sticky area for me as I try never to post unofficial video links directly because of copyrights, ect., but I love discussing and referring to them. That’s about the best I can do. Hopefully these issues will be resolved someday.

 

Most of these videos can be easily found on YouTube. One that I would highly recommend is

 

“SWAN LAKE - White Swan (Ulanova-Sergeyev, 1940)”

 

It features a young Galina Ulanova, possibly the finest ballerina ever after Anna Pavlova, and her very fine partner, Konstantin Sergeyev. It’s also a dance segment that’s possibly the most famous in all of ballet.

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Added thought, as I ran out of time in my previous post. It might be interesting to show the Galina Ulanova video to your dancing children. First of all, if you’re like me, they’ll find it ten times faster than we could on the internet, and their probably very honest opinions, might surprise and inform us all. I’d be glad to hear what they say.

 

And again, Pups-mum, please tells us about “ribbon selection and the difficulties of sewing invisible elastic” anytime that you like.

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I guess I'm a bit talkative, being wide awake while it's the middle of the night in the UK, but please allow me one more thought.

 

My experience with lessons is that there's not necessarily one best way. When I do take lessons I try to do the same thing with more than one instructor. What one advocates, another might not, so you have to try and do what seems best for you.

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I read pretty much every board on this Forum.  I attend the Royal Ballet regularly (though my interest in ballet is comparatively new, and secondary to my interest in opera) as well as other companies who perform in London. I am also a keen adult beginner ballet student, and post on Doing Dance in that capacity, as well as contributing to general topics that often come up from older students or ballet-mums and ask for local knowledge, such as where is good to kill time in London, or the best way of getting from venue A to venue B.

 

Pups_mum - I am *anything* but super-knowledgeable.  Sometimes I still don't feel like a "proper" ballet fan because I find certain core parts of the repertoire pretty boring, and I suspect that if it weren't for Kenneth MacMillan I'd still never have bothered getting interested in it at all!

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Hi,

I’m Shelley and can be a source of anything northern going on. (Well, above Birmingham!) My DS dances, and I’m an ageing dancer from long ago, trained at KS Dance, and BRB for a time before falling in love with contemporary on a dance degree. I love anything contemporary in my viewing. Especially Lea Anderson. Then anything by Alston or Cunningham. Confined to spectating now, but still have a good eye! 😆😆

Would love to join in the thread when time permits as I’m now a mental health nurse working with, among others, dancers! Full circle! 😆😆

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This is a quick video of a lovely performance of “The Swan” by the Mariinsky’s Yulia Makhalina. Those here who aren't particularly interested in ballet or dance in general might get an idea here why their children are. 😊

It’s one that I will link to directly. It’s not an official link, but official ones of lesser visual quality have been posted of essentially the same performance.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdxuV8A1Ih4

 

Pups_mum, this is something that might interest you in the ballet news. I thought that I saw it posted at Balletco’s news, but maybe not. This is from Ballet Alert!.

"The costumes for last night’s ‘Variations’ ballet performed at the Opera national de Paris opening gala were designed by the House [Chanel], under the direction of Virginie Viard, with Lemarié’s contribution. A member of CHANEL’s Métiers d’art, the floral work of the House’s artisans represents meticulous savoir-faire skills."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=8&v=zq3c8UY-ec8

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Oh thank you for that beautiful clip of the Chanel costumes @Buddy, I absolutely loved that.

 

I love this thread and will post more when I get a chance but in short I’ve found my interest in dance and specifically ballet rekindled by the fact that my children now do it - so I’d say I’m hoping to be a crossover going forward. 

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Coincidentally I visited the Performances  forum for the first time ever  just the other day, as I had been at a performance of Akram Khan's Giselle at Sadler's Wells at the weekend and also took part in the associated repertoire workshop and I wondered if there was a thread about it. I was interested to notice that the forum was inhabited by an almost entirely different group of people. I don't get to see live performances often as I live in the rural north of England, not very conveniently placed for theatre visits. Although I am, I would say , pretty knowledgeable about ballet theory and history I wouldn't feel particularly confident in contributing to that forum where people seem very experienced and knowledgeable in a critical kind of way. I think too my relationship with performance might be a bit different - I  suppose I'm looking at the details of the performance in order to learn from them as well as appreciating the whole as a cultural and aesthetic experience. After the Giselle workshop on Saturday we had the chance to watch the ENB in company class and at that time we were joined by a different group who were also going to watch the class (probably Friends of ENB). A similar thing to the two groups of forum participants here - one group who "do dance" and the other keen balletomanes who love to "view dance".

 

I contribute to this forum as an adult ballet student (also formerly a parent of dancing children, including one daughter who attended vocational school - long ago and I now have a dancing grandchild). I studied ballet from childhood till about age 40, had a 25 year break and returned within the last few years. I also previously studied and performed Renaissance and Baroque Dance and Kathak (Indian Classical dance). I generally join in discussions about adult ballet students, examinations and practical stuff (tights, shoes, hair products...)

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14 minutes ago, The_Red_Shoes said:

Coincidentally I visited the Performances  forum for the first time ever  just the other day, as I had been at a performance of Akram Khan's Giselle at Sadler's Wells at the weekend and also took part in the associated repertoire workshop and I wondered if there was a thread about it. I was interested to notice that the forum was inhabited by an almost entirely different group of people. I don't get to see live performances often as I live in the rural north of England, not very conveniently placed for theatre visits. Although I am, I would say , pretty knowledgeable about ballet theory and history I wouldn't feel particularly confident in contributing to that forum where people seem very experienced and knowledgeable in a critical kind of way. I think too my relationship with performance might be a bit different - I  suppose I'm looking at the details of the performance in order to learn from them as well as appreciating the whole as a cultural and aesthetic experience. After the Giselle workshop on Saturday we had the chance to watch the ENB in company class and at that time we were joined by a different group who were also going to watch the class (probably Friends of ENB). A similar thing to the two groups of forum participants here - one group who "do dance" and the other keen balletomanes who love to "view dance".

 

I contribute to this forum as an adult ballet student (also formerly a parent of dancing children, including one daughter who attended vocational school - long ago and I now have a dancing grandchild). I studied ballet from childhood till about age 40, had a 25 year break and returned within the last few years. I also previously studied and performed Renaissance and Baroque Dance and Kathak (Indian Classical dance). I generally join in discussions about adult ballet students, examinations and practical stuff (tights, shoes, hair products...)

 

Thanks, The_Red_Shoes. Can I ask you what you think of Yulia Makhalina's performance four posts above ?

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Hello Buddy and all other contributors here,

As a mother of a DD now  in vocational school I have had to attend many showcases and shows for years, some that only a parent could watch, but we have taken ours to see professional performances from a young age... usually the smaller touring Russian companies locally until we began to travel further .

We live in Portugal so the Companhia Nacional de Bailado is the leading classical/ contemporary company based in Lisbon and Quorum Ballet( Lisbon), Olga Roriz( Lisbon), Paulo Ribeiro( Viseu) are some of the contemporary companies. We have also watched the live screened Royal Ballet and Opera performances, with an hour's journey to the nearest cinema in the network and back , but what a joy. 

My DD though spends hours scouring the net , when not dancing, to find all sorts of films and performances, the rare , the obscure, to learn and absorb everything. and would be able to hold her own in a discussion with you I suspect, Buddy.  If she has watched one Dom Quixote , she has watched 15-20 versions and can spot all the differences.  She is very analytical of all things Russian and can wax lyrical on the relative merits of one dancer against another, Marinsky vs Bolshoi, Vaganova vs Bolshoi, Cuban vs Russian ,and the RB against the  Russian theatre . I wouldn't mind but when she does it in the first interval of Dom Quixote screened from the Royal Opera House in a cinema in a less than 'sotte voce'  , she may be knowledgeable and be able to substantiate her opinions, but it rather takes the edge off the occasion for all those round us. My musician daughter was rather better company at La Traviata. Anyway my DD has tickets for Manon  with Osipova, Hallberg, Calvert, Vassilev and Hirano so I will wait with baited breathe for her verdict.  As she is now studying in England, she will be able to attend so much more, BRB, ENB, RB and Mathhew Bourne to name a few, but with her friends now entering companies all over Europe  from Perm to Marseilles  and Madrid, I wonder where we will watch her.     

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1 hour ago, Buddy said:

Can I ask you what you think of Yulia Makhalina's performance four posts above ?

Actually, I don't like it as much as some others on Youtube. I think her arms are not so soft and her  bourrées not so tight or smooth. I  don't like that final pose at all with the back bend instead of the usual folding forward over the front leg. I don't find it so elegant or pathetic.

 

But of course I'm also very much aware of how my own bourrées  are considerably less tight and smooth!

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Thanks very much, The_Red_Shoes. I understand that there’s still an opening at “Performances  seen & general discussions.”  😊

 

I think that there’s a place there for a variety of approaches and you have very clearly described and offered yours. Thank you. By the way, I still feel that Yulia Makhalina’s performance is absolutely lovely. We all have our own way of looking at things.

 

Lusodancer, your daughter sounds wonderful in her knowledge and enthusiasm. She should try posting at Balletco. I don’t know if there’s an age limit, but, if so, maybe you could relay some of her thoughts or make her feel comfortable and confident in doing it herself.

 

There would certainly seem to be a place at Balletco. for many points of view and many types of knowledge and interest. I would suggest at a forum, that if someone feels that it would be helpful, they could tell something about themselves and their point of view and then go at it. There are no absolute answers in our discussions that I know about.

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I think that a common bond between our viewer forums and our performer/support ones is a love for what we see and do. As viewers we love the beauty of a performance. As performers we love doing it. As ones who support the performers, either as a viewer or a parent, it’s our love for them.

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I have loved ballet since I was three from listening to Tchaikovsky, watching ballet on T.V, finally having ballet classes which were curtailed by the strongly academic school I attended. Then I started my hyperactive eldest daughter at ballet to try and use her energy productively and in the hope that she would love it too. Then her younger sister cried to join in during a watch class so she started and danced six times a week after she was 13 and she still dances in local shows although it is mainly tap, modern and quasi ballet rather than pure ballet plus we all love to watch it, my husband included. 

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I only pop back onto the forum now and again since my dd stopped dancing, and most of my time over the years has been spent in 'Doing Dance'. I do, however lurk on the other sections, mostly for news of a young dancer I know who is now making quite an impression. There are also one or two old long-running threads on 'Not Dance' that I started years ago and which, to my surprise, are still going strong.

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26 minutes ago, taxi4ballet said:

I only pop back onto the forum now and again since my dd stopped dancing, and most of my time over the years has been spent in 'Doing Dance'. I do, however lurk on the other sections, mostly for news of a young dancer I know who is now making quite an impression. There are also one or two old long-running threads on 'Not Dance' that I started years ago and which, to my surprise, are still going strong.

 

Thanks, Taxi4ballet. As I mentioned in response to your post at "Performances seen and general discussion," I'm only interested in this to see the discussion. Not to diminish the importance or interest of "Doing Dance," is there someplace that you or others would recommend for finding dancers in professional discussion ?

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11 hours ago, Buddy said:

 

is there someplace that you or others would recommend for finding dancers in professional discussion ?

Can't help you there, sorry.

 

I know one current professional personally - they have recently come off public social media altogether.

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On ‎26‎/‎09‎/‎2019 at 19:37, Buddy said:

Pups_mum, this is something that might interest you in the ballet news. I thought that I saw it posted at Balletco’s news, but maybe not.

 

Yes, you did, Buddy :) 

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On ‎26‎/‎09‎/‎2019 at 20:11, Waverley said:

I love this thread and will post more when I get a chance but in short I’ve found my interest in dance and specifically ballet rekindled by the fact that my children now do it - so I’d say I’m hoping to be a crossover going forward. 

 

That's very good to hear :)  When I first started nosing around the Doing Dance forum, I remember being surprised at just how few of the young dancers on the boards actually seemed to go to performances or cinema broadcasts at all.  It seemed that so many of them, even serious vocational students, seemed to be dancing in a near-total vacuum.  I can understand why, with so many demands on their time - and the cinema broadcasts are hardly cheap! - but it does seem a shame that they're not getting the opportunity to be inspired by the possibilities potentially of their chosen career.  I seem to remember an interview with Edward Watson (one of the senior principal dancers at the Royal Ballet, for those of you who don't follow such things!) where he talked about going to see his first live ballet (I think not until he was at White Lodge, and that it was Giselle) and for the first time making the connection between what he was doing in class and the ultimate goal of performance.  And I definitely remember Francesca Hayward (one of their more junior ballerinas) talking about how watching a video of The Nutcracker on TV when she was about 3 was what turned her on to ballet in the first place.  I'm sure a lot of other professionals must have similar stories.

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2 hours ago, alison said:

 

That's very good to hear :)  When I first started nosing around the Doing Dance forum, I remember being surprised at just how few of the young dancers on the boards actually seemed to go to performances or cinema broadcasts at all.  It seemed that so many of them, even serious vocational students, seemed to be dancing in a near-total vacuum.  I can understand why, with so many demands on their time - and the cinema broadcasts are hardly cheap! - but it does seem a shame that they're not getting the opportunity to be inspired by the possibilities potentially of their chosen career.  I seem to remember an interview with Edward Watson (one of the senior principal dancers at the Royal Ballet, for those of you who don't follow such things!) where he talked about going to see his first live ballet (I think not until he was at White Lodge, and that it was Giselle) and for the first time making the connection between what he was doing in class and the ultimate goal of performance.  And I definitely remember Francesca Hayward (one of their more junior ballerinas) talking about how watching a video of The Nutcracker on TV when she was about 3 was what turned her on to ballet in the first place.  I'm sure a lot of other professionals must have similar stories.

 

 I was sitting at a ballet performance next to two young girls, who were ballet students. They were discussing ballet at the intermission. I asked them if they had ever seen the Mariinsky's Oksana Skorik, who I consider to be perhaps the most lovely ballerina in the world in terms of pure dance. They said that they hadn't but one immediately brought her up on her smart phone. It seemed like a revelation to them.

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The Companhia Nacional de Bailado in Lisbon used to offer cheap tickets 5€ to the students of the national dance school so my DD used to attend regularly with friends or with me . This is a way of making the future dancers more aware of the end product they are intended to crerate, a special discount from our major companies for the network of vocational schools...  An invitation to company class and reheasrsals...  Live screening is great now but we need to increase the network of theatres and cinemas that partake of the program. How ? By asking repeatedly of the local film house when they will start? Mine charges a bit more than a normal  film ticket and lays on wine or champagne in the intervals to turn into a night at the ballet or opera and produces a program, in two languages. Booking is essential because the theatre is full .

 

  However there are still many students who do not connect classwork with performance and teachers who produce technical robots not expressive dancers, and vocational schools who dance in black, white and shades of grey and lack the colours of the rainbow in their performances, the pzazz, the sparkle. And why ...because they don't study the greats,whether dancer or choreographer, the diverse, the history, the developments, and its all there to be discovered live or on Youtube.  

 

There was a lovely quote from William Waldinger of the Joffrey where he mentions this very point, that the best dancers are not those that learn in the studio only, but those that look beyond to all forms of knowledge and insight. Never stopping, never resting to find that spark that will aid interpretation of a role. My DD wants to read Dom Quixote in order to understand better the story, now that she has  Anna Karenina, the Lady of the Camelias and so many more under her belt.

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I think that young children, most likely little girls, get into dance because, for them, it’s an enchanted dreamworld of beautiful ballerinas and fairy-like beings. It’s a world of fun. I think that the longer it can be kept that way for them the better and the longer many of them will stay with it.

 

After awhile their desires may change to being ‘meaningful’ and accomplished. Still, the developing/developed, ‘meaningful’ artist dancers that I search for are the ones that are able to keep their childhood essence shining. It’s Happiness. It’s a precious thing that parents and teachers can support, encourage and -- Enjoy.

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As a followup, there’s a ‘ballet’ company that I’m very fond of. I’ll first say that my love over my 15 years of devoted ballet watching has been for the ‘high art’ companies from Russia, in particular the Mariinsky and the Bolshoi.

 

Yet, there’s one company, that for me is somewhat different. Maybe it’s just my perception, which is why I’m not naming it, but I have watched it, on stage and off, for many years. It’s a company that does have a world  famous reputation, at least among ballet lovers.

 

What makes it different ?

 

For one, it does ‘contemporary’ along with ballet. It’s very good at both, surprisingly good with upbeat contemporary.

 

For another, it’s the most relaxed and happy company that I’ve ever experienced.

 

Added thought: It's not in the UK, so don't rush to find its name.  😊

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