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documentaries about ballet schools


rowan
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There's been so much discussion about different training methods and Tomuchtallent's recent comment on the RBS thread about a short TV clip about White Lodge has made me wonder what films are available about different ballet schools and their training. As this isn't strictly a Doing Dance subject, it might be better placed elsewhere in this forum, but I thought it might be of more interest to the Doing Dancers. Moderators, move it if you think it should go elsewhere! Some of these are available on YouTube.

 

Paris Opera Ballet School: "Les Enfants de la Danse"

Bolshoi School: anything and everything uploaded by Ilya Kuznetzov -ilyaballet on YouTube.

Vaganova School: "The Children of Theatre Street" / exam classes uploaded by various people

Perm School: "A Beautiful Tragedy"

 

What other documentaries are there? There must be more than this. Is there anything on the RBS, more than just short news items? To my very untutored eye there's a difference in training between POB school and the Russian schools. POB school seems to emphasise vivacity and rapidity of movement and the Russian schools work very slowly, emphasising strength and control.

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There was a documentary about the RBS a few years ago, on tv at Christmas. If I remember rightly, it was called something like "From dreams to reality". I've often wanted to see it again, but it's nowhere to be found.

 

There was also the series about Welsh ballet students at Elmhurst....that was a good one.

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There is another Paris Opera School documentary called "Les petit rats de l'opéra" and short clips are on YouTube. Also the DVD of this documentary is available in Japan.

 

http://www.amazon.co.jp/パリ・オペラ座バレエ学校の妖精たち~エトワールを夢見て~-DVD-オリヴィエ・ピゲッティ/dp/B001A35TKM/ref=pd_sxp_f_pt

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"Les enfants de la danse" dates from 1984. So much has changed since at POB, especially the head who was then Claude Bessy... She had the reputation of being very hard on children! The head is now, and has been for about 8 or 10 years, Elisabeth Platel and lots of things have changed there. The children are supposed to be much happier...

 

There is another documentary which is about 5 years old. I'm going to try and find it and come back to you guys.

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In addition to Children of Theatre Street is another - almost a sequel - "Backstage at the Kirov" - about the graduating class - rehearsing and performing. But both of these are very old. I have both of them.

 

Interestingly, when I saw "Children of....." there was a floor exercise that my teacher (who was American) told us was taught to her by her two Russian teachers (they were principal dancers with Diagelev). Well, she was right - the students were doing this exercise 70 yrs later!

 

I'm not sure that any of these films or youtubes will accurately convey the daily atmosphere of the classroom. I would think that knowing there is a camera around would necessarily change things a bit. It's just human nature to do that.

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