Jump to content

End of year performances


tabitha
 Share

Recommended Posts

Just wondering what people's views are on casting for end of year performances. At DD's school it seems that some students have main roles in 4 or 5 things whereas others are just in one thing on one day and parents are not even able to see them perform if they have tickets for a different day.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 62
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

What age are we talking about. In my daughters school 16 upwards, if a choreographer doesn't choose you then sadly that's just the way it is. There will be a piece where everyone is used. It's horrible but it will be worse when they eventually go for professional auditions I suppose.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

No, parents had to buy tickets many weeks ago, long before casting was done. A few students raised it with staff and asked about the possibility of swapping casts to accommodate parents and were told that is not how things work and not to be ridiculous. Not sure if this is normal practice in vocational schools?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

At schools like Central Rambert, communication is only done through the students. It is like a university situation and not like a school if you know what I mean. Which school does your child attend Tabitha?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

At schools like Central Rambert, communication is only done through the students. It is like a university situation and not like a school if you know what I mean. Which school does your child attend Tabitha?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What age are we talking about. In my daughters school 16 upwards, if a choreographer doesn't choose you then sadly that's just the way it is. There will be a piece where everyone is used. It's horrible but it will be worse when they eventually go for professional auditions I suppose.

Tulip it is 16+ and it's not really choreographers, it is mostly staff deciding who to put forward and the piece where everyone is in it, there is a second cast so they only do certain performances. Staff have allocated certain students to certain casts.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No, parents had to buy tickets many weeks ago, long before casting was done. A few students raised it with staff and asked about the possibility of swapping casts to accommodate parents and were told that is not how things work and not to be ridiculous. Not sure if this is normal practice in vocational schools?

Im afraid that this is entirely normal. I got into the habit of buying tickets for several shows just in case!

We experienced some years of ds lucky to be in just one piece to one year of being chosen for everything and having the choice of which he wanted to do.

 

One of my students at RBS Upper School was only on in the defile one year,this wasnt unusual either.

 

It was ever thus. Even 30 years ago at Hammond the nearest I got to the stage one year was sitting in the wings as understudy.

 

Yes it is tough. But as Tulip says this is preparing for professional life.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sadly that is quite normal. I wish they would rather decide casting and running orders sooner, or if that's not possible, just let people request tickets later. We used to swap tickets around between parents.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If your daughter is at Central you will at least see her perform in one piece. I have bought tickets for all nights, but my daughter doesn't know for definate what pieces she will be in, what nights etc, she will be in it, but no one knows for definate until the final run up to the show. However everyone is working and rehearsing, if they are not neede then they work on the sides. If they show that they are always working they may get chosen. It is tough and hard to deal with this in the first year, soul destroying even. Come second year they seem more prepared.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If your daughter is at Central you will at least see her perform in one piece. I have bought tickets for all nights, but my daughter doesn't know for definate what pieces she will be in, what nights etc, she will be in it, but no one knows for definate until the final run up to the show. However everyone is working and rehearsing, if they are not neede then they work on the sides. If they show that they are always working they may get chosen. It is tough and hard to deal with this in the first year, soul destroying even. Come second year they seem more prepared.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Last year at RBS upper school, my daughter who was a 1st year, was only in the grand defile. She was understudy for multiple parts but never danced them. This year as a 2nd year she is in 4 pieces on main stage, the lead in 2. It was very frustrating to us last year and difficult to understand....

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We are in the same situation for elder dd although she is at a MT college.

She explained to me that it is more of a showcase for the graduate year and you are lucky to be dancing in any of it.

Next year she will be in a production that features just the 2nd year students.

So I've had to book 2 nights in a hotel and 2 nights worth of tickets for 5 people , a good excuse for a weekend away !

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well it's good to know that I'm not alone in this, thank you. Sadly we can't really go on any night in the week as we live so far away and it would involve both of us taking two days off work. It is just a shame for them that they seem to have spent all of this half of term sitting and watching the other rehearsals for hours on end, which is not helping them progress with their own development and is fairly demoralising.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why do schools do this ... last year my DD knew that another girl was in an opposite cast so we were able to come to an arrangement with the other family to buy tickets for different shows knowing we could swap if our daughters were in the other show.

 

But this year it is not so simple and I still do not know what end of year shows she will be dancing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No I can honestly say for sure the girl that gets the most parts is incredibly talented and she is also lovely with it. Infact my daughters year is a lovely year but also a very very strong year. Two of the Japanese girls are outstanding.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I really think this way of producing end of year shows at Vocational schools is a BIG WEAKNESS in British training and possibly one of the reasons that the students find it hard to get jobs.  (The perception that overseas dancers outshine UK dancers has been discussed in other threads but not talking about this aspect of training).  Ballet and other dance disciplines are performing arts, and you hone your performance skills by appearing on stage.  Just because things have been done in a certain way in the past does not mean they should continue to be done that way.

 

There are many dancers that only look average in class, but shine on stage, and there are those that are considered the best in the classroom, but are actually rather boring on stage and cannot communicate with the audience.  Every 1st year student, whether at 16+ or 18+ schools, should be cast in at least one piece.  The process of rehearsal is part of the training itself.  Sitting out and having to watch or learn on the sidelines is short-changing the students.

 

Not making it easy for parents to see the performance their child appears in is appalling.  It seems to be a hangover from the days that parents were considered rather a nuisance, and some schools still act in this way.  There have been many stories recently about University students being unhappy with their courses, and making official complaints now that they are having to pay large amounts of money and not getting value. One of my A-level pupils just turned down an offer from LSE because the "contact" hours per week were derisory.  Perhaps the dance world should follow this trend?

 

Edited for grammar     

Edited by Pas de Quatre
  • Like 11
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I too think it is appalling. Vocational training is supposed to be aimed at performance - rather than dance at university that has a more academic slant. And certainly communication ought to be far better with the parents so that parents can watch their own child perform. I suppose it does depend on the size of the school and the year groups for how many casts are needed but surely organisation and communication should be such that casts are known enough in advance so that you can watch your own child. Our local dance school always has 2 casts (or 3 for younger ones) and they can manage it. Tickets go on sale about 10 weeks before the production and by then everyone knows which cast they are.

 

However, it should be said that not all vocational schools operate in this way for their end of year shows. At DDs school, each year group has at least one piece (usually more)- and then for remaining pieces it is 'selected dancers'. But you definitely get to see your own child perform

Edited by 2dancersmum
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

PdQ, you make some very good points. I think it is difficult for pupils or parents to query anything with the school for fear of comeback on the child. A few students have raised it and were told off for being ridiculous and disrespectful.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Perhaps this should be something that potential students & parents ask about at application stage.

 

I have no experience of the dance shows at upper schools, at dds school I know that MT pieces have to be auditioned for & are often double cast but certainly at lower school its one piece per dance style then older students are selected for other stuff.

 

2dancersmum's comments seem to bear out how it is in upper school.

 

I am assuming that defile is similar to what dd is calling entree? She doesn't like entree, says its boring & doesn't like they have to go back to wearing socks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think that these schools need to remember that they are training *performers* and that performance on stage is very different to dancing in the studio. I think that it's appalling that students don't all perform more or less equally. My suspicion is that the schools want to showcase their best dancers, which gives a misleading impression of the ability range of the students. Having a few students perform everything is not really representative of the students and as a parent one might wonder whether one's child is going to be good enough to get a job as a dancer if one's child is not considered good enough to perform at an end of year school show.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

At DDs MT college it is much the same…the students are either invited to audition or selected from class ability, and the same names do appear time and again. The college puts a huge emphasis on reliability though, so students are selected because of their work ethic and attitude as well as their talent. When DD started, the students were told that every class was an audition, and they would be selected for performances based on that, so they've all known the score from day one!!

 

DD missed most of her first year with injury and sickness, and has really only been back to full classes since February this year……so she knows that she's lucky to have been selected at all!!

 

Having said that, all the second years appear in a minimum of two pieces (jazz and musical theatre), and if they're not rehearsing they go to any classes that are on instead so no-one is sitting around watching others rehearse! Also, there are two casts, but they are mixed... so I think DD will be performing every night but in different pieces.

At the end of her first year she was only in the two compulsory pieces and the finale, but we got to see her perform, and the show was phenomenal!

 

Aileen, you are right, the colleges are selecting their best students to showcase the college, but DD's attitude is that she is privileged to be offered the level of training she is getting, so she will take that for herself and work as hard as she can. She says that it's not always the college 'favourites' who have had the most success finding work, so she's not going to worry about it!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To be honest, I find it quite boring when I go to school performances to see the same child with a lead role in everything. It's a case of 'oh look, here she is again doing a contemporary piece, oh and again doing the character lead, and again in the jazz piece, oh and now in a second classical role!' :)

 

Yes they may be very good and we know you want to show off your best student or couple of students, but a bit of variety is nice. I know some performances are open to the public, but surely it is the parents that make up the majority of the audience, so perhaps the schools should think about keeping them on side.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think that the public also wants to see a variety of dancers not just the same few dancing practically everything. Even if all the students take part in the third year show by then it's too late; auditions for jobs will have taken place long before that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share


×
×
  • Create New...