ARTS AND PERFORMANCES
INTO THE VARIATION
INSIDE BALLET AND TECHNIQUE
PRIORITIZE, ORGANIZE AND NUTRITIONIZE
TIPS AND TRICKS TO STAYING HOME AND SANE
TURNOUT TO WORKOUT
ASK THE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
table of contents
8505 Fenton Street, Suite 206
Silver Spring, MD
Web page: http://akhmedovaballet.org
The Akhmedova Ballet Post is a product of the collaborative efforts of the students of the Akhmedova Ballet Academy. We wish to spread our ideas and knowledge to connect with others in this uncertain time.
The Akhmedova Ballet Academy's (ABA) highest priority is everybody’s health, safety and sanity. The world health pandemic has affected everyone’s community and changed lives including ours.
Why are we dancing?
Because we like to move. Why do we move? Because we like to express ourselves. Dancers are lucky. Their body is their job and moving is their lifestyle.
What differentiates ballet among the arts is that its material is the human body. The victory of its potential over its limitations is essentially what dance is all about, and a ballet coach is the one who makes this victory possible for a dancer. A great value of studying classical ballet, especially at a young age, lies in the effort of converting one’s complete concentration on something entirely abstract and formal into something entirely concrete and physical. This transformation requires an extraordinary and sometimes painfully difficult effort. But it gives great satisfaction and purpose. Dance keeps you young, energized and happy.
Stay healthy, safe and keep moving,
The Akhmedova Ballet Academy’s Introduction to Ballet program offers an excellent introduction to the Russian Vaganova Method for children age 6-8 years of age. This class will develop the strength and flexibility young dancers are required to have for the preparatory and the pre-professional programs. They will learn the foundation of ballet positions and movement through slow and methodical classes. This program is preparing students twice a week to be ready to enter into the next level of ballet training.
No audition is necessary to join this level. A minimum of 4 students is required to do this class.
ENROLL NOW IN OUR NEW CLASSES FOR SEPTEMBER
INTRODUCTION TO BALLET
The Akhmedova Ballet Academy's Adult Program teaches the basic foundation and technique of the Russian Vaganova Method. Adult students will increase their flexibility and learn to explore artistic expression through movement and music. This class is a wonderful opportunity for adults to learn and appreciate the beautiful art form of ballet while exercising and toning the body. This class will be held twice a week. Throughout the hear the students will transition from a beginner ballet class to an intermediate level as their knowledge and ability grows.
Rudolph Khametovich Nureyev was born on the Trans-Siberian Train near Irkutsk, Siberia, Soviet Union to a Bashkir-Tatar family. He trained under the legendary ballet teacher Alexander Pushkin at the Vaganova Ballet Academy where he graduated from in 1958. Upon his graduation, he joined the Mariinsky Ballet Theatre (Formerly known as The Kirov Ballet) as a soloist. He quickly rose through the ranks to principal dancer,. He defected from the Soviet Union while touring with the company in Paris in 1961, despite KGB efforts to stop him. This was the first defection of a Soviet artist during the Cold War and it created an international sensation. He went on to dance with the Royal Ballet in London and from 11938 to 1989 served as director of the Paris Opera Ballet. In addition to his technical prowess, Rudolph Nureyev was an accomplished choreographer serving as chief choreographer to the Paris Opera Ballet.
Nureyev has become a role model for generations of ballet dancers. His influence changed the perception of male dancers giving them a more prominent role in the ballet world. Although he placed great importance and was a master of classical technique, he also crossed the border between classical and modern dance by bringing both into his repertoire.
The definition of an Icon is a person or thing that is regarded as a representative symbol or as worthy of veneration. I believe that Nureyev is a true icon in every sense of the word. His path as a dancer was not of a conventional sort. upbringing did not allow for him to start training at an early age but rather he was admitted to the Vaganova Academy at the age of seventeen. Dancers receive years and years of training in hopes of making it into the introductory ranks of a company. But with a total commitment to the art form, Nureyev approached his training with a quest for perfection and with perseverance and an unwillingness to give up. In his time, he changed history with his pure technique and spellbinding artistry but was in the years that followed and the years to come that show his influence as a true icon in history.
Here is the documentary on his life.
Nureyev did much outside the theater and one of his most popular non-traditional performances was for the Muppet Show with Miss. Piggy.
into the variation
The contemporary solo “The Secret History” was choreographed by Ashley Canterna-Hardy for me last year. “The Secret History” music is from the albumThe Architect, composed by Kerry Muzzey and recorded by The Chamber Orchestra of London. This piece of music is Classical Orchestral and is 5 minutes long. Kerry Muzzey is a composer for films and music. This music is very sharp, intense and powerful in some parts of the music, while other parts can be soft, mellifluous, and piano. The contemporary variation, The Secret History, is about concealing a hidden secret. Because of how distinct each note can be, the movements in this piece also have to be sharp and precise.
Besides the steps being precise, the facial expressions also have to match the music and movements danced, especially through the eyes. Throughout this piece, it is somewhat repetitive, and a few moves are repeated many times. This repeating step shows how something is being hidden and is one of the many sharp movements. Also, at the beginning, there is a wave-looking move, which has to be shown big, or else not seen. There are also many turns in this piece, including fouettés. These pirouettes have to be done nicely and softly. Each time the heel is lowered from relevé, it can’t crash down and the butt cannot be out, especially if someone is viewing it from the side. One of my favorite parts, but also one of the hardest, for me, is the very last pose that wraps up the whole solo is where the leg is held over 180 degrees. For this to be held, you need to find good balance on your one foot. Make sure that you aren’t too far back, and off your leg, or else you’re going to fall off that leg. Stare at someone, if that helps, to also show the character one last time. This has been one of my favorite solos because it has some of the best and most fun moves in and throughout the whole variation. Performing it is very fun, and so is becoming the character.
Perfect execution of adagio means absolute control over the slow movements without wobbling or shaking. The dancers look effortless and as if they are floating in the air. A perfect adagio seamlessly connects the individual movements into one piece that flows in its entirety. Such fluidity allows for grace and beauty to be savored, emotions to be felt and resonated with, and stories to be told in the most illustrative way.The adagio is typically the opening section in a grand pas de deux. It is the part where the ballerina performs slow movements and advanced steps.
Adagio (in French: adage) in Italian means 'At ease', 'leisurely'; a movement in slow tempo. In ballet, Adagio refers to a series of slow and refined movements performed as a single phrase, in a fluid manner, each preparatory step seamlessly linked to the next.Just as jumps and turns allow dancers to show off their technical abilities and the ability to shower their movements, adagio allows dancers to express grace and beauty through the connectedness and fluidity of the movements. Adagio is the poetry in ballet.
1/3c balsamic vinegar
Cut the zucchini into long strips and either grill or bake the zucchini.
Spread the pesto onto the cooked zucchini strips.
Meanwhile cook the orzo and drain when fully done.
Add Balsamic Vinegar and a splash of olive oil.
Toss in halved cherry tomatos and feta cheese.
Serve over top of the zucchini.
Nutrition and healthy eating is a sensitive balance throughout a dancers life. One must maintain the muscles and physique that is required to be a ballet dancer. This can be viewed as a difficult image to keep especially in the quarantine where the ability to train to our full extent is not available. But have no fear there are alternative ways to maintain ones body and have it ready to return to the studio and performances.
Since we are not dancing as much supplement your training with cardio exercises such as walks, runs, cardio exercises (many ballet inspired cardio exercises can be found on youtube), and biking. These will allow you to burn calories and expend energy. Continue muscle development by doing Pilates and strengthening exercises.
Keep track of your food intake and adjust it to your activity level. If you exercise less then lower your food intake. If it helps there are many apps that log your height, weight and activity level and allow you to log your intake. This allows you to be more cognizant of what you are eating and what you actually need.
Use this time in quarantine to strengthen and tone your body. Don’t let the situation pull you down and fall behind your goals.
WITH ALEXIS AND ABI
TIPS AND TRICKS TO STAYING
HOME AND SANE
Hey everyone! It is Abby and Alexis again! And it is time to ask the age-old question, “How do you stay sane while staying at home?” Well one answer to that is by coloring to pass time.
A coloring page
Coloring pages can be found on Pinterest and many other websites; if you are printing out a coloring page for longer durability use cardstock. You can also get a coloring book.
A good way to limit your stress level and try to relax and stay sane during this tough time is to limit your news intake. Af ter reading and/or watching the news you may feel stressed out due to all the bad things that are going on right now. To limit all these bad feelings a good idea would be to only listen to the important and major parts of the news, it is also important to not believe gossip unless you know it’s true.
Another way to stay sane is to be positive and do productive activities like walking your dog or doing all the things on your to-do list. This is important because by doing productive activities you can pay more attention to yourself and to what you are doing. This is useful because, in a crisis like this, we need to remember that this isn’t a break and we still need to keep on working.
turnout to workout
Now, there are two big things that I have found make a huge positive difference in me staying on top of things and feeling good about myself: No matter how tempting it is to get distracted, keep your focus only on school during the school day/hours, and get everything done before afternoon dance classes. That is the reward. Set yourself goals. Reach out to your teachers. Just because they are not in the same classroom as you, or not online with you at that second, does not mean that they are not there for you. Reach out to ask them questions just as much or more as you would when you were at school in class with them. They always get back to you in a timely manner, and that way you are not left wondering what to do and feeling stuck. As long as you keep moving, you will finish all your work, finish on time, and finish well.
The teachers are giving us instruction and then go offline, leaving us to work on our own. It is SOOOOO tempting, as soon as they get off the call, to go have a snack, or play a video game or text friends. If I’m honest, that’s what I did for the first two weeks, but it was indeed a slippery slope.
Another week past and we are still trying to cope with these difficult times of Corona captivity. I always thought I wanted to stay at home instead of going to school, but as they always say, “be careful what you wish for.” It was fun for a while to not have to go to school, but I really miss my friends and my teachers, and although I thought I would never say this, even my classes .
Online schooling makes it harder to be a good student because everybody has the same amount of work, but no in person learning with teachers. Face time learning is just not the same. You need to learn to work on your own, be with yourself and have the discipline to push yourself without being pushed by others.
How will every dancer go back to normal ?
“I hope we will not go back to normal when we go back to normal. Normal is not desirable if it normalizes greed, confusion, disconnection, rage, hoarding, hate and lack of empathy. We should all use this given opportunity to make a difference.
Dancers and artists in general were always doing this. That is why we dance, act, sing, make music, etc. We dance to make the audience happy and make them think. We have the chance to write new chapters – chapters that embrace all humans, animals and nature. Let’s do it and not go back to normal !”
ask the artistic director
with mme. akhmedova