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.
Anna Karenina was written by the famous Russian author Leo Tolstoy. The book was published 1878. I recommend reading it (age 14+). There are also several movie productions that are good to watch.
When people sit down to talk about Anna Karenina, two central themes usually emerge: love and death. Perhaps one reason this novel has been so popular since it was first published is precisely because its major themes are two of the most universal and emotional situations human beings face.
Petersburg aristocrat Anna Karenina enters into a life-changing affair with the dashing Count Alexei Vronsky. In 1874, in the Imperial Russia, the aristocratic Anna Karenina travels from Saint Petersburg to Moscow to save the marriage of her brother Prince Oblonsky, who had had a love affair with his housemaid......
I personally like the choreography by Boris Eifman, who staged this ballet in 2005. Music by Tchaikovsky. Unfortunately, this production is not on Youtube as a full-length ballet.
Anna Karenina- full length ballet by RatmanskyAlexei Ratmansky choreographed this ballet for the Mariinsky Ballet in 2010. Music by Rodion Schedrin.
In 1977 documentary film was made about the Kirov Academy of Ballet in St. Petersburg, Russia. The movie was narrated by Princess Grace of Monaco and was nominated for an Academy Award for best documentary feature.
The movie is about dedication and hard work. It is about the sweat and the tears that these students put into every day of their training and their lives.
But it is also about the joy that lies in the dance for them. For the children of Theatre Street, ballet was everything. It was their life- and it was a life they were determined to live to the fullest.Even though this is an old movie, all the values are still very relevant and important in our time. It is a great film for all ages and especially for the young aspiring dancers.
The Children of Theatre Street
The Children of Theatre Street
A Ballet Documentary
Different styles of ballet
Everyone knows about ballet but many people don’t realize that this type of dance has many different styles within itself. Different places have different adaptations to the same classic ballets. Some examples that I will share with you today are two different adaptations to both Giselle and Swan lake. Both of these ballers are considered “classics” but there are many new versions of these ballets.
First we have Giselle.
The classic and original version of Giselle is very different than the Red Giselle choreographed by Boris Eifman.
“The peasant girl Giselle discovers the true identity of her lover Albrecht – and that he is promised to another.
Giselle kills herself. Her soul enters the ranks of the Wilis – shades of young women who died before their wedding day. All men that come across their path are compelled to dance themselves to death, and Albrecht falls into their trap. Giselle’s intercession saves Albrecht and releases her soul from the Wilis’ power.” - Royal Ballet
The Royal Ballet's Giselle
“Boris Eifman draws potent and insightful parallels between a real life person and a fictional character. Dedicated as a tribute to great Russian ballerina Olga Spessivtseva, Red Giselle tells the story of this great artist -- whose greatest role was Giselle - from the time she was selected to star in the Imperial Theater, through her complex and often abusive relationship with a secret police agent, to her flight from Russia after the Bolshevik Revolution and 20 years in a psychiatric ward in New York.
Inspired by the life of Olga Spessivtseva, Red Giselle is one of Eifman’s best known productions, with a sweeping narrative expressed through the lens of Spessivtseva’s most celebrated role. It’s a compelling ballet-within-a-ballet that blurs the lines the lines between real and imagined in a gripping, contemporary tragedy performed with richness and ingenuity by Eifman’s gifted company. Featuring music by Tchaikovsky, Bizet, Adam and Schnittke, Red Giselle is a rare opportunity not to be missed.” - Eifman Ballet.
Boris Eifman's Red Giselle
Swan lake is also considered a classic ballet but the original version and the version choreographed by Mathew Bourne.
"Swan Lake" debuted in 1877 at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, but it was not well-received at the time. In 1895, Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov reworked the choreography for their St Petersburg performance and this has remained the most popular version. Swan Lake is generally presented in either four acts, four scenes (primarily outside Russia and Eastern Europe) or three acts, four scenes (primarily in Russia and Eastern Europe). The biggest difference of productions all over the world is that the ending, originally tragic, is now sometimes altered to a happy ending.
Bolshoi Ballet, Swan Lake
“The unhappy and unloved Prince is mocked, betrayed and rejected by everyone around him. When he decides to commit suicide by throwing himself in a lake at a city park, a beautiful Swan emerges from the water. The Prince and the Swan become close friends, but their friendship is destined to end in tragedy” - Mathew Bourne
Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake
The ballet Le Corsaire(The Pirate) is usually presented in three acts and is based on the poem “The Corsaire” by Lord Byron. In this ballet, the character Medora, Lankedem’s ward, is first sold to a rich slave dealer, Pasha. But then, Medora is kidnapped by the corsaires and Conrad, who then declares his love for her.
When they arrived at the corsaire’s cave, Conrad and Birbanto cause a fight about whether or not they should free the other slave girls. Still Conrad keeps his promise and lets them go. Birbanto is not happy and decides to put a sleeping spell on Conrad, using a flower, telling Lankedem to give it to him. Lankedem does as he was told, so that he can be freed, and Conrad falls to the ground asleep. Following, Medora is captured by the corsaires, and Conrad finally awakes to the disappearance of Medora.
Later on, the three odalisques dance the Odalisque Pas de Trois and Medora is brought to Pasha. Conrad then arrives at Pasha’s palace, disguised, and finds Medora dancing for them. When Pasha finds the two together in his palace, Conrad is sentenced to death.
At Pasha’s wedding, he tells Conrad that he will free him on one condition, that Medora will be his. Conrad goes to Medora and tells her the news, but he rejects. Gulnara, who has been watching them closely, decides to help them out. Medora goes up to Pasha, and she agrees to his terms. Their plan goes well as the bride’s veil is over her head and Pasha places the ring on her. When Pasha and Medora are left alone, the Pasha gives her his handkerchief, and as if it was a prank (joke), Medora ties it around the Pasha’s wrist. Later in the evening, Conrad arrives, takes Medora, and Gulnara shows the Pasha that she was the bride and had the ring placed on her. The corsaires, Medora, and Conrad then head out to sea, as it is stormy, and crash. But, luckily, Medora and Conrad are still alive and didn’t drown.
The third Odalisque variation comes from this ballet, Le Corsaire and is shown in the Odalisque Pas de Trois (three). An odalisque is a female slave in a harem.
The third Odalisque variation comes from this ballet, Le Corsaire and is shown in the Odalisque Pas de Trois (three). An odalisque is a female slave in a harem.
This variation is also, sometimes, called the turning variation because of its turning diagonals. Some people think that only the pirouettes (turns) are hard, but, actually, the whole variation is hard and needs a lot of training before. Starting from the first section, the assembles have to be high off the ground, it has to travel, and the feet are positioned in a tight fifth position. Then keep the entire leg, starting from the hips to the feet, turned out to go into the next few moves.
When you reach the turning diagonal, feel like you are a “robot.” Move your arms the same way every time and hold your back muscles. Keep your feet turned out when going into fourth positions because it is very visible from where the audience is looking at it. Make sure to also keep the leg that is going into arabesque right behind you, so you’re aligned when going into the pirouette.
Once you have finished that diagonal, there are bourrées moving towards another diagonal. Here, keep the legs squeezed tightly together and make the movements very tiny, but travel! Some teachers change the choreography for their students, but usually, at the end, there are tour dégagés (lame ducks, a type of turn). Tour dégagés need to be executed very clean, step directly in front with one leg, then cross the other in front while not overcrossing, and substitute/replace to turn. Finish the diagonal, do a nice slow bow, run off the stage nicely, with turned out feet, of course, and the variation is done! If it is still thought of as easy, think again because this variation is filled with many tough skills.
Short synopsis:La Fille Mal Gardee is about the widow Simone's only daughter, Lise, who is in love with Colas. She insists that Lise marries the wealthy landowner's son, Alain. The Widow Simone tries her best to keep Lise and Colas away from each other, but her attempts at doing so fail. At last, when Alain and his father, Thomas, see the happy couple together they decide to rip apart the marriage contract. Colas and Lise beg the mother to give her blessings and finally she agrees and the two lovers are getting married.
La Fille Mal Gardée
“La Fille mal gardée” or the The Poorly Guarded Girl and also known as The Girl Who Needed Watching is a ballet in 2 acts. It was initially devised by the Ballet Master in the 18th century, Jean Dauberval. The ballet was premiered on 1 July 1789 in France.
The work went through many changes and different choreographies. Gorsky, Petipa, Ivanov and Ashton to name a few. It went through six different scores, some of which were adaptations of older music.
Lise’s variation from the 2nd act is slightly repetitive and contains many pirouettes (turns) and hops on pointe. In this particular variation, the character of the person is very sweet and innocent. Smiling is very important, and portraying the character really influences this piece. Keeping each part of the dance light and graceful is a principle element. Even if there are modifications for different dancers of different ages, it is important to represent the same role. Also, make sure to support and stabilize yourself on the box of your pointe shoe when executing the hops throughout the variation. When performing this variation, feel the joy, listen to the music, and understand the energy needed for this piece.
Some of my personal corrections from my teachers were to extend every movement through the end of my fingertips, to role trough my feet when finishing the turns, to keep my elbows lifted when holding my skirt, and to show confidence and joy in every step.
The Vaganova method, developed by Agrippina Vaganova during the early twentieth century, incorporates elements of both Italian and French techniques, with a greater emphasis placed on creating full-body movement and a larger expressive range. Vaganova advanced and refined her ballet technique during the time she taught at Leningrad Choreographic school (formerly named the Imperial Ballet School), which is where Vaganova received her training. Prior to teaching at her former school, Vaganova was a professional dancer with the school’s affiliated company for nearly twenty years before she retired.
In ballet, there are a variety of widely used techniques and methods, each with their own unique advantages and observable differences. Examples including the Italian method, the French method, the Danish method, and the Vaganova method (utilized by ABA) are some of the most commonly displayed techniques and encompass a broad range of dancers across the world.
While developing her method, Vaganova wrote a textbook entitled “Basic Principles of Russian Classical Dance,” which outlines and defines the basic Vaganova ballet technique. This Vaganova “manual” highlights the importance of mastery of simple, elementary steps before introduction to more complex ones. Vaganova believed in building a strong foundation in ballet from a young age, so that dancers could progress further and with ease as they got older. In order to accomplish this, Vaganova indicated the times in a dancer’s education that each skill should be taught, and the duration of time each skill should be directly focused on in class. Many students who are taught using the Vaganova technique are also required to take character and modern dance classes, in order to achieve the level of versatility and skillfulness that the Vaganova method requires.
Marius Petipa was remembered for his products. He choreographed over fifty ballets, with the most famous of them including The Pharaoh's Daughter (1862); Don Quixote (1869); La Bayadère (1877); The Sleeping Beauty (1890); and The Nutcracker(1892). These works have collectively formed the cornerstones of the library of classic ballet, with many of his works having replaced the original productions to become the standard, such as Giselleand Swan Lake.Marius had a long and successful career as the principal ballet dancer, as well as principal choreographer, for over thirty years with the Imperial Ballet (now known as Mariinsky Ballet). It is here that Petipa would become the most celebrated and prolific ballet choreographer. Using his own words from his diary: “I can state that I created a ballet company of which everyone said: St. Petersburg has the greatest ballet in all Europe”.
In ballet, choreographers often have a longer lasting legacy than individual dancers, considering that the pieces are performed by generations after generations of dancers, all with unique interpretation, expression, and technical mastery. Marius Petipa (1818-1910) was one of the most influential and talented choreographers, even to this day.
Petipa is also known for his use of the corps de ballet. For example, in a scene from “La Bayadère” called “The Kingdom of the Shades”, twenty-four dancers have to move in coordinated movements with precision. The technique and concentration shown, when executed well, elicit tremendous excitement by the audience.The above-mentioned choreographic innovations by Petipa, together with massive forces, luxurious productions and predictable elements, have helped to establish Petipa’s productions as “ballet grand spectacle”.
One innovative feature of Petipa’s productions is how he places the lead ballerina at the center of the stage to capture the attention of the audience. He reinvented the current form of pas de deux. Instead of having the male and female dancers perform side by side, he placed the woman, on pointe, in front of and supported by the man. This allows pas de deux to be much more expressive and beautiful, with the novel form of balances, multiple turns and overhead lifts.
Not only should Maria Khoreva be admired for the unbelievable technique and beautiful artistry demonstrated through her dancing, but she should also be recognized for the work ethic, dedication, and perseverance she has possessed throughout her entire career. She serves as a reminder that with enough hard work and determination, most things can be accomplished and continues to embody a number of qualities that all dancers should strive to achieve!
Role models in ballet are a very important element of an aspiring dancer's life, serving as both a source of inspiration and motivation. One of the dancers I personally look up to is Maria Khoreva, trained at the Vaganova Ballet Academy and now a First Soloist with Mariinsky Theatre.
Having begun her training at a young age, Khoreva has spent countless hours in the studio and has dedicated an immense amount of work to her dancing career. The Vaganova Ballet Academy, being one of the most prestigious and rigorous ballet schools in the world, meant that Khoreva would have to center her whole life around dance. Not only did she dance many featured roles in a variety of pieces during her time at the school, but she was also one of the few students to graduate with honors and be offered a contract with a leading ballet company directly following graduation. After dancing with the Mariinsky for a mere two years, Khoreva, at age 19, has quickly moved up the ranks and debuted a number of lead roles, which is incredibly rare for a dancer of such young age.
In this time of quarantine where we are not allowed to follow our usual routines, training for a dancer can become very frustrating. It is important to remind ourselves that this time is not lost time. Yes it’s not possible to continue our usual class and rehearsals full of jumping and traveling, but that does not mean that we cannot continue to perfect our technique. Use the time to focus on the basics. Slow classes give you the opportunity to focus on the correct positions and transitions. Sometimes these qualities slip when we have faster and more advanced classes. So this time can be a beneficial for many to redevelop and train their bodies in the correct way. Slower combinations will allow you to focus on the placement of your body.
Also this time can be used to focus on gaining flexibility, as it does not require much space to stretch and do exercises where you can hold the legs so that extension can be developed. Focusing on the strength and correct placement behind every movement we do in a class will strengthen your technique so you will be prepared for your regular schedule of training. Strengthening your foundation and the basics of ballet technique are vitally important and you can utilize this time that we are required to stay at home for your own benefit.
What are some common dance injuries?
A few studies that looked into dance injuries found that injuries from using your joints and muscles too much (overuse injuries) are the most common in dancers. The majority of these overuse injuries involve an ankle, leg, foot or lower back. Some common dance injuries are:
• Hip injuries: snapping hip syndrome, hip impingement, labral tears, hip flexor tendonitis, hip bursitis and sacroiliac joint dysfunction
• Foot and ankle injuries: Achilles tendonitis, trigger toe and ankle impingement
• Knee injuries: patellofemoral pain syndrome
• Stress fractures: metatarsals, tibia, sesamoids and lumbar spine
• Professional dancers are also likely to develop arthritis in the knee, hip, ankle and foot
How can dance injuries be prevented?
The majority of overuse injuries and even some traumatic dance injuries can be prevented. Follow these guidelines to reduce your risk of injury:
• Eat healthy and stay hydrated before, and after class.
• Do cross-training exercises to build strength and endurance in all parts of your body.
• Always wear proper shoes and attire.
• Always warm-upbefore training or performances.
• Lead a healthy lifestyle and get to know your body.
When injuries happen, address them immediately and get advice from a doctor or physical therapist.
DANCE INJURIES AND PREVENTION
What are good cross-training exercises for dancers?
Pilatesand stability-based Yogaare great for dancers. It helps to strengthen the core and hips.
GyrotonicandGyrokinesisexercises help with turn out and flexibility.
Aerobic andCardiovascularactivities, such as running, swimming or biking get your heart rate up and help build stamina for longer and consistent performances.
Many dancers don't do enough cardio during their regular training. Just 30 minutes, three to four times a week of cardio is usually enough to improve your endurance. As always, do this in moderation and in short intervals to avoid stressing your joints. Being screened by a physical therapist with experience treating dancers will help you identify individual areas of weakness to address with specific exercises.
How to treat dance injury?
Should I ice or heat after a dance injury? If it's a sudden injury, it's best to apply ice first to reduce swelling and inflammation. RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation)treatment is a common approach. After a few days, you can switch to heat to increase blood flow to the area and promote healing. However, every person is different. If you feel that ice helps you better than heat, then there is nothing wrong with continuing to ice. But be careful not to ice before dancing or stretching, because you want those muscles to be warmed up to prevent re-injury.
What are good cross-training exercises for dancers?
WITH ALEXIS AND ABI
TIPS AND TRICKS TO STAYING
HOME AND SANE
Hello! It’s Abby and Alexis from Akhmedova Ballet Academy! We are here to tell you fun and safe ways to stay at home and stay sane!
First, let’s go over ways to have a safe and enjoyable time at home.
1.Do not use fire without adult supervision or permission.
2.Make sure you have an adult with you if doing any DIY’s that may involve dangerous objects (I.e scissors, craft knives, sharp tools)
3.Make sure you have enough space.
4.Remember to clean up all used materials, or leftover materials.
DIYs/Things to do at home:
While you are at home, it would be a great time to try and start/do new things. For example, you could start a diary and work on your hobbies. Another thing you can do is try to spend time with family, and you could facetime/call your friends! Do not spend all your time on your electronics; one fun thing you can do instead of being on a device is you can write and send letters to your friends if you want, you can also write letters to your family.Before modern technology was created people did not have phones or computers, so they communicated through sending letters. A letter is a handwritten message on a piece of paper, it is then put in an envelope with a stamp, return address, and the address of the place you want it to go, you then mail the envelope so it will be delivered to the person you want it to be mailed to.
Gardening is a fun activity that makes time fly by. There are many benefits to gardening. For example, gardening can help your mental health by reducing stress, it can help you sleep better, make you feel better, and improve your hand strength. Also, gardening helps the planet because the plants release oxygen. Finally, gardening can help you get outdoor exercise.
Seeds or plants bought from a store
Lots of dirt
1.Put a layer of rocks on the bottom of the pot.
2.Fill the pot with dirt.
3.For a potted plant from the store break up the roots on the bottom.
4.Make a ditch in the dirt (in the flower pot) deep enough that the soil the plant is in is not sitting higher than the dirt in the flower pot.
5.Add more dirt to fill in gaps.
6.If needed, water the plant after you are done potting it.
First of all, you are going to want to get your materials, and then open up your container/ water bottle.
·Fill ⅓ of the plastic water bottle/jar with Elmer’s Glue™
·Add your glitter but don’t add too much
·Fill the rest of your water bottle/jar with water but make sure to not fill it all the way to the top.
·Close your jar/water bottle and then shake it up…
·Enjoy the relaxing glitter!
Finally, we are going to talk about how to stay sane at home. A good thing to do is to surround yourself with loving people like your family and frequently facetime/call good friends. This is a good idea because loving people can make you feel happier and you can continue making great memories.
MAKING GLITTER JARS
Making glitter jars is fairly easy. The materials that you will need are:
·Any type of Glitter
·Any color of Elmer’s glue™ (⅓ of the plastic bottle you are using)
ARABESQUE AND ATTITUDE STRENGTHENING
TURNOUT TO WORKOUT
Some TIPS that I’ve found that work for me are:
-Focus on the goal and inspiration of the future. If I get all my work done on time, I can actually enjoy the things I want to do in the evening, guilt-free, which makes me enjoy them so much more than when I try to sneak them during the school day.
-Maintain healthy eating habits. It is really tempting to stress eat when we are trapped at home, working in the kitchen, desperately looking for a distraction from the task(s) we are avoiding at school. Not only is bad food, bad for our bodies; it also makes us feel really tired and unable to work.
-In addition to dance in the afternoon, get exercise in little bits all day long, like in the morning and at lunch. When we exercise, it oxygenates our blood cells and it gets our endorphins going. This stimulates dopamine, which makes us feel happy and motivated to work harder at whatever we do.-If you feel stuck on an assignment, do NOT just stare at the screen not knowing what to do. Reach out to your teachers for help. Most of them will get back to you right away and then you can get back to work on your assignment with better information. In the meantime, don’t just wait for them to respond. Switch to a different task that is easy for you and can get you going and getting in action again.
Balance in our lives is always challenging, yet incredibly important for a happy, healthy life. Since our transition to our new reality of being stuck at home 24-7, maintaining a balance has been even more challenging, yet even more important. We now have to learn as much from school as before and be as productive as before, but it is so much more difficult without the structure of school and with all the distractions at home.Nobody is looking over our shoulders to make sure we are on task, and yet we still have to get it all done on time. Other people are in the kitchen, having interesting conversations I want to join, and there is, of course, always the pull of electronics.
-Reach out to friends, so you stay feeling connected, but always make sure to set specific times to do so, and not get distracted during the school day.
-Taking breaks is always really helpful so you get re-energized and ready to focus your brain again. During these breaks, though, be sure to
-Set a timer so you don’t end up taking a MUCH longer break than you intended
-Don’t be tempted to go to electronics, which numbs our brain more. Instead, get your body moving. Do some stretching, take a bike ride around the block, or take a 5-minute dance break to get your body moving. Since dancing makes us all happy, we will go back to work feeling much more energized and inspired to work.
Staying focused at home-school, without bells in the hall or teachers breathing down our necks to focus, is just like the work we do at dance, when we stretch and repeat a basic step for hours when nobody is watching, We do it because we want to get better and because we have the discipline to do what is needed to be our best selves. As dancers, we have all the tools and determination we need inside of us to be successful at school as well during these challenging and isolating times. We can do this and we will!
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. 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.
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.
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
Advice for all students and parents:
Don't stress with homework.
In September all of you will get back on track.
What no teacher can fix are social emotional traumas that prevent the brain from learning. That is why it is very important to me that parents turn to their child with their calm, their strength and their laughter. No child is ahead. No child is behind. Your children are exactly where they should be.Keep moving forward and be positive !
A famous quote you can share with us ?
Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.
- Helen Keller
I love this quote because I think it is relevant for everybody and especially in uncertain times like ours. Helen Keller (1880–1968) was a woman who became deaf/blind in toddlerhood due to an illness. Despite this, she became an activist and wrote twelve books. Her story of overcoming challenges with the help of her teacher, Anne Sullivan, has inspired generations.
What is your opinion about the vast amount of virtual classes on social
media and its benefits?
'Im afraid how many dancers and students will come out of this terrible lockdown with the following problems:
1) injuries - by jumping and falling on hard floors without marley trying to follow the exercises online.
2) bruises - because of hitting against furniture trying to follow a variation class online.
3) wrong habits/body positions and mixed up ideas on technique and training approaches (especially bad for younger students).
Ballet classes are usually given by people who learned to teach ballet in a proper way. Professional schools have professional teachers.
In the moment, due to this crisis everybody is forced to stay at home and due to the social media overload, I see every day hundreds of videos popping up for ballet classes and even variation classes online
Students are supposed to follow their appropriate level of training. A level 3 student should not take level 7 classes. Students should take class with their own teachers whom they are used to. Classes from professional dancers online might be fun but are not advisable for students taken by themselves without supervision.I want everybody to be safe and healthy in every way including ballet training and return safely to their teachers.