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RDA/Pacific Festival


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#1 Temps de cuisse

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 10:20 AM

I will be in attendance at the Pacific Region's Festival in Richland WA this week. I will have my computer and the hotel has free wireless so I and hope to give a nightly re-cap of the experience! :grinning:

#2 sfshaza

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 11:49 AM

Thanks, Temps de Cuisee! My DD is there now, rehearsing for the ensemble piece. I can't be there, but am looking forward to hearing your reports!

#3 Temps de cuisse

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Posted 14 May 2010 - 12:59 AM

The emerging concert was on Wednesday night...six very different pieces. Utah Regional Ballet 2 looked fabulous. The integrated ballet that will represent the Pacific region at IBC in Jackson in June was also shown. Wow....there were a lot of dancers on stage. Eighteen women and nine men! It was choreographed by Robert Kelley and had a live performer singing 'Summertime'. The concert this evening was not as strong as in past years. Although Whidbey Island Dance Theatre ended with strong modern work by Eva Stone.

The faculty assembled is fabulous and a good mix of both teachers from the professional dance world and the college dance scene. There are college recruiters in attendance and they are scouting for future students. The volunteers with Mid Columbia Ballet (the host company) are the best and take care of questions and problems quickly.

I am looking forward to seeing what the next 2 days offer......

#4 cakers

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Posted 14 May 2010 - 09:23 AM

The emerging concert was on Wednesday night...six very different pieces. Utah Regional Ballet 2 looked fabulous. The integrated ballet that will represent the Pacific region at IBC in Jackson in June was also shown. Wow....there were a lot of dancers on stage.


I would've like them to introduce the dancers, as even though the names were listed in the program, the companies they danced with were not.

Some transportation glitches, but the host company volunteers are working their butts off, so nobody is complaining. "There but for the grace of God go I"!

#5 Temps de cuisse

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Posted 16 May 2010 - 08:49 PM

Well, the Pacific Festival is now over. I was so busy I never got a chance to log on to Ballet Talk. Now I am sitting in the airport and will take this time to write a brief overview.

The Friday night performance was a stronger overall show than Thursday night. City Youth Ballet, a new company to the region, closed the evening with a beautiful neo classical piece for 14 women and 1 man, choreographed by Yuri Zhukov. This company's technical level rivals the long time RDA/P company, Utah Regional Ballet and it is great to see this level of work in RDA. The only negative to the piece is that Mr. Zhukov used the Bach concerto used by Balanchine for Concerto Barocco....a shame :unsure: because it was difficult to get that masterpiece out of your mind while watching the new work. A definite "no-no" , I would say for such an experienced choreographer as Mr. Zhukov

The faculty for this festival was stellar and a great mix of teachers from the professional dance world and well known college dance programs. Dancers had classes from Claudio Munoz from Houston Ballet, Kiyon Gaines from PNB, Michel Mesnier and Sylvie Guillaumin from the Paris Opera Ballet. Peter Anastos, director of Ballet Idaho, offered a dancer from Ballet Yuma a paid apprentice contract after seeing her in audition classes! I think this may have been a first for this region (at least I can't remember that happening before). The college faculty in attendance were from University of Arizona, Brigham Young University, University of S. Carolina, Wright State University, California State University-Long Beach and Utah Valley University. They auditioned interested dancers and several acceptances and scholarships were offered.

The Saturday night show was great!! The Pacific region does not have a gala performance but this one almost was! Many of this region's strongest companies danced: Ballet Yuma, Utah Regional Ballet 2, Mid Columbia Ballet and South Bay Ballet all showed strong works both in execution and choreography......

Well, my flight is now boarding...

#6 Pointe1432

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Posted 16 May 2010 - 11:45 PM

<---- RDA/P alumni :)

I have so many awesome memories of RDA, thanks for sharing!

#7 taximom

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 03:04 AM

My daughter just got home tonight and I was able to chaperone the first 2 nights. Can't say enough nice things about the host studio. The volunteers were amazing the girls were friendly and the whole experience was memorable. The pizza party in the park the first night was followed by karaoke and a movie and made a nice ice breaker. My daughter was in the apprentice two group and took jazz, ballet and pointe the first day all of which were fantastic. She had a terrible reaction to a different brand of contact solution and by the end of pointe her one eye in particular was swelled nearly shut and the local moms were so wonderful trying to find a way to help out, since we had driven all I needed was directions to a local Rite Aid but I really appreciated their concern. The next day she took ballet and modern and had a seminar on muscle management which she thought was very beneficial and some time for the pool! (of course by then I was back in the car headed home so I could attend my son's ROTC awards banquet - no pool for me) The highlight of the final day was Swan Lake Mime with Rachael Nole, my daughter was particularly excited about this class since she danced at Nevada Ballet when Ms. Nole taught there several years ago and was excited to see her again. The performances each night were very strong and offered a nice mix of styles although you could see some specific trends in the pieces. My favorite was a piece called Geisha (without a program in front of me I'm not sure who the company was) that used the opening and closing of fans with a pronounced sound that was very engaging. This was our first experience with festival and I'm so glad I was able to arrange things for my daughter to attend, she is already looking forward to next year!

#8 cakers

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 10:51 AM

The performances each night were very strong and offered a nice mix of styles although you could see some specific trends in the pieces. My favorite was a piece called Geisha (without a program in front of me I'm not sure who the company was) that used the opening and closing of fans with a pronounced sound that was very engaging.


Thank you so much! My daughter was one of the Fan Dancers, and our company and studio are very small, and new to RDA, so the biggest struggle for the AD and the moms is to help convince the girls not to get intimidated by the size and technical prowess of some of the larger studios like City Youth and South Bay Ballet. Our AD does an incredible job with the small talent pool she has available to her.

My greatest impression, aside from the always fantastic performances, is with how great all the Moms were. Teenage girls being what they are, there were a couple of minor "crises" that occurred, and it was heart warming to see Moms from other studios step in to help assist and console without regard to who the dancer was or where they were from, even when the dancer's own mom was on hand.

#9 cakers

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 11:03 AM

The only negative to the piece is that Mr. Zhukov used the Bach concerto used by Balanchine for Concerto Barocco....a shame :ermm: because it was difficult to get that masterpiece out of your mind while watching the new work. A definite "no-no"


Okay, but how many people in the audience would know that? What I questioned was the inclusion of 3 Vivaldi pieces in the same evening (Sat). Our AD suggested that perhaps it was to illustrate the variety of pieces that could be crafted from the same music, so I will have to defer to her expertise. I happen to like Vivaldi, but I also like variety.

#10 Temps de cuisse

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 11:56 AM

I agree about the three Vivaldi pieces. Each were very different in style and original in the way they used the music but I would have not programmed that way. Did you notice that there was a ballet with music by Karl Jenkins each night? I don't think programing was Mr. Ade's strongest contribution as an adjudicator.

And ALL of us that know ballet (balletomanes, directors, faculty, students that take the time to watch great ballets) were seeing Concerto Barocco :ermm:

#11 GTLS Designs

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 02:51 PM

I am a RDA/Pacific alumni. I am sad that I missed this festival.... I was being considered as a teacher, but it was too late in the budget process to include me....

anyway....

To defend the adjudicator, he/she is not responsible for what music and/or ballets are choreographed. It is up to the companies to select the choreographers, who in turn select the music. Sometimes, companies have only 1 ballet to adjudicate... and sometimes they have one great ballet, and one horrible ballet (they throw all their eggs in one basket). So, the adjudicator then has to select the better ballet, despite what the rest of the program will look like.

Of course, we also have to take into consideration that the performances usually progress from weaker to stronger over the coarse of the festival - with the last evening being the strongest companies and ballets this season. I don't envy the challenge that this adjudicator must have been up against.

“They did not know it was impossible, so they did it.” ― Mark Twain


#12 cakers

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 04:58 PM

Of course, we also have to take into consideration that the performances usually progress from weaker to stronger over the coarse of the festival - with the last evening being the strongest companies and ballets this season.


It was my understanding that the Pacific region does not program "from weaker to stronger"?
And while I'm not a ballet expert, from an audience standpoint, I would not be willing to say that Saturday night's performances were better than the other nights. Ballet Yuma did an outstanding number on Thursday, and City Youth ballet received a standing ovation on Friday night, so I'd say all three nights stood on their own.

#13 Pointe1432

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 08:14 PM

...our company and studio are very small, and new to RDA, so the biggest struggle for the AD and the moms is to help convince the girls not to get intimidated by the size and technical prowess of some of the larger studios like City Youth and South Bay Ballet.



I remember when WE were the "little fish" in the pond and were totally intimidated by Utah Regional Ballet and Mid-Columbia. Funny how things like that can change over time. :)

#14 Kathleen Sinclair

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 10:47 PM

It was my understanding that the Pacific region does not program "from weaker to stronger"?


You are correct. In the Pacific region, the adjudicator is asked to present 3 balanced and equal programs. And honor companies are chosen by an overall evaluation of class technique, choreography, dancers' performance and production values (costuming, lights etc) and not where the adjudicator places them in a performance at Festival. All of the other regions program "weak to strong", with a gala of the best works or companies at the end of Festival.

Ballet Yuma did an outstanding number on Thursday...


And thank you for the compliment!! :)
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#15 Royal Ballerina

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Posted 18 May 2010 - 12:00 AM

RDA Pacific was a great experience especially Saturday night! South Bay Ballet always put on such a great performance.


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