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RDA adjudications


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#1 Kathleen Sinclair

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 01:32 PM

RDA companies are now (or soon will be) going through the annual adjudication process. I encourage you to share your experiences here with us on Ballet Talk for Dancers.
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#2 Chronus24

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Posted 04 February 2010 - 05:50 PM

As a performer, I found it to be a rather quick and painless process. Ours was in our own studio, so it was like just another rehearsal. Very low-stress, I thought...

#3 cakers

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 11:32 AM

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Nobody seems to have bitten on this subject, but since ours is a relatively new RDA company, I was wondering if anyone else finds the preparation for adjudication to be as exhausting as ours is? I believe it's because the pieces to be adjudicated are put on the back burner until after Nutcracker, which only leaves 6-8 weeks to properly prepare numbers. Only one of the numbers our company is adjudicating had even begun choreographing before Nutcracker season. So now the girls are trying to learn and clean three numbers in six weeks time. Between class time and rehearsal, our company does five hours, three nights a week, and that's after a full day of school. On Saturdays, it's 9-5, with occasional Sundays thrown in if that's the only day the choreographer is available to come work with them.
For the most part, the girls hold up remarkably well and never complain, but I must say I find it aggravating, when it's approaching 9pm on a school night and the teacher is reprimanding the girls for losing focus, when I think she should be thanking them for maintaining focus that long!

#4 SCB

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 12:02 PM

We are in the same boat, Cakers! My DD is exhausted and stressed out that the pieces won't be ready in time. Like you, they don't start rehearsing until after Nutcracker and winter break and now are adding some Sunday rehearsals, making the total of rehearsals 5 a week. On top of that, we have been unable to get to any SI auditions due to exhaustion, catching up on homework, and/or conflicting rehearsals. DD loves Festival and having the opportunity to take master classes but this time of year is always extremely difficult for her. I can't WAIT for adjudication to be over!

#5 Temps de cuisse

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 12:54 PM

As a director of an RDA company, I try to prepare my dancers for this heavy period of class and rehearsals. We talk during the Nutcracker season that when we come back after the holiday break, everyone needs to be ready for an intense 6-8 weeks. To alleviate the time needed to learn new choreography, we try to have one choreographer set their ballet during the last part of the break...and/or use the MLK weekend because of the extra Monday off school. We usually add only 1 extra day for rehearsal and that only an hour....and always take Sunday off unless a guest choreographer is setting a new work. If a director is organized and uses rehearsal time wisely, a company can be adequately prepared without going overboard.

A company need only show 2 works; three are not necessary. And no emerging works need to be shown. I have found that many years I will only adjudicate the minimum if I felt it would benefit my dancers. I feel the process should be challenging but not exhausting. I want my dancers shown at their best...

Good luck to all RDA companies during this special time!

#6 cakers

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 01:17 PM

We are in the same boat, Cakers!


Not that I'm "happy" that someone else is going through the same thing, but at least I know it's not just us, in our inexperience, doing it this way. I'm wondering if it's necessary to try to adjudicate an Emerging Choreography piece? Does everyone adjudicate an Emerging piece?

And no, we're not giving up the SI auditions (we've already done 3), but everyone had to give the AD a schedule of their planned auditions at the beginning of January so she would know who was going to miss what rehearsal and plan accordingly. There were a couple of weekends that we were told to plan NOTHING and that those rehearsals were absolutely mandatory, so several girls, my dd included, had to switch audition sites because of that.

#7 cakers

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 01:26 PM

A company need only show 2 works; three are not necessary. And no emerging works need to be shown.


I should have clarified that one of the pieces our company is learning is an Emerging piece, and you answered my follow up question as to the necessity of an Emerging piece. So, to be clear, our company is currently learning 3 "regular" pieces and one emerging, for a total of four. Two sounds like a nice number.....
I suspect that in addition to the emerging piece, the AD will end up selecting two of the three numbers they are learning to adjudicate, because my understanding is that the adjudication process has to be completed within a set time, and that observation of class is included in that time. It might be too difficult to squeeze in four different numbers when you have class and costume changes to account for.

#8 trythis

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 01:28 PM

I belive we are sending five pieces to adjudication, two being emerging choreography. Luckily DD is only in one, so her rehearsal schedule is not as crazy as others. We started working on three of the five during the summer, so that helped. Two are being choreographed and worked out now. Twice a week rehearsals are mandatory but they are not too long, two-four hours. I don't know what is expected to be accepted for the festival. Seems we usually show two.

#9 Mobadt

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 10:39 PM

It is a trying, crazy time! I refer to these months - Jan through March as 'hell time' - lovingly of course! :blink: The dancers just amaze me that they can do all this. Not only do we have this, but we have 2 other shows at other venues in March, and then our spring performance at the end of March! It is truly crazy around here!
Normally, we seem to adjudicate 5 pieces, and sometimes we use a piece from the last year that didn't get selected. This year, we are adjudicating 4 and 2 of them are emerging. And like trythis, the dancers learn most of the choreography during the summer. It did not happen that way this year, but we try to get them started enough so they are just cleaning in rehearsal. Again, the dancers just amaze me because they just seem to take it in stride and just do it. We too have to hand in our SI audition schedule, and try to work around it. We are a small group and most of the dancers seem to audition for the same SIs so they just work around it all. It is an exciting time though. There is truly nothing like adjudication for them and it's such an honor to be able to perform pieces to be judged for this. We try to make it as painless as possible for the girls on the day of adjudication. We are there to provide them everything they need - snacks, water, towels, dress them as quickly as possible, and cheer them on. They really love it!

#10 Kathleen Sinclair

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 01:09 PM

Great to see discussion on this very rewarding part of being part of an RDA company. I welcome all RDA directors, dancers and parents to join in!
Kathleen Sinclair
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#11 cakers

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 07:13 PM

I belive we are sending five pieces to adjudication... Luckily DD is only in one, so her rehearsal schedule is not as crazy as others.


Our company is too small for the choreographers to get too selective about who will be in which number. It's pretty much "all hands on deck". Now, acceptance into the Company has gotten more stringent and selective since our RDA introduction, but once you're in, you're in. This is only fair, since all company members are required to do fundraising towards RDA costs and choreography fees. It wouldn't be fair to have girls doing fundraising work and then not be included in numbers that ballet company is picking up the costs for. The exception is emerging pieces. Since these choreographers are not paid, they can choose to include or exclude the dancers they want to best represent their pieces, and nobody has a problem with that.

#12 trythis

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Posted 18 February 2011 - 12:36 PM

Adjudication is on Monday for my daughter's company. Would it be for all the companies in my city?

#13 Victoria Leigh

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Posted 18 February 2011 - 12:56 PM

I think the adjudicators usually do two adjudications on each day. One of the schools where I teach has theirs tomorrow (Saturday), and the other school is Monday. There are a LOT of schools in the Atlanta area, though, and my guess is that it takes at least two 3 day weekends to cover them all! The adjudicators watch a class first, and then all the pieces, and then talk to the dancers and choreographers. This takes at least two hours, usually more, and then they have to get to another studio for the next one. It would be possible to do three in a day, but not easy!

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#14 Kathleen Sinclair

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Posted 18 February 2011 - 09:31 PM

The ideal situation would be for an adjudicator to see one company per day but in many cases if companies on the tour are close enough, they will do two companies in one day. In the Pacific region, an adjudication should not exceed 2.5 hrs which would be a shortened class and then the 2 to 3 ballets along with any emerging works. I have to say that usually an adjudicator is willing to spend as much time as necessary with each company. In my experience most adjudications have been an average of 3 to 3.5 hours.
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#15 Victoria Leigh

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Posted 18 February 2011 - 09:38 PM

Yes, I agree, Kathleen. I seem to recall the last few years when I have taught the classes, the judges were there well beyond 2 hours! :lol: [But I still had to get the class done in an hour or less!]

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