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Temps de cuisse

RDA/Pacific Festival

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GTLS Designs   
GTLS Designs
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.

 

 

I stand corrected.... :thumbsup::)

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Royal Ballerina   
Royal Ballerina

Thursday night was the pieces choreographed by students and they were all good. I personally liked all the pieces this year, but some of them stood out more to me.

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Temps de cuisse   
Temps de cuisse
Thursday night was the pieces choreographed by students

 

Wednesday evening was the Emerging Choreography performance and a showing of the integrated ballet for IBC; Thursday evening was a showing of member and new member company works :)

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sfshaza   
sfshaza

Who was teaching the modern classes at RDA? Or was there more than one modern teacher? My daughter particularly enjoyed the modern classes.

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cakers   
cakers
Ballet Yuma did an outstanding number on Thursday...
And thank you for the compliment!! :grinning:

 

And thanks for not correcting me, but I think I got the night wrong...was it the opening number on Sat night?

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Kathleen Sinclair   
Kathleen Sinclair

Modern classes were taught by Gina Gardner-Walther, assistant professor at Wright State University, Eva Stone, currently the modern instructor at PNB and other Seattle area schools and Sam Watson, professor from the University of Arizona.

 

And yes, cakers, Ballet Yuma opened Saturday evening....and also the Wednesday emerging concert!

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Royal Ballerina   
Royal Ballerina

Sorry for getting all the days wrong:( Still recovering.. Sam Watson (i believe that is his name) teacher from the UNiversity of Arizona also was one of the modern teachers.

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cakers   
cakers
And yes, cakers, Ballet Yuma opened Saturday evening....and also the Wednesday emerging concert!

 

Ah, ha, the light goes on...it was the Wednesday night piece I was thinking of, because it was my favorite piece of the evening. Although I liked "Orchid" very much also!

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SCB   
SCB

I returned yesterday from chaperoning at the Pacific festival in Las Vegas. Although I did not at all care for the smoke-filled, enclosed environment and felt like it was not an appropriate place to have hundreds of youngsters work their bodies to exhaustion, I thought the teachers and classes were outstanding, the seminars enriching, and the performances spectacular.

 

Another reason festival is such a great thing - you get to compare your company dancers with other company dancers at the same level. For me this was a revelation as, sadly, I found that our company dancers are not up to par. This was the first time I chaperoned the performing level group and in previous years, at the apprentice and junior levels, we were about smack-dab in the middle as far as accomplished ballet technique. This year, even our best dancers were not even close to the same level as the company they took class with. It was very enlightening (and a little depressing as I really love our studio).

 

At any rate, every year I am so grateful that our kids have this opportunity and am so thankful that RDA exists because these three days each year go a long way toward enriching our kid's dance lives and exposing them to the greater dance world.

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Kathleen Sinclair   
Kathleen Sinclair

I encourage dancers, directors and parents to share their experiences at the RDA/P Festival 2011...

 

I was impressed by the number of college dance department recruiters there were this year at Festival, including Butler University and Juilliard among others! Juniors (rising seniors) were given the opportunity to seen and awarded early admission/invitation to apply! What a great new "perk" to attending Festival.

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cakers   
cakers

This year, even our best dancers were not even close to the same level as the company they took class with. It was very enlightening (and a little depressing as I really love our studio).

 

I understand where you're coming from (even though I don't know what studio you're coming from) because I tend to do the same thing when comparing our company to the powerhouses. How do we compete (even though we're not competing) with the likes of City Youth Ballet and Southland Ballet for example, which reside in the largest cities in the country with a huge population of potential dancers to choose from? How can our performing company middle school and high school dancers compete with the college age dancers like Utah Regional? We come from a community of less than 15K, and drive an hour to get to our studio in a community of less than 30K. The fact that our studio can even put together a company with enough dancers that have the commitment and requisite technical abilities to even be able to qualify to be a member of RDA is a testament to the owner/director who built the program. One of our challenges in attending RDA is convincing the girls to not be intimidated by the other companies and to be proud of their accomplishment in just being there.

 

So while, yes, I sometimes look around and wistfully wish we could leave near one of those "powerhouse" studios, I try to appreciate the opportunities we do have. Even though our company may be on the bottom rung of the RDA ladder, we are grateful to be on the ladder at all.

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cakers   
cakers

I concur with SCB in disliking the smoky environment.

 

Lyn Wiltshire put together a great program, as by the end of the 3rd night of performances I was still having a really hard time picking a favorite. As it was winding down, I had pretty much narrowed it down to either Long Beach or Ballet Yuma, and then that darn City Youth Ballet had to come along and blow everybody out of the water! :) Rossini's Madness was one of the most entertaining ballet pieces I have watched, ranking right up there with Ballet San Jose's "Blue Suede Shoes". Afterwards I caught myself wondering if CYB had even bothered to adjudicate another number, and if so, why?

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Temps de cuisse   
Temps de cuisse

I find that being able to see the level of training possible for a pre-pro regional company is one of the best parts of RDA. Although we all can't have a huge population pool, male students, or older or more mature dancers we all can: make sure our dancers are getting daily classes, give them choreography that shows them in their best light and provide professional production values in costuming and lighting. These three things can go a long way in moving "up the ladder" in RDA.

 

Some of my impressions from performances:

Highlights - Columbia Dance Company really stepping up the notch from last year in choosing an outside choreographer; Utah Regional being the company that we all aspire to be; Long Beach showing a different side with a beautiful soft emotional work instead of their usual 'in your face' choreography.

Low points - ballet that were too long for young dancers to sustain; music choice for many of the emerging works (ADs need to monitor their student choreographer's choices) and choreography that was just steps for steps sake to fill the music.

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SCB   
SCB

Cakers- so well said - thank you for putting things into perspective for me. We are also in a small community and a small, "young" company.

 

I guess my only remaining worry is that some of the dancers at our studio truly want to become professional and believe they are getting pre-professional training. I just wonder if they can achieve that goal if they are not up to par with their RDA peers. On the other hand, most of our dancers are 13 and 14 and it is possible that if we had a batch of 16-18 year olds at our studio, they would have been placed in the Apprentice level where they would have done very well. Does anyone know the average age of a Performing level dancer?

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Kathleen Sinclair   
Kathleen Sinclair

SCB,

 

Placement of dancers in Festival class tracks is totally up to the discretion of the AD of each company. So, as for the average age in a specific track, it could vary.

 

Personally any dancers in my company that are apprentices take the apprentice track at Festival no matter their age. My apprentices range from 13-17 yrs old. In the past I have had apprentice take the junior track if I felt those classes/schedule would be the best for them. Dancers in my "performing" or senior company range from 14-22.

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