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Books: Teaching Methods?

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I've been reading a lot of theoretical books about ballet and how one would approach teaching it, because I've found that the more I understand about how movement should be taught, the better my movements get (particularly in arms - after realising that almost every Vaganova-based book I found lamented how so many dancers had poor arms, I felt the need to immediately start working on them, with fairly nice results!) Anyway, I've found that there is a great deal of Russian literature on it (I actually got the entire way through Vera Kostrovitskaya's curriculum at the Vaganova School - completely full of exercises et al) but I'm curious if other methods, i.e. Balanchine, Bournonville, French, Cecchetti, etc. have written very many theoretical views on the subject. I'm just rather curious, and want to compare...

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Marenetha, there are many books on the teaching of ballet written by knowledgeable people in all methods of ballet. My suggestion read as many as you possibly can. They are found in libraries and online in abundance. See:[www.amazon.com] under books.


The Russians have been quite prolific with their literature on their method of teaching ballet. Other authors you may find interesting on the Russian method of teaching ballet are N. Tarasov, Bazarova & Mae, Pisarev/Kostrovitskaya, and Vaganova herself. Each author is quite interesting, some explain more than others.


To find books on other methods try Muriel Stuart, Suki Schorer, Cecchetti, Gretchen Warren, John White, John Barker (translation), Marc Hertsens, and Valerie Grieg,. I am sure there are others, but these are the ones on my desk at the moment.


For partnering/duet/pas de deux try Serebrennikov. This one is the is really quite helpful for questions about partnering.

Edited by vrsfanatic
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And just a reminder...if you are going to Amazon.com, DO click on it from Ballet Talk! Just look at the banner on the top of the pages :thumbsup: This site gets a little tiny bit of help from every order made on Amazon when the buyer has gone there by the link from here! :P

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All right - thank you very much, vrsfanatic! I've read some of those - Vaganova, Valerie Grieg, and Gretchen Warren - but not the others, so that gives me a nice starting point. And about Amazon - I will!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have a high regard for Anna Paskevska's books (I think there are four of them at this point?) which sometimes are a bit cut and dry when it gets down to the nitty gritty (but it is hard to make steps sound like something other than stereo instructions sometimes!) but she has an interesting prose style.

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I really enjoyed Ward Warren's book The Art of Teaching Ballet (I think that's what its called, I had to return it to the library). It has 10 interviews with 10 master teachers all over the world. Questions range from how they construct a class, to looking for talent in young children, to how they get whatever quality they're known for (port de bras, musicality, whatever) instilled in their students.

Sometimes it's very general, sometimes its very precise, and there is a selection of exercises from each teacher in the back. Coolest of all it shows their "pegagogical geneology" at the end of each interview.

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  • 3 years later...

I found this:

and A. Pisarev. "School of Classical Dance" (trans. John Barker).

Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1979. The book bears the following

identification numbers: 80105-1003 / K----------123-79 / 014(01)-79.

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Guest pink tights

Thanks Clara76. I'll see if I can find that one. VRS mentioned she had Barker's book on her desk a few posts back. I'm wondering if it's the same book? I know Barker also translated a portion of Vaganova's Basic Principles, but that's not the book I'm searching for. :wub:

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Oh. Maybe pm her?

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No pinktights, I have the authorized Barker translation of the Kostrovitskaya/Pisarev School of Classical Ballet. To my knowledge, Mr. Barker has not written a book on the teaching of classical ballet. I may be wrong though. Have you googled it?


I will edit my previous post so as not to make further confusion. :thumbsup:

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Guest pink tights

Clara76 and VRS--they must be one and the same. We had a studio copy but it seems to have disappeared; I was looking to replace it. Thanks for your assistance--I just found it's available through Amazon!! :thumbsup:

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"Research in Dance Education", a journal publication, is an excellent source. It is probably too expensive to subscribe as an individual, but you probably have access at any larger library (through interlibrary loan). The articles are research, but most of them are very accessible and not overloaden with academic jargon. And a lot of researchers are (still) practicisng teachers in the studio.

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I don't think anyone has yet recommended Cyril Beaumont's "The Cecchetti Method of Classical Ballet." Parts are undoubtedly rather out of date, but it is still an excellent and informative book.

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