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Raked Floors


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Hey everyone!


I was just wondering if anyone here has ever danced on raked floors. I'm sure some of you have :thumbsup: Can you tell me what it is like? Or where I can get a picture? I need to get an idea:)

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Phoenix, I have danced on a number of raked floors. They are quite different, and there is some adjustment needed when you are not used to them. There are very few in this country, in fact, I think we only danced on one, which was in Philadelphia, at the Academy of Music. There were several in Europe and South America though. They are great from the audience perspective, but hard for performers unless you work on them all the time. In Russia the studios in the Bolshoi, or at least one of them, was raked to the same degree as the stage of the Bolshoi Theatre, so the dancers were very accustomed to the rake. I don't know where there is a photo, but there must be some out there somewhere in some of the Russian ballet books.

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I danced on raked stages in Europe and also at the Academy of Music, in Philadelphia, the same as Ms. Leigh. I would have to say that as a dancer it was a very large adjustment. Jumping and turning traveling upstage required much more of a thrust of energy forward and up (at least for me) while dancing, jumping and turning, traveling downstage required keeping my upper back strongly held together and upward with a very open chest.


As a teacher, I studied how to teach in St. Petersburg, Russia at the Vaganova Academy, where almost all of the classes were given on a raked floor. The children do study as youngters on the rake. Since I retrained, learning almost everything from the beginning, naturally how to standup was one of the main challenges. Once I relearned how to use my back (basically understanding how the usage of the back differed in the Vaganova Program from my American training) standing up was not such a big issue. I must say that doing 8th year grand allegro, again traveling upstage or downstage was at times thigh wrenching! :thumbsup:


I will do a search to find where this subject has already been addressed because I think there were some interresting comments and observations!


For further discussion regarding raked stages you may look at the thread below! It is a long thread, filled with different ideas but interesting the same! Enjoy!



Edited by vrsfanatic
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Thanks for the replies! I'm going to Russia next March for two weeks. I've been invited to dance with the Mussorgsky Ballet as a spring 2005 intensive and a Vaganova program. I'm very excited and very curious about the raked stages we will be dancing on:S When I heard about them I thought, "Oh my, how can you dance on a hill slant!?!" But it seems doable, it just takes some getting used to. Thanks again:)

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PhoenixTutu your trip sounds very exciting. In which city is the Mussorsky Ballet? I hope you will also research this city prior to going. Russia is a fascinating country with a rich history in the arts. St. Petersburg is particularly beautiful. It would be interesting to hear more about the spring intensive and Vaganova program. Who is the director of the program and with whom shall you study? Are you going alone or is your school going? Are you studying Russian? Do you currently study the Vaganova program in your school? Please tell us more! Thanks. :D

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Ok, here goes:)


Next year, in the two weeks following our spring break, we will be going to St. Petersburg Russia. There will be 26 students in total going. Almost all of the students going are from Alberta, but a teacher at my studio was invited by the Vagonova Society to bring 5 students. So 21 will be from Alberta. This teacher has gone before, as a student:) So anyways, she picked me to go and four other girls! I think the trip will be very exciting. We currently study RAD so it will be different for us!:wub:


So, for the trip. I think it will take one day just to get there and then one whole day to get back. Other than that, we have almost two weeks in Russia. Anyways, for the trip, we will be dancing with the Mussorgsky Ballet Company taking technique, pas de deux, variation and character classes. All of which are taught in the Russian method on raked floor studios!:S Technique and pas de deux classes will be taught by the Artistic Director of the Company, and a principal from the Kirov,(we don't know yet who,) will be teaching pas de deux. We don't know who will be teaching the other classes. The coolest thing is the PAS DE DEUX!!! I have never done pas de deux before and this is the perfect oppourtunity because we will be partnering with men from the Mussorgsky Ballet Company, most of whom are graduates from the Vagonova Academy's Imperial School. Note: I'm just rephrasing our trip outline here laugh:) Anyways, so everyday from 9:00-12:30 we will take those classes, and then we go on a sightseeing tour and in the evening see a ballet production from the company. It's the same schedule everyday. Most of the people in the program will be speaking Russian so we will have a translator with us most of the time. Finally, we have to bring either a solo, duet, trio or group dance to perform at their Dance Extravaganza to represent Canada. So we would bring some modern, jazz and ballet pieces to show how we dance;).


The whole reason we are going is because Alberta has connections with the Vagonova Society in Russia and they have gone before for this spring trip. My teacher went when they did and she has been invited this year to bring students along with her, only 5 from our studio and the rest from Alberta. Hope that explains everything! Feel free to post more info and such. Thank you:)

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Guest Firebird3000

Hi Phoenix Tutu.


I'm from Alberta and I've had friends go on this trip. I'm also been asked to come as I'm a member of the Vagonava Society and have done the summer school where the 4 males, an ex-prima ballerina and the artistic director have come from Russia and taught us. I'm not sure if I'm going yet but I might. Anyway if you have any questions about the program feel free to PM me. Also if your not from Alberta where are you from?

Alex :wub:

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