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Ballet Talk for Dancers

choreographer's etiquette


tu2mama

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Last night my daughter came home from the studio in tears, very upset. They have been practicing a dance for their end of the year show and suddenly she and another girl were told to sit down and understudy. This dance has partnering and their partners have either bailed out or not shown up. This was totally unexpected and I think that the shock of being told to sit out in front of everyone is what upset her the most. This is a small recreational studio and usually everyone is included in some way or another in their big pieces and she was specifially asked to be in this one. When she choreographs she tries to be fair so this went entirely against her grain. She has been at the brink of giving up and this may push her over the edge. Does this situation sound unfair? I could understand if it was in a professional setting but it's not.

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DancesInHerSleep

Ok, my daugher is 10, and we're still new compared to most of you, but I thought the goal of a "school show" or "school recital" was to allow the ENTIRE school to participate.

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tu2mama, did your daughter speak with the choreographer/teacher afterwards? The fact that the partners didn't show up or have quit, does make it rather impossible for your daughter and the other female dancer to continue in their parts "as is" - but perhaps there are some changes in store? I can imagine the teacher/choreographer was pretty upset herself if they've been working on this all along. I think your daughter needs to find out what the story is. :jawdrop: Let's hope that there's another plan in the works. Perhaps the piece needs to be reworked?

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Victoria Leigh

Good thought, BW. I can't imagine taking a dancer out of a piece for that reason, unless the dancer has several other things to do. Usually there are roles in the ballet that do not involve the partnering so that the dancer could still be in the piece. If there were not, I would certainly create something. The only reason to take a dancer out of a piece, IMO, would be if the dancer was just unable to execute the choreography or had missed too many rehearsals and was not up to par in the work.

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DancesInHerSleep

It's too bad these girls might not be able to participate because of something outside of their control. Our school requires parents to submit in writing whether a student will be participating in the school show, and if so, we acknowledge our responsbility to get them to all rehearsals, except for those that would be normally excused....illness etc. Do other schools do this?

 

We have to pay a fee too, and I will admit that most of us grumble at having to pay to allow our kids to participate!!

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Thanks for all of your opinions. I was puzzled by this because it's the first time something like this has happened in all my daughter' s years of dancing. I'm hoping that when she gets over the shock and pain of it all she'll confront this choreographer. I thought that he was just rude and unprofessional to spring this unannounced in front of the whole group. He even made a cmment later in the rehearsal that he felt bad vibes from the group. Who'd a thunk it? My daughter and the others involved are not bad dancers or have missed rehearsals or anything like that. Also the purchase of a costume for the participation of about two minutes of the dance at what I consider the last minute is involved. I'm sure it will be resolved soon.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just a little update on the situation. The choreographer added the partnerless girls into more of the dance after one of the guys talked to him. Her AD choreographed a dance with three of the girls without partners but said that it had nothing to do with the other dance. They do try to be fair and include everyone at this studio and I guess this choreographer coming from elsewhere did not know their philosopy. This is one of the few dance studios in town that "keeps" it's dancers into their teens and adulthood. :)

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