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Demi-character ideas


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luludancer, I am not sure I understand your question. Are you looking for examples of demi-character roles?


I have moved this to the Moms and Dads forum.

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A question did occur to us among the moderators: To what purpose is this list supposed to be put? I have a hard time imagining a twelve-year-old doing anything like a fully realized Kitri or Swanilda, or even an approximate one. Demi-character roles can be tough!

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Sorry Mel! - should have explained! Here in Australia most regions have what we call "Eisteddfods" - sort of a dance competition but not commercial "competitions" like your Hall of Fame, Showstopper etc. They are always run by local dance committees (all volunteers) and are an opportunity for young dancers to perform in a theatre in a solo, duo or group situation. Although there are placings, trophies etc, generally the emphasis in judging and placing is more technique-based rather than showmanship- based, especially in the classical sections. Adjudicators are flown from other states and are usually more experienced teachers and quite often examiners. "Classical" and "Demi-character" and "National Character" are the classical sections usually offered with time limits ranging from max 2.5 mins for under 13 to around 4 mins for 18yrs. Obviously the challenge is to find a character or subject you can do justice to in this time - some people do a brief synopsis of a story whilst others may do a small event in a characters story in detail. Tiny tots often do subjects such as Miss Muffet, A Busy Bee, The Tooth Fairy etc ranging through to the oldest girls doing Juliet, Joan of Arc, Braveheart etc - not a rendition of the traditional ballets but an 'original' choreographed by the teacher. Others pick non-character like ideas such as a Wildflower in Bush Fire etc. SO....that's the way we do it here in OZ!

So what I was asking for was for ideas that would lend themselves well to classical interpretation.

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Ah, the Eisteddfod, the bardic extension of the song festival, to include all performing arts! This would be a real natural for the Choreographic Miniatures that used to be a feature of Russian "Highlights" program. Many were done by the choreographer Leonid Yakobsen and were brief highly distilled pieces of dance acting. One of my own favorites was "The Snow Maiden" based on a Russian fairy tale character, who of course, at the end, has to melt.


Marius Petipa created a little sendup of "Cinderella" in the last act of Sleeping Beauty" which has Prince Charming pursuing Cindy all over the stage with the shoe and she's not interested in trying it on! She responds to his entreaties each time by giving him a puff in the face with her bellows and blows his beret off! Eventually, they get together, and exit happily ever after. Of course, this is in the same vein as the "Red Riding Hood" "Puss in Boots and the White Cat" and the greatest demi-character pas de deux of all time "The Bluebird and the Princess Florine". Her variation is only forty-five seconds long, but it tells the story of the Princess learning how to fly by listening to her pet bluebird.

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We have demi-character in our dance festivals here in Canada as well.

There are usually a lot of gypsies, bluebirds, genies, dancing dolls, cats and clowns in this age group. Some that have done well have been more dramatic: a fawn being hunted, Helen Keller, a begar, a wicked queen. These are fun to watch, and the kids really get to use their acting abilities.

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Hi luludancer

I've seen lots of bees,cats, butterflies,bees, sailors (male and female), peasant flower sellers etc. I can't rally think of anything new to suggest. What does the teacher think would suit your daughter?

And you said


Here in Australia


so are you a Kiwi who is visiting for the eistedfodds?

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Yes Mel - you're on the right track - they usually include all the performing arts - vocal, instrumental, speech & drama and quite often highland dancing as well - it's quite a good training ground for youngsters and the performance of "age appropriate" items is generally promoted. The Ice Maiden idea is fairly popular in the middle age groups and quite often the adjudicators will make comments to the effect that there's "not a man left standing" after the older girls sections where they all tend to die or go mad!

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Guest clickhere

We went to the Highlights for a Dance festival in Canada this year. There was a Highland dance satire, Lord of the Pond, with the dancers carrying various "sportsmen's" props (fishing pole, duck call, etc) and they all wore camoflauge and rubber boots. Very imaginative (ok, funny).


The only girl about 12ish did the Little Match Girl and she died in the end. But at least she wasn't selling flowers, just matches. Dh was alarmed that she had no shoes on, athlete's foot you know. (you have to know my DH, ha ha)


One of my favorites was an 11 yr old sailor (girl). She did an awesome job.


A great group demi-character was a kentucky derby/ horse racing theme with boys and girls in 1900s attire. I was thinking Anne of Greene Gables would fit along that line (well, the clothing). Maybe Anne doing something dramatic like falling from the roof or falling in the lake. I don't know.


We saw one solo that was a country girl (think gingham) and her prop was a scarecrow. She danced around, decided she needed a partner and then used the scarecrow to dance with.


Now I'll prove how dense I am - there was one girl who came out in what looked like a large beige sack. She dance around and eventually tossed the sack aside and bingo she was a butterfly. Later my husband pointed out that the sack was a cocoon. DUH. I was just sitting there saying to myself, that thing is so ugly.


It sounds like your Eisteddfods are about the same as the Canadian Music Festivals. We don't have anything similiar in my area of the US. The competitions I heard about stateside appear much more commercial.


We look forward to next year's festival. I took DD (age 7) to watch the girls on point this year and she thrilled. (we live in a border town)


Hope you find something really original for your festival umm...Eisteddfods.

Edited by clickhere
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I recall seeing one of these festivals in Canada once, and one piece that sticks out in memory was a piece set to some Gilbert and Sullivan which was entitled "Lady Loverly's Chatter". It was about a woman talking on the telephone and the outlandish positions and emoting that went on during the conversation. It was hysterical!

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