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ADC August sessions

2 Left Feet

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Okay, for those of us who couldn't attend either of the August sessions, we want reports, details and photos please! How come no one from August has posted anything? :wacko:

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Hmm, the August groups seem to be a shy crowd. :wacko:


I was in the second August group, and got to put some faces to online names. I met lots of nice, cool people, and it was really nice to be able to dance with them. I really enjoyed the week, and started missing it as soon as I got home, especially when I looked at the pictures from the June session. It was easy passing time on the 9-hour trip back home going over the choreography so I could show classmates here what I did (and perhaps even find a willing victim ... ummm ... partner for the pas pieces).


The works we learned include: the peasant pas de deux from Giselle (men's 1/2 variation, and pas 1/2), Ashton's Birthday Offering (men's 3/4 variation, and pas 3/4), a Balanchine choreography for Raymonda (men's 3/4 variation, and the level 3/4 repertory piece), the Lilac Fairy from Sleeping Beauty (women's 3/4 variation), the opening of Coppelia (women's 1/2 variation), and the Grand Valse from Raymonda (level 1 rep). I may be forgetting something in there.


We had about 45 students and 8 men, which was considered a big turnout for guys. Our teachers were really good, and especially patient and helpful. On Friday night, we got the second floor ballroom of the Crowne Plaza hotel, and with music provided by an artfully removed CD player/alarm clock from a hotel room, we had enough room to rehearse two pieces simultaneously. One of our wonderful teachers, who was brought in by the Boston mafia (how many people from Boston Ballet were there?), and staying in the hotel with us, helped us with the various pieces, and even sung us the music to dance to when the particular recordings weren't available. It was an incongrous scene for a late Friday night: a couple of half-eaten pizzas (the pizza delivery guy said he didn't know ballet dancers ate pizza), and a couple of hay bales around the otherwise empty room (I don't know why there were hay bales), a little radio alarm CD player straining to play the music so it could be heard over the entire room, and lots of people waving their arms, running around dancing. Every so often the crystal chandeliers would shiver and make tinkling noises as trains rolled by the hotel --- it felt like home in a California earthquake.


I think the most impressive thing I learned during the week was how hard a dancer's life is. If I had any aspiration to be a professional dancer, this week would have convinced me otherwise. It may be interesting if the boards of ballet companies were made to take ballet camp so they know what their dancers are going through. The technique classes were actually OK on my body, but it was the rehearsals that were really hard, probably because we were repeating the same movements many times over. I also learned to absorb new choreography more quickly, which came in handy today when I took my regular technique class back home, and the usually long, fast, and somewhat complicated petite allegro combo was quickly remembered (if not executed with much elan).


We even had a little drama during the week as an important dancer was injured in the middle of the week, and the piece had to be restaged after we had been rehearsing it for about two days (you know who you are --- hope your foot heals quickly!). That definitely made you learn new stuff and adapt to change quickly.


I hope other people will chime in, and write about either August session. It was really great to meet all of you, and I hope we'll all see each other again next year!



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OH, I envy you so much~!!! I do hope I would be able to go to ADC some day. Learning the excerpts from all those famous ballets will be just a dream come true!! :)

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It was an incongrous scene for a late Friday night:  a couple of half-eaten pizzas (the pizza delivery guy said he didn't know ballet dancers ate pizza), and a couple of hay bales around the otherwise empty room (I don't know why there were hay bales)

Maybe they thought you'd be staging a barn dance. :)


Seriously, thanks for vicarious memories. Since I missed this summer, I've been especially anxious to read anything and everything about this year's ADC sessions.

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Yeah, same here! At first I dreaded reading August posts, I was sooooo jealous of you campers after I had to cancel. I thought reading about it would make me feel worse. But I am now over my pettiness and am focusing on next year and I would love to hear how everything went! Who taught what level, how did character and jazz go, how many attended the first August session---as many as last year?

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I heard the first August session had something like 60 or 70 people with 5 levels, and only 3 or 4 guys, so partnering was a bit hectic.


For the second August session teachers, we had Danile (level 1 mostly), Leslie (level 1 and others, along with character and Pilates), Tristi (level 3 and 4), Kathy (many different levels), Heidi (who was busy with the administrative stuff, but taught the level 1 warmup and a stretch class), Amy (Pilates, and level 3 and 4?), and Chris (mostly 3 and 4, along with men's technique). I didn't take the jazz classes because they conflicted with the men's classes, but character was a lot of fun. A modern class was taught by Judy. We also had open classes at the end of Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. There were a couple days of modern (taught by Starr Foster), and a couple days of level 3/4 ballet (Amy and Chris).


This was Chris's first time teaching at ADC, which he was interested in after seeing a camp video from the previous year (via one of our members here). He teaches at Boston Ballet's school, and was trained at the Royal Ballet's school. He used to dance with Sylvie Guillem's company, and we got to see lots of video footage of Sylvie's amazing dancing from a British documentary on her, along with some really interesting (and mind-blowing) Royal Ballet and Boston Ballet dancing. Similar to how some snowbound cultures have 42 ways of saying "snow", Chris could summarize his criticisms with at least 42 inflections of "Not bad." :thumbsup:



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The second Aug was the best I ever attended. I personally did not feel I made any major improvements like I did in previous years, but I think that is more to old age and my technique plateauing.


Andre, I saw much improvement over the week from you. Keep up the good work.



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Hey all - de-lurking here...a few thoughts on the second August session:

Yeah, Andre, Chris was pretty funny - once he actually said, "Bloody hell" and I was like, wow, I thought they only said that in the movies. Also your summary of the Friday night rehearsal/pizza party was hilariously accurate. I quit at 11:00 and they were still going strong (yeah, twas I who hacked the clock radio off the night stand with naught but a butter knife).

On classes - I thought Jazz rocked, but then I suspect I have more jazz background than other dancers there. It was a very Luigi/Giordano clean line kinda thing. Which is awesome for first time jazzers because the placement is very precise. And which I promptly ignored and grooved as I felt. Um, Tristi freaked myself and my friend out both in the placement class ("We need to go down six levels!!") and in the variation ("Is this actually doable??") but needless to say we managed. Danile was absolutely wonderful both in technique and in pointe.

Character for me was weird - it seemed a bit hurried, especially the barre, and I worried a bit in my heels.

I think everyone agrees, as I have read here before, that partnering was the most fun and we wish it could start earlier in the week...did anyone else in 3/4 have trouble counting the music? Or am I the only clutz? My partner was pretty squared away and I'm pretty sure he wanted to bop me over the head a few times. Luckily he restrained himself.

This was my first time out and it was better than I expected. We are already talking about next year. Everyone was super nice and we made a lot of new friends. If anyone has pictures, please post them!


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HI everyone- I went to the 2nd August session and I really enjoyed it ( despite the lack of sleep and Zoloft hangovers ). The people there were really nice - Mike, I promise to send you some of the professional pictures we had taken 3 years ago, and Marybeth-you are not the only one who had trouble counting the music to the pas de deux- I heard from two people it was not music you can really count to- you hve to go with the cadences and inflections - one was Chris who I mentioned it to after the performance and he said he never counted it, he just went by the melody and my friend's husband, who was a concert pianist ( I went out to dinner with them Friday night and told him that I would probably not be on the music for that one). He came to the performance and said it wasn't the type of music you can count. He was , however impressed by the performances! i was a little bummed out becasue i couldn't practice that much Friday night, but I got home around 10 and at least did a little. It was REALLY nice of Chris to help us like that!

I thought the character was a little bit much , too- I prefer Danile's character class- she does more basic stuff and teaches us specific types of dances- Polish, Hungarian, Russian etc. In any case , I culdn't do much anyway becasue of my foot.

I don't have that many pictures, but I will try to have Jim( my fiance who comes with me every year) scan them so I can either post them or send them out. And he took some videos of the 3 pointe class and 3-4 partnering and if anyone is interested, I'll send you a copy as soon as I can bear to part with them long enough for me to give them to my boss to copy. (Marybeth, you are already on my list) Mike, there is a little of the men's variation that you did in the classroom.

I have to say I really had fun partnering with Lucas - he made me laugh a lot even tho I was worried about the balancing, And Helen was incredible.

David- were you my Salsa partner at the dinner Saturday night?

Love, Janice

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Hi Janice,


Yes, I believe I was your salsa partner at the Saturday night dinner. In that case, like all my other partners of that week, I owe you a debt of gratitude for putting up with me. :D



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I just saw on the news parts of the Shockoe Bottom area have been condemned after yesterdays storms flooded the area with 10 feet of water. Some of the places we've eaten at in the past were in the news clips. I could see Havana 59 and the Bookstore/Cafe Place (Can't remember the name) on the Richmond NBC affiliates website. I hope all our friends in Richmond are all right.

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Oooh, Janice!!

Thank you ever so much!! That's absolutely wonderful you have videos to see already....I must admit I am both eagerly anticipating, and dreading, the arrival of the official DVD. I just can't bear to see myself on video. I always think it feels so pretty while I'm dancing, but then I go back and see what I actually did, and it's a crushing blow. I've really gotta learn not to let reality interfere with my delusions anymore! :wink:

All in all, girls, I have to say we were a lucky, lucky bunch as far as the partnering went -what a patient, tolerant group of gents we had!! I'd dance with any of them anytime!! (Even little Austin Half-a-head, bless his heartl!)

Thanks again, Janice - Maryann and I would be just thrilled to take a peek at your video! We owe you one!!


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You look REALLY good in the video Jimmy took - in fact I meant to tell you all during the camp that you have a really beautiful and strong upper body and you use you arms and epaulment really well. He got some nice shots of you onpointe and even got the part where Danile said " very good, Marybeth!!!!"

I was really upset at what I did, especially in the performance. I feel like I single handedly screwed up the reperatory (I actually did a balance turn when we were supposed to be doing the saute glissade jete in the end- I have no idea where that came from!") I wish I could get a hold of Kathy and apologize!

ANd I did an extradevelope soutenou?) in the end of the variation- I think I was so concerned about finding my spot on the floor that I forgot what I was doing!

Oh well.

Love, Janice

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