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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Richmond here I come!!!


Chinafish

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Thank you both so much for your reviews - I am more excited than ever to go in August now!!

 

One question - where was the performance held? Upstairs in the large studio or at the theater (can't remember the name) a few blocks away?

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Hi guys, thanks so much for the info!!! If I ever make it back to the U.S.... I might just have to go!

 

A few questions - I know some of them are on the sticky, but an update would be good (I mean if the 'regular' SIs get updated yearly, then we should do the same, right?)

 

Am interested to know what the variations were. Also, what you guys thought of the levels offered? Any new thoughts on lodging, extra tips on what to take with you, etc... any updates at all? details details! :P

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Performance held at the Grace Street Theatre.

 

Details? Let me think...

 

Definitely worth it to hire a fridge at the hotel. Don't worry about hiring a microwave because there should be a few in the hospitality suite. There is a fridge in the suite as well but we had an accident with the suite.

 

Oh no not a physical accident. Just that they decided to hire out the suite to someone else during the week and they threw all our food in our suite away (or they ate it, who knows).

 

Tips of what to bring... leotards and tights. You can never bring too many. Also bring enough street clothes with you. Me and a couple of other people under estimated how many t-shirts and stuff to bring and at the end I felt like I needed some new "style" clothes to wear, only to find that there are no shops that sell clothes around. I also forgot to bring something nice to wear for the dinner after the performance and I felt totally under dressed... so be sure to bring something nice! It was also nice to see that everyone has hair. :P

 

Buffet breakfast at the hotel is not really worth it IMHO. It's better to get a shuttle to the supermarket from the hotel the night before and stock up on breakfast. You don't really want to eat too much before class anyway.

 

Lunch. It was a love and hate thing. The salads were actually very yummy but it was a very big portion. I was unusually hungry on Monday and finished the whole salad in about 5 minutes. And then it felt really heavy in Rep class... You might want to just have half your lunch and save it for breakfast the next day.

 

Variations:

 

Level 2 did a variation from Raymonda

Level 3A and 3B did the Sapphire variation from Sleeping Beauty

Level 4 did another variation from Raymonda

 

Rep:

Level 2 and 3A did a new piece choreographed by Pedro called "Joropo"

Level 3B and 4 did the waltz section from Serenade.

 

Partnering:

Level 2 and 3A did a new piece choreographed by Brandon to The American Collection

Level 3B and 4 did a new piece choreographed by Brandon to Tango Sensations: Fear

Both pieces of music found in the CD Classic Yo-Yo, track number 7 and 2 respectively.

 

Levels offered:

I was in 3A and I felt reasonably comfortable there. Not so comfortable that I was totally not working, but I could handle most of the stuff and the rest gave me a good challenge. Apparently Heidi did not open a level 1 class because by Thursday there would only be about 3 people left in that level, everyone was trying to get out of the lowest level as no one was a real beginner anyway.

 

Gosh I don't know what else I can say, do you have any other specific questions?

 

Fish

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I'll be there next session in August.

Reading your reports make me long for all the fun waiting even more. :)

Counting the days until august the 6:th

/Lars

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Extra tips:

 

I agree with Fish that the breakfast was abit overpriced and it would be worth it ordering a fridge, but that the microwave in the hospitality suite in sufficient.

 

Definitely bring an ice pack, there is a freezer at the studio and it was great to be able to quickly ice sore toes in between classes. ( I kept borrowing ice packs as I didn't bring them over)

 

If you want new pointe shoes, the organised trip to the dance-store is definitely worth it, they have good fitters, and a much larger selection of shoes than I have seen here in the UK. It also helped that Heidi would supervise the fitting, so I was very pleased with my new shoes.

 

I'd say attend as many of the extra classes as possible. I really enjoyed the other dance styles ones, and the foot class and the self care classes were really useful. The strech classes at the end of the day were a godsend for me, I hope they'll have more of them the next time I go. It is a camp with adults and as Fish said, the teachers know you're working hard and understand if you take a break in a class or just mark something.

 

When it comes to placing yourself at a level, you're going to work very hard all week. Although sometimes it is good to take classes above your comfort level to challenge yourself I think this is probably not that time. with all the other dancing it was good to have a technique class to properly centre myself in, work on the core, placement etc, and then feel confident ot move on to all the other work. Actually that was a bit of a new experience, that tecnhique and pointe class wasn't the end, but what set you up for the rest of the days dancing.

 

Also I was stressing a bit about the placement class and that it would be an audition, really it is just a class that allows YOU to see whether you think you're at the right level of work for you

 

I hadn't picked up on this so in case someone else didn't know the Crowne Plaza is just next door to the studios.

 

Write down combinations you want to remember after each class. Fish and I sat in the airport and I tried to remember our favourite combinations and failed with several.

 

I don't usually wear warm ups, but it was nice to be able to put something on over the leotard at lunch (the studios and the lunch area are airconditioned).

 

For those staying at the Crowne Plaze, they have changed their shuttle rules and now only take you within a 2 mile radius (so not to Carytown)

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Guys, thanks SO much! :)

 

How was the vegetarian food?

 

And how 'advanced' would you say the levels 3 and 4 were?

 

I want this to be clear - I don't mean advanced as in let's give you crazy combination or so (although I don't mind a challenge), but more in terms of detailed, nuanced technique.

 

How did you find the studios?

 

The crazy studios (or non-studios in Ox) make even some of the dinky ones in London seem like palaces. sigh.

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Hi Ami

 

The studios are fantastic, so light and airy and big and I really liked the floors (except that they were cleaned with brillo pads so we'd find all these tiny metal filaments on it).

 

The vegan meal was nice and, and there was quite a lot of vegetarian choices. I'm gluten intolerant so was a little stuck for choice, but Heidi worked wiht the caterer to make sure that I got a sensible choice of foods for lunch.

 

I'll have to refer to someone else on the detailed, nuanced technique question for the advanced classes, as I was also in 3A, but from what I saw from the teachers, they really knew what they were about, and within our class were very good at giving indvidual corrections based on your own level within the class.

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chinafish, can you compare to adult camp to your SI at Laban last year? :-)

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Hm. Good question DSL.

 

Both camps were obviously about dance. However Laban was much much more focused on Contemporary - the ballet classes were for people who have chosen Contemporary, and take ballet for strengthening their contemporary technique rather than for ballet itself.

 

At Laban you follow the same teacher for the whole 2 weeks for the class you have chosen. At ADC your teacher changes.

 

There wasn't so much of a "performance quality" emphasis at Laban, but at ADC it was very much a focus. This is largely due to the fact that the "sharing session" at the end of the camp was optional, and the "performance" was mostly a couple of enchainments that were done in class. On the other hand ADC has quite a few specific classes that teaches a performance piece. The use of heads, port de bras, corps work, was discussed much more in detail in ADC, which I very much enjoyed. Ballet is a performing art, afterall.

 

Laban was consisted of a bunch of teens with a few adults, where ADC was consisted of a bunch of adults with a few teens. It was a bit annoying to speak with kids at the Laban camp last year who have never earned a penny before (who can also put their legs above their heads). I felt like much more "like with like" when I was at Richmond.

 

Laban was very very big - I think definitely more than 150 people, maybe even 200, I don't quite remember, but ADC only had about 40. It was much more cohesive at Richmond, more supportive, and I really made friends at Richmond, much more than at Laban.

 

Richmond has an upside - Partnering classes!

 

This is not to say Laban is not a good programme. It was 2 weeks long so it gave me a nice break from work, and it was a lot of dancing too. The bill was also much cheaper. However I'd say if your interest is really in ballet, Laban will not give you this much depth in ballet - it was like being in a desert and only offered a shot glass worth of water. If financially you are able, I would definitely recommend Richmond over Laban.

 

Somehow I find the Americans more friendly too. (Sometimes a bit too friendly - I keep getting asked how I am when I run into any person in the lift when I wasn't really in the mood to spill out my life story.) Me and Trying felt like royalties being the only overseas people there. Also got a lot of comments about our accent. Trying was very successful in keeping her British accent but by Thursday I was speaking 50% American. :)

 

We know a few June campers are coming over to the Chelsea Ballet Camp in August. Still contemplating if I want to go... hm....

 

Fish

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That's an interesting comparison :( The teen/adult ratio is certainly an important factor

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Yo Fish (who can dive!!!)

 

What did you think of the technique levels?

 

Ami

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I've only taken the level 3A classes and as I said it was at times very challenging, but sometimes I was also quite chuffed that I could work out the combinations in my head.

 

Let me quote a few favourite enchainments:

 

Petit allegro: start en face travelling sideways

temp de cuisse glissade jete

pas de bourree pas de chat royale

(then continue in the same direction ad infinitum)

 

Waltzing pirouette: start upstage left with left foot standing in B+ croise

1 - Step out with right leg, releve develope a la seconde the left leg, with the left leg pointing downstage right (so in that step you're doing a half turn - sorry if this was clear as mud)

2 - complete the other half turn with a balance en tournant

3 and 4 - 2 x waltz turns

5 and 6 - tombe pas de bourree to 4th

7 and 8 - pirouette en dehor landing 4th

1 - swivel to tendu croise standing on the left leg (is this step called a rotation?)

2 - lunge (so you're on the right leg)

3 and 4 - pirouette en dedan, finishing tombe the left leg, with the right leg in cou-de-pied

5 and 6 - pas de bourree pique to 4th (facing downstage left croise), arm in high 3rd (or high 4th depending what school? ah well it's left arm in 5th right arm in 2nd)

7 - give the people still waiting in the line a gesture waving them to come over

8 - run off

 

Repeat on other side.

 

This was my favourite waltz enchainment :)

 

Grand allegro: start en face 5th (for example's sake right foot front)

and - brush grand jete a la seconde landing fondu on left leg, right foot in cou-de-pied

1 - develope right leg a la seconde on releve

2 to 4 - tombe pas de bourree glissade grand jete

5 - pique 1st arabesque

6 - hold

7 and 8 - step step (backwards) fouette saute (4th arabesque)

1 and 2 - step step fouette saute (1st arabesque)

3 and 4 - step step assemble en tournant

5 to 8 - tombe pas de bourree glassade pas de chat to the left

 

Does this make sense?

 

Fish

 

(Edited to correct the combination - I mixed some bits up)

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Thanks fish, that does help. And what did you think of the corrections, technical suggestions, etc?

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A lot of the corrections in technique class had to do with placement and alignment which I found incredibly helpful. I think a lot of the times it was just because it came from someone else's mouth, the same thing presented in a different way that made things just click.

 

The teachers do try to give everyone individual corrections, which I found very nice as well because not all the time in normal class that you get individual attention.

 

I loved it in variations and rep that the teachers not only gave technical corrections, but also give directions on the performance side of things - pointers on how "crossed" do you want to be, the angle of the head, the hands, it is not something you get any day in class. :o

 

Most of the week I just found it refreshing that the same thing described by someone else just gives a new perspective to things and a new light bulb gets switched on. *bing*!

 

Fish

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Thanks for the reviews and all this discussion. It has answered so many questions I had about Richmond and really made me want to go next year. I'm very jealous!

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