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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Character at the barre


tutumonkey

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At DD's summer school they are doing their character dance at the barre. She's never encountered this before and is wondering why (me too). The ballet style is Cechetti based, is this something from the syllabus or just a different way of teaching character? Tutumonkey

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When DS did character last year, they did it after the regular technique class. But at the beginning of the character class they went to the bar and did specific movements for maybe 15 minutes or so before moving to the center. I assumed this was for warm-up since different shoes were being worn, therefore different muscles being used. They also did a lot of things with the foot flexed upwards, again, I assume(d) for warmup.

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tutumonkey - my DS has always done character at barre - different warmup, especially the feet as Cheetah mentioned - this is normal, at least at Canadian schools. He's studied both Cecchetti curriculum and Vaganova-based. He has always had a separate character class as well.

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My daughter studies Vaganova and character has been at the barre. (two different schools)

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At the Kirov Academy, we always started character class at the barre before moving to the center. In fact, come to think of it, I've never had a character class start in the center. :blink:

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My daughter did character barre before centre at NBS. The RAD character excercises are all in the centre, (at least in the children's grades) but are usually done at the end of the regular ballet class.

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Thanks for the info. DD is taking the RAD syllabus during the year and the SI teaches a different method, so that explains it. Character is dropped after Gr 5 and she hasn't had it for a while. Tutumonkey :blink:

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At dd's home intensive there was an informal "show and tell" at the end of the week and the guest character teacher brought the bar out, which I thought was weird. Some of the levels then proceeded to do character at the bar and go through the "different countries". It was so cool to see all the varieties of character dancing. There is so much history to it, isn't there? They then did a little character in center, also. It was fun to be "taken through a class" so to speak.

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I observed this at DD's SI and was a bit surprised but it made complete sense when I saw them work. With a bit of stability, they're not worrying about balance when they need to focus on the new techniques that bit of drama that is needed to pull off the "character" aspects of this dance form. (Well, at least my DD's experience.)

Then they did go to center in a bit.

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Character barre is fun. I enjoy it a lot, but just FYI, there is no character work per se in Cecchetti. If the teacher has the skills, s/he adds it as an adjunct class.

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If I remember correctly, his classes are not called character per se, but "National" - don't know if he has a separate class or not this year and I don't think he's examined on this style - will have to check with him. Major Mel - as an aside, at DS's SI with Ballet Adriatico in Italy this summer, members of the Cecchetti family joined the dance group for a discussion.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest DelBocaVista

My DD has a seperate character class at her school and it always starts with barre work and then goes on to center work. The character class follows a regular 1.5 hour ballet technique class. Character is taught by an instructor whose specialty is character.

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My daughter has done RAD for four years and and always had character in centre, until she reached the vocational level where character is dropped. Now she is taking Cecchetti and "character" has been replaced by "Spanish". I believe it is also in centre.

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