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Ballet Talk for Dancers

RDA National Festival


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When I attended the first national festival (in 1997), I was a senior in high school. It was held in June that year (Pacific region is usually during May, right around the time of AP tests) - I think I missed school from Tuesday to Monday. Our return flight arrived back home at 11:30pm Monday and then the next day, I had to go to school to take two final exams and make up another final (I mentioned this in my previous post).


So I didn't have much homework to do, since it was near the end of the school year, but I think it is possible to get the schoolwork done... though there are classes during the day and (back then) two performances to watch each day, there was also plenty of downtime. Maybe because most of the classes were held in the hotel, which meant little travel time was needed. I remember going to the underground mall (or whatever that thing was called) and going to McDonald's several times (I know, not healthy).


Dancers should try to get the homework and classwork ahead of time, so they can do it over a few weeks, rather than right before or after festival. Maybe see if the teachers would be willing to give stuff further in advance - I don't know about high schools but in college courses, the homework assignments are usually already planned out by professors at the beginning of class and they are listed on the course syllabus.


One of the pieces our studio is adjudicating has a lot of people (23 girls and 4 guys) - most who are in high school. A few are homeschooled so they don't have to worry so much about the classwork.


By the way, I was just about to ask if there was a tentative schedule for festival, such as when the dinner slot would be (since there's no official festival dinner). I just looked on the site to purchase tickets to the performances and the performances are listed for 7pm. So I suppose the dancers will have some down time around 5pm or 6pm to get something to eat? Also, is there only 1 performance per day - so 1 performance per region? Back in '97, there were 2 performances per day (2 per region). Can't quite remember but I think one performance was in the early afternoon (2pm) and the 2nd one was in the evening. Anyone know what region will be performing on what night? Have they released this info?

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  • Temps de cuisse


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Temps de cuisse


The schedule is being worked on but I know the last class of the day (not including scholarship auditions) ends at 4pm. So there will be time to unwind and prepare for performance. This time around all performances will be integrated...meaning all regions represented all nights with the Saturday performance being a true "gala" featuring the best of the best from all the regions.

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Victoria Leigh

Temps de cuisse, do you know who the ballet teachers will be?

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Temps de cuisse

What I know so far....

John Magnus, Judy Rice, Laura Alonso, Dennis and Margery Marshall, Virginia Johnson, Steven Spear, Debra Dawn, and three of the adjudicators, Jeffrey Bullock, Deborah Hadley and Leslie Crockett. There are a few more to be confirmed.

There will also be modern and jazz classes.

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I know that my dd's southern company is coming, but I don't know how many girls they are bringing. They have been rehearsing a number of pieces from different choreographers. There are some kids who could not make the trip because of expense and/or the time away from school, but my dd is really looking forward to it. We couldn't have managed her dance stuff and education even when she was at home without homeschooling and graduating early.


Can anyone explain how the pre-arrival ajudication works? Ny dd's not too clear on her end and I'm 1000 miles away from her and am trying to figure it out. She is working on a student choreography piece that will be presented in February for possible presentation in Pittsburgh or maybe just to get seen? She is just thrilled to be getting the chance to choreograph at all, but is not sure if they allow student works at RDA. We're new at all this and had never heard of RDA or any of it before she moved south. I took on some extra work to help her pay for the fees and plane to fly up, we wanted to make sure that she took full advantage of the opportunities that her new ventures in ballet can offer.


One more question...Is it possible for parents to visit and see some of the performances? Is there a cost? Who would I contact? It 12 hours closer for us to drive to Pittsburgh to see dd dance than it is to visit her in the south! Thank You!

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The adjudication process involves the adjudicator coming on site to view the pieces and determining which will fit into the programming and are of the quality she is desiring in her shows. Some pieces will not get picked although they are worked up and performed at home, that is


There is sometimes student choreography, it is called Emerging Choreography and there is a night reserved for it. It is not students alone in that category, it is for anyone who is not known as a choreographer outside their own school realm to get works shown. Each company usually gets at least 1 piece to show, those companies will really good works will get to show more. With Nationals I"m sure the picking will be more stringent since they will be showing the best works from around the country. I'm not sure if every company is really guaranteed a piece at Nationals like in the regions.


Parents can go, there are some performances that are open to the public (for a fee) and others closed to participants only. You can buy a "kit" so that you can see all performances and some classes. You should buy your kit through the school where your daughter is. Or you can contact RDA but I think they will send you to your school.

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Temps de cuisse

Momof3darlings is correct about the Emerging Choreography although each region has different rules on this for a regional festival. At National Festival no emerging works will be performed due to time constraints (over 85 companies will be performing regular works over 5 nights). Adjudicators this year will choose one emerging work from each of the five regions as the "best" and that choreographer will receive a scholarship to RDA's summer program, Craft of Choreography.


At National Festival all performance are open. Parents can buy complete observer kits through their company or on their own. Observer kits can be one day or the entire festival. Kits bought through their company will cost less than if purchased separately on line. A full observer kit includes entrance to all classes, seminars, tickets to the performances and the gala banquet. You can also buy tickets just for the performances.


Check out RDA's website for additional information.

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Temps de cuisse

Each region will be holding its own open scholarship audition as well as one for the RDA Craft of Choreography. Days for each region have not yet been assigned as far as I know but they will happen after the last class of the day.....most likely in the 4-6pm time slot.

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Temps de cuisse

Bumping this up........ I'd like to everyone who is going to chime in...then we can all meet each other in person in Pittsburgh!

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We just had our Adjudication last Sunday! Lyn C. Wiltshire (Midwest) was very pleasant and seemed to enjoy our modern piece. Hopefully it'll get in.

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My dd had her student piece ajudicated this past Monday and had favorable feedback. Do they give any other recognition to the student choreographers other than one scholarship per region? Anything like honorable mention or something? We'd be pleasantly surprised if she won something on her first try, but didn't know if there were other ways they recognized the work and creativity put into a piece.


The piece she is dancing in, choreographed by her teacher, was chosen to be performed. So, she is excited to be able to dance at RDA. Does anyone know what days include which performances? Also, we got a paper from her studio that said the Gala was on Thurs. from 10:30-midnight, but that seems awfully short. Also, the RDA website says the Gala is on Sat. My emails to RDA have not been answered, does anyone have clarification? Her father and I have hotel reservations for the whole week at this point, and will cancel any nights we do not need as soon as the schedule is available.



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Temps de cuisse


As far as I know, only one emerging work per region will be recognized. But in her company's adjudication report, there will be an evaluation of her ballet by the adjudicator. I'm sure her director will share these comments with her.


As for the performances, there will be one each evening Tues-Sat. All performances will be integrated (17-18 companies per night representing all regions). Performances will be approximately 3 hours! The Saturday night performance has been designated as the "RDA Gala" and will feature the best of the best 3 or 4 companies in each region.

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