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Upcoming trip to NYC


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I've searched for info on these topics, but either didn't find anything or didn't really find what I was looking for, so here it goes!


One of my professors highly recommended taking a few ballet classes with Zvi Gotheiner while in NYC 12/28 through 1/7. His class schedule is listed on his website, but I'm confused about the City Center thing. Would it be at Ballet Arts? It's not on their site but I can't find any other info!






Another thing that really has me worried about jumping into classes is the whole "level" thing. As someone who's only been dancing for 4 years this January (started at 19), I just don't catch on as quickly as all of you real dancers out there. Understanding and doing are two completely different things for me, especially when it comes to allegro. My adagio, however, is my strongest point - big, big fan of lines, control, et cetera! When Malcolm Burn (Richmond Ballet) gave us an Intermediate-level master class, it was a huge but great challenge and everything was do-able but grande allegro. Partial exhaustion, partial failure of the brain to connect with my limbs.


Basically... I don't want to get totally lost, but I'm up for an "inspirational" challenge.


What are the general rules to fly by for levels?


Floor Barre and Adv. Beginning Ballet with Emilietta Ettlin at STEPS - still as highly recommended as it was a few years ago?


Is arriving half an hour early for a class good, or should I be there earlier?


And catching a performance at NYCB with a non-dancer and someone who's seen & dabbled in dance - Jewels, Dance for Joy, or Romeo + Juliet??




Wow I feel like a total newbie. Again. :D



PS - I've been trying to post this for a while with no success, so sorry if a bunch randomly show up!



Merry Christmas!

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There are a number of different studios at City Center. Ballet Arts is on the 6th Floor. ZviDance is probably on another floor. Your best bet is to call.


It is hard to know what level is most appropriate. It often depends on the teacher, the technique they teach, and whether or not it is a technique you are familiar with, and who shows up for class. I tend to get a bit stressed myself in a new class so if I'm worried, I generally aim a bit lower and see how it goes. You can always take the higher level next time.


I would arrive as early as you feel you need in order to change and warm up. If it is your first class in a new studio make sure you leave yourself time to register, find the dressing room and the proper studio. Always better to be too early than late.


Good luck and enjoy your visit to NYC!

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Kenny Larson teaches around NYC, he gives great corrections.










Are all great studios.

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In my experience of NYC ballet classes as a visitor, rather than a regular, I've found Advanced Beginner to be fine. I've seen beginners and quite advanced (fairly fully trained) dancers in them. You can often adjust to suit your own knowledge, and to be honest, most NYC classes are so crowded that if you stepped out of grande allegro no-one would notice ... although it's not good student behaviour, really.


I would also recommend Ms Kathryn Sullivan's Beginner's class at Steps. I'm not a beginner, but I found this a class which placed and aligned me wonderfully & gave me lots to work on at the barre. At the centre, less so - that was where the "beginner" level kicked in, in that the combinations were extremely simple in both the range of steps and ways of putting them together. But I still learned from it!


Here are some threads to help: You can probably find more if you use the Search function.


Good Teacher in New York


NYC Class level explanations


Looking for info on classes in NYC

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City Center is a venue in the business of renting out studio and stage space. Ballet Arts is a school that's a long-time tenant of City Center. Zvi Gothier teaches on the fifth floor. His class could be termed "ballet for modern dancers," and a significant portion of his following is modern dancers. I believe that Marcus Schulkind of Greene Street Studios (Cambridge, MA) was somehow (artistically) related to Gothier.


It's not for everyone, and certainly not for me. However, I've seen people he trained who looked great.


For someone visiting NYC, I would recommend taking from the most distinctively unusual teachers. These are not necessarily the teachers you would want to study from over the long term (depending on who you are), but rather the teachers who you will find only in New York. I've taken class from many teachers in NYC, but I would only put a few on the "outlier" list:


* Willie Burmann: all barre exercises are really fast. (STEPS)

* Kat Wildish: super-enthusiastic, mostly her personality is what's unusual. (http://katwildish.com)

* Zvi Gothier: "Ballet for modern dancers" (http://www.zvidance.com/)

* Nadine Revene: One of the few really best teachers I've ever met. She does many things subtly different, starting with double-slow demi plies, barre work in third position, arms held behind the back at times, etc. Works to avoid excessive weight shifts. I did study long-term with her, and it was beneficial. With pointe. (http://balart.com/class_schedule.htm)

* Emilietta Ettlin: Quite a personality. Has a technique for changing weight that involves staying over the ###### of the foot and shifting the hips from side to side. Also developed a unique floor barre. Either you love her class or you hate it. (STEPS).

* Johan Renvall: Was brilliant as a dancer with ABT. Most of the barre is in first position. Technique for changing weight involves avoiding shifting of the hips, which puts weight on the heels. Loves to teach, essentially, a two-hour men's class. Many young men like to take it. You will never find a physically more demanding class than this. Women are welcome too, and some dare rise to the challenge. In the end, you either love this guy's class or you hate it, but Mr. Renvall himself is more universally loveable. (http://balart.com/class_schedule.htm)



If I were to choose between the three NYCB programs specified, I would see Jewels. It not only had great historic significance, it has stood the test of time. Balanchine is considered the greatest choreographer so far to have worked for NYCB. I would least want to see R&J: there is nothing in NYCB's heritage that would make that production unique, and the choreographer has had a long luke-warm reception. I would put "Dance for Joy" in the middle --- probably fun to watch, but not necessarily memorable.

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