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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Classical or Modern?


coffeeguy

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Hi! I'm 30 years old and have no ballet experience. Since both classical and modern ballet lessons seem interesting, what would you recommend I begin with? Is one more difficult than the other?

 

Thanks and kind regards,

CG

Edited by coffeeguy
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Welcome CoffeeGuy! :thumbsup:

 

I think it is really a matter of preference - I prefer classical - recommend you try both and choose one to start with.

 

Have fun!

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I think ballet is more difficult, and it's the place to start.

 

Others with more knowledge are welcome to correct me if I'm wrong, but I think most dance forms, certainly including modern dance, are based on ballet training. It's much easier to go into modern dance from a classical background, than to do the reverse.

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Modern dance and ballet are equally difficult, in my opinion, but many people find certain kinds of modern dance to be a little more body-friendly, as the lines are not as strict and idealised as in ballet. Of course, this depends on which technique one is learning, as unlike ballet, there is more than one modern dance technique. Graham, Cunningham, Taylor, Humphrey, and Limon are examples. My experience is with Graham, in which the movements are very formal and stylised.

 

A good modern dance teacher will be just as strict about pointed/flexed feet, correct posture, hand/arm positions and movements, &c., as a ballet teacher, and whichever form of dance you choose, finding a good teacher is paramount.

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Try out both and see what you like best. In case of modern, I recommend that you familiarize yourself with different style (maybe on youtube), and then try it out--obviously depending what is offered in your area.

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A basic beginner ballet class will focus on classical technique, there is no beginner modern ballet to the best of my knowledge. There are beginner modern dance classes, and you should try them as well. Jazz, Hip Hop, and Tap offer additional areas to explore.

 

As an adult, you'll have to work with your schedule and what classes are available.

 

Modern and Classical ballet are very different forms of dance, but the vocabulary is the same. I recommend taking a beginner ballet class just to get the vocabulary down. There are some movements and positions in modern that are not given in ballet, but over 80% of them are.

 

Best of luck!

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It's not clear whether the original poster is asking about modern dance vs classical dance (i.e. ballet). Or whether the question is "modern ballet" vs. "classical ballet," whatever that might mean. I assume the former.

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Out of curiosity, what is 'modern ballet'? I have heard that term (as 'ballet moderne') applied to choreography before, but not as a separate type of dance in which one could take lessons.

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I have only heard of ballet for modern (US) or contemporary (UK) dancers...

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I agree that there is no one best choice in general and that it really depends on a person’s preference. I always believe in trying different things just to see what you like. In things like dance, I do believe that students tend to gravitate toward teachers they like regardless of style.

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Hi, thanks for all the replies! Davidg, you're right, I meant modern dance; I thought it was also called modern ballet...guess not. I think I'll first take classical ballet lessons and after that... who knows?

Edited by coffeeguy
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Modern dance has been referred to as ballet, at least in the past. Martha Graham would regularly choreograph new "ballets." Aaron Copland wrote a "ballet score" for Martha Graham.

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That's not quite the same thing. Graham might have referred to works she choreographed as ballets, but she never would have spoken that way about her technique.

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