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Ballet Talk for Dancers

RDA adjudications

Kathleen Sinclair

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The costs I was referring to previously are the RDA "kit" fees. The year the AD and I went as observers, the entire cost of the festival: kit, meals, hotel, performance tickets, and transportation were incorporated into one fee, and it was a fantastic bargain. Unfortunately, not having any idea that it wasn't such a bargain every year, that's partly how the idea was sold to the rest of the company families, so I was a little chagrined when we joined the following year and discovered that the trip was going to cost a bit more. Our first year, the kit price wasn't too bad, and though the parents grumbled a little when it went up again the following year, it was a nominal increase and didn't stop anyone from participating. This year, in a location that we thought would be cheaper, the kit price more than doubled. Almost a 150% increase.

Our fundraising had not anticipated that kind of increase, so the Guild does not have enough money to cover the dancer's kits. As a result, many of the parents are declining to come and/or pay the observer fee. This has caused problems because now we're having to make sure we have enough chaperones for the girls, which has never been an issue in the past. Plus, everyone agrees that it's not fair for just a few moms to have to do all the chaperoning just because they were willing to pay the observer fee, so the parents who are not going have offered to pay a "chaperone fee" to help defray the costs of the observer kits for the moms who are observing/chaperoning. While this helps a little on the issue of cost, it really doesn't help spread the burden of the work among different chaperones. We asked if the company could buy one observer kit and then share the badge or bracelet among different chaperones and were told No.


So anyway, when the parents were already grumbling over costs, to be shut out of the adjudication after the amount of work they'd put into it, only served to rub salt in the wound. It's hard to believe the AD could be so oblivious to the feelings of the parents, but you just never know with these artistic types! :)

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Kathleen Sinclair

Many regions are in the middle or just finishing up their RDA adjudication (my company's adjudication is next Monday and we are busily preparing!). I encourage ADs, dancers and parents to share their adjudication experience here.....

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Victoria Leigh

I did not submit a piece for adjudication, however at one of the schools I had helped with the rehearsals for the classical piece, as well as taught the adjudication class. I was there for the performance of the pieces and the notes afterward, and I just want to say that I was very impressed with our adjudicator this year. He had excellent notes for the dancers and the choreographers, and he even worked with them in terms of putting his notes into practice right there and then. His technical corrections were spot on, and he had a really positive manner with the dancers. He had some very good ideas for the choreographers, and allowed them to try some things for him to see if they worked or not. I was most amazed at how much he was able to discern about all 4 pieces, understood them, had very thorough notes for each of them, and really helpful suggestions to make them work better. :)

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Dd's group also had the same experience with their Adjudicator this past weekend as Ms. Leigh. DD said the notes he gave after were the same type that their AD would have given them. Very professional. The adjudication was not at our home studio which was a little nerve wracking and we had some primary dancers sick and one out 3 days before adjudication so it was a bit stressful but at least there were some understudy's who jumped in and antibiotics (and ample amounts of kleenex) for the rest. They did allow a limited number of parents to observe the performances then we filed out when he gave notes. Now the wait.... our past adjudications were later in the tour.. so the wait is longer.

Almost seems abnormal to be in a "serenity now" mode.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Temps de cuisse

Anyone have their results? We are anxiously awaiting and should hear sometime late this week.

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Nope. I our region, our adjudication was during the first weekend. Having said that, we knew we would have to wait to hear anything until almost the end of March. I hope to soon find out what the different themed party nights will be though! :blushing:

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Well, you know what happens: say something is going to happen a certain way, and it almost certainly doesn't! :P

We actually found out our results this week for our adjudication. We will be on Gala night! The piece the adjudicator picked is a beautiful, high energy pointe piece, and we are all so thrilled!!! :thumbsup: I have to say, the adjudicator was extremely fast with the decision.

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We have our results and of the five pieces entered I feel like the dullest one was selected! And it is going to be on festival night, whereas we have usually been on gala night in the past. But that's ok. I am just really really surprised that the other works we submitted were passed over for the one that was selected, but I am not a dancer or a teacher -I am just an observer.

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Count me as one of those not thrilled by the adjudicator's choice, although we consoled ourselves that while she didn't pick our favorite, she at least did not pick our least favorite either, but came down in the middle. We were happy that our emerging piece was included however, as everyone likes that one. As far as what night we perform, we again fell in the middle, but it doesn't seem to me that the night the company performs has as big a significance in the Pacific region as in other regions. In our three years in RDA we now have performed on each of the three nights of the festival. I don't know if that's just "luck of the draw" or if the Pacific region makes a conscious effort to spread it around. I also like how this year, rather than having all the emerging pieces in one performance, separate from the regular performances, the emerging pieces will be the first half of the show each night, with the company's regular piece in the second half. That spreads the emerging pieces out (which are always fun to watch) while the company dancers only have to worry about one show, rather than two.

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  • 2 months later...

RDA/Pacific spreads out the pieces over the three nights of performance (or at least, did for the last couple of years that I danced - and I'm assuming they continue with this practice). The performance nights used to be progressive, with the strongest performances and/or companies performing on the last night (gala). But a few years back, this practice was changed - essentially, any company could perform on any night. I think (based on what my then-director told us) the change was made partly because some companies and/or students felt slighted that they were *always* on the first night. It actually was a good change for honor companies (as our company was) because we frequently missed great pieces from other honor companies (since we were always on the same night).


Either way, the adjudicators try to put together interesting programs for each night and do take into consideration the pieces from other companies when selecting which piece will be performed, so a company's "best" piece may or may not be chosen.


I learned not to hope one piece would get picked instead of another, because frequently I'd be disappointed :) Sometimes there was a piece I really wanted to perform at festival, other times there was a piece that I *really* did not want to perform again. At the end of the day, though, getting to perform was an honor in itself. In my 14 years in attending festival, I was in the chosen adjudicated piece 13 times (the one time I wasn't in the chosen adjudicated piece, I was in the two selected emerging pieces so I still got to perform). I was very lucky - some of my fellow dancers were in the unchosen pieces and never got the opportunity to perform at festival.

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  • 1 year later...

At our studio, company auditions are held in late May. Then, we set our choreography in the summer during our summer program. The pieces are rehearsed minimally during the fall when we are rehearsing and preparing for the Nutcracker. In January, the pieces to be adjudicated are run and cleaned up. It really is a much easier process and certainly less stressful.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I know this is waaaay late but our adjudication went great! It was pretty crazy for me though, I was in all three pieces that were being adjudicated. I got put in the third a week before too because another dancer got injured, shes better now (:

I was the soloist for one of the dances (Vivaldi Concerto-the piece that went) And after we performed Jill Bahr pulled me in the room with my directors and the other dancers that weren't in any of the pieces and asked me about how much I wanted for that piece to go to festival and if I loved to dance...of couse I said yes because dance is my passion <3

My solo piece ended up going, and it was such a great expericance up in Montreal, got to see a lot of great pieces and companies in class and rehearsal and performance (:

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