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Ballet choreo DVDs?


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Dear Ms. Leigh, and other Respected Forum Instructors,


Thank you again for your wonderful comments previously. My current question is regarding Ballet Instructional DVDs that particular teach a short routine, or piece. Other dance forms that I have worked with, which admittedly one might argue, involve less skill than ballet, do, however, have numerous instructional DVDs with which you can learn from a very professional (I am referring to hip-hop, for example) choreographer, a complete routine.


It is usually a dance piece of about 3 minutes or so, broken down into sections and taught in a studio setting, so you see the instructor in the mirror and from the back, as you would in a class. If there is a somewhat unusual move or step, the instructor will spend some time on the DVD breaking down that particular move and teaching its technique. The result is, learning a dance routine -- very satisfying for a student -- from a DVD, as a supplement to dance class, and to effectively use practice time for something other than repeating class material at home or working on "drills".


Some may think this is horrifying to imagine for ballet, (that you could put a ballet routine on a DVD and have anyone or everyone work on learning it but alas, I for one, find my ballet training missing something very elemental and important, not to be able to learn a short routine -- even 1 minute long or so.....). My instructor does not encourage or help adult ballet students put together pieces to perform, perform for other students, or have the satisfaction of practicing on their own, so I am asking myself -- Are there Ballet Choreo DVD's out there, and if not..........why not?


I realize the possible perils of learning a ballet choreo without a live instructor, but so much is on DVD now, why not ballet, short pieces to learn? it would be so much fun, and very educational. It would not have to be a role from a classical ballet piece at all -- a short piece that the instructor/choregrapher on the DVD has come up with --


:ermm: I've got the interest in learning...........is there a way to learn this way? (I could come up with my own but that would really set me up for failure I am afraid.) --- :dizzy: Ludmilla

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I wouldn't normally recommend trying to learn anything on your own, as it really depends on how advanced a dancer you are and how much knowledge you have. My senior girls often learn variations from youtube, for example, and come to me to polish them, but I would not allow the lower grades to do so. However, bearing in mind that you are an adult, I do have a suggestion of something you might find interesting. The RAD Higher Grades syllabi are specifically designed for the older dancer, who may not have the physical attributes that are needed to perform the Vocational grades, but who love to dance and express themselves through dance. The work encompasses a very wide range of dance vocabulary and demands a high level of musicality and an understanding of the Romantic era style. Grades 6 and 7 comprise a barre and very long exercises in the centre, which are almost like dances (!) and also three actual dances - classical, free movement and character. Grade 8 has a different format in that it includes just a very short warm-up class and several dances in different styles. The videos have short explanatory introductions to the steps and also break down a few unusual movements in order to explain how to do them. Of course they are designed as a teaching aid and not for the students themselves, but I believe that they can be purchased by anyone from the RAD on-line shop and extracts from them are available on youtube.

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Thank you, Hamorah. These are a few good ideas that lead me to think of possible ways to think about, or approach this as well. Seeing some ballet on Youtube and possibly being inspired by that, is a good idea (as some of your students do.) I appreciate your cautionary note, but we can be assured that no "permanent damage" to anyone would be done if I attempt any of these suggestions, and even if they did not lead to having a complete piece to perform or practice, the most lost would be some of my own time and effort for instance. Thank you for your reply. Ludmilla

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Do a search on


"Diana Vishneva. Variation Lesson"

"Ulyana Lopatkina.Variation lesson"

"Novikova & Obraztsova. Variation Lesson"

"Somova and Tereshkina. Variation lesson"


Something must come up, either on youtube or another website where you can watch the videos. They are instructional videos on variations by the Russian ballerinas!

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Olgahk -- Thank you! These are really interesting and really address what I was asking about... I've watched portions just now, on Youtube. What an interesting means to study, watch, practice (at some point, eventually...), with the DVD/video, without watching the full-length entire costumed ballet --

These provide a great way for a student to be able to see highlights, combinations from, or section of the larger ballet production. These particular ballerinas are wonderful, also I'm really glad to know names of some other current ballerinas I had not known before with companies such as Kirov, which I like very much. I will watch several of these and several times, and try to find the DVD or video to obtain as well. These have some wonderful material! Thanks again - Ludmilla

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Dear Ludmilla, you are welcome! I didn't realise these videos are only in Russian with Japanese subtitles, but judging from your name, you should be able to speak Russian ))



Edited by olgahk
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