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Articles: Ballet Competitions

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firedragon0800

Perhaps the close affiliation has to do with both of the founders of YAGP having danced with the Bolshoi?

 

"Launched in 1999 by two former dancers of the world-renowned Bolshoi Ballet, Larissa and Gennadi Saveliev"

 

 

 

This seemed relevant to the thread, I think I actually read this article after being posted on a thread here last year, tried to search, but seemed easier to just post. These kids were feeling the pressure from competition schools already.

 

http://www.theguardian.com/stage/2012/mar/25/will-they-make-royal-ballet

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rosetwirl

Thanks! I didn't realize that I had only caught part of the sentence! Still, scholarships are possible without participating in the YAGP. We'll give it a try and let you know how it goes.

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buzzandmoo

Good Luck! By no means was I trying to say it would never happen, just at our pre-pro last SI audition season there was a lot of rumbles about fewer scholarships and the connection to competitions might be a factor. And I wonder if more well known schools might be going this route. Boston Ballet awarding scholarships at YAGP was a surprise.

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firedragon0800

Our pre/pro recently came out and aligned itself with the Prix de Lausanne, i.e. although it is portrayed as a long standing relationship.

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Hamorah

In our national ballet competition a few years ago, I loved the boy who with great quality and delightfully neat technique performed a beautiful lyrical solo and a Bournonville variation. Guess who won? The boy who did Don Q full of tricks and an equally trick loaded contemporary piece. Such is life.........

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rosetwirl

buzz, dd was offered a substantial scholarship at Bolshoi through this last YAGP, which she turned down in order to accept another offer. We are in a good position to see if they'll offer her one without the YAGP this year. I'll be interested to see.

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LovesLabor

Well, this all sounds a bit anecdotal at the moment, but I do hope there isn't an emerging trend to 'save' scholarships for competitions over auditions. That would just increase the pressure to go down the competition path for those who might not otherwise decide to do so. I already knew about the Bolshoi policy, but had not heard that there were any changes re. scholarship offerings at other programs. I can't imagine, though, that programs that do not participate in YAGP would start to offer the bulk of their scholarships at this event?

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buzzandmoo

Like I said, finding out that Boston Ballet had handed out scholarships at YAGP was an interesting moment. I guess for my DD, if schools start offering SI scholarships at competitions, it is not going to change things very much for us. I don't see my DD ever being considered for a scholarship; she is a really hard worker but her height and maturity I think, will always work against her. And we are NEVER doing a competition. I have a hard enough time dealing with the parents at her pre-pro! I can just imagine what a competition adds to the atmosphere! LOL

 

BUT....if more top schools are now offering scholarships at competitions it will change the landscape. I personally think change over time is a good thing. It might be good to shake things up a bit in the schools that have the bulletproof reputations.

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trythis

Well, this all sounds a bit anecdotal at the moment, but I do hope there isn't an emerging trend to 'save' scholarships for competitions over auditions. That would just increase the pressure to go down the competition path for those who might not otherwise decide to do so. I already knew about the Bolshoi policy, but had not heard that there were any changes re. scholarship offerings at other programs. I can't imagine, though, that programs that do not participate in YAGP would start to offer the bulk of their scholarships at this event?

I hope this isn't the case either.....but I think there are some dancers who "shine" on stage, and in a performance setting, and don't really shine in a class setting. So I think its good that you can earn a scholarship this way too.

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firedragon0800

"The librettist and writer Louis De Cahusac ( who worked with Rameau) lamented that ballet had hit a glass ceiling: Salle (Marie) had been expressive, but her successors were dull technicians whose meaningless tricks debased the art"

 

Apollo's Angels: A History of Ballet Jennifer Homan's. Ballet's Dillemma circa 1750's

 

Seems like ballet has been at this crossroads many times, I suppose it is Darwinism if it makes the species stronger in the existing environment the mutation takes. The gene pool is stronger. It would appear that many of these competitions have been around from 6-10 years for the newer upstarts and that is beyond the time it takes for innovation to be commercial in most industries.

 

Looks like no school wants to not be in the mix in competitions.

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rosetwirl

Interesting that the tricks vs. artistry debate is actually very old!!

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TwelfthNight

While we were told by the director of the Bolshoi program that Bolshoi does save the majority of their scholarships for YAGP, I do know for a fact, that if they are interested in your dancer at an audition, they will give a scholarship. If an auditioner is that interested, they will do what they can to help get the dancer to the intensive.

 

DD has been around many, many YAGP dancers who are medalists both regionally and in NY. Some deserved the titles and are wonderful dancers who work hard in class. Some have been trained over and over for a year or two on the same variation, yet in the classroom, their technique is poor and their work ethic is sad. Then there are some that can't even remember or pick up combinations in a classroom setting. However, when you see them dance the variation they again, have been coached on for 8 hours a day for months on end, they shine and amazingly so. I think ADs and even those over SIs can tell who the hard worker and talented person is. Even though an audition is only 1-2 hours in length, it is still longer than a variation for YAGP. A dancer can still bring that same artistry into the classroom setting.

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rosetwirl

My dd rehearsed her variation for the YAGP for five weeks, a couple of times a week. You are right though, Twelfth, there are some dancers who rehearse them for a whole year. That's why many of the ballet school representatives also observe classes at the YAGP when determining who to scholarship.

 

I agree that with any summer intensive audition, if they have a strong desire to have you at their program, they'll scholarship you.

 

buzz, scholarships, along with contracts, are what the YAGP is all about. Many of the dance company schools give out scholarships there; this doesn't mean they don't give them at auditions too.

 

We are going to wait until dd is 17 or 18 to compete again. An advantage of doing the YAGP is that your dk is seen by many company directors all at one time. It's sort of like scouting in baseball, but the dancers come to the scouts, and the scouts are all there together! It just might save the expense of an audition tour through the United States and Europe. The Australian and New Zealand ballet companies were there too! We saw many contracts given to older dancers.

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buzzandmoo

I just want to clarify...... :flowers:

 

Personally I have no opinion either way as to how the schools award scholarships (competitions vs auditions) but my observation was limited to a school (Boston) that did not participate in YAGP and has always given at least one scholarship to a student at my DD's pre-pro. Last year no one got a scholarship; at any level at my DD's pre-pro. That was unusual. It was a "Ah hah" moment to realize that a "ivory tower" school is now recognizing the DK's in YAGP.

 

I like the idea. Too many DK's and parents at my DD's school think that the name of the school should carry them through the dance world. And I think I mentioned (here or in a different thread) that quite a few principals at NYCB started out in competition studios. Check out the NYCB channel on Youtube, and look for the video "When we were young". Aside from being totally cute, you see the actual footage from their competition days.

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ceecee

Buzzandmoo, not sure if you mean 2012 when you say last year, or spring of 2013. My DD was awarded an "on the spot" scholarship from Boston in Spring 2012 at a summer audition. (Did not audition in 2013) You may be interested to know that In 2012, after initially accepting Boston's offer... DD received an offer from another school at a YAGP workshop, which trumped Boston's (because it included the offer of a fall trainee position). She wrote to Boston to explain, and went with the YAGP school instead.

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