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Articles: Ballet Competitions

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LovesLabor

To be perfectly honest, my gut instinct tells me that all programs aren't going to put all their scholarship eggs into one basket, and will probably still have some for audition tours. However, just as a thought experiment, it would be kind of sad if they did, since the cost to enter competitions for many students might well be equivalent to the scholarship received. So if the student wants to do the competition anyway, then that's one thing. But if they do the competition for the scholarships, then it's not necessarily a boon.

 

I was looking at Boston Ballet website recently, and I wouldn't be surprised that they would lean towards rewarding competitors. Their current apprentices have lots of competition accolades on their resumés, so that seems to perhaps be an appealing feature to that particular company? Again, just my impression, and no idea if it carries through to their school.

Edited by LovesLabor

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buzzandmoo

Ceecee, it was the audition season for the Summer 2013 program, so I guess that would make it 2013 since the auditions were in the winter/spring. :)

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cluelessballetparent

Small picture- participating in a competition is an opportunity to perform. Rather than being subjected to the cast list deemed by your director, in a competition you can choose to challenge yourself with any variation you wish. You can chose a variation that you know you can do very well, or you can chose a variation that has many elements that you know you need to work on and improve as you rehearse it. Perhaps you will never dance the lead in your company's production? But you can be Aurora in YAGP! You can test your nerves, meet new people, perhaps travel to new places and even earn an opportunity for further study by participating in a competition. In order to develop artistry and a level of comfort in front of an audience you must have opportunities to perform. Competitions give you that opportunity.

Unfortunately, only true if the dancer is allowed to try. At my DK's studio, only the students the AD selects and invites can participate. Students who want to try and test their mettle are not given a chance. So, this ends up creating a lot of unhealthy competition and hard feelings between the students who are invited and those who are not, which I think is sad!

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Momof3darlings

However, just as a thought experiment, it would be kind of sad if they did, since the cost to enter competitions for many students might well be equivalent to the scholarship received. So if the student wants to do the competition anyway, then that's one thing. But if they do the competition for the scholarships, then it's not necessarily a boon.

 

Sort of puts it all in perspective doesn't it. :clapping::clapping::clapping::clapping::clapping: BRAVO!!!!!

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firedragon0800

"I cannot help fearing that men may reach a point where they look on every new theory as a danger, every innovation as a toilsome trouble, every social advance as a first step toward revolution, and that they may absolutely refuse to move at all."

Alexis de Tocqueville

 

I can't help but think that the rise of the competition dance route vs. the storied tradition is just a reflection of how society as a whole has evolved/devolved (depending on where you are standing in the room) in the last 10-15 years.

 

I am learning that ballet started basically as a form of accepted social etiquette, rules for the court to follow. The competition was inherent, as to follow it and excel, would curry the Kings favor. Today the competition is still there in the ballet school, albeit it is sugar coated. It is wholly subjective as to who performs better.

 

It would appear that the competition is less about etiquette and more on performance, and not judged by the "King", but by a court of acknowledged experts and an audience. It would appear that it is more objective, based on more predictable and measurable aspects of dance, technical and less on the artistry which is subjective.

 

I can't see us doing competition's either, but my dd's only 13 and in 2-3 years a lot can happen, so I am still a curious bystander of sorts.

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its the mom

Just a quick comment. Really don't want to get too far into this discussion. I have mixed feelings on competition - have one dancer who did them and did well (but did not get his job through competition) and one who did not do competition (well, actually, she did one, but had already had a contract in place). Anyway, just a comment on Boston Ballet. While there are a few BBII dancers who did competition and there are dancers in the company who have done competition, there are only three dancers that I am aware of who got their jobs through being seen at a competition, and that is because the competition was in Boston. I am not sure about one of the principals who may have been seen at an international competition and hired, but it is going back a good ways, so I don't know.

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trythis

 

Small picture- participating in a competition is an opportunity to perform. Rather than being subjected to the cast list deemed by your director, in a competition you can choose to challenge yourself with any variation you wish. You can chose a variation that you know you can do very well, or you can chose a variation that has many elements that you know you need to work on and improve as you rehearse it. Perhaps you will never dance the lead in your company's production? But you can be Aurora in YAGP! You can test your nerves, meet new people, perhaps travel to new places and even earn an opportunity for further study by participating in a competition. In order to develop artistry and a level of comfort in front of an audience you must have opportunities to perform. Competitions give you that opportunity.

Unfortunately, only true if the dancer is allowed to try. At my DK's studio, only the students the AD selects and invites can participate. Students who want to try and test their mettle are not given a chance. So, this ends up creating a lot of unhealthy competition and hard feelings between the students who are invited and those who are not, which I think is sad!

That is very sad. Can you enter as an independent? My DD did a competition for "practice" prior to YAGP and had so much fun there that she wants to do it again. Even though this year it is the weekend after YAGP, so she would be doing it just for the chance to perform again.

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mykidsmom

You can enter as an "independent". You can also take the workshop class without competing. DD might do this in January if it does not interfere with other auditions or rehearsals. DD did a ensemble piece last year to see if she liked the competition "scene". She did not care for it and decided she did not want to pursue it. Last year she could not attend the workshop due to a rehearsal conflict. I inquired about attending it without competing for this year and was told that anyone can pay to attend the class, you do not have to be a competitor/contestant.

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