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Ballet Talk for Dancers

studying other forms of dance


Guest mic31

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what are the advantages of studying other forms of dance, like say modern dance. There is a modern class that I have been thinking of taking but I want to make sure that it will not negatively effect my ballet skills

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Modern is an excellent supplement to ballet studies, and won't negatively impact your technique. :)

 

You'll learn different ways of using your weight, and working in ways that aren't always straight front, more things about turning than you may want to know, and how to contact the floor completely.

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What do you mean by "straight front"? Certainly this doesn't mean "en face", because ballet usually works on a diagonal.

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Ballet usually works in a "Fourth Wall Convention" in which the audience is always posited as being the fourth wall, i.e., front. In modern, especially Cunningham technique, you often work to diverse fronts, as if an audience were all around you, and sometimes, it is. Without the "Fourth Wall" you couldn't tell en face from diagonal, now could you?

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thats really excellent. My centre work is an area that I really need to improve the most so I was looking into modern as a way of moving on my own alot more without the aid of the barre

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Personally, I think it's wise to study many different styles of dance, especially for we older folk who have no professional aspirations. My thinking is that the breadth of experience we gain makes up for the lack of ability we have in any one style. In my own case, I take ballet, modern, and jazz classes.

 

Though I am by no means any hotshot dancer, I feel very comfortable in both modern and jazz classes. In ballet I’m a klutz. If I don’t practice ballet on my own between classes I am even worse than a klutz. I think the only thing that makes me better at ballet is doing ballet. I don’t think modern or jazz really helps me that much. BUT I think ballet helps me in modern and jazz.

 

Unlike ballet, modern and jazz tend to use movement in the torso more and they are more grounded. I also find modern and jazz makes you sweat a whole lot more, and I just find both just plain fun.

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I took my first modern class on Sunday- it was Alexandra Beller's class at Dance Space Inc in NYC. although it was covered by someone else as Alexandra was away.

 

I enjoyed it immensely, and I have to say my ballet training was very useful not only in terms of remembering choreography etc, but also basic alignment, flow etc.

 

I intend to continue with modern in addition to ballet (though goodness only knows where I will find the time and money!!). It really is enjoyable.

 

Word of warning - I was very sore on Monday, as the modern class seemed to target different muscles groups (back especially) from ballet! Be warned - take a long bath after class if you go to a modern class for the first time!

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I have tried to take othwer forms of dance, especially modern, but everything conspires against me. The class was cancelled last time. I have always taken ballet and I don't know, I sit and watch the modern classes and I love it, and dearly want to give it a try, but unless I gave up work, I wouldn't be able to fit into my schedule, and I'm not giving up a ballet class to do it. Also, especially now as I've had to relearn how I do most if not all my ballet technique (because of the problems I've had with my knees) I'm reluctant to start a new form of dance. So I might just leave it for a bit longer....

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