Tag Archives: History of dance

Rawzen – tribute to Maurice Béjart-I Love This!!!


Rawzen – tribute to Maurice Béjart – YouTube.

Former dancer of Bejart comes rapper, but the rap is GOOD! (and so are the dancers and the message). We want more dance but we need more peace-we want more dance but we need Maurice! Keep on Dancing!

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Martha Graham said…..


Nobody cares
if you can’t dance well.
Just get up and dance.
Great dancers are not great
because of their technique,
they are great because of
their PASSION.

-Martha Graham

If David Howard said it…


Reposted from The Dancer’s Toolkit http://centeredstage.com

…it must be true.

I am a strong advocate for dancers developing more internal feedback based on what they feel rather than what they see in the mirror. (In part because a lot of dancers use the mirror as a crutch or enemy, rather than a tool…) It was wonderful to see the same sentiments in print from the master teacher himself (from the New York Times obituary published on August 18, 2013):

““Out of the feeling comes the form…Ninety percent of the time students are taught the form first. And then they’re expected, through some act of God, to get the feeling.”

Mr. Howard’s pedagogy, unorthodox in its day, entailed a kinesthetic approach, in which dancers were taught to rely less on external feedback from the mirror and more on the minute internal signals that telegraph the position of the head, limbs and torso in space.”

In a culture that…

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The Royal Ballet: just how ‘British’ do we want it to be? | Stage | guardian.co.uk


The Royal Ballet: just how ‘British’ do we want it to be? | Stage | guardian.co.uk.

Isadora Duncan’s influence on Pavlova, Diaghilev, Nijinsky and Balanchine Among Others



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http://ia700704.us.archive.org/BookReader/BookReaderImages.php?zip=/8/items/bookofdance1920gent/bookofdance1920gent_jp2.zip&file=bookofdance1920gent_jp2/bookofdance1920gent_0187.jp2&scale=4&rotate=0

 

A photo from the U.S. Archives which demonstrates very clearly Isadora Duncan’s, and other modern dancers, influence on ballet. You can’t say “choreography” without saying “dancers” or “ballet” as they converge, effect each other, and dancers dance, to some extent, what they want to or what the can.

This is a pretty rare photo, but now, we can see that perhaps Anna Pavlova did not really hate Isadora Duncan after-all, but instead was influenced by her, tried to channel or feel what Isadora felt, what modern dance was, or her choreographer was interested in it for this piece. We see it finally because she danced it. She agreed to do it. That makes it important to ballet. What a dancer agrees to do (and does not agree to do) ultimately defines them to their audience, defines their art, and history, especially when you are discussing Anna Pavlova.

But in relation to any dancer, they will be seen to be a certain kind of dancer, expected to perform certain roles, become skilled at those and roles like them. Obviously Pavlova went back to classical roles and swore off modern dance. At least for her life, this was not what she was good at, excelled at. One needs to know oneself and one’s limitations, but that comes with experience. Expansion can mean growing into an acceptance of what your roles could and should be in dance, or it can come to mean limiting yourself to perfection of one type of dancing. Being an expert at one thing certainly raises the level of expertise required for that genre. It increases your ability to dance those roles.

Most importantly, if you are determined to dance certain roles, certain ballets, certain parts, then you need to learn those parts, become expert at them, so that no matter your deficiencies, people will say, “but she/he dances those parts better, even if she/he is not this or that. But if you do not specialize, then perhaps you will never be good enough at one thing to qualify even for that. If Pavlova had not been skilled in ballet, had that not been her passion, we would not have been fortunate to have come to understand her legacy a little better, and while she had the option to become more skilled, at a later age, in other forms of dance, she did not do a 180 and perform modern, or try to find herself in it.

Even with poorer choreography than Diaghilev could provide, she continued to astound audiences with her versatility and drama, as a ballet dancer. She truly was an ambassador of ballet. Something must also be said about modern dance here, the characteristics of it, the difference between it and ballet, are wide. Isadora Duncan could have suddenly said, I want to be a ballet dancer. But she did not. There was unquestionable an attitude and freedom in her approach to dancing, her naturalness, her languor and beauty (she was a very beautiful woman), her form and development in modern dance, which gave her an advantage in performing her roles, her choreography, and she danced to a different drummer, literally, different music.

She was right and Pavlova was right. Two experts, a long time ago, who felt that you had to make up your mind, pick a side, choose, two purists. I do not think choreographers today understand dance very well, for they are not able to separate or merge the two dance styles (usually). They are greedy, and dancers are too, so no one is perfect today in ballet, because they try to do too much. Be the star on every stage. And yet, even with the most sought after choreographers, some dancers just do not enjoy that success. Great ballet dancers fail at exploring new styles, new techniques, and they are simply not the best.

But, by taking on roles that minimize, instead of maximize, their abilities as ballet dancers, instead of having new ballet roles made for them, their performances are not what they could be. At thirty to forty years of age, these dancers should be reaching a point where they are true artists, and yet the barre for true artistry is lowered. There are some artists, such as Natalia Osipova, Darcy Bussell, Tamara Rojas, etc., who have remained dedicated to their art and may possibly reach a point, historically, where their body of work is respected and exceeds more publicized dancers, simply because they knew their limitations and they stayed within the parameters of their expertise longer, trying to reach a point where they were consummate in their art. It is not today that they will be judged, but tomorrow, and in the annals of history, where we are not yet and cannot say whom will leave what.

How will they all be credited? More is needed for women to make a mark, when before them is opportunity to travel, to reach out, to grow, to direct, choreograph, produce. What will their choices be? Will they stray from the path of their strength, give up, or will they take the torch, the flame and finally bring something monumental back to ballet, the genre that gave them their careers, their fame? Or will they dabble in other forms of dance, leaving mediocrity in their wake, when they could have developed classical ballet, and ballet, a big step further in order to safeguard it as Vaganova did.

So when you are in class, or studying ballet, pick a side, and win or lose, cling to that vision. For is you are true to your vision, you are working not only toward what you believe in, and love, but you are setting a precedence for what will be your strongest form of dance in the future. What do you want that to be? Don’t let rejection, or all of the opinions of others set your path. For the path you choose will probably be the one that survives with you, the one you will know best, and will propagate. If there is one you prefer, no matter what others say, follow the choice you will be able to live with and embrace.

 

Ballet-Dance Magazine – Suki Schorer on Balanchine Technique by Suki Schorer, Russell Lee, and Carol Rosegg – Book Review by Cecly Placenti


Ballet-Dance Magazine – Suki Schorer on Balanchine Technique by Suki Schorer, Russell Lee, and Carol Rosegg – Book Review by Cecly Placenti.

My Writer Sylph


by Ava Brown
copyright © 2012 by Ava Brown

Leo Rosten said, “the only reason for being a professional writer is that you can’t help it.” I think that is true of any art. Someone else said, if you get up in the morning and you have to make music, dance, paint, draw, sing, dance or act, then you should. Why is this? We are best by an urge to express ourselves, physically and mentally, whether as an outlet for our experiences, feelings or just to do it. Can this become habit because it is rewarding, or even if not rewarding, or painful, or expensive, fraught with difficulties, learning experiences, dues, turmoil and other obstacles, something we MUST do? I am not what I would call a writer. I am a human with a drive to have questions answered, and I often ask myself, why???I continue to do certain things, what is personally gratifying about these experiences and I wonder why I continue to do some things, or love them, and why I do not continue to do them. I am afraid of not finishing, quitting, not living up to possibilities, not having those answers and dancing in the dark, so to speak. But of the many things I have started or given up, dance has continued to be the one that was most memorable to me. I felt that by not doing it I was being less than I could be. Even as I take my own daughter to dance, it is for her own good and nothing else, as in the end I know, that is all that matters. I give her the gift and the opportunity to grow and to have the basis of dance on which to measure herself all of her life and to thank not me, but it, for giving her so much that is within herself to accomplish. To be, to be healthy is everything, and dance is a path, not just to health, but to so many other positive feelings, states of mind, experiences, and memories, it just cannot be compared to any other outlet I have known or path to one’s own worth and ability. It is truly possible in dance to become the best that you can be. In writing, art, music or any other form of expression, I am not sure the positive aspects are so overwhelming or obvious and it occurs to me that for other people to be able to read and share those experiences, it might inspire people to take dance to find out what is so great about it. I feel that almost everyone who takes it will be hooked. Having so many answers from so many people might also answer, finally, some of the many questions dancers have about dance, themselves, and what makes dancers tick, common experiences, solutions to problems, similarities and differences. There is always the history of dance, but never a history of dancers and in the end, too few books about the subject and on the shelves at your local bookstore. I think this is a shame. For something so great and for so many people to have so little access or information on the wonders of dance, the issues, nutrition, medical advice, studios, teachers and other people who have been instruments of spreading this happy disease seems to tell the world it is not important and it is.