Monday, April 16, 2012
I have seen nearly every great ballet and character dance company in the world; most recently the Paris Opera and the Royal Danish (and very soon the Bolshoi at the Kennedy Center). One must wonder how they achieve such perfection in their various training schools. Is this training possible for the average American child? Why not? They are endowed with the same physical attributes, talents, abilities, dedication as any child in London, Paris, Stuttgart or Milan and thus my intense search for their "secrets" began years ago. Sometimes it is the training demanded in a professional school but again it can be one teacher with one student such as Taglioni who was trained by her father.
The formula is simple and it never changes. It is slow, careful, meticulous technique with perfect posture, exact coordination of head, arms, body and legs, a perfect non-changeable syllabus that is graded, and class time spent on barre, center, adage and allegro, not on dance routines for the recital or competition. We as teachers are responsible for the future of that child and its acceptance into the professional world of dance. There are only a few precious years to "mold and sculpt" the body and mind into classic brilliance and beauty.
I have always believed that it is what you do with a child, not where they live that produces greatness. I have seen this philosophy work not only for my students, but my own children in their various roles in life.