The three-year program of the Preparatory Levels (ages 3 to 7) focuses on developing muscular strength, musicality, imagination and performing skill. Young dancers learn through Music and Movements lessons, basic ballet positions, develop musicality and elementary coordination.
The School has adopted the Russian Method of teaching Classical Ballet, known apart from finishing virtuoso technique, as work towards developing the artistic expression, feeling for the music, the artistic individuality of the students. The study of classical ballet is approached gradually from its elementary form to the expressive dance. At the age of eight-nine when the bones and muscles are stronger the Classical Ballet training begins. The basic barre and center exercises, poses and jumps are studied. The complex movements of the senior grades require more intensive training.
Contemporary ballet requires perfect control over the toe. Pointe work is used to create the impression of airiness and to accentuate the length of the leg. A ballerina has to perform intricate turns, jumps and transitions between poses up on her pointes. Pointe work will be introduced in Level 3, after the student has learned the basic technique and when her legs are sufficiently developed
Variations are solo dances from classical and contemporary ballets. Variation/Repertoire class develops the future dancer's memory and stage presence and is also an excellent preparation for a professional career.
The School has staged a wide variety of classical repertoire as well as contemporary works. All classical ballet repertoire is adopted and staged by the School faculty. It includes Scenes from Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker" and "The Sleeping Beauty", Minkus "Don Quixote", Glazunov "Raymonda". Also, the School's repertoire includes several one-act ballets, such as " The Tale of the Golden Key", based on A. Tolstoy's "Buratino Adventures", Andersen's " The Nightingale"and "Thumbelina", "The Pirouette Dolls", based on "La Fairy Doll" and " The Winter Fairy Tale", based on russian fairy tale "The Snow Maiden".
The greatest choreographers such Bournonville, Saint-Leon, Petipa, Fokine and others, produced ballets with plots that take place in one particular country. Character Dance is the artistic synthesis of folk and classical dance. When they are performed on stage, character dances must communicate the style, mood, and quality of movement and feature music of its place of origin. Students will learn Polish Mazurkas and Polonaises, Hungarian Czardas, Spanish Fandango and other folk dances, which appear in most classical ballet repertoire.
The dances of Spain are varied and rich in ethnic and regional traditions. Originating in the Andalusia, southern Spain, the fire of Flamenco dance is reflective of its gypsy (Gitano) dancing roots and influences from Arabic traditions. It takes its roots in folklore and melding cultures dating back to the 1500's in the Moorish Spain. Encompassing regional and folk dance, Flamenco uses a wide variety of traditional music and features castanets. Castanets are handhold instruments that highlight and accent the intricate rhythms of the many dances they accompany. Fluid arms and dynamic footwork are attributes of Flamenco dance that intricate rhythm of Flamenco music.
Modern dance is a very important component of contemporary ballet. No ballet company in the United States can exist without modern dance, so it is imperative that the students in the Advanced levels are exposed to and trained in modern dance. It is also important to note that Modern Dance serve as the cross training that each ballet dancers needs.
Jazz dance is a North American performing art form with its roots in African and European dance and music. In its purist form it is a deliberately and inherently accessible- in essence, a type of folk dance. It is expressive of human nature, grounded in the emotions of human experience and therefore has a universal appeal. It is sophisticated rhythmically, as well as playful, competitive, soulful and a direct reflection of jazz music.
Adult Ballet Class
The Program is designed for adult students to provide opportunities for exercise, stretching and toning of the body as well as an appreciation of dance as form of the Art.