Thursday, 14 March 2013

Ballet 101 - for those need it

In an American university the foundation class for a new subject is numbered "101". Thus, introductory French is designated "French 101".  In anticipation of a visit to Washington DC by American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet and the Russian National Ballet Theatre and a season by the District's own Washington Ballet, Stephanie Merry, the Washington Post's arts correspondent, offers "Ballet 101: Dispelling myths for newcomers and skeptics" in today's paper.  As she puts it,
"Ballet is more than layers of tulle and satin shoes. It’s ripples of muscle, explosive athleticism and inexplicably moving stories."
However, the best bit of Merry's article is the video in which Septime Webre, Artistic Director of the Washington Ballet and two male members of his company offer some useful tips for enjoying ballet to those new to ballet.

On the company's website there  is an even better "Ballet 101" which covers History of BalletThe Famous BalletsSeptime’s Top 10 Must See Ballets (which includes I have yet to see but omits Sleeping Beauty and La Fille mal Gardee which I find surprising), Tips for Enjoying the Ballet with which I heartily agree and some useful Ballet Terms.

Most "newbies" - as Webre calls newcomers to ballet - are captivated the first time they attend a performance.   If not by the dance then by the music, sets, costumes or drama.  Ballet is the fusion of many arts.  That's why it is so captivating.

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