Friday, 4 October 2013

No Holds Barred

I have got even greater respect for the kids of Mathare whom I mentioned in my article "What can be achieved by a good teacher" (3 March 2013). Like them I have had a class without a barre.  You have to concentrate much harder just to keep your balance let alone perform an exercise correctly. On the other hand you do learn something about weight distribution particularly with glissés and tendus.   

On the subject of Africa I am pleased to see that Michaela dePrince, who was born in Sierra Leone, is now in Europe. She is with the Junior Company of the National Ballet of the Netherlands. As I mentioned in my article, Ms de Prince appears to have exceptional talent and I was saving my pennies to see her in New York.  Thanks to budget airlines the Netherlands is a lot of cheaper and easier to reach than the USA. This is the Junior Company's schedule for the next 6 months.

I have a lot of connections with Sierra Leone through marriage and through looking after another young woman whose family was displaced by the civil war. I visited the country and travelled around it in 2007.   When I was there the scars of the conflict were still very visible.  Watch this short video in which de Prince tells her story.

Louis Smith  Source Wikipedia
Also impressive in another way is our British Olympic medallist Louis Smith who was challenged to learn ballet. A short film "Louis Learns Ballet" on the Royal Academy of Dance's website shows that he had some natural aptitude for the art for he seems to have made quite remarkable progress.

Also on the new website is an article by Jennifer MacFarlane the RAD's manager in Scotland on the Genée which was held in Glasgow this year (Some Thoughts from Scotland on Genée 2013).  Most of the article is about fund raising but there is a beautiful picture of medallist Natasha Watson from Ballet West with her award.  I mentioned this young dancer's success in
"Yet More Good News from Ballet West - Natasha Watson's Medal in the Genée" on 30 Sept and the article seems to have gone viral. Ms. Watson is another outstanding dancer I look forward to seeing on the stage.

Although I try to keep the ballet separate from the law my chambers have provisionally booked the boardroom of Northern Ballet's premises for a 3 hour seminar on recent developments in intellectual property on 11 Dec 2013 for local solicitors and patent and trade mark attorneys.  Attendees will be asked to donate to Northern Ballet's "Sponsor a Dancer" and the Yorkshire Ballet Summer School Appeals.


In "Engaging Generation Y in ballet – thoughts and ideas" whose blog I featured in "Fantastic New Blog: Dave Tries Ballet" mentions another sportsman who incorporates ballet into his training schedule:
"British Olympic swimmer Liam Tancock uses ballet seriously within his training. I think one of the best things about Tancock is that he’s so “matter of fact” about doing ballet. Being interviewed by the BBC (BBC Article) he points out the benefits of ballet and how it’s impacted his performance. "
He also refers to a conversation between a rugby player and a dancer. The context of those observations was a discussion on engaging young adults in opera and dance.  Dave had been approached by RESEO (the European Network for Opera and Dance Education) to contribute to the Network's Autumn conference on "GENERATION Y: Engaging young adults in opera and dance".  I agree with his view that often the most effective way to connect with his (or indeed any other) generation is by not 'trying too hard and that "the easiest way to make ballet accessible is by making it seem 'normal.'”  However, rather than comment on that article in detail I invite you to read it for yourselves.

No comments:

Post a Comment