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Ballet - Adult Dancers
Amateur Adult Ballet Companies / Troupes / Ensembles: ever tried one?
By Storm_Trouper Comments: 808, member since Mon May 21, 2012
On Fri Mar 25, 2016 05:31 AM

I have been googling and finding adult recreational ballet companies in the UK; a few in NorAm so far. The London Amateur Ballet company has an interesting website for instance.

They make great sense: apply what you learn in class to dancing actual choreographed pieces and then perform them as part of a company. (This is a bit different from attending classes where the class gets to appear in the showcase recital at year's end.)

Anyone here on DDN have experience being part of such an arrangement? What was it like?
OR
If there was a not-auditioned community company accessible to you, do you think that you would like to try it for a season?

I have a hankering to try to start one up where I live.

8 Replies to Amateur Adult Ballet Companies / Troupes / Ensembles: ever tried one?

re: Amateur Adult Ballet Companies / Troupes / Ensembles: ever tried one?
By Storm_Trouper Comments: 808, member since Mon May 21, 2012
On Mon Mar 28, 2016 03:13 AM
London Amateur Ballet. LAB

www.londonamateurballet.com . . .
re: Amateur Adult Ballet Companies / Troupes / Ensembles: ever tried one?
By Storm_Trouper Comments: 808, member since Mon May 21, 2012
On Mon Apr 11, 2016 08:06 AM
By a huge fluke 10 days ago, I happened upon a rare and wonderful opportunity... an adult ballet company was started just under two seasons ago that is within easy commuting distance for me. Besides choreo rehearsal each week there are technique classes. I could not be more overjoyed at having been able to join this company of committed, like minded amateurs that is well and ably led. Bonus: comes with free parking too!
re: Amateur Adult Ballet Companies / Troupes / Ensembles: ever tried one?
By Guyenne Comments: 636, member since Fri Sep 10, 2004
On Mon Apr 11, 2016 12:38 PM
Cool. It sounds like a great opportunity.
re: Amateur Adult Ballet Companies / Troupes / Ensembles: ever tried one?
By SarahdncrPremium member Comments: 634, member since Wed Jul 29, 2009
On Sat Apr 16, 2016 09:23 AM
@Storm Trooper: Well congratulations! That is really quite a unique find. Hope they stay around for quite awhile.
Can you tell us more about them? Do they have a website or Facebook site to check out?
re: Amateur Adult Ballet Companies / Troupes / Ensembles: ever tried one?
By hummingbird Comments: 10414, member since Mon Apr 18, 2005
On Sun Apr 17, 2016 06:11 AM
That's fantastic! Can you let us know more details?

I'd love to know more mainly because I get quite a few people moving to your area and asking me about the dance scene near you and I know people would be interested in this.
re: Amateur Adult Ballet Companies / Troupes / Ensembles: ever tried one?
By Storm_Trouper Comments: 808, member since Mon May 21, 2012
On Sat Apr 23, 2016 01:18 AM
Edited by Storm_Trouper (249942) on 2016-04-23 01:35:07
Edited by Storm_Trouper (249942) on 2016-04-23 01:50:52
The group's so new that they don't even have a facebook page. It is like the Bolshoi and Paris Opera in a way (!) in that it is supported by the city (the state) rather than run out of a for-profit dance school or academy organization. The is no formal audition to get in but you have to have some basic foundational ballet technique. Because it is a public institution they have all sorts of restrictions on taking candid photos and selfies and posting them for reasons of personal privacy. I think a DVD is produced of the show.

They dont have a website which is why I hadnt found out about them in all my research and scouring. Wish I'd known about them back in the fall, 22 weeks ago! I was exceptionally invited to join in the last term as an understudy to the sole guy (whose daughter is also in the company. Funny story: he was just outside the studio watching the rehearsal when he was asked to leave and not to peer in. Or else join in with them. So he opted for the latter!) because of my uber enthusiasm and background preparation. I gained a bit part and a corps de ballet emsemble role as a partner last minute. (10 weeks left til show) The choreo was set on all of the members back in the fall. So I kind of lucked / fluked out.

So there's a mix of former high school ballet girls now in university (same teacher from their HS ballet days, so graduates); workining and retired adults returning to ballet from doing it as a kid; and some adult late starters. The choreo is fairly basic as this is only their second season. But as we develop it will evolve I think, With two gents next season there could be actual partnering sequences.

Cecchetti and mix of other styles, but not Russian technique. Some of the adult and youth company dancers are going up on pointe for the show. There's a keen young lad in the youth company as well apparently. So there will be some representation from the danseur side in this production, which is always terrif.

There are 33 weeks worth of weekly rehearsals from Sept through June, plus a weekly class or two depending if you can schedule them all in. The rehearsal is just that: we have to walk in already warmed up! The ballet will be ~an hour long with about a dozen scenes and will incorporate the youth company dancers (same teacher) as well. But we need to sell out the civic theatre stage that will be our venue. (So involving kids and their families means higher ticket sales, a good strategy. Adult company alone (~20 dancers) cannot fill a theatre by itself, stand alone, since the audience amounts to just friends n family :)

The companies I saw online in the UK appear to tend (but not always) to be a way for an existing for-profit studio to get more paying bodies through the door and create employment for ex-pro retired artists, which is fine since supply seems to meet the demand, and participants are willing to pay top dollar for studio time and knowledgable, experienced coaching.

re: Amateur Adult Ballet Companies / Troupes / Ensembles: ever tried one?
By Storm_Trouper Comments: 808, member since Mon May 21, 2012
On Tue May 10, 2016 07:42 PM
This new place has opened offering adult ballet and fitness training that I'm trying. At my suggestion they are holding four 'rehearsals' of choreo based on Giselle: the 1'30" variation in the last 10 minutes of Act 2 (immediately after Albrecht solos, where at the end he collapses on the floor out of breath). So I get to be roused from collapse and dance with G and some Wilis, who wear white tulle romantic skirts while I am costumed as Albrecht (so grey tights with a black shirt). And they carry plastic lillies; not on pointe. So we adult recreational ballerina/o wannabes get to play dress up and dance to classical, romantic tunes. Great way to apply all that stuff we practice at the barre and then some!
re: Amateur Adult Ballet Companies / Troupes / Ensembles: ever tried one?
By fatimasdancer Comments: 109, member since Sun Apr 29, 2001
On Fri May 27, 2016 06:19 PM
This is awesome! I wish we had this in the states.

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