Forum: Europe / Europe - General

American ballet training versus European training
By and5678
On Sun Feb 20, 2005 01:05 AM

I was wondering what Europeans think of American ballet training-- you know, the "Balanchine" style with the fast choreography and clawed hands. I know that many people feel that Balanchine's training was messy and not completely technically correct. His method basically reflects American society I think. I know that may seem offensive to some Americans, but it's true-- our society is about getting too much too fast and what not.

If you compare the training of say, the Royal Ballet, to the School of American Ballet, you can most definitely see a difference in the styles. European training seems to be much more reserved and clean and American training very fast and a bit out of control. I'm from the US and I don't care for Balanchine training, though I do like some of his ballets such as 'Serenade'.

I also think that dance is simply taught incorrectly in the US so frequently that people don't even recognize what is good training and what is not.

What do you all think?

Dag,

Heather

3 Replies to American ballet training versus European training

re: American ballet training versus European training (karma: 2)
By Napolimember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Thu Mar 03, 2005 08:33 PM
I find the UK has a completely different method of teaching compared to most of the rest of Europe. I have been to the US, Germany, the UK and I am currently residing in Canada so I know the differences. I know of a lot of American dancers who dance in Europe and European dancers who dance in the US. I think good dancing is good dancing. Certain styles are preferred by different company directors so if a director wants "claw like" hands, he'll get them. Don't be thinking there are not "bad" schools in other parts of the world because there are. You just don't hear about them because nobody famous came from johan schlargamunger and dolly dinkle's school of dancing in a small town in the middle of Switzerland. Get my drift? There are good schools in every contry and there are bad schools in every country. Usually the bad ones outweigh the good ones. Don't tell me that the training at the S. F. Ballet School is "messy and not completely technically correct" because it just isn't. Ok i've had enough... sorry i didn't mean to if I hurt your feelings, I just wanted to let you know that "bad" schools with "bad" training are everywhere.
re: American ballet training versus European training
By and5678
On Fri Mar 04, 2005 02:44 PM
I never said there weren't any bad schools in Europe-- but honestly, the majority of training that is given here that is bad far outweighs the training that is good, with the exception of PNB, SFB, CPYB, etc. I myself have been privately trained and do not attend a "top" school, but I know that I have had good training because my teacher understands technique and anatomy and everything else that goes with good training. Classic example of what US society is after: Look at all these stupid competitions we have you know, such as "West Coast Dance Explosion!", and all these people get medals even though their training is crap in the eyes of teachers who know what they're talking about.

When talking about the American style, I'm also talking the Balanchine/American style. So many former NYCB dancers have had hip replacements due to Balancine's persistence of incorrect anatomical training. Gelsey Kirkland goes on about how messed up her training was until she started working with David Howard. You can read that in her autobio.

and5678
re: American ballet training versus European training
By amarathPremium member
On Tue Mar 08, 2005 09:02 PM
I wouldn't necessarily call the Balanchine style American technique. The vast majority of ballet schools in America teach more of a Cecchetti-esque mishmash; Balanchine, like Vaganova, is actually fairly rarely taught. Sure, some larger schools teach it, notably San Francisco, Kansas City, Orlando, and SAB, but most schools teach in some form of classical style.

And truly? Dolly Dinkle is everywhere. Ballet is very, very popular in America, but Dolly Dinkle exists everywhere.

I think you're trying to differentiate between the differences between a dancer trained from age eight in a nationally-subsidized conservatory and one not, though, and I have to agree. I wonder what American ballet would become if, instead of relying so heavily on auditions at an older age and thus having it easier for late starters with college ballet programs and whatnot, if ballet was like it is in France, where if you do not start very young, you will not start with any sort of professional chance.

They need to raise arts funding. :mad:

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