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Ballet - General
difference between a ballet and a lyrical class en>fr fr>en
By DancerL Comments: 18, member since Fri Sep 26, 2008
On Sun Sep 28, 2008 03:47 PM

what is it? also if i know basic ballet do the moves translate over just a little more emotive? what kind of steps do you learn?

14 Replies to difference between a ballet and a lyrical class

re: difference between a ballet and a lyrical class en>fr fr>en
By BerensDancermember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 2110, member since Tue Nov 01, 2005
On Sun Sep 28, 2008 06:16 PM
lyrical is a combination of ballet and modern.

yes, ballet translates over to lyrical ALOT! it will be very helpful for you to know basic steps in ballet, because you will use them alot in lyrical =]

the steps in lyrical will be much more flowy and will involve alot more emotion from you as a dancer =]

g
re: difference between a ballet and a lyrical class en>fr fr>en
By dancinqt5013member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 3865, member since Wed Aug 17, 2005
On Sun Sep 28, 2008 08:59 PM
Lyrical is a form of jazz dance, not ballet. You can't really do lyrical without any ballet training, but the basics could be enough for you to start. It mainly comes down to technique. When you take a lyrical class, they assume you have mastered all the main ballet techniques: center, turnout, pointed feet, etc. and, while many moves in lyrical are ballet moves as well, there are a few that are not ballet moves. The main point of lyrical is to be expressive, and the main point of ballet is to show technique, sort of. The ideal situation for lyrical is that first you take ballet, then you take jazz, then you take lyrical. While lyrical is very pretty and shows a lot of technique the way ballet does, it is a form of jazz. Movements you do in a jazz class will translate into lyrical as well, and, at my studio at least, lyrical is a little more jazz based than ballet based.

But if you want to try lyrical, you can. It's best to have a solid background in ballet, but the basics could be enough. But it would still help that you take ballet with lyrical.
re: difference between a ballet and a lyrical class en>fr fr>en
By dance4ballet Comments: 1180, member since Mon Dec 03, 2007
On Mon Sep 29, 2008 03:34 AM
Ballet is, as you probably know, the foundations of all dance. One person who has answered this has said lyrical is sort of like ballet, the other has said it is sort of like jazz. I'm going to say that lyrical is more a combination of jazz and ballet.

It s a very expressive kind of dance. There are many differences between it and ballet, and it and jazz. In lyrical, you use music which has very expressive lyrics - music that makes you feel something, as opposed to a very formal classical piece (for ballet) or a very boppy pop piece (for jazz). Lyrical music just flows nicely.

The actual steps performed in lyrical combine jazz and balletic movements, and even gymnastics/acrobatics. You should already know basic jazz and ballet moves. Ballet is needed for the technique aspect (pointed toes, turnout etc), while many jazz steps such as the various leaps, turns and jumps are used in lyrical. Many schools also use acrobatics to enhance the wow factor of their routines.
re: difference between a ballet and a lyrical class en>fr fr>en
By adageacemember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 3982, member since Thu Sep 01, 2005
On Mon Sep 29, 2008 04:11 AM
*grumbles*
Ballet is NOT the foundation of all dance. People danced long before ballet - which developed out of pre-existing forms of dance. There are numerous forms of dance today which have nothing to do with ballet or ballet technique.

The fact that lyrical does have some cross-over with ballet in some technical elements is a completely seperate consideration - because most forms of dance have similarities with one or more other genres. And then you have the constants that apply in practically all forms of dance - such as strength, musicality, rhythm... As a result, training in ANY form of dance is likely to help you in other forms of dance.

I do think that ballet will help a lot in a lyrical class, but it's not completely essential. In a lyrical class, you will learn the steps, technique and style appropriate to lyrical - whether those elements are drawn from ballet or jazz. While it will undoubtedly help if you have had some training in the styles that influence lyrical, don't forget that the class is there to teach you the relevant technique, including (importantly) how the technique differs in lyrical from the style it has been drawn from.

Have fun - and remember, lyrical is its own style, not just 'emotive ballet' :)
re: difference between a ballet and a lyrical class en>fr fr>en
By TutuU222 Comments: 1250, member since Thu Aug 14, 2008
On Mon Sep 29, 2008 07:24 AM
Lyrical is a form of dance that was invented years ago by the competition circuit. How many professional ballet, modern, jazz dance companies do we have in the world? How many lyrical?

I know I'm probably going to be bashed for this, and I don't mean it to be disrespectful, but I've never known lyrical dance to be done in any other place except in the studios that are involved in competitions. I have never seen or heard of a professional lyrical dance company.
re: difference between a ballet and a lyrical class en>fr fr>en
By Arakmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 18113, member since Sun Aug 13, 2000
On Mon Sep 29, 2008 08:52 AM
^ That would be because such a creature doesn't exist. Lyrical dance is not its own master, so to speak. We've established that lyrical is a form of jazz, so I might expect to see it performed by a company that specializes in jazz.

And since it was brought up, let's clarify the old "Ballet is the basis of everything" statement:

There are definitely dance forms that are way older than ballet, and dance forms that have nothing whatsoever to do with ballet. I would venture the assumption that most of these are found in areas of the world where European culture never took hold to the exclusion of all else, areas like Africa, Eastern and Southeast Asia, and parts of South America. However, in the so-called Western World, ballet pretty much rules the conventionally practiced forms of dance. If it doesn't form the foundation for learning the dance, it certainly helps to supplement its technical aspects. Most companies of dancers in these Western styles look for dancers with a strong ballet background. There are exceptions, of course - tap, postmodern, certain styles of hiphop - that could care less about ballet. But for the most part, especially in the fields of modern and jazz in their many nuances, this is definitely so.
re: difference between a ballet and a lyrical class en>fr fr>en
By Miss_Wolfiemember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 956, member since Sat Oct 14, 2006
On Mon Sep 29, 2008 01:46 PM
^ I disagree with you "Adadgegrace" though people have danced much longer then ballet has been around, that doesn't mean it isn't a basis for all other forms of dance. For example, why else would Broadway audtions (AS well as other dance auditions) hold ballet class first and make cuts BEFORE everything else? A dancer needs to be well-rounded, and ballet is the best way to do so. It has nothing to do with what has been around longer.
re: difference between a ballet and a lyrical class en>fr fr>en
By VulcanIdiotmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 862, member since Sun Feb 19, 2006
On Mon Sep 29, 2008 03:51 PM
I thought that lyrical was like ballet, but more free form, and set to the lyrics of the music, not really the music itself. Someone said something about it really only being a class at competition schools. I completely agree. My old studio was involved in competition and they had a lyrical class, it was awful, so I'm not a huge fan of it. But I really do not like competition, because no offense to anyone, but alot of the competitions and competing schools are just, trick after trick, with no real technique. I mean I have seen alot of pictures of dancers on here that have amazing technique and compete, but the ones I have met and seen in real life are just, not as amazing.

Anyways, sorry to get off topic but, I dont really think you would learn too many steps that differ from ballet, unless you were learning a piece.
re: difference between a ballet and a lyrical class en>fr fr>en
By VulcanIdiotmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 862, member since Sun Feb 19, 2006
On Mon Sep 29, 2008 03:53 PM
I thought that lyrical was like ballet, but more free form, and set to the lyrics of the music, not really the music itself. Someone said something about it really only being a class at competition schools. I completely agree. My old studio was involved in competition and they had a lyrical class, it was awful, so I'm not a huge fan of it. But I really do not like competition, because no offense to anyone, but alot of the competitions and competing schools are just, trick after trick, with no real technique. I mean I have seen alot of pictures of dancers on here that have amazing technique and compete, but the ones I have met and seen in real life are just, not as amazing.

Anyways, sorry to get off topic but, I dont really think you would learn too many steps that differ from ballet, unless you were learning a piece.
re: difference between a ballet and a lyrical class en>fr fr>en
By dancinqt5013member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 3865, member since Wed Aug 17, 2005
On Mon Sep 29, 2008 07:58 PM
I've seen non-competition dance studios perform lyrical dance performances. Given, it was classified as "lyrical jazz" because lyrical is a form of jazz. Some studios feel the need to separate the classes, which makes some sense. There is a pretty big difference between the musical theatre-y type of jazz, for example, and lyrical jazz. But while it is very popular among competition studios and most of the common lyrical dances we think of are full of tricks, that is just one side of lyrical. It is a very reputable style of dance and I have seen many good lyrical dances without any tricks, so that is not the only side of lyrical dance.
re: difference between a ballet and a lyrical class en>fr fr>en
By dance4ballet Comments: 1180, member since Mon Dec 03, 2007
On Mon Sep 29, 2008 09:49 PM
Thank you for explaining this Arak - i also completely agree that ballet is the foundation of many styles of dance, and if not the foundation for a style, it would certainly help it.
re: difference between a ballet and a lyrical class en>fr fr>en
By TutuU222 Comments: 1250, member since Thu Aug 14, 2008
On Mon Sep 29, 2008 10:10 PM
When "dance4ballet" said that, "Ballet is, as you probably know, the foundations of all dance," I don't really think she meant that ALL dance "originated" from ballet (did you?). I think you meant that ballet technique is a good solid basis for most all other forms of dance styles. And Adeageace, I agree with you and do believe you are right. Ballet was not the first form of dance created. "Dance" has been around much longer than classical ballet. I cannot imagine the warrior dances in Africa for example, needing to have classical ballet technique in order to do their dances and run off to war! Now THAT was dancing! But this looks like it has turned into the debate of which came first, the chicken or the egg.

Most dance companies these days want their dancers to have a ballet background, probably just because it is one form that is basically the same -- sort of like having a blank white canvas where the choreographer can add whatever he wants to create his "painting." It's probably the easiest of styles to work with to get what the choreographer wants.

Getting back to the lyrical debate and it being a "reputable" style of dance. It all depends on who you talk to. If you are talking to a competition studio owner, it is a very reputable form of dance. If you are talking to competition dancers, it is a very reputable style of dance. If you are talking to the people who run the competitions, its reputable, and to the parents of the dancers outlaying all that money for costumes, competition fees, etc., it HAS to be a very reputable form of dance.

But if you are talking to the rest of the world, or a classical ballet studio for example, It's not even discussed as a real form of dance. There's no way they'd even give it the time of day to put it on the schedule. It's known that this style was created for use by and for the competition community so that they can add more dances into each competition and therefore make more money. It took off like wildfire a few decades ago, but it still doesn't mean it's reputable. (Acceptable perhaps, but I don't know about reputable). Like I said before, I can't name one professional lyrical dance company.

You may truly enjoy lyrical dance, and I think that's absolutely wonderful. It can be a very fun style of dance to dance to, but if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, well...what else can I say? Again, I mean no disrespect, but there has ALWAYS been a huge debate on whether lyrical dance is actually a real, accepted dance form. It's like the debate between the classic style pointe shoes and Gaynor Mindens. If you want to spark some anger and fireworks, ask that question.

This debate will never end, because some people have been trained in studios their whole life where lyrical has always been there so that is what they are used to doing. They don't know the difference. They've never been taught the difference, so they are very defensive.

I had a lyrical student about 12 years who came to our school at the age of 16 to take some ballet classes. She had dreams of becoming a professional ballet dancer. At her studio, she was the top dancer for many years and felt like she couldn't go on any further and wanted to take a class with us. She always won all the trophies at her competitions and had a very high opinion of her technique. After the class, I found her crying in the dressing room. When I asked her what was wrong she said, "why didn't anyone ever tell me I was that bad?" She had been the star at her competition studio, had years of ballet training, and yet she couldn't hold a candle to anyone in a regular ballet studio. It was one of the sadest things I have ever seen. This absolutely broke my heart. She thought she was so wonderful, but found out that she lacked any real technique at all. Although she took ballet at her studio, Lyrical was her specialty and she was so devastated and angry with herself for staying at that studio for so long. She never knew anything else was out there. She just kept saying over and over again, why didn't anyone ever tell me!? We all tried to be very upbeat and encouraging with her, but she could see it for herself.

So after that, I m less inclined to think of lyrical as a true form of dance, but more of a money maker for competitions runners and studios. Maybe it's a true form of dance, but definitely not a true form of technique -- and isn't all dance based on technique?

I know, once again, I will be bashed for being so vocal about this, and I mean no disrespect to those of you who love lyrical dance, but after this girl sobbed on my shoulder, devastated that no one ever told her how bad she really was, I can't help but speak up for this poor girl who was totally wrecked by the lyrical experience. Sorry.
re: difference between a ballet and a lyrical class en>fr fr>en
By dancinqt5013member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 3865, member since Wed Aug 17, 2005
On Tue Sep 30, 2008 01:42 PM
Can people not accept that the dance world is allowed to evolve? "Classical ballet studios" mainly teach ballet and technique, we get that. But ballet was not around until the 1800s, at least not the same way it is around today. Modern only came about in the 1920s as a ballet rebellion. Today it is a perfectly acceptible style of dance. Well, lyrical is combining two "reputable" styles of dance-ballet and jazz-and creating a new style. It's not a debate as to whether it is a real style of dance or not. I've never even HEARD any debate about it. And now we have contemporary dance too. A brand new style that seems to mesh lyrical and modern together. Just because they are not ballet and there is no lyrical dance company doesn't mean it isn't a "real" dance form.

I believe the OP wanted to know a bit more about lyrical dance and how it differs from ballet, so let's switch back to that topic now, shall we?
re: difference between a ballet and a lyrical class en>fr fr>en
By BlackTights Comments: 938, member since Fri May 04, 2007
On Wed Oct 01, 2008 03:55 AM
I have to agree with TutuU222's take on lyrical dance. Lyrical is a real form of dance in the sense that people are really taking lyrical classes and really performing lyrical dances in competitions and shows.

But beyond that, it is not a form of dance being studied in the top dance academies in the world. You will not find lyrical classes at Paris Opera Ballet School, Royal Ballet Academy, SAB, SF Ballet School, PNB, Juiliard, and so on and so forth. All of these schools do teach classical ballet, but also offer classes in other, more recent dance forms such as modern and jazz. That lyrical is not part of the curriculum of these sorts of schools says a lot regarding the collective professional opinion of lyrical dance in its current form.

I think if there was solid technique involved, it could possibly be taught in the reputable schools at some point in the future. How would one create technique where no real technique exists though? I guess that is the problem.

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