Now that spring break has passed, it's recital crunch time! At Groove with Me, I'm devoting much of my class to performance readiness. On top of practicing their dances, I spend a few minutes each lesson discussing proper audience decorum and what's acceptable behavior in a theater.
What I love most about spring (apart from the sunny 70-degree days we've finally had in the northeast) are the opportunities to see other schools' productions. I'm inspired to be a better teacher after each viewing, and there's always something to take away—whether it's a cool lighting design element or a stellar song choice. If you're in or around NYC this weekend, The Joffrey Ballet School Performance Company will present two showings Saturday, May 7th at the Miller Theater at 2:30 and 7pm. The performances will feature five specially commissioned pieces by artists including Daniel Ulbricht, Julie Bour and Matthew Prescott.
And this past April, I had the pleasure to see the Valentina Kozlova Dance Conservatory of New York's spring gala performance. My favorite part of the night was watching excerpts from La Bayadère. Kozlova's students performed the variations' tricky pointework and fast footing with great professionalism and ease. I was very impressed. Sarah Steele took the lead as the devious Gamzatti, and as she conquered the difficult attitude turns and cabrioles (my most dreaded step), proved to be a great role model to the younger students of the evening. The performance's success was certainly a testament to Valentina's expert coaching. Click here to read more about Dance Teacher's January 2011 cover girl!
Photo: Quiz! Marius Petipa originally staged La Bayadère—the man in this portrait composed the music. Who is he?