Costume Parade Keeps Ballet Company Alive

In the face of often overwhelming budget cuts in schools and local communities, dancers, teachers and artistic directors are finding new ways to voice their concerns.
Take a cue from the Corpus Christi Ballet in southern Texas: At a recent city council meeting, the nonprofit ballet company fought a $17, 617 budget cut proposal decked out in full costume. Company and student dancers paraded the meeting as characters from Swan Lake and other ballets.
As of today, the council has decided to vote “No” on the proposal.
“We have never had a more supportive council,” Heidi Hovda, who co-organized the group of art’s supporters, said in a statement to the Caller -Times. “We just wanted them to see the people that these cuts will affect.”
We, as dance educators, realize how much the arts and dance enrich young people’s lives. If it takes a costume parade to wake up your local governments, then grab every available dance enthusiast and make some noise. Even if your efforts are in vain, it may get your studio, school or company in the pages of your local paper.

Check out the full story at: http://www.caller.com/news/2008/jun/18/council-hears-plea-for-arts-support/ and
http://www.caller.com/news/2008/jun/17/many-voice-support-arts-funding/

 

 

Technique
Nan Melville, courtesy Genn

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"Often when we tell dancers to go down, they physically push down, or think they have to plié more," she says. These are misconceptions that keep dancers from, among other things, jumping to their full potential.

To help dancers learn to efficiently use what she calls "Mother Marley," Genn has developed these clever techniques and teaching tools.

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Alwin Courcy, courtesy Ballet des Amériques

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"For three days I would experience relief from the fever—then, boom—it would come back worse than before," Alexis says. "I would go into a room and not know why I was there." Despite the remission of some symptoms, the fatigue and other debilitating side effects have endured to this day. Alexis is part of a tens-of-thousands-member club nobody wants to be part of—she is a COVID-19 long-hauler.

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"I had a hard time watching people have these conversations without historical context and knowledge," says Griffith, who now resides in her hometown of Portland, Oregon, after many years in New York City. "It was clear that there was so much information missing."

For example, she observed people discussing tap while demonstrating ignorance about Black culture. Or, posts that tried to impose upon tap the history or aesthetics of European dance forms.

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