Summer Teaching Diaries: Fostering Young Dancers’ Love for Ballet

Posted by on 07.22.2014

Dancers all know that more work is put in offstage than onstage.  The same goes for young people studying ballet.  Though they may not be assigned “homework” as they are in school, education outside the studio is just as important as the education they are receiving at the barre. There are many small dance studios across the country and around the world. Not every aspiring dancer has the great fortune of attending a professional school where the tradition of ballet surrounds them day in and day out. Not every student has access to professional quality performances, showcasing generations of beloved productions. However, in today’s high-tech society,...

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A Letter to My Former Ballet Student-Self

Posted by on 07.20.2014

A Letter to My Former Ballet Student-Self: __________________________________________ Dear Rebecca, It has been over 8 years since we have met.  Since then I have become a corps de ballet dancer with an internationally renowned company, toured across the world, had the opportunity to dance many of classical ballet’s most beloved works, and worked with today’s leading choreographers.  How did this happen you ask?  Sometimes I wonder the same thing.  After picking up some teaching gigs this summer, I decided that I would like to send you a note filled with the lessons I have learned, because everything looks different from the front of the studio. First,...

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Profile of a Great Ballet: La Valse

Posted by on 04.01.2013

George Balanchine’s La Valse has been a staple of Miami City Ballet’s repertoire for years.  Not only have we performed this excellent work all across South Florida, we waltzed on the Parisian stage where the music premiered in 1920.  Since performing this ballet in a beautiful theater with such history, this Balanchine work has become incredibly close to our hearts. I recently decided to delve more into the story and premise in order to have a more complete understanding of Balanchine’s vision.  He choose to create a plot within this 30 minute work, but as is often the case with Balanchine choreography, the story is complex and open for...

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Profile of a Great Ballet: Apollo

Posted by on 01.19.2013

I am ashamed to admit it, but until the beginning of this season, I had never seen George Balanchine’s Apollo. OK, well maybe I had seen it, but I had never really seen it.  Life changed for me on that Thursday evening sitting in the house of Miami’s Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts.  I know that sounds dramatic, but it gave me a whole new respect for Balanchine’s choreography (and if you are a regular reader, you know I am already a big fan.) The morning after my first real viewing of Apollo, I sat with my coffee and my Balanchine books to study up on the ballet’s story and history before seeing it again that evening.  I...

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A Book For Every Aspiring Dancer: ‘Girl In Motion’

Posted by on 06.28.2012

Those of you who spend quite a bit of time in the online dance community have probably heard that former Miami City Ballet Dancer, Miriam Wenger-Landis, has just come out with her second novel, Breaking Pointe (which was given it’s name long before the CW television show premiered).  In honor of the release of her second book, Ms. Wenger-Landis has agreed to two interviews for TENDUS, one on each of her publications. Girl in Motion the prequel to Breaking Pointe, follows young aspiring ballet dancer, Anna, as she makes the transition from her home town to the world of competitive ballet schools.  Anna encounters many ups and downs in her two years at the School...

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Profile of a Great Ballet: Coppélia

Posted by on 03.20.2012

Coppélia first premiered May 25, 1870 at the Théâtre Impérial de l’Opéra in Paris.  This classic ballet in three acts was originally choreographed by Arthur Saint-Léon and set to a score by Léo Delibes.  The plot follows a story by E.T.A. Hoffmann: The curtain opens on an European town as an old man, Dr. Coppélius hobbles out of his house.  The town is mystified by this elderly citizen, as no one really knows exactly what he does.  A beautiful young woman is sitting on the balcony of his house reading a book.  As he looks up at her with delight, he renters his home. Our story’s heroine, Swanhilda, now enters.  Dancing around the stage in search...

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