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Balanchine to Classical

Balanchine to Classical

For 7 years, I was trained in a very strict Balanchine technique I induced a stigma upon myself that classical technique was boring, dull, and outdated. Starting at Colorado Ballet, I knew I was going to be stepping into the classical ballet arena, but it was not at all what I expected. Before I even started the classes, I went in with an attitude that, because I was the “Balanchine Dancer”, I was above everyone. I thought I would be able to do classical ballet classes with Balanchine technique.

That’s not how it worked. I had a meeting with the school director, Ms. Erica, and she told me I could do Balanchine, or try classical. It all just depended on which companies I wanted to get in to. I decided to try classical. It was very difficult, and I struggled with losing my prejudices.

Not only was it a physical struggle, but a mental one too. Slowly, I began to really enjoy Classical technique.I felt that within it, I was able to create individualistic and artistic expression within the simplicity of the movements. Balanchine was really fun because it gave a lot of room to make things really big, but classical provided more subtlety in the work.

At my last meeting with Ms. Erica, she told me I meshed classical technique and Balanchine dynamic really well. That means my technique was improving, along with my lines and muscles length, but retained the excitement of Balanchine technique. Ms. Erica also told me to perhaps try for more classical companies, since that’s what seemed to keep my leg muscles longer, instead of bunched. Both are great techniques, and I implore those, interested in going into any style ballet company, to practice all ballet techniques and styles.

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