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Ballet and Modern Dance FAQ



Frequently Asked Questions about Ballet and Modern Dance

This FAQ about Ballet and Modern Dance was compiled and written by Tom Parsons twp@panix.com with numerous contributions by others.

Copyright (c) 1995-2004 by Thomas Parsons; all rights reserved. This FAQ MAY NOT be posted to any USENET newsgroup, on-line service, BBS, or Web page, without the written consent of the author. This FAQ MAY NOT be distributed in part or in full for financial gain. No portion of this FAQ may be included in commercial collections or compilations without express permission from the author.

This FAQ is provided as is without any express or implied warranties. While every effort has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the infor- mation contained in this article, the author assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions, or for damages resulting from the use of the information contained herein.

-1. General information
In a group as young as this one was when this FAQ was first written, ...
-1.1. What is this group?
The purpose of alt.arts.ballet is to provide a forum for ...
-1.2. Is there a group for modern dance?
This is it. Don't be misled by our name; modern-dance people ...
-1.3. What is the difference between alt.arts.ballet and rec.arts.dance?
Our group branched off from rec.arts.dance. Eliot ...
-1.4. Are there any other ballet/modern groups?
No; this is it. But there is a ballet chat group on the New ...
-1.5. How can I access this group?
Direct access to the group is available via news readers at ...
-1.6. How can I post to this group?
You can post articles to this group with your newsreader....
-1.7. Are there any dance pages on the World Wide Web?
Yes. Web pages are generally a mixed bag; some pages are ...
-1.8. I'm only a beginner; should I just shut up and listen?
Victor Eijkhout, in the FAQ for rec.arts.dance, asks this ...
-2. General questions about ballet and modern dance
The entries in this section and the next are largely for ...
-2.1. What is ballet?
There are many definitions; here's one of the earliest: Ballet ...
-2.2. What is modern dance?
Modern dance (sometimes just modern for short and also ...
-2.3. What is a ballet class like?
A ballet class is a carefully graded sequence of exercises lasting,...
-2.4. What is a barre?
The barre is a handrail, approximately waist-high, that ...
-2.5. Why do dancers take so many classes?
Because dancers must practise under supervision. In ballet so ...
-2.6. Why do dancers wear such funny shoes?
Do you mean ordinary ballet shoes or women's pointe shoes?...
-2.7. Do women really dance on their toes? Why?
Yes, in ballet they do dance literally on their toes, ...
-2.8. Why don't men dance on pointe?
Men *do* dance on pointe, on rare occasions. They may ...
-2.9. Why do dancers stand with their feet turned out?
For greater freedom of movement. Many of the steps in ballet ...
-2.10 What is a tutu...and why do they call it that?
A tutu is a light ballet skirt. There are two general kinds, ...
-2.11. What are all these "positions?"
There are positions for the arms, and the feet. Different schools ...
-2.12. What is "placement?"
Placement is, roughly, alignment of the body. Becoming ...
-2.13. Why all that French?
The first ballet school was in France, and the terminology ...
-2.14 If a female dancer is called a ballerina, what is a male dancer called?
There's no satisfactory answer to this one. Theoretically, ...
-2.15. What is a "Prima Ballerina Assoluta"?
Assoluta is Italian for absolute; so if a prima ballerina is the ...
-2.16. What are: a choreographer, a regisseur, a repetiteur, a balletmaster, and an artistic director?
A choreographer is a composer of dances. In practice, the ...
-2.17. What are the most popular ballets?
Estelle Souche ran an informal poll of alt.arts.ballet in March,...
-2.18.1. Dance Bookstores
Some of the larger bookstores may have special sections devoted ...
-2.18.2. Dance Libraries
Among libraries, the best known collection in the United States ...
-2.19. Where can I find dance-related gifts?
I know of the following places:...
-2.20. Where can I find dance videos?
There are two lists put out by the Dance Films Association back ...
-2.21. Where can I find dance-related clipart?
Koo@monmouth.com writes, You can download ballet clipart at ...
-2.22. Where can I find recorded music for ballet?
If you're looking for pieces for performances (i.e., things ...
-3.1. When should I start taking ballet?
The answer to that depends on how old you are. Children must ...
-3.2. When should I start taking modern dance?
Opinions vary; some say, Right away; others say, After you've ...
-3.3. I'm in my early twenties; it it too late for me to start aprofessional career in ballet?
It's not impossible--it has been done before--but the odds ...
-3.4. I'm 35 (or 45 or 55 or...) years old. Is it ridiculous for me toconsider ballet classes?
This topic has come up repeatedly. The answer is No. We have ...
-3.5. I'm thinking of returning to ballet after -- years; how should Istart? Are there videos I can buy?
Your best bet is to look for a school (question 3.11), just as ...
-3.6. I'm a man. I feel funny about taking ballet classes. I mean, isn'tit...er...a little...?
Well, it isn't easy for a man to start ballet, at least in English-...
-3.7. Okay, I'm starting ballet. What equipment do I need?
For males, tights, a T-shirt (or, optionally, a leotard), a ...
-3.8. I'm a guy! Do I have to wear tights?
For some reason, many men have problems with this, ...
-3.9. Where can I buy dancewear?
There are stores that specialize in dancewear. Try the ...
-3.10. How can I make a tutu?
I know of two sources of information. First, Beginning Ballet, by ...
-3.11. How do I find/choose a school or teacher?
If you know any dancers, ask them. If you don't, look in ...
-3.12. How can I tell if a teacher is good?
I don't know whether you can, at the very start, although if (s)...
-3.13. If the teacher makes me feel good, won't I become overconfident?
Ballet is a difficult and exacting art, and for most of us ...
-3.14. I live in ----; where can I take classes?
Again, look in the yellow pages or ask around. There is also ...
-3.15. I don't know a thing about ballet and I'm trying to select a schoolfor my child. Where should I look? And what should I look for?
Barbara Early's book, Finding the Best Dance Instruction, listed in ...
-10. If the students and instructors don't habitually use French balletterminology, go somewhere else.
Schools range all the way from professional-track schools (where ...
-3.16. What is this "Dolly Dinkle" business, anyway?
The name was originally Dolly Dingle, an artist's character from ...
-3.17. What about studying in a university dance department?
A. Amy Reusch compiled the following list of things to consider....
-3.18. Where can I find out about Summer dance programs?
You can ask in this group; but in addition Dance Magazine ...
-3.19. I took my first class and I couldn't understand what was going on!
This, I'm afraid, is all too typical. One's very first ...
-3.20 I keep getting mixed up!
We all do; don't feel bad about it. Getting mixed up and ...
-3.21. What is "B-plus"?
B-plus is crois'ee derri`ere, usually used to describe ...
-3.22. What are the basic movements in dance?
Somebody classified all the ways of moving in dance into ...
-3.23. How can I learn to raise my leg over my shoulder, the way I see otherdancers doing?
The ability to do this is known as extension. It is partly ...
-3.24. When can my daughter start toe dancing?
Girls must not go up on pointe (dance or exercise on their toes)...
-3.25. I'm an adult beginner. Am I too old for pointe?
It isn't out of the question. But you have to be just as careful ...
-3.26. I'm 5'7" (or whatever) high. Am I too tall for ballet?
This question comes up regularly. For anybody who simply wants to ...
-3.27. What is a career in dancing like?
Rough. It's demanding and highly competitive, especially ...
-3.28. My daughter's gym classes are interfering with her ballet training.What can I do to make the school listen?
A great deal depends on the form the gym class takes; don't ...
-3.29. How can I build a proper floor for dancing?< /a>
First, the reason for this question: A hard, unyielding ...
-3.30. How high should a ballet barre be?
For a studio, the short answer is, 3 feet 6 inches (107 cm) to ...
-3.31. I'm job hunting. Any tips for preparing a resume?
There is information available on line: look ...
-4. Ballet history
Ballet is at once the oldest and the youngest of the arts. ...
-4.1. Who invented ballet?
No one person did; it evolved gradually from the popular dances ...
-4.2. I thought ballet was a Russian art.
Many of the greatest dancers in the 20th century have been Russian,...
-4.3. When was the first ballet?
That's open to debate, because there's no general agreement on ...
-4.4. What is the oldest surviving ballet?
If by surviving you mean, continually in the repertory of ...
-4.5. When was the first ballet school started?
The Acad'emie Royale de la Danse was founded in 1661 by Louis ...
-4.6. How did ballet develop after the founding of that school?
The century after the founding of the Acad'emie marked the ...
-4.7. Who was Noverre?
Jean-Georges Noverre (1727-1810) was a dancer, a choreographer, ...
-4.8. How did ballet develop in the nineteenth century?
Dance in the nineteenth century was marked by three main develop-...
-4.8.1. Who was Carlo Blasis?
Carlo Blasis (1797-1878) was the author of The Theory and ...
-4.8.2. Who was August Bournonville?
August Bournonville (1805-1879) was soloist, choreographer, ...
-4.8.3. The primacy of the ballerina
In the nineteenth century, the ballerina became the central ...
-4.8.4. Ballet in Russia
Ballet first arose in Russia during the reign of the Empress Anne,...
-4.8.5. Who was Didelot?
Charles Louis Didelot (1767-1836), the Swedish-born son of a ...
-4.8.6. Who was Petipa?
Marius Petipa (1822-1910) was trained in France and had danced ...
-4.9. Dance in the 20th century
The 20th century has been marked chiefly by a renewal of ballet ...
-4.9.1. Who was Diaghilev and what did he do?
Serge Diaghilev (1872-1929) was an impresario, the manager of ...
-4.9.2. Who was Fokine?
Michel Fokine (1880-1942) was trained at the Imperial School ...
-4.9.3. Who was Balanchine?
George Balanchine (1904-1983), born Georgi ...
-4.9.4. The beginnings of modern dance
Modern dance has its roots in the late 19th century, but is ...
-5.1. Is there a way of writing down dance, the way we write down music?
Yes, and the tradition is very nearly as old as ballet itself....
-5.2. Is there software for doing choreography?
Do you mean software for doing choreography (that is, for ...
-5.2.1. Choreography Software: LifeForms
The only software for doing choreography known to this group is ...
-5.2.2. Choreography Software: Labanwriter
For choreographic *notation*, there is a program for the Macintosh ...
-5.3. Is there software for my dance studio?
Mark J. Zetler writes:...
-5.4. What is Contact Improvisation?
Contact Improvisation is a modern dance form invented by ...
-6.1. Ballet and Modern Dance Books
You will never learn ballet or any other kind of dance just ...
-6.1.1. Introductory Ballet and Modern Dance Books
-6.1.2. General Ballet and Modern Dance History Books
-6.1.3. Biography, Memoirs, and Specific Ballet and Modern Dance History Books
-6.1.4. Ballet and Modern Dance Criticism and Analysis
-6.1.5. Ballet and Modern Dance Reference
-6.1.6. Ballet and Modern Dance Source Materials
-6.1.7. Ballet and Modern Dance Technique
-6.1.8. Stretching, Fitness and Sports/Dance Medicine
-6.1.9. Ballet and Modern Dance Books For Young People
-6.1.10. Dance Photography
-6.1.11. Dance Fiction
-6.1.12. Dance Miscellaneous Books
-6.2. Ballet and Modern Dance Periodicals
(Thanks to Estelle Souche for names of French magazines.)...
-7.1. General Dance Organizations
Sandi Kurtz has provided the following list of dance-...
-7.2. Dance Organizations offering help with eating disorders
Many women dancers, under pressure to keep their weight down,...









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