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Ballet term paper

"Adeline Gen"e came to London with an engagement for only six weeks, but she was to stay for ten years, becoming one of the foremost and most popular figures of the Edwardian theatre. She was to enable the Empire to acquire a prestige that outshone that of the Alhambra, while her own achievement went far beyond filling the houses. She was to contribute very largely towards removing the social stigma that clung to the dancer's profession, and thus she helped to pave the way for that great awakening of interest in ballet as a serious art which was to follow later in the twentieth century. During her long spell at the Empire she built up a reputation that justly placed her among the great ballerinas of all time. She became a star of a magnitude to which no other dancer in London had been able to aspire since the days of Taglioni, Elssler and Cerrito sixty years before, and though the artistic quality of the ballets she appeared in did not approach the high level of the productions which Diaghilev was to bring to London, her talents were so outstanding that the great Russian impresario wished, but in vain, to include her in his company.

A chance to hear Violette Verdy"s thoughts concerning musicality came one morning with her gracious invitation to observe her teach the company class for New York City Ballet."

"Long considered one of the most delightful of Balanchine's ballerinas, Violette Verdy went on to become artistic director of the Paris Opera Ballet and later the Boston Ballet. Most recently, she has rejoined New York City Ballet as a master teaching associate. In addition, she devotes considerable time and effort to setting both Balanchine's choreography and her own works on other companies in the United States and abroad. Her Set of Seven, to piano music by Mary Jeanne van Appledorn, was among the works featured in the American Music Festival presented by New York City Ballet. When this dance artist finally sat down to rest for a few minutes, she was asked: "What is musicality in a dancer?" Miss Verdy responded: "That's difficult to answer simply. It's such a question! But I feel that I danced because of my love for music. I feel that even some of my physical technique and the courage it takes to have it, came from my musical conviction. I think that music has been the conviction for my dancing, even from the start. I think that's what has made me dance."

"Many of the general principles of musical accompaniment for ballet class can be applied in modern dance classes as well. There are obviously going to be some differences in style, atmosphere, and use of instruments, phrasing, harmony, and rhythm. There tends to be more musical improvisation and less inclusion of composed repertoire, and whereas piano alone suffices for ballet the accompanist for modern dance technique--especially if it is jazz-oriented--is often requested to provide percussion as well. Once again, the main priority for the musician is to watch the dancers carefully and support their efforts. The novice accompanist for modern dance is urged to observe classes with several different teachers, for there is much more individual variation in the technical exercises of contemporary stylists than there is among ballet educators. Visually, there are some common denominators, for modern dance does draw on the traditions of ballet and even jazz teachers recommend that all their students take ballet training first. But in addition to incorporating the heritage of classical European theatrical dance, modern American choreographers also use techniques and expressive movements that have their roots in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. It is the differences that delineate modern dance from ballet. If ballet emphasizes "lift," the illusion of flight, and working against gravity in various ways, then modern dance has a tradition that differs. Certainly, modern concert choreographers continue to devise daring new leaps and combinations of lifts."

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