Method | Melbourne School of Classical Dance
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Method

" Natural talents are great, but they don't appear often enough to fill our theatres with good dancers. There has to be a method... "  
                               
                                                                - Gabriela Darvish on the Russian method


Melbourne School of Classical Dance teaches children's classical ballet technique using the Russian method, originally developed by Mme. Agrippina Vaganova over one hundred years ago. This technique is employed by many professional ballet companies (and their associated academies) both in Australia and world-wide. It is proven to produce excellent results with both vocational and recreational students because it teaches each dancer to move her/his body intuitively with grace, style and strength.

The Russian technique fuses the romantic style of French ballet with the athletic virtuosity that characterizes the Italian school. This technique has produced many of the best dancers in the world, including Anna Pavlova, Natalia Makarova, Mikhail Baryshnikov, the legendary choreographer George Balanchine, and professional dancers in almost every company in the world.

One important feature of the Russian method is the progressive manner in which material is introduced. This allows for the slow and steady development of the dancer, encouraging a true understanding of basic principles and a solid basis for advanced work. In this method, new work is introduced regularly so that young dancers exercise their minds as well as their bodies, developing the skills of adaptability and memory, essential for every dancer.

Early training focuses on epaulement, or the stylized turning of the shoulders and body, which instills in the dancer an intuitive anticipation of how best to use every part of his or her body to evoke breathtaking results, right down to the hands and eyes. The Russian Method's codified technical approach thus emphasises the simultaneous development of both technical proficiency and individual artistry, and a complete range of movement expression that comes out of proper placement and a strong classical dance foundation.

Crossing over to the Russian Method:

The Russian method was designed to train dancers to a professional standard in classical ballet and the training was considered to be vocational from age nine or ten - that is, Level 1. Traditionally, children attend lessons 6 days per week from the age of 10 years, progressing through the 8 levels of the Russian syllabus by age 18. At age 18, a vocationally-oriented dancer usually graduates from school and commences a performance career with a ballet company.

For those planning to cross over from other syllabi: Please note that the demands of the Russian levels are often considerably greater the demands of the same numerical level in other syllabi and that it is difficult to make comparisons. It is recommended that students begin with a Trial Class to assess their level.

The Russian Ballet Syllabus is comprehensively described in the professional handbook School of Classical Dance by A. Pisarev & V. Kostrovitskaya.
 
 
 
   
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Melbourne School of Classical Dance Pty Ltd 305 Victoria Street Brunswick VIC 3056 03 9417 4446 info@mscd.com.au