May 19, 2013
Written by Victoria Baker
Thursday, 20 January 2011 12:16
"Dance is the hidden language of the soul of the body" said dance legend Martha Graham.Dancers bodies are graceful, their posture beautiful and perhaps because of their high level of physical activity their bodies seem to age more gracefully than most. Performance Dance, a nearby Dance Studio has announced that it will provide Adult Beginning and Intermediate Ballet classes for adults. Classes are taught by industry veteran Nancy Schwartz who has danced professionally in National Ballet and modern dance companies for the past thirty years. Classes are musically based, combined with stretch and strength exercises for the adult.
Classes are fun and educational. Welcoming a large span in ages and varying degrees of training. A long strength building bar of one hour is followed by well-rounded slow to quick movements in the center. For more information please log onto performancedance.com
In 1661, the Sun King, a name he acquired from a role he danced in high-heeled shoes with large guilt buckles complete with shining sun rays, founded the Royal Academy of Dance, the first professional school of ballet. Oddly enough, the outward pointing of toes to show off his shiny shoe buckles laid the foundation for the five basic ballet positions. Until 1681 all female roles performed were danced by young men. This was supposedly a strength issue. Enormous head dresses, full heavy skirts and weighty corsets were thought incapable of being carried by the frame of a woman. It was not until the performance of Le Triomphe de l'Amour in 1681 that the first female dancers performed professionally.
By 1700 many of the words we recognize to display movements were already in use, including jete, sissone, chasse, entrechat, pirouette, and cabriole. The French ballet master Raoul Feuillet included steps and positions in his book “Choregraphie” much like the technique of today. Ballet companies developed throughout Europe. In Russia, the Imperial Ballet of St. Petersburg, whose school was founded in 1738, began teaching Ballet.
Six decades later, a metamorphosis was about to unfold. French choreographer Jean Georges Noverre criticized professional dancers in his book: “Lettres Sur La Danse.” He stated that the purpose of ballet was to express feelings. He urged dancers to stop wearing masks, bulky costumes and headdresses. He felt that a dancer's body should be able to express emotions such as anger or joy or love. Noverre developed the ballet d'action, a form of ballet that conveys a story through movement. If you've never danced before perhaps it's never too late to begin. Whether you are a professional or just an amateur dancing makes us happy, healthy and apparently keeps all those who engage in it forever young.
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