In the spirit Halloween, we want to share with you some iconic dance costumes that are guaranteed competition winners.
Ballet became a codified technique with formal training in the royal courts of France. Ornate costumes were worn to take the audience out of the bounds of 'reality' and to add a mysticism to the performance, effectively creating a world of its own.
Martha Graham used her costume to contribute meaning to her work
Martha Graham's masterpiece solo Lamentation features a dancer, who remains mostly seated, dancing encased in a purple tube of jersey fabric. Graham selected this costume for the piece to evoke the essence of grief. The costume serves to dehumanize the dancer and allow the audience to see a living, moving emotion.
The tutu is too too cool
How can we talk about costumes without paying homage to the beautiful tutu! The tutu comes in many shapes, colors, and styles depending on the era/ theme of a work. Pictured here is the Romantic tutu as used in Jules Perrot's Giselle. The romantic tutu is soft and long. It flies as the dancer spins, creating an ethereal, non human look. Perfect for a ballet about ghosts!
Pablo Picasso: designer extraordinaire!
Yes, you read that right! Pablo Picasso spent many of his 'cubist' years in collaboration with the Ballets Russes. Below is a costume he designed for Leonide Massine's Parade. Not only do the costumes give this work a unique look, but the funky set (also designed by Picasso) adds yet another piece to the puzzle, painting a multi medium picture for audiences to marvel at!
Merce Cunningham: leave it up to chance
Merce Cunningham, an icon in the modern dance world, was known for leaving several elements of his productions up to chance. This includes pieces performed on a given night, dancers performing, and even sometimes music, all decided at the roll of a dice. His costumes, colorful and often formed to showcase the body, were usually not decided based on chance due to fitting requirements. However their uniqueness and fantastical nature helped set the tone for his loosely planned approach.
What will you wear this year?!
Sometimes picking the perfect costume can be daunting. Maybe this year is the year to dress as a Royal Court dancer or to put together a Picasso inspired cubist look of your own! You'll be front and center as people marvel at how clever your costume is!
We are so excited to have our studios full with our students again! Studying an art form can actually benefit a student's performance in school. How, you ask? Keep reading to find out!
Tombe, pas de bourre, glissade, jete!
Does that mean anything to you? Our ballet students are learning French terminology that pairs with specific codified movements within ballet technique!
How does art relate to dance?
Dance IS art. Imagine your favorite painting. Are the brush strokes heavy and abstract? or are they well organized and precise? Dance can emulate all of these qualities! A dancers movements act as the brush strokes and the stage is the canvas!
History/ Social Studies
Dance isn't just about learning movement, discipline, and technique. Dance has a rich history that we love to teach our students. Having historical context makes dancing in modern day even more special!
We spend our entire dance class counting. Although we only count to 8, consider the mental speed required to stack multiple eight counts on top of each other. And remember them!
Dancing exposes students to diverse sounds, rhythms, and musical compositions. Dancers learn to express music through the vehicle of the body which builds a strong creative connection to music.
How can we use gravity to our advantage? How does the physics of weight shift affect the way we move? These are all things we think about and learn in dance technique.
Class is in session!
Dance supplements our school work in many ways, but it also goes further! Dance inspires our students to go above and beyond. To challenge themselves to be great. Dance builds confidence, social skills and helps the brain develop as students build coordination, rhythmic ability and sensitivity to music. So what are you doing? Get back in class!!
Auditions, Auditions, Auditions! We've got some of our BEST tips here so that YOU can shine at your next audition. Keep reading for all of the best audition tips and for more details about audition opportunities!
Tip: Dress to impress
It is always wise to dress nicely in order to leave a good impression and yes, this applies to dance auditions! Look your best from head to toe and you will WOW the audition teachers.
Make sure your shoes are laced with the laces tucked in, form fitting leotard and tights, and your hair is neatly pulled back into a ballet bun.
A professional look will draw attention and help land you an awesome role!
Check out this ballet bun tutorial!
Tip: Use your best
A big skill that audition teachers look for is ability to listen and take corrections. If you are focused and take directions from your teacher well, you are more likely to get cast in that role you've always wanted!
Tip: Rest up, eat well!
Make sure you get a good night's sleep the night before your audition and eat foods that will energize your body! While sugar provides an instant energy rush, it doesn't last long and usually ends in a crash. Try eating foods that will energize you for longer like bananas or oatmeal. Foods high in complex carbohydrates and protein will keep you on your tip toes for the whole audition!
Tip: Take ten minutes to brush up on your terminology
If you haven't been dancing all summer or even if you have, it wouldn't hurt to take ten minutes to review vocabulary and terminology. This way you will be able to focus on dancing at the audition rather than remembering what a balancé means!
Tip: Be yourself!
We get it. Auditioning can be nerve wracking! But don't stress, be yourself! We love to see our students for who they are and what they can bring to our production that is unique. So no need to come in and pretend that you're Misty Copeland!