Posts Tagged ‘Houston Ballet Academy’

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Houston Ballet Academy Students Take Voyage Of Discovery And Inspiration In Germany At The Fourth Dance Education Biennale 2014 Dresden

March 21, 2014

–by Shelly Power, Houston Ballet Academy Director

From February 15 – 23, 2014, a group representing Houston Ballet Academy enjoyed a full week in Dresden, Germany, participating in workshops, classes, performances and a two-day symposium on the creative process. Being one of three international schools and the only school from America, we were privileged and honored to be a part of the Biennale.

Houston Ballet Academy Students in Germany 1

Houston Ballet Academy Dancers,  Jack Thomas and Charlotte Larzelere

As I reflect back on our trip to Germany it reminds me of the importance of Houston Ballet’s international relationships with the Prix de Lausanne ballet competition in Switzerland, with Canada’s National Ballet School, and with ballet schools in Japan. They not only help us continue the evolution of dance in the broad perspective; they also impact us personally.

Jason Beechey, Director of the Palucca Schule in Dresden, hosted the week, which inspired our students, challenged our thinking and allowed us to experience performances in the beautiful Semperoper Opera House as well as the Hellerau European Center for the Arts.

Our contingent included Houston Ballet II Ballet Master Claudio Munoz,  Houston Ballet II dancers James Potter and Jack Thomas, and level 8 students Charlotte Larzelere and Madison Young. Claudio arrived with our students on Saturday, February 15, and classes began early Sunday morning. The teaching staff was fantastic and featured  free-lance teachers Christine  Anthony, Artistic Director  Frederic Flamand, Choreographer and Ballet Director Marguerite Donlon, and Semperoper Ballet’s Principal Ballet Mater Gamal Goud — to name a few. Check out the entire roster at http://www.biennale-tanzausbildung.de/en/participants/teachers/.

The Student Workshops

Students rotated throughout the week, allowing for a different daily class experience. The workshop met daily, and students worked with the same group and leader all week, giving them time to get comfortable with the process. The end results of the workshop were informally demonstrated at the Hellerau European Center for the Arts, which is a creative space plunked right down in the middle of a residential area.  It has an important history for the Dresden community as well as for the creativity the space itself is designed to bring about.

Charolette Houston Ballet Academy

Houston Ballet Academy Dancer, Charlotte Larzelere

I witnessed each group as they maneuvered themselves through the process each leader created for them. Charlotte seemed to expand her long arms and legs and move more freely.  James absorbed a sense of confidence. Although already intense in his thought process, he seemed to deepen his conviction to the movement. Jack was inspired by the process in that he had never experienced improvisation in this way and gave of himself fully. Madison was a trouper as she observed the process because her injured toe prevented her from participating. However, through her observation, I believe she witnessed much of what I observed:  individual personal growth in each student.

Houston Ballet Academy - James Potter

Houston Ballet Academy Dancer, James Potter

In an interview later, James expressed how he was able to feel more assured overall because the process helped him to develop his own movement and emotion, which he plans to incorporate in his investment in future roles as a dancer. It is most difficult to put yourself out there in this manner — rather than copying what you believe a role should be.  You give of yourself to the role, and you become the role as one.

Performance Time!

Mr. Beechey invited us to bring two pieces of student choreography to Dresden. James Potter had just finished a new piece for his evaluations in the fall, and we invited him to bring a second piece he had done last summer for the choreographic workshop. Both pieces were performed in the Semperoper House on Tuesday night, February 23. Other schools joined him with an array of works that represented work from each school.

Before both pieces, we showed a video in which James and his dancers shared their journey in creating the work which had been filmed and edited by David Rivera of Houston Ballet. The audience loved both pieces as well as the film on the creative process.

During the week, we were fortunate to see The Forsythe Company perform Sider. Watching this improvisational piece develop on the spot was incredible. I found out later that the dancers heard commands through ear pieces that directed them when to stop and start and move to another section as well as hearing Shakespearean dialogue which crafted much of the story. I heard from audience members who had attended again the second night that the piece looked totally different from the first night. Now German audiences have experienced this type of performance many times before. However many of us saw this process for the first time.

The week ended for me with a performance of Romeo and Juliet at the Semperoper House danced by the Dresden Ballet company. The choreography and contemporary concept by Stijn Celis were unique. I am not sure balletomanes would enjoy it. But I was most impressed with the ballet dancer’s ability to tell the story in a language so different from classical ballet. Celis was brave in his choices, such as having Juliet (Julia Weiss) in tennis shoes, a white button down shirt and shorts. She danced beautifully. Elena Vostrotina as Lady Capulet is over 6 feet tall in her stilettos heels, and carried much of the show simply with her powerful walks across stage.  Jiří Bubeníček was incredible as Romeo.

The Symposium

Over two days, we discussed the creative process in several different scenarios during the symposium. We focused on how creativity affects the artist, an institution, the funding, an audience, the profession and education as a whole.

Houston Ballet Center for Dance

Houston Ballet Center for Dance; Photo by Nic Lehoux

I participated as a panelist in a forum in which we discussed how creative our own institutions were. Given that we offer several different venues at Houston Ballet that actually push the creative engine, I felt proud of our investment of time and energies. The Margaret Alkek Williams Dance Lab (the 175-seat black box theater at Houston Ballet’s Center for Dance) came to mind.  This space gives us the opportunity to create new works, present performances, and educate through Dance Talks and Studio Series. Also, through collaborations such as Pink at the Brown, we give artists the opportunity to give of their talents to raise awareness and resources, all in the name of breast cancer awareness and using the arts to heal.

Other topics such as the conflict between education and the profession were discussed, which highlighted the growth the US has made in college dance programs across the country, juxtaposed with German schools which offer B.A. and M.A.’s by the hundreds. We considered the usefulness of such degrees, and how Europe and America differ in hiring with such degrees.

The key note speech on Creativity and Promoting Creativity was presented by Professor Dr. Rainer Holm-Hadulla who is a specialist in psychiatry and has written a book on this topic. He walked us through the analysis of creative processes, revealing the implications for the promotion of ordinary and extraordinary creativity. That said, it is more about an individual’s interest in an art form than it is on DNA. Those who pursue what they love often end up succeeding in some manner. Those who are extraordinary might be individuals who take something out of chaos and form structure from it. Often those in our culture who have been extraordinarily creative have built an inner structure within themselves that may have been missing, thus producing an external art form such as painting, music or dance. I won’t go any further as I am afraid Dr. Hadulla might be horrified by my interpretation. But I found his thought process intriguing.

Houston Ballet Academy Dancers in Germany

Houston Ballet II dancers James Potter and Jack Thomas, and level 8 students Charlotte Larzelere and Madison Young

Wrap Up

The symposium wrapped up the week with the articulate and bright spirited Deborah Bull, Mistress of Ceremonies, capturing the inspiration and discovery that both students and directors experienced. Meeting with my colleagues from across the globe was also important as we were able to network and brain storm on how we might bring a new creative energy back home.

 

Watch this video in which Academy student and choreographer James Potter discusses his creative process for creating a new work for Houston Ballet Academy.

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Academy Students Leap On To World Stage At Prix De Lausanne Competition In Switzerland

January 30, 2014

Houston Ballet Academy students Tyler Donatelli, who is 17 and from Huntington Beach, California, and Michael Ryan, who is 17 and a native of Plano, Texas, have been accepted into the  prestigious international ballet competition Prix de Lausanne in Switzerland January 26 – February 1.

Tyler Donatelli & Michael Ryan - Amitava Sarkar Houston Ballet

Dancers: Michael Ryan and Tyler Donatelli; Photo by Cameron Durham

They are in Switzerland this week for an once-in-a-lifetime experience: taking classes, being coached by international experts, and networking with other gifted young students from across the world.  The public can follow their daily progress and watch the final round of the competition on Saturday morning, February 1, via live streaming at the Prix de Lausanne’s web site, www.prixdelausanne.org

Since 2009, five HoustonBalletAcademy students have won awards at the Prix de Lausanne, with one student, Emanuel Amuchastegui, taking the top prize, and the “Audience Favorite” Award in 2010.  Other Houston Ballet dancers who have won awards at Prix de Lausanne include Joel Woellner, Harper Watters, and Aaron Sharatt.

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Joel Woellner at Prix 2013; courtesy of Prix de Lausanne

Behind each of these five winners and Tyler and Michael are a superb group of Houston Ballet Academy instructors who spend months preparing, coaching, teaching and nurturing the young dancers to ready them for the rigors of competition – and in the upper levels of the Academy’s professional training program.

Claudio Munoz is ballet master of Houston Ballet II, and has played a major role in producing the stellar crop of gifted young male dancers in the Academy over the last decade.  He enjoyed a distinguished career as a principal dancer who performed in Peru, Uruguay, Argentina, and New York.  He then went on to serve as an instructor for the Ballet Nacional de Chile, Ballet de Santiago, and Ballet Nacional de Peru.  He joined the staff of Houston Ballet Academy in 1999.  With his charismatic manner, his exacting standards, and his humorous banter in the studio, he has won the affection and dedication of his male students.

Houston Ballet Academy - Claudio Munoz

Claudio Munoz teaching Houston Ballet Academy students; Photo by Cameron Durham

“Claudio understands competitions and balances the pace of the students coaching. He knows when to push and when to step back and allow the student room to find his way,” comments Academy Director Shelly Power.  “Claudio has a wealth of experience that makes his intuitive approach to coaching unique and nurturing.”

Priscilla Nathan Murphy is principal of Houston Ballet’s Lower School, and typically focuses her attention on the Academy’s youngest students.  But recently she has taken a significant role in helping to prepare Tyler and Michael for this year’s Prix de Lausanne.  Priscilla has served on the Academy faculty since 1985, having taught creative movement, ballet and modern dance in the pre-professional and professional divisions of the Academy. As a dancer, she has performed in Singapore and the United States with several companies.  She has also choreographed extensively in the United States.

Level 2_Priscilla Nathan-Murphy_Photo Bruce Bennett

Priscilla Nathan Murphy

“Priscilla is an organic mover,” observed Ms. Power. “Although she might not have worked with the contemporary choreographers whose works the students are required to perform at the Prix, she understands the genesis of the movement. She prepares our students who are competing from a technical level, making them open and responsive to the coaching that they will receive at the Prix. We depend on this foundation because the students cannot go to Prix worried about how to do a contraction. Our students need to focus on how the flow of the movement makes them unique, and they need to be sensitive to the feedback from coaches at the Prix that they are expected to embrace.”

SabrinaLenzi Houston Ballet Academy

Sabrina Lenzi and students of Houston Ballet Academy

A native of Rome, Sabrina Lenzi brings a wealth of international experience to her role as ballet mistress of Houston Ballet II from having danced as a principal at two very prestigious European companies, the Stuttgart Ballet and Birmingham Royal Ballet in the United Kingdom. “Sabrina’s a great coach; she’s very intuitive. She understands the great classical roles because she’s performed them,” observes Ms. Power, “Because Sabrina has been trained in Pilates, she comprehends the body from many different perspectives — from injury prevention to strengthening. Sabrina understands the many different phases of developing a career in dance: from training to become a professional dancer. And she’s very good at helping her students make that transition.  She’s also a mom who has a daughter in the Academy, and being a mother gives her a special understanding of the process.”

A native of Sidney Australia, instructor Andrew Murphy enjoyed a distinguished career as a leading soloist with The Australian Ballet and as a principal dancer with Birmingham Royal Ballet and Houston Ballet. “Andrew is an excellent male role model. He’s very good at helping the male students (some of whom may have been in a school with a majority of girls) to develop an athletic approach with strong attack when they come to Houston Ballet Academy,” commented Ms. Power. “Being very well travelled as a dancer, he brings many experiences from a lifetime of dance in Australia, the United Kingdom, and in America. He started studying ballet very early, and joined a professional company at age 16, which is quite young. Having danced all of the principal roles with companies across the world, he brings a wealth of experience to his coaching.  Andrew is an excellent turner, and he has a superb understanding of the nuances of male dancers executing turns.”

Houston Ballet Academy - Andrew Murphy

Andrew Murphy and students of Houston Ballet Academy; Photo by Nerio Photography

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Summer Intensive: Wait…it’s already Week 6?!

July 26, 2013

Guest Writer: Kate Owen, Academy Intern

Friday July 26, 2013

I can not believe that 6 weeks have already come and gone! This year’s Summer Intensive Program flew by and was a great success, if I do say so myself. I can feel the excitement spreading throughout the entire building as the students prepare for the final performance. In the video below, I was able to get a few students to weigh in on their favorite parts of the summer program and even got a few to show me their unique talents!

Click play below to see what they have to share!

Thanks for keeping up with us this summer. Hope to see you next year!

-Kate

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Reflection – Goals You Set for Yourself: Jonathan Vecseri!

July 23, 2013

Guest Writer: Kate Owen, Academy Intern

Tuesday July 23, 2013

Jonathan is a 16 year old level 6 student from Houston, Texas. Jonathan has been dancing for 3 years at the Ballet Center of Houston and with Houston Repertoire Ballet. He has been in ballets such as Nutcracker, Midsummer Nights Dream, Cinderella, and Storybook. Other activities that he is involved in include speech, debate, square dancing, Civil Air Patrol, and viola. Talk about well-rounded! Jonathan has a love for engineering and mathematics, and ballet of course. During this Summer Intensive, he intends to decide whether he should continue with his ballet career. I don’t know about y’all, but I sure hope he sticks with it!

Please click the link below to meet Jonathan Vecseri and hear him talk about his past few weeks!

Jonathan wants to be a Summer Intensive video blogger to gain interview experience; therefore I will do my best to improve his skills! Besides being involved in Color Guard, speech, and debate, Jonathan has no experience in front of the camera. Dancers must present themselves in front of an audience and with his performance background; this blog will be a breeze!

This courageous young man is attending the Summer Intensive here at Houston Ballet in order to improve his technique and repertoire. He also would like to gain knowledge in what it would be like to be a part of a professional ballet company. Jonathan hopes to decide based on the outcome of this intensive whether or not he will become an engineer or continue with ballet. I know one thing for sure and that is no matter which direction he goes, Jonathan will most definitely flourish.

Stay tuned for the last student video blog post coming soon! The video will show various students sharing their favorite parts of summer and some unique talents.

-Kate

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Meet Our First Summer Blogger: Natalie Payne!

June 27, 2013

Guest Writer: Kate Owen, Academy Intern

Natalie is a 16 year old level 6 student from Sydney, Australia. Ladies and gentlemen, we have an Aussie on our hands! This is her first Summer Intensive ever and she is just thrilled to be at Houston Ballet Academy. She auditioned for the program back in January while on vacation with her family. Talk about commitment! She has a deep passion for ballet and considers herself very dedicated. I think we all can agree with that! Natalie aims to become a professional ballet dancer (hopefully with Houston Ballet)!

Please click play below to meet Natalie Payne!

Natalie wanted to become a Summer Intensive Video Blogger because she knew that it would be a fun and wonderful opportunity. Natalie stated, “I love expressing myself and sharing stories with people. I would love that my family, teachers and friends back in Australia could keep updated with what” she is doing here at Houston Ballet Academy this summer. All of you Natalie-loving-Aussies and ballet fanatics out there get ready to be a part of Natalie’s summer experience!

If you aren’t already head over heels for this amazing ballerina, just wait! She has acting experience! When she was 10 years old she was part of an acting agency and even starred in a few commercials. Her sister is into film-making, so of course Natalie is quite use to being in front of the camera! Thanks Natalie’s sister, because now we get to enjoy her camera-ready vivacity throughout the summer!

Natalie wanted to attend the Summer Intensive Program to grow as a dancer and an artist. She loves working hard and always pushes herself to be better. She was truly inspired by the Houston Ballet II dancer, Harley Campbell. Harley came from the same ballet school in Sydney and absolutely loved it here in Houston. Natalie hopes to “gain an immense amount of knowledge from the amazing staff” and also hopes to be “noticed for her drive, dedication and artistry.” Natalie wants to stay in the year-round program and I sure hope she does!

Stay tuned for more videos from Natalie and come back next Friday to meet another video blogger!

-Kate

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Summer Video Bloggers are coming your way!

June 20, 2013

Mayra Gomez (122 of 157)

Houston Ballet; Photo: Mayra Gomez

Guest Writer: Kate Owen, Academy Intern

The 2013 Summer Intensive Program is finally here! Dancers from every corner of the United States and all around the world came pouring into Houston Ballet Academy bright and early on this beautiful Monday morning. The energy around the Academy is electric! Staff and students alike can not wait to get started! Dancing, learning, and choreographing?! The SIP 2013 students are in for a tough but fantastic 6 weeks. In weeks 2 through 5, videos will be uploaded starring two gregarious students full of life and ready to share! Visit soon to find out who the two lucky students will be! They will share the highlights of their weeks, their favorite dance memories, and much more. These videos will be uploaded to Houston Ballet YouTube and Facebook pages as well.

Stay tuned!

-Kate

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2012 Academy Spring Showcase Q&A

April 9, 2012

April is upon us and that means it’s time for Houston Ballet’s Academy Spring Showcase! The Spring Showcase is happening April 20-21, 2012 and is a chance for our students to show off their growing technical and artistic skills. To get an idea of how the students prepare for such an important event, we caught up with Houston Ballet II students Jacquelyn Long and Joel Woellner.

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Dancer: Jacquelyn Long; Photo: Amitava Sarkar

Let’s start with the basics. How old are you and where are you from?

JL: I’m 18 and I’m from Virginia Beach, Virginia.

JW: I’m 17 and from Sydney, Australia.

How long have you been at Houston Ballet Academy?

JL: This is my second year as a HBII. I started coming to Houston Ballet Academy when I was 14 for the summer intensive program and kept coming back! I stayed when I turned 16. Before then I was a Ballet Virginia International which my mom owns.

JW: This is my first year. I was at Academy Ballet in Sydney.

Why is the Spring Showcase important?

JL: It gives the academy a chance to showcase our skills and show how we’ve improved. It’s  a chance to show the big changes in technique I’ve learned this year.

JW: It’s the end of the year and we can show what we’ve learned.

What is the most challenging piece you’re performing in the show?

JL: Hmm, I’d have to say Paquita because I’m part of the corps but if one person messes up it’s very noticeable so I have to be very clean. It’s a classical ballet with tutus that really show the leg so everything you do shows.

JW: The Sleeping Beauty pas de deux. I haven’t done a lot of pas before and it’s about elegance and it has lots of subtle weight changes and where to put the girl to make her look good. The teachers are helping me on it.

Have you done any of the pieces in the show before?

JL: I’ve done segments of A Dance in the Garden of Mirth and Paquita, but not the whole thing before.

JW: It’s all new to me.

What’s your favorite piece in the showcase?

JL: A Dance in the Garden of Mirth. I’m excited because you can get really into it. It’s very Renaissance and fun! The music is very powerful and it’s difficult. It will wake up the audience when they see it!

JW: A Dance in the Garden of Mirth. It’s very sophisticated, up-market and fun, but very hard physically. It makes me feel happy when I dance and I have a good time doing it with all the HBII dancers.

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Liana Carpio Chunwai Chan in A Dance in the Garden of Mirth; photo: Amitava Sarkar

On the program is a new work, Impromptu, by Houston Ballet Soloist Ilya Kozadayev. What’s it like working with him?

JL: It’s neat and fun to work with a new person, although we know him through the company. He’s very into the music and wants us to be as well. It’s a contemporary dance and we’re in flat shoes and there’s lots of swaying to beautiful, calm music.

What do you do to prepare for the Spring Showcase?

JL: We start learning early. A Dance in the Garden of Mirth, we started learning before The Nutcracker started and then learned the whole thing in January. With tours and working in the company we piece the show together when we can. In the last months leading up we really go into high gear.

JW: I go to bed and think about it. I visualize it and so I feel like I’ve done it before and I feel secure. Of course there’s lots of rehearsals and work behind the scenes. But mostly mental preparedness.

Jacquelyn, you’re going to be performing on tour in Las Vegas the weekend before the Spring Showcase. How will you make sure you’re rested and prepared?

JL: It will be difficult. I’m in all four pieces so it’s going to be hard. However, the tour pieces I’ve done before and are in my body already, so I can stay on top of what I know. This is my last tour with HBII and I’m sentimental!

Are your families coming to see the show?

JL: Yes! My mom is excited.

JW: My family and my old ballet teacher are coming.

Do you have any advice for other student dancers that are preparing for their end of the year shows?

JL: Take a step back and don’t overwhelm yourself. Focus on your performance but let the love of dance shine through.

JW: Work hard in rehearsal and focus on perfection. At the same time, entertain the audience. Yes, it’s nerve wracking but in the end entertain the audience and have fun!

What do you do for fun when you’re not dancing? What are your hobbies?

JL: I’m a big napper. I nap whenever I can. I read and watch TV and try to relax with friends.

JW: Like Jacquelyn, I like sleeping. I don’t think about dance, I want to keep it far away from me when I’m not dancing.

Well, good luck on your upcoming performance and thank you for your time!

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Dancers from Houston Ballet Academy; photo: Mary Stephens of Art Institute of Hosuton

If you would like to see Jacquelyn, Joel and the rest of Houston Ballet II perform in their annual Spring Showcase, April 20-21 tickets start at $25 and can be purchased here.

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What’s in Your Dance Bag?

July 1, 2011

Guest Writer: Jaclyn Youngblood, Academy intern

What’s a Thera-Band? Why do dancers need to “roll their feet” sometimes? This week, I sat down with some of our Summer Intensive students to find out the answers to these questions and learn a bit more about the secret world inside a dancer’s dance bag.

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Developing a Dancer’s Toolbox: The Art of Collaborative Choreography

June 29, 2011

Guest writer: Jaclyn Youngblood, Academy Intern

If dancers at the Houston Ballet Academy Summer Intensive Program are still hungry for a challenge after training in classes for seven hours, they have the opportunity to try their hands at choreography. This year marks the thirteenth annual collaboration between Houston Ballet’s Academy and the American Festival for the Arts (AFA) Summer Music Conservatory, a musicians’ summer program of a similar caliber to the HBA Summer Intensive Program.

The end goal of the collaboration is to create an entirely student-produced performance: one HBA student choreographs a dance to music composed by one AFA student, with dancers cast from the upper level of the HBA Summer Intensive.
Last week, two Houston Ballet Company members, Joseph Walsh and Kelly Myernick, joined Education Outreach Coordinator Chase Cobb to speak with the potential AFA composers about developing a common language across artistic worlds. Dancers and musicians each have a specific vocabulary they use to express ideas and imbue meaning; finding a shared language is crucial for collaboration.

Exploring new ways of communication isn’t the only challenge AFA and HBA students face. During the collaboration, students must compromise and learn to take their own ideas and adapt them to their partner’s vision. Cobb said one of the most beneficial aspects of the program is giving students a platform to engage the creative process.
One HBA choreographer, Luis (Colombia), said he applied to choreograph because he wanted to take advantage of the collaborative aspect of the program. Cast as a dancer in last year’s HBA-AFA performance, Luis said he was looking for a new challenge this year. “I wanted to test myself on the next level,” he said. “I like the idea of working within time constraints and understanding what is realistic within the creative process.”

To catalyze that creative process, the HBA and AFA leadership teams for the project (Academy Associate Director Shelly Power and Cobb, and Aaron Allen, respectively) facilitated a meeting at the Houston Ballet’s new Center For Dance on June 23 between the student composers and student choreographers. Cobb said that was the only organized meeting of the composers and choreographers. After the meeting, Power, Cobb and Allen paired the students—with input from the students, though ultimately making the decisions they deemed best—who then exchanged contact information for future online collaboration.

Myernick and Walsh, fresh off their own choreographic workshop experience, urged students to take advantage of technology to aid their remote collaboration: video-conferencing over Skype, sending YouTube vidoes to show examples of music and style.

The dancers are cast by lottery, with each choreographer requesting the number of men and women their piece requires. Summer Intensive level 8 students receive their casting assignments today. The first recording of the composer’s piece will be sent to the choreographer on July 6. Initial rehearsals with the music and cast begin on July 7 and provide an opportunity for the choreographer to give feedback to the composer before the second, and final, recording is due on July 13.

The student productions will be performed at Pershing Middle School on July 22 at 7 p.m. For more information about the performance, check the AFA website.

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The Road to the Prix de Lausanne

January 24, 2011

This year three Houston Ballet II dancers have been selected to compete at the prestigious Prix de Lausanne, an international dance competition for dancers ages 15-18 who are not yet professionals.  Ms. Liana Carpio, Mr. Harper Watters, and Mr. Masahiro Haneji will represent the Houston Ballet Academy.  This is what Ms. Carpio had to say about her preparation for the competition thus far:

These past few months have been such an exciting time for me at Houston Ballet!  After I found out I was accepted for Lausanne, rehearsals started immediately.  I have been preparing with many of my ballet instructors on a daily basis to perfect my performance.  Having different instructors critique my movements is truly beneficial to the final outcome.  Sabrina Lenzi, Andrew Murphy, and Claudio Munoz have generously dedicated their time to help me become a better dancer.

They have taught me how to perfect moves while enhancing the artistic expression of the dance itself.  It has been a wonderful journey to see my performance grow and improve each and every day.  Thanks to Sabrina’s, Andrew’s, and Claudio’s corrections, I feel confident in my moves and know that I have put my all into this performance.  I love my dance, and from these rehearsals I have truly learned to connect to each move in the piece.  Being accepted to compete at Lausanne has been such an honor, and I know that I want to put forth my best effort in order to truly take advantage of this amazing opportunity.

The 2011 Prix de Lausanne will be held February 1-6 in Lausanne, Switzerland.  You can read more about the Prix on their website.  We will continue to post blogs updating our fans about the dancers’ progress throughout the competition.

Liana Carpio

Liana Carpio. Photo by Amitava Sarkar.

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