Juliette Clark (a.k.a. the ClassicalBalletTeacher) blogs at BalletScoop, giving serious ballet students the 411 on what to expect at auditions, how to find good college programs, what kind of gear is available and more. If you follow Dance Advantage on Twitter or Facebook, you are probably familiar with Juliette’s writing because I often share the great insight she has to offer!
Here at Dance Advantage, Juliette is offering her Top Three ballet movies. Enjoy!
1. Ballerina (2006)
From a teacher’s perspective, it is a motivating reminder of the tradition and history behind ballet training and of the pragmatic selectivity that defines the highest levels.
I find it inspiring that while my own students are not hand chosen for their ideal bodies and professional potential, they train faithfully to perfect the same steps and often have as much passion for dance as those thousands of miles away.
The film offers a visually rich tapestry of the classical ballet world as well, with gorgeous costumes and quite a bit of mercifully uncut practice and stage footage. These scenes help me to remember what we are training our students for – the creation of beautiful and moving entertainment for humankind to enjoy. If I could change one thing about this film, it would be to make it longer!
2. The Dancer (2005)
A collage of quiet rehearsal and practice scenes, it includes quite a bit of coaching footage with Katja’s mentors. The specific, personalized instructions given to Katja are great examples of the precision of movement that we need to coach into our dancers while tailoring the training to the individual’s body and personality.
3. American Ballet Theater’s Le Corsaire (1999)
Most young dancers are exposed during early training to Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker perhaps Giselle. Le Corsaire is my favorite ballet for expanding student’s horizons and interest in ballet.
The story features comedy, love, intrigue and danger, and the challenging choreography is executed here with ABT’s signature bravura. This is a must have for getting your students excited about ballet!
Juliette Clark is from Covington, Louisiana, and currently teaches ballet, pointe and variations at Body Expressions Center for Performing Arts. Juliette began training in Vaganova ballet technique at the age of ten and at 14, was singled out by visiting artist Nadya Zybine, then principal dancer with Ballet Austin, who encouraged her to complete her training at academies affiliated with professional ballet companies. She has attended many of the best summer programs in the nation and been personally coached by renowned teachers. In 2002, Juliette received a contract offer to dance in a professional ballet company and invitations to multiple ballet conservatories, but she chose to stay in Louisiana and pursue academics at Tulane University. Inspired to study the art of teaching ballet early in her training, she has dedicated herself to refining these skills. Juliette has taught pre-dance, ballet, pointe and variations classes, privately coached young dancers in both technique and repertoire for successful auditions and performances, and served as an adjudicator for pre-pro company and scholarship auditions. Juliette believes that ballet class should be an exciting and satisfying learning experience for all dance students, regardless of their primary dance genre and ultimate goals. Learn more about Juliette, the ClassicalBalletTeacher, at her website.
More Ballet on Film:
- Film Review: Dancing Across Borders
- Film Review: A Beautiful Tragedy
- Getting Into Character Dance (DVD Review)
- TenduTV: The World of Dance at Your Command
- Dance on DVD Sent To Your Door
What are YOUR Top Three Ballet Movies? Tell us in the comments.
Nichelle Suzanne is a writer specializing in dance and online content. She is also a dance instructor with over 20 years experience teaching in dance studios, community programs, and colleges. She began Dance Advantage in 2008, equipped with a passion for movement education and an intuitive sense that a blog could bring dancers together. As a Houston-based dance writer, Nichelle covers dance performance for Dance Source Houston, Arts+Culture Texas, and other publications. She is a leader in social media within the dance community and has presented on blogging for dance organizations, including Dance/USA. Nichelle provides web consulting and writing services for dancers, dance schools and studios, and those beyond the dance world. Read Nichelle’s posts.