Tuesday, October 5, 2010

classical ballet vs. contemporary ballet

all my life, ballet has been a constant.

when i was little, i dreamt of wearing tutus and dancing swan lake all day, every day.  i read Angelina Ballerina and toted my infamous Ballet Box everywhere.  but when i was 16, i was introduced to Alonzo King's Lines Ballet, and suddenly my focus shifted.  i started taking contemporary classes and shifting my focus towards the less technical world of ballet and dance.  i don't really know why i felt it was where i belonged, or who enforced that belief, but it happened.  even though i stayed with a classical studio all throughout high school, i still considered myself to prefer contemporary.

however now that i dance with a contemporary school, i find myself desperately missing my classical home base.  this longing for a strict technique class has led me to take a deeper look into the many ranges of ballet.

its so interesting the way very classical companies and very contemporary companies differ in opinions and perspectives.  the right way to hold your arms/legs/torso in one ballet class may not be right for another variation.  even the way you're encouraged to move changes.

in some cases, the opposing sides put each other down in the most childish way, which really bothers me.  for example, today one of my teachers was poking fun at most classical ballerina's desire to dance cleanly and technically perfect, saying it lacked interest which to me simply isn't true.  and many of my classical friends are quite close minded towards other disciplines; when they see anything contemporary they just automatically write it off as weird, silly, or dumb.

i guess theres no real point to this blog, just some frustration with people's lack of appreciation for other disciplines, coupled with my confusion as to where i fall on the ballet scale.

i think every type of dance, even if it seems foreign, odd, or difficult to wrap your head around, is a beautiful art form worth being appreciated.  while i don't believe its necessary that we all fully master every type and discipline of dance out there, i think we should appreciate every artist's craft, not just the one we personally deem most valuable.


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