Indianapolis School of Ballet | Indianapolis Ballet
Indianapolis School of Ballet Board of Directors, Artistic Advisors, and Mission
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Curriculum

Curriculum

Ballet

Technique – The ballet curriculum taught at the Indianapolis School of Ballet is based on schools of training – from Balanchine (American) and Bournonville (Danish) to Cecchetti (Italian) and Vaganova (Russian). This variety not only provides the broad and rigorous exposure to classical technique that is necessary to sustain the dynamic physicality of the American ballet dancer, but also prepares them for the demands of the repertoire they often are required to dance in professional companies.

 

The basic core curriculum is the same for beginning male and female students. As the students advance technically, there is greater emphasis placed on the difference between male and female potentials.

 

Pointe work is the extension of ballet technique with which the female dancer can produce the illusion of weightlessness, swiftness and infinite line. In most cases, pointe classes begin after at least three years of basic technique training, when the legs, feet and body have achieved readiness.

 

Variations – In this class, students learn excerpts from traditional and contemporary ballet repertoire. Students learn to adapt and transcend technique by acquiring expressiveness and artistry in performance presentation.

 

Adagio – The art of partnering, especially within the classical pas de deux, can be the most memorable and spectacular element of a ballet danced by the ballerina and her partner. Adagio (partnering) class provides the dancers, both male and female, with the skills required to execute the great demands of pas de deux with grace and ease.

Indianapolis School of Ballet

Other Dance Forms

Modern – Modern dance is a broad genre of western concert dance, primarily arising out of both Germany and the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Modern dance has evolved with each subsequent generation of participating artists. Artistic content has morphed and shifted from one choreographer to another, and so have styles and techniques. Artists such as Martha Graham and Lester Horton developed techniques in the Central Modern Period that are taught worldwide, many of which are associated with renowned schools and master teachers.

 

Tap – Tap dance was born in the United States during the 19th century, and today it is popular all around the world. The name comes from the tapping sound made when the small metal plates on the dancer’s shoes touch a hard floor. This lively, rhythmic tapping makes the performer not just a dancer but also a percussive musician. Tap is fun for the young student and provides a method of dance that builds a strong sense of timing and rhythm.

 

Ballroom – Ballroom dancing introduces students to the waltz, tango, fox trot, rumba and other social dances, often used as choreographic inspiration in both classic and contemporary ballets. The connection to ballet in ballroom partnering is extremely important to the development of timing, rhythm, and awareness, which directly benefits the study of Adagio (pas de deux).

 

Character Dance – This class introduces the dancer to the polonaise, mazurka, and various other national social and folk dances. These character dances may be of American, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Spanish, and Russian origin, and many of them appear in the classical repertoire such as Coppélia, The Nutcracker, Swan Lake and The Sleeping Beauty, as well as (perhaps less authentically) in contemporary works.

 

Jazz – Jazz has two definitions depending on the era. From the early 20th century until the middle 1950s, jazz dance mostly meant tap dance, because jazz was the popular music and tap was the main performance dance of the time. Since the fifties, with the growing domination of other forms of entertainment and music, jazz dance has evolved into the new, smooth, modern Broadway style that is taught today. While tap dance continued to develop on its own, jazz techniques were more and more derived from the basics of classical ballet; today for jazz dancers to excel, they must first master ballet technique.

 

Pilates – Joseph Pilates called his method The Art of Contrology, which refers to the way the method encourages the use of the mind to control the muscles. Although more an exercise program than a dance form, it focuses on the core postural muscles that help keep the body balanced and are essential to providing support for the spine. In particular, Pilates exercises teach awareness of neutral alignment of the spine and strengthening the deep postural muscles that support this alignment, both of which help to alleviate and prevent back pain. A certified Pilates instructor teaches these classes.

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