Dancing and Ballet

Dancing and Ballet

Dancing is the art of moving the
body in time to music. Dancing is both an art and a form of recreation.

Most people dance to have fun or to entertain others, but dance can also
be used for communication. Dancers express feelings of joy without
saying a word. Since prehistoric times people have danced, and there
are lots of kinds of dancing. There is folk dancing and religious
dancing, popular dancing and theatrical dancing, to name a few. Out
of all dancing, theatrical is probably the most entertaining. Theatrical
dancing includes ballet, jazz, tap, and musical comedy. Theatrical
dancers may take great personal satisfaction in creating something beautiful.

However, their enjoyment is not as important as their ability to interpret
the dance to the audience.

All types of dancing require practice
and technique, but probably none require as much as ballet. Ballet
dancers seem to ignore the law of gravity as they float through the air
in long, slow leaps. They keep perfect balance while they spin, and
at times, their feet move so rapidly that the eye can hardly follow the
movements. Women often dance on their toes while men lift them up
like they were as light as feathers.

Ballet dancers take joy in controlling
their bodies, but they can only perform difficult steps after many years
of training. Ballet classes are held for both professional and beginning
dancers. Because professional dancers must keep in shape, they usually
take at least one class daily. Beginning students may take anywhere
from three to ten classes a week to improve their technique.

Ballet classes begin at the barre
where dancers develop better technique. Later they move to the center
where they do exercises to strengthen and improve their dancing.

Next, the women sometimes work on pointe , and the men will work on big,
energetic jumps.

When developing a ballet, many people
must work together to make it the best show it can be. There is a
choreographer (one who composes dances), an orchestra and a composer (though
some ballet companies use recorded music), people to make scenery, costume
designers, and most importantly, the dancers.

Ballet dancers have short career.

Most become professional before the age of twenty and retire by the age
of forty-five. Good dancers by far out-number good jobs. Some
dancers may spend many months auditioning - only to be turned down.

Dancers\' lives are not easy. They have to attend many rehearsals
and have little time for anything else. The average pay isn\'t very
good, though star performers can earn large salaries. Dancer\'s career
problems are sometimes too much for them, which is very sad since dancing
is such a beautiful art.

GREAT DANCERS

Anna Pavlova (1881-1931)

Anna Pavlova was a Russian ballerina
who was known for her gracefulness. She is best known for her three
minute solo of "The Dying Swan". Pavlova traveled all over the world
and could often make people cry when she danced this piece.

She studied at the Imperial Ballet

School and then joined the Imperial Ballet Company. In 1906 she became
prima ballerina of the company. She later formed her own company
and took it on tours until the time of her death.

Enrico Cecchetti (1850-1928)

Cecchetti was one of the greatest
ballet teachers of all time. He also helped train many great dancers
of the 1900\'s. He was known for his technique and speed. Cecchetti
is best known for his leading male role in "La Scala" and the Bluebird
role in "The Sleeping Beauty".

He was born in Rome and began teaching
in 1890. He taught at the Imperial School of Ballet and later became
an instructor for the Ballets Russes de Diaghilev in Milan, Italy. In 1918
he opened a private school. He was the last great dancer of the strict

Italian tradition.

George Balanchine (1904-1983)

Balanchine was a Russian choreographer
who developed a new trend in American and European Ballet. His ballets
usually weaved designs inspired by music instead of telling stories.

Balanchine was born in St. Petersburg
and left Russia when he was twenty to join the Sergei Diaghilev Ballet

Company in Paris. He then became its leading choreographer. Balanchine
came to the United States in 1933. He founded the American School
of Ballet whose performing company became the New York City Ballet in 1948.

Mikhail Baryshnikov (1948-
)

Baryshnikov is currently one of
the worlds leading ballet dancers. He performs in a style called
bravura which features brilliant, daring dancing. He is known for
his highly developed technique.

He was born in Riga, Russia, and
began studying ballet at age twelve. At the age of nineteen he had
become a soloist with the Kirov Ballet. Baryshnikov moved to the

West in 1974. He later joined the