The Ballet Performance Group had its spring performance in Strong Auditoriumthis past weekend.
There are two necessary components for a successful ballet performance. The first is rehearsal, so dancers can master the choreography.
The second requirement is the technique class that all ballet students take ? from a six-year-old girl in a swan costume to the principal dancers at American Ballet Theatre.
This class is necessary to develop and improve technique and artistry. Without the corrections received there, a dancer simply can?t improve.
We put on the show without the help of the Dance Program. We were forced to take classes off-campus in local dance studios, paying out of our own pockets.
The upcoming fall semester marks the fourth consecutive term that the Dance Program has failed to offer a ballet class on campus.
The Undergraduate Bulletin lists two ballet courses ? DAN 261, Ballet Technique and Imagery, and DAN 271, Intermediate Ballet ? and states that they are typically offered in both semesters. Unfortunately, these classes have not been offered.
The Ballet Performance Group currently has approximately 20 members. There is clearly sufficient interest for a ballet class in the curriculum.
In addition, the Dance Program has made the only room with a floor suitable for ballet ? the dance room in Spurrier Gym ? is off-limits, and it removed the mirrors and barres essential to ballet from the walls.
This left us with the choice of either using rooms unsuited to dance or leaving campus for their training.
The Ballet Performance Group merely wants to use the room for its intended purpose ? dance.
However, it seems that every action the Dance Program takes is designed to change the existence of ballet on campus from difficult to impossible.
The Students? Association can only do so much to assist student groups. It can offer funding, it can support the groups, but it can?t provide facilities or instruction.
The Dance Program should give the same treatment and support to ballet as it does to other dance forms. Modern dance, jazz, tap, swing and contact improvisation are all represented in classes for fall 2001. Ballet is conspicuously missing from the list, and has been for too long.
In the Bulletin, the Dance Program claims that it ?is committed to offering movement study that honors and informs the whole student.?
It is time for the Dance Program to live up to those words.