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Back to the Barre

Teacher’s Workshop and Discussion

August 26th – 29th 2008. 
 

The teaching at Back to the Barre has been greatly influenced by the work of the unique teacher Audrey de Vos, to whose classes many dancers flocked from the late 1940s through to the early 70s.  We believe that in spite of the great advances in ballet technique, and the teaching of it, de Vos’ legacy is something so important and helpful to both teachers and students alike, that it should be much more widely known.  Therefore, we would like to pass on what we have learned from Audrey de Vos and her assistants – Janet Westerberg (Albisser) and Joyce Graeme. 

Audrey de Vos’ approach to dance was to prepare the body first, but at the same time to make the mind aware of subtleties of movement within the body, and its strengths and weaknesses.  It is crucial to experience this work for oneself, not just to observe; it can take some time before one fully understands and feels this subtly different approach to one’s dancing. 

Workshop Content. 

    • A chance to explore and understand these exercises in depth through feeling them for oneself, at the same time, discussing the possibilities, benefits and effects on the body.  These are not exercises with fixed movements written in black and white to defined musical counts.  It is the essence of these exercises which has been passed down from de Vos and her teachers. 
    • Time to discover how this conditioning relates to ballet and contemporary techniques, a chance to realise how inspirational Audrey de Vos’ approach was; and still is. 
    • A moment to reflect upon the value of this work and its application. The conditioning, and its link with simple ballet movements, is invaluable for adult classes, older beginners and teenagers. But, can this approach help both the technique and artistry of today’s potential dancers?

Any Grinsted

Caroline Hutchings   

 


 
 

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