The Art of Teaching Ballet: Ten Twentieth-Century Masters

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9780813014593: The Art of Teaching Ballet: Ten Twentieth-Century Masters
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From Christiane Vaussard in Paris, to David Howard in New York City and Larisa Sklyanskaya in San Francisco, Gretchen Warren profiles ten world-renowned master ballet teachers to capture their philosophies, training methods, and the classroom presence that makes their instruction magical.

Based on extensive interviews and classroom observation, each profile is an entertaining and enlightening mix of personal anecdotes and details about personal teaching techniques, class content and organization. Warren also includes a section of signature exercises drawn from each teacher. Because of the master teachers’ diversity of styles and methods, as well as their occasional disputes with traditional wisdom, the book offers a brisk stimulant for reflecting on the values of developing and holding true to one’s own style and beliefs.

Warren combines her years of experience as a dancer and master ballet teacher and her engaging writing style to create a living history of 20th-century classical ballet training. Like their legions of students, readers will appreciate not only these teachers’ philosophies, their endless curiosity, and their devotion to ballet, but also what distinguishes them. As Warren observes, “A great teacher, like a great chef, is a master at presentation, at making something―even something as painstakingly difficult as the study of classical ballet―so palatable that students will follow without hesitation. And do so joyfully!”

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About the Author:

Grethen Ward Warren is professor of dance at the University of South Florida and author of Classical Ballet Technique (UPF, 1989). She was a soloist with the Pennsylvania Ballet for eleven years and ballet mistress of American Ballet Theatre II for five.

Review:

"What a superb and inspiring book this is! It is a celebration of the art of teaching ballet and it will delight anyone who is interested in classical dancing. . . . It is by a dancer, for dancers, about dancing, and we should be grateful to Gretchen Ward Warren for giving us the opportunity to share the philosophy, methods, and, above all, the sheer inspiration of these ten great teachers."—Dancing Times

"The lifeblood of ballet is pedagogy, and the performances in which audiences delight are a result of the dancers’ instruction. To better understand the magical transfer of information and artistry, Warren interviewed ten exceptional teachers. They represent different artistic lineages, employ distinctive classroom techniques, and structure a range of varying exercises. Each profile is stimulating, combining philosophical discussions and anecdotal history with sample representative classroom exercises. Ballet teachers will value this addition to the dance literature, and the larger audience of balletomanes will also find it engrossing."—Library Journal

"Warren combines her own years as a master teacher with her clear, detailed writing style to document the artistry of each of her subjects. . . . Students of dance are indebted to Warren."—Choice

Gretchen Ward Warren is professor of dance at the University of South Florida and author of Classical Ballet Technique (UPF, 1989). She was a soloist with the Pennsylvania Ballet for eleven years and ballet mistress of American Ballet Theatre II for five.

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