Didactic vision and working method
Classical ballet is generally taught in the form that the student eventually encounters in practice: classes and rehearsals in the studio as a group. In addition, there are classroom reflection lessons (such as dance history) and study components such as tutoring, individual reflection (individual supervision) and evaluation interviews per block with the artistic director, the mental counseling teacher and the classical ballet teacher.
The technical subjects in year 1 are closely linked. The classical technical lessons form the basis of mastering the classical technique, which is further developed for men in the Male Technique lesson (with emphasis on jumping ability and turning technique) and the Pointes lessons for women (with emphasis on pointe work). Minor subjects such as Body Conditioning and Pilates have a direct link with and influence on these classic technique classes. In these lessons, in addition to the general knowledge of the subjects, a direct link is also made with the exercises that a student does in the classical lesson (for example at the barre or a jump), which build up the necessary strength for the Male Technique lesson and the on the other hand, provide strength and coordination in preparation for the Pas de Deux classes. The Pas de Deux lessons are technical lessons in which the students master the basic techniques of partner work. Ultimately, all this is a preparation for the repertoire lessons in which partner work is often required.
Caractère and modern lessons add different elements, different musicality and different insights to the above lessons, making the students understand the different ways in which they can apply their classical ballet technique. The music theory lessons and the dance reflection lessons also provide an insight that is directly related to the classical technical subjects mentioned above. In class discussions, connections are made with these lessons, but also with a visit to a performance, your own work from the Choreography Workshop or a repertoire piece that is being rehearsed. In this way, the student has the opportunity to see the repertoire piece in a broader context, to discuss and evaluate its societal relevance and to understand how his or her own technical skills can be applied to it.
The Dance History/Reflection classes make use of group discussions about different forms of collaboration in companies, repertoire, the development of classical ballet as an art form today. Students are invited to form their own opinion about this. In addition, the student is challenged to form their own opinion about their own abilities, in particular by means of presentations and individual conversations, and to place this within the field of study.
In year 2, the student gradually makes the transition to the work field and the professional world. The lessons are arranged in such a way that they reflect the reality of a rehearsal day in a ballet company, with a lot of emphasis on the repertoire. It is expected that the student will now be able to apply what has been learned in the first year on a daily basis.
Preparing for the auditions is a big part of year 2.
This happens both individually and in the classroom, for example in the Tutoring lessons, but also in the Solo-lessons and the Forsythe-technique-workshop. In the last two lessons mentioned, the student prepares a classical variant for an audition and makes his own modern solo. Both solos are filmed for audition videos in the Audition preparation class under the guidance of a teacher and further elaborated, so that the student is prepared for what is expected in the field.
At the same time, in year 2 a lot of attention is paid to the implementation experience. The student learns to be an ambassador of the art form in projects such as "Dance in your classroom", where the students visit primary and secondary schools, explain the art form of dance to the students and give performances.
In addition, the student takes part in performances by Dutch National Ballet or does a short internship with another company.
Much attention is paid to the individual conversation (often on the basis of written reports) about the student's practical knowledge and internship experience, with the aim of determining the ultimate position of each individual student in the professional field.
For years 1 and 2, block 5 is devoted to the Final Performance. By studying repertoire in the same way as with large ballet companies, the student gets an experience that is in line with the professional field. This experience is always individually evaluated and ties in with all the elements learned during the year.