Ballet at THE STUDIO
The ISTD ballet syllabus is covered within our syllabus courses, where we progress through a classical ballet level each year with an end goal of an examination. Each level develops in length, technical difficulty and artistic expectations, and has been expertly created to match the stage of physical and cognitive ability of each age group. We feel that ballet above all styles continues to be the core of dance, a dancer who is trained in the technique of ballet will always prove stronger and more successful in the other styles they choose to study. This traditional art form remains untouchable for improving the fundamentals such as balance, strength, musicality and discipline. Teaching is delivered by Miss Emilie who has a wealth of experience and skill, Miss Emilie was trained directly by the senior members of the ISTD Ballet faculty and company members of The Royal Ballet and Ballet Rambert. During her career she has taught alongside the ISTD team at one of London’s leading performing arts college. Her knowledge and detail is second to none which is always reflected in her students progress, examination results and joy for the style. Please note that places for any of our syllabus pods are limited, Miss Emilie maintains small working groups in order to keep the quality of training high. Syllabus sessions include the study of four disciplines: Modern, Tap, Musical Theatre & Ballet, our syllabus students will also have access to numerous stage and performance opportunities throughout the year.
The History of Imperial Classical Ballet
Although the French School of Classical Ballet dates back to the early 17th century, Imperial Classical Ballet aims to provide classical training for the 21st century dancer, offering something for everyone, regardless of age or ability. Over its 110-year history the Imperial Classical Ballet Faculty, in all its manifestations, has supported ballet training to achieve, in the words of d’Albert “The elevation and advancement of the Art of Dancing, and the preservation of its ancient prestige and dignity.” It continues to lead and influence the international promotion of the English classical style.
In the early decades of the 20th century interest in ballet as an independent, international theatre art developed significantly. In the few years between 1908–1911, dancers appearing in London theatres and palaces of varieties included Lydia Kyasht, Phyllis Bedells, Anna Pavlova and Adeline Genée. Appearances were made at Covent Garden in 1911 by artists such as Vaslav Nijinsky, Adolph Bolm, Serafina Astafieva, Bronislava Nijinska, Sophia Fedorova and Carlotta Zambelli.
The international artists appearing in London theatres were supported by less well-known English dancers. These were influenced by the impressive standard of training seen particularly with the Russian artists and they were eager to improve their own skills in order to further their careers. As a result, several influential schools of dance were opened in London by artist teachers such as Serafina Astafieva, Enrico Cecchetti, Marie Rambert and Nicolai Legat. This growth in dance schools also reflected the national interest in the development of a healthy lifestyle, a fitter population and an antidote to the cumulative pressures of industrialisation. Even so-called child prodigies could be seen, emulating the dances of the popular professional stars and often dancing en pointe.
To address this resurgence of interest in both theatre and social dance, from its inception in 1904 the early work of the Imperial Society of Dance Teachers (as the Society was then known) focused on the two dance genres of ballroom and operatic, the latter being the term given to ballet because of its place in opera productions throughout the 19th century. In these early years there were no branches or faculties and the work of the Society in promoting the advancement of dance training was through technical schools that lasted several days. Lecturers and teachers connected with these included Noreen Bush, Felix Demery, Jeanie Smurthwaite and recognised dance personalities such as Karsarvina and Sokolova.