ARTS AND PERFORMANCES
INTO THE VARIATION
PRIORITIZE, ORGANIZE AND NUTRITIONIZE
TIPS AND TRICKS TO STAYING SAFE AT YOUR SUMMER INTENSIVE
SNEAK PEAK INTO OUR REHEARSAL
A GLIMPSE INTO OUR SUMMER INTENSIVE
ART IN DIFFERENT FORMS
ASK THE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
table of contents
8505 Fenton Street, Suite 206
Silver Spring, MD
Web page: http://akhmedovaballet.org
Editor in Chief: Jacqueline Akhmedova
Managing Editor: Jessica Novakovich
The Akhmedova Ballet Post is a product of the collaborative efforts of the students of the Akhmedova Ballet Academy. We wish to spread our ideas and knowledge to connect with others in this uncertain time.
The Akhmedova Ballet Academy Students created this video to inspire others in this time!
The Akhmedova Ballet Academy’s Introduction to Ballet program offers an excellent introduction to the Russian Vaganova Method for children age 6-8 years of age. This class will develop the strength and flexibility young dancers are required to have for the preparatory and the pre-professional programs. They will learn the foundation of ballet positions and movement through slow and methodical classes. This program is preparing students to be ready to enter into the next level of ballet training.
No audition is necessary to join this level. A minimum of 4 students is required to do this class.
ENROLL NOW IN OUR NEW CLASSES FOR SEPTEMBER
INTRODUCTION TO BALLET
The Akhmedova Ballet Academy's Adult Program teaches the basic foundation and technique of the Russian Vaganova Method. Adult students will increase their flexibility and learn to explore artistic expression through movement and music. This class is a wonderful opportunity for adults to learn and appreciate the beautiful art form of ballet while exercising and toning the body.Throughout the hear the students will transition from a beginner ballet class to an intermediate level as their knowledge and ability grows.
PTP Level 3/4
PTP Level 1
The PTP LEVEL 1 Division is a program for talented students age 9-11 years old. It offers aspiring young students the opportunity to train in the Vaganova method with one of our wonderful Vaganova teachers.
The program utilizes the Vaganova Method in which some of the greatest ballet dancers such as Nureyev, Makarova, Baryshnikov, Zakharova, Vasiliev, and Smirnova were trained.
The PTP 1 program utilizes elementary exercises that develop the student’s mastery of the basic stance of the body and the positions of the feet, arms and head. These foundations of classical ballet will be developed through slow and meticulous classes that prepare the students for progress to higher levels of training. Students will learn the basic technique, posture, barre, proper stretching and strengthening, ballet discipline and etiquette, small dance compositions and contemporary dance. Through these classes the students will develop the skills necessary to prepare themselves for class and most importantly to cultivate a work ethic.
Classes are kept small so that dancers receive the finest quality ballet training in a “semi-private” training environment. This level has 2-hour technique classes three times per week, Pilates and Contemporary class once a week.
Students will perform at some of our shows during the year at discretion of the teacher and Artistic Director.
A minimum of 4 students is required to do this class.
Admission to the Preparatory Division is by audition only. Please contact ABA by email or call to set up an audition date.
TRAINING PROGRAM CLASSES
ENROLL IN OUR PROFESSIONAL
Professional Training Program 3/4 is for talented students age 12-14.
Professional Training Program utilizes the Vaganova Method in which some of the greatest ballet dancers such as Nureyev, Makarova, Baryshnikov, Zakharova, Vasiliev, and Smirnova were trained.
Classes are kept small so that dancers receive the finest quality ballet training in a “semi-private” training environment in which size does not exceed 8 students. This level trains 5 days per week 3 hours per day.
This level develops the strengthening of stability in all classical ballet movements both on demi-pointe and pointe. Focus is on the mastery of the technique of beats, tours and larger poses. In this level begins the development of plasticity of the arms and body as the combinations become more complex and advanced.
Each student is given an opportunity to learn pieces from the classical repertoire, as well as contemporary group pieces and character dances to be performed at a professional venue on a full-size stage twice a year. Performances in community settings are scheduled throughout the year. Selected students are chosen for national and international ballet competitions.
Private instructions are available by appointment.
The PTP 3/4 includes: Classical Technique, Pointe, Repertoire, Character, Contemporary, Pilates, Conditioning and Stretching.
Admission to the Professional Training Program 3/4 is by audition only.
ENROLL NOW IN OUR PROFESSIONAL
TRAINING PROGRAM FOR SEPTEMBER
ABA – the place to go – get back in shape in 5 days and be ready for the new year.
Sign up for this mini intensive !
CONTACT FOR INTENSIVE DATES AND INFO
Ballet technique, pointe, variation class, contemporary, Pilates, strength and conditioning, character and more.
Train with the best teachers in the area and be ready to start the new school year/season.
Audition by video or in person now open. Cost: $700
Housing is not included. Call or visit our website for more info.
Admission to the Mini Intensive is by audition only
The Professional Training Program 5/6 (PTP) is designed for the serious ballet dancer ages 15-19 years old.
The program utilizes the Vaganova Method in which some of the greatest ballet dancers such as Nureyev, Makarova, Baryshnikov, Zakharova, Vasiliev, and Osipova were trained.
The perfection and polishing of the program for the preceding classes, including the mastery of all the basic movements of classical dance. More complex combinations, especially in adagio, allegro and pointe using more complicated musical material. Development of performing artistry and virtuosity. Special work on individual development of each student.
Classes are kept small so that dancers receive the finest quality ballet training in a “semi-private” training environment in which size does not exceed 8 students. This level trains 6 days per week 4 hours per day.
Each student is given an opportunity to learn classical ballet solo variations, contemporary variation, as well as contemporary group pieces and character dances to be performed at a professional venue on a full size stage. The performances take place each winter and spring.
All students are given the opportunity to compete at the Youth America Grand Prix.
Selected students are also chosen for international ballet competitions.
Private instructions are available by appointment.
The comprehensive PTP 5/6 includes: Classical Technique, Pointe, Repertoire, Character, Contemporary, Pilates, Conditioning and Stretching. Performances on professional stages and Performances in community settings throughout the year.
Admission to the Professional Training Program 5/6 is by audition only.
PTP Level 5/6
BACK IN SHAPE SUMMER INTENSIVE
With Covid cases increasing in the US, it is difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Thankfully, we can look into our ‘soon-to-be’ future by looking at other countries reopening and starting to get back to the new “normal”.
The Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia has just reopened to the public! They have done it in the most celebratory way possible, with a gala of all of their audience’s favorite super stars of ballet. Amongst these dancers were Alina Somova, Vladimir Shklyarov, Victoria Tereshkina, Xander Parish, Kimin Kim, and Maria Khoreva. After nearly 4 months of quarantine these leading dancers showed that even in difficult times like these ballet is something that can bring us together.
Below is a link to an excerpt from the gala. The Sleeping Beauty Wedding Pas de Duex performed by Maria Khoreva and Vladimir Shklyarov:
MARIINSKY GALA EXCERPT
ABA has finally started summer intensives, and we’ve been learning so much already, while also trying to get back in shape! During the past few weeks, we have learned variations and group dances of many styles including, ballet and mime, musical theater, and character. Some of the dances are Gulnara from Le Corsaire, 2 Esmeraldas, Fandango, Gypsies, Gatsby Girls, Lollipops, Coppelia Mime, and the Swan Lake pas de trois. All of them were so much fun to learn and improve!
Additionally, we have been doing a section from the ballet Coppelia. During this dance, we are mostly acting and portraying a specific role while also dancing too. This is at the beginning of Act 2, when the friends sneak into Dr. Coppélius’ shop, containing many life size dolls, to hopefully discover Coppelia. Also, we’ve been learning a few musical theater pieces, one of them is called Gatsby Girls, which has been done many times, but is still so fun and exciting to do. This group dance is also done with the Charleston and many other enjoyable moves. Lollipops is the other musical theater piece taught. This dance was taught during ABA’s Cape Cod summer intensive a few years ago, and was done ever since!
One variation taught during the last few weeks was the Gulnara variation from the ballet Le Corsaire. This variation is from the first act of the ballet and the pas de deux, Pas d’Esclave. In this pas, Gulnara, one of the slaves, and Lankendem dance together, to enchant Pasha. Another variation that we learned was the Swan Lake pas de trois variation. This variation is from the first act of the ballet Swan Lake, and is the 1st variation of the pas de trois. Besides those pieces, there are the 2 Esmeraldas. This piece, usually with two dancers, is a variation from the Grand Pas des Fleurs.
There were also two character dances including Fandango and Gypsies. Fandango is a Spanish styled piece from the ballet Don Quixote, while Gypsies shows a lot of character with two contrasting kinds of music, one is slow and sorrowful, and the other is happy and upbeat. After some time at home, it was nice to finally come out to the studio to learn something with my teachers, even if it meant that we needed to wear a mask and keep a distance.
Coming back to dancing from such a long break during the quarantine is hard! There are many obstacles that one must face as you begin your summer intensive.
For those that cannot come to in person intensives and remain on zoom, it is important to remember what you are working for. Don’t be discouraged by the difficult conditions. Make a plan for yourself to help you cope with online classes. Stay strong and keep pushing.
For those that are lucky to be able to attend in studio summer intensives, proceed cautiously, carefully and with hard work. Take advantage of the incredible opportunity that you have of taking in studio classes and use every second for hard work!
Begin with stretching so that you are ready for a class that will be more involved and physically demanding due to the ability to move in the studio. Be safe as you come back into the studio; continue strengthening so that you can eliminate any unfortunate habits that developed over the quarantine. Approach each class with your corrections in mind. The first step is being knowledgeable about your mistakes; from there you can work towards correcting them.
Due to the quarantine many dancers have taken class in a small area and done what they could. This has led to a decrease in stamina. Supplement your technique with cardio exercises to help build it back up. Most importantly to make up for lost time, do all the combinations on the side of the studio when your group is not going. This allows you to work on your mistakes while also increasing your stamina of pushing yourself when it is another group’s turn.
Make a to do list and a set of goals that details what you wish to accomplish at the intensive and what steps you will take to ensure that you do. Remember to follow all guidelines and rules for studios that are allowed back in session. There will be changes to day-to-day operations that are imperative to everyone’s safety.
TIPS AND TRICKS TO STAYING
SAFE IN THE STUDIO
Hey everyone! It’s Abby and today I will be discussing so tips and tricks to staying safe in the studio during your summer intensives!
If something hurts remember to apply heat, ice it, or soak it; don’t ignore the pain, take care of it before it becomes an injury. Remember to warm up before class starts, so you will be more prepared for class. Try to stretch after classes are done for the day, to help loosen the muscles so they will be less sore in the morning. Don’t forget that you should always try your best to apply corrections given to you. Remember to be mindful of your surroundings and everyone around you.
Be sure to have your temperature taken daily so that if there is any fever it can be noticed immediately. Washing, or sanitizing hands is vital in this time. Be sure to wash before and after class. Wiping down your barre spot and any yoga mats or stretching and exercise tools helps to keep the studios clean and help prevent the spread of the virus.
Most importantly ALWAYS WEAR YOUR MASK!!!
As hard as this is while you are dancing it is important to not let it fall off.
That is all for today! Good luck with classes! This is Abby signing out.
Besides taking care to avoid injury's it is very important to remain vigilant during the continued pandemic.
ENJOY A SNEAK PEAK INTO OUR SUMMER INTENSIVE REHEARSAL
During The Akhmedova Ballet Academy Summer Intensive Session one, the Preperatory class was taught drawing by the wonderful Ms. Liu.
Enjoy her artwork on the following page, and turn the page for a collage of the students drawings!
Where are you from originally?
I am originally from Munich, Germany
What is your dream job?
I am living my dream job.
What are you most passionate about?
My family and my students.
What are the most important things you’re looking for in a person?
Honesty, Empathy, Respect, Kindness and Humility.
Who is your favorite author?
What was your favorite role as a dancer?
Definitely Giselle - because of the dramatic story and the psychological depth of the role. Each of the two acts are so different in expression and emotions. In the first act Giselle is a happy young girl and in the second act an ethereal ghostly creature that sacrifices her live for her lover. It was also my first principal role I danced when I was 17 years old studying in Russia.
Can you tell us about your ballet teachers?
One of my ballet teachers was Varvara Pavlovna Mey, one of Agrippina Vaganova’s last students. She instilled in me the discipline and respect, the humility and love for this art form. Her wisdom and knowledge were endless and I owe her so much.
ask the artistic director
with mme. akhmedova