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On Technique represents the sentiments of a group of highly respected professionals whose breadth of experience of the art form extends beyond boundaries to span the globe. Having studied with some of the greatest teachers of their time, their rememberances and opinions on a variety of topics are now recorded for posterity." —From the foreword by Lynn Wallis, artistic director, Royal Academy of Dance
What do we mean when we say someone has beautiful technique? Or that students need to develop a "hard-core" technique? Is there a difference between skill and technique? What should a good teacher be expected to do? What are the challenges that students most often face? What does a good class look like to you? How did you become a dancer? Who were your favorite teachers, and how did they help you?
These are but a few of the questions that Dean Speer posed to seventeen of the world's most respected ballet masters, principals, and artistic directors. Their responses—and thus their priceless insights into the world of dance—provide a fascinating look at the careers and teaching philosophies of artists at the top of their game.
Featuring such artists as Peter Boal (artistic director of the Pacific Northwest Ballet) and Bené Arnold (first ballet mistress of the San Francisco Ballet), this volume also includes interview with Gwenn Barker, Damara Bennett, Yvone Cartier, Karen Gibbons-Brown, Gloria Govrín, Cynthia Harvey, Finis Jhung, Roni Mahler, David Moroni, Dennis Nahat, Nina Novak, Francia Russell, Martin Schläpfer, Gina Sinclair-Davis, and Sally Streets Nichols. In making these selections, Speer sought to present a wide variety of backgrounds, experiences, and geographic locations.
On Technique offers fascinating insights into the nature of both performance and artistic instruction and puts a very human cast on legendary and ordinary teachers alike. Speer's approach minimizes the traditional pedagogical divisions, revealing the sometimes surprising convergences of experience and opinion among these world-class talents.