Romantic Ballet: The Dawn of Classical Ballet

Sunday, September 29
1:30-5:30 PM

Workshop fee: $60
Observer only fee (limited availability): $30

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The Romantic era was the dawn of ballet as we know it, with steps and technique that are different from ours in many ways, but are equally complex, rigorous and expressive. In this workshop we'll do a 90-minute technique class composed of barre and center exercises described in the technical manuals of the 1820s-1850s in the same exercises done by dancers like Marie Taglioni and Carlotta Grisi, Jules Perrot and Arthur St. Leon followed by two hours of choreography (including the iconic fluffy white tutus). Violinist Lisa Grodin of the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra will accompany us and talk about the instruments and music of the time. Throughout the workshop, we'll explore how music and dance and musician and dancers interact with each other.

This material corresponds to an intermediate class but is adaptable to all levels, and no experience is required. Dancers wore soft slippers at the time, so ballet slippers, dance sneakers, socks or jazz shoes are great. If you want to wear pointe shoes, we recommend wearing a dead or very broken-in pair; pointe shoes in the 1830s were essentially darned soft slippers, and dancers of the era spent minimal time on actual pointe and lots of time on demi.

Claudia Bauer grew up dancing and watching ballet in the Bay Area. In 2012 she began studying historical ballet and Baroque and Renaissance dance, and she currently studies Romantic-era ballet with Sandra Noll Hammond. As a professional dance writer and critic, Claudia is a regular contributor to the San Francisco Chronicle, Dance Magazine, Pointe Magazine, DanceTabs.com, In Dance and other publications.

Christopher Lam was born in Brisbane, Australia. A recipient of the prestigious Graeme Murphy scholarship he trained with Betsy Sawyers before studying at the Australian Ballet School. Christopher has danced with Australian Ballet, Geneva Ballet, Gothenburg Ballet, Croatian National Ballet and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens. He enjoys sharing the knowledge acquired on this wonderful journey and is inspired by all those who allow themselves to be touched by the art form.

Lisa Grodin enjoys an active career as a violinist, violist and educator. She performs regularly with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Voices of Music, American Bach Soloists and El Mundo, and she is Director of Education for Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra. Her lifelong passion for dance has inspired numerous educational events in collaboration with dancer-scholars such as Catherine Turocy, Jen Meller, Carlos Venturo, Chris Lam and Claudia Bauer.