Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Saint Mary's College of California LEAP Program Dance History 1 Presentation with Video: Classical & Romantic Ballet.

Dance History 1
Romantic and Classical Ballet
Carlotta Grissi as Giselle (1841)
This semester, I am taking Dance History 1. Each week, 2 students are responsible for presenting/leading a seminar-style discussion about the assigned reading and tying it into a current internet/blog story that corresponds to the assigned reading.
The article, "A Ballet Romance" byTobi Tobias, from Arts Journal was the inspiration for the points I chose to focus on in order to open up discussion for further exploration:
1. How has romantic ballet changed over the years?
2. How will understanding ballet's past help to preserve and progress ballet's artistry?
As a former professional dancer and performer, I am comfortable with being in front of an audience. Public speaking is never a problem. I've presented many workshops on health and fitness without any stress. I teach group fitness classes to rooms full of people, and lead runner's warm up before big events with no problem.
This evening was especially stressful due to the fact that I was presenting in front of a group of my peers, each who has also enjoyed successful careers as professional dancers; several as ballet dancers with prestigious ballet companies.
I thought it would be helpful to record my presentation in order to see how I do while presenting "out of my element." Here's the first half of my presentation (about 29 minutes). My camera will only record that long before automatically shutting off and I'd forgotten about it.

Whew, I'm glad that's over! Give me an audience of several thousand strangers any day! Facing my peers...eeek! It was as uncomfortable as being asked to let my classmates watch me take a shower.
It's so frustrating to hear myself saying "um," "and again," "kind of," "and all that stuff," so many times...uggg, such a confession to insecurity. 
Even though this was by far one of the most stressful presentations I have ever done, I am proud of what I had done. A great lesson for future presentations. Overall, I think I did an OK job considering my "performance-in-front-of-my-peers-anxiety."

(Liberal Education for Arts Professionals)
Los Angeles Group

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