Character is an integral part to much of the classical traditional repertoire and yet, is often neglected in todays vocational training schools. The Petipa ballets that are still performed all the time, all include character work that originally came from the national dances of Hungary, Russia, Poland, Italy and Spain: ie Czárdás, Mazurka, Tarantella, Flamenco, Gypsy etc. We, as dancers need to able to perform these dances if we want to pursue a career in professional ballet companies.
My knowledge of character work came early on in my training at the Legat School of Russian Ballet where it was a strong part of my vocational studies.
Right from the start I developed a natural flair and love for the different rhythms, passion and the stylized characteristics that represent these traditional folk dances. These ingredients of work are naturally incorporated in my teaching today. Even in my classical ballet classes, I teach the elements of character that can help express emotion and musicality through dance.
The studying of character dance helps to shape a further understanding of movement and music, thus creating a more versatile dancer. It can also develop a deeper connection to rhythms, timing and passion, which are essential ingredients to any interpretation of work.