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Scholars Day: April 15, 2009

Fostering Creativity in Classical Ballet Technique

This paper seeks to examine the pedagogical implications associated with the possibility of fostering creativity within the confines of classical ballet training. With its adherence to structure and conformity, the traditional ballet class offers minimal opportunities for students to explore their own creative potential as part of their technical training. This places students at a disadvantage in a highly competitive dance world in which many contemporary choreographers and academic programs expect increasing amounts of versatility and movement invention. How can ballet teachers encourage students to acknowledge and express their creative impulses during technique class? Could this encouragement lead to other potential benefits such as increased kinesthetic and/or spatial awareness, improvisational skills, improved confidence, and artistic fulfillment? These questions are addressed through a discussion of current literature and suggestions are offered regarding various exercises that could be incorporated into technique class. As this pedagogical issue is relevant within the teaching of other dance forms, potential areas of additional inquiry within the field of dance education are considered.

Presenter: Kathleen Diehl (Graduate Student)
Topic: Dance
Location: Hartwell Dance Theater
Time: 9:30 am (Session I)