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Classical Ballet - Refine Your Technique

Springtime on The Meadow at Heartwood in the Hills:

A program of  FREE weekend classes, workshops, and events with Jude Binder and

West Virginia poet Patsy Kisner.     


Ages 16 and Up

Classical Ballet - Refine Your Technique

Saturday, May 20th, 2023

11:00 AM to 4:30 PM


11:00 AM – 1:00PM

  • Anatomy study as it applies to dancers, with movement sequences and an introduction to the vocabulary that will be used during the afternoon Ballet class.

1:00 -2:00

  • Lunch, Q&A and review, (Bring your own lunch and we'll provide the beverages)

2:00 – 4:30

  • Ballet Class and review – class includes Floor, Barre, Centre and Across the Floor work.

Jude Binder

My mother took me to the Ballet in 1948 when I was seven years old. We saw the Ballet Russe de MonteCarlo performing “Les Sylphides”, “Gaiete Parisienne” and “Aurora’s Wedding” (“Sleeping Beauty” Act2). I was smitten to the bone, completely enraptured. I wanted to be in that world. My mother had read that nine years old was the best time for a child to begin ballet lessons, so I had to wait for two impatient years, for my first lesson.

I began serious study with Lisa Gardiner and Mary Day at the Washington School of Ballet in
Washington DC. Classes were conducted strictly according to the Cecchetti Method of training in
Classical Ballet. When my family moved to Philadelphia five years later I enrolled at the Philadelphia Ballet Guild where I was exposed to a wide variety of approaches to ballet training, taking classes with teachers who commuted in from New York City and Delaware, including Antony Tudor, Alfredo Corvino and James Jamieson, along with my Philadelphia teachers. During the 1960’s I studied Afro-Cuban dance with John Hines in Philadelphia, and Modern Dance as a guest student at the University of Michigan with Gaye Delanghe and Elizabeth Weill. This work opened me up to new feelings for dance. Over the years I continued to take classes, at the School of American Ballet in New York City, Austin Ballet Theatre School and the School for Movement Theatre in Elkins, West Virginia. I’ve always been interested in how Ballet teachers each describe their own technical theories and practices for working with students. Written works that have particularly inspired and intrigued me and which I recommend to any dancer interested in technique include “Basic Principles of Classical Ballet – Russian Ballet Technique” by Agrippina Vaganova, “The Cecchetti Method of Classical Ballet – Theory and Technique” by Cyril W. Beaumont, “The Flow of Movement” by Tamara Karsavina, “Bournonville and Ballet Technique” by Erik Bruhn and Lillian Moore and “Suki Schorer on Balanchine Technique”. I began studying anatomy in 1976 after a serious injury to my knee laid me low. I was 34 years old. The doctor said “You don’t want to dance any more at your age do you?” I realized that if in fact I did want to “dance at my age” I would have to take responsibility for my body and learn how it worked. What had actually happened under the skin to my knee, and why? Friends introduced me to the book “The Thinking Body” by Mabel Todd. Reading it opened up a brand new world to me, a world that existed inside of me that I had always taken for granted, never understood, and misused continually. I learned how I had injured my knee, through ignorance.

The Anatomy workshop in the morning will address basic principles of balance and movement as they apply to the dancer’s body, Comparative Anatomy is included, for example, the sternum of a bird and of a human, exploring the similarities between all vertebrates.
Where does turn out begin? What’s the purpose of the second toe? How is the head attached to the
spine, does it sit, or is it hinged at the back? What’s behind the knee cap?
Using material from the Movement for Health and Centering syllabus, students will study their
alignment and physical structure as they relate to Ballet Technique, gaining in understanding and
kinesthetic skill.

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