As you know, I love to share good news from Swarthmore – especially if it has to do with the arts! Mrs. Lori Ardis was kind enough to provide a few pictures for me to share with you so you can see what happened at Swarthmore Ballet Theatre this summer!
Each year, while the rest of us are relaxing with our summer reading, a select group of the most dedicated students from Swarthmore Ballet Theatre are given the chance to participate in an intensive summer program that meets weekdays for six hours each day. Guest instructors from all over the world teach these Swarthmore Ballet students dance classes, choreography and even how to play the castanets. This would be an extraordinary opportunity for ballet students anywhere, and it is especially unusual in our suburban setting.
This summer, the students took a morning Choreography class each day. In this class they not only created dances, but also composed music as a group and then played it holding hand bells while they performed their dance! (They also learned to play the castanets!)
Strengthening and limbering exercises were also taught, using 3-foot high exercise balls and exercise bands.
Four leading dancers from the Pennsylvania Ballet taught for 3 hours each afternoon for a month at Swarthmore Ballet Theatre. All four instructors taught the SBT students ballet technique for 2 hours each day.
The dancers did Floor Barre, Variations (which are solos from ballets) and Repertoire (group dances from ballets) to grow their skills.
Principal dancers, Lauren Fadeley and her husband Francis Veyette, who danced the leads in Coppelia this spring at Pennsylvania Ballet, taught the students a dance from that ballet. Mr. Veyette also taught the males and females partnering as he does during the school year at Swarthmore Ballet Theatre..
Principal dancer Amy Aldridge taught a solo she not only performed with PA Ballet but also at the Vail International Dance Festival!
Retired principal dancer Martha Chamberlain taught the students 2 dances choreographed by George Balanchine.
Congratulations to all the dancers who participated!
Below are two more photos of the bell dance.
If you wish to know more about Swarthmore Ballet Theatre’s regular school year classes or the Summer Intensive Program you can visit the school’s page at www.SwarthmoreBalletTheatre.com.
The school is also home to a non-profit Ballet Company – donations are always welcome and are tax deductible.