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Durham e-Theses
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A century of change in classical ballet teaching: the role of the Royal Academy of dancing/dance in the training of teachers of classical ballet (1900-2000)

Mitchell, June Campbell (2001) A century of change in classical ballet teaching: the role of the Royal Academy of dancing/dance in the training of teachers of classical ballet (1900-2000). Masters thesis, Durham University.



Progressive phases in the evolution of the Royal Academy of Dancing's founding intentions and philosophy have been explored in order to determine the on-going development and contextualisation of the training of classical ballet teachers. While the use of archival material and interviews comprised the main source of evidence another significant source was the author's personal perspective first as a student and then as a teacher and examiner in the system under review. An examination of ways in which the many issues, values and practices of teaching ballet interrelate and function revealed a number of tensions, one of which was the identification of how the specifics of this multiform enterprise of teaching have been amalgamated at key stages to achieve reliable learning outcomes in the Academy's development. Since its foundation as the Association of Operatic Dancing of Great Britain in 1920, the Royal Academy of Dancing, RAD (retitled in 200 las the Royal Academy of Dance) devised a spectrum of examinations, reaching its zenith m the last decade of the twentieth century with the introduction of degree programmes validated by the University of Durham. In terms of structure, content and aspirations, an in-depth study of these degrees, and of the Routemaster which followed them, reveals tenets considered necessary to produce an increasingly informed classical ballet teacher. As the RAD enters the twenty-first century with its declared policy of widening access and extending genre, and with the introduction of a single distance learning degree, questions are raised concerning the ability of the World's leading organisation in classical ballet education to maintain and promote its reputation for executant excellence. While acknowledging that some of the current changes reflect the difficult financial position facing the Academy, a case is put forward for alternative ways of proceeding and recommendations made for a critical reappraisal of classical ballet teaching m the light of the original aims of the organisation and the current context in which it operates.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:2001
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:26 Jun 2012 15:24

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