To compliment Ballet studies, Character Dance can be incorporated into the timetable either within the Ballet class or as a separate technique class.
Character Dance is an extremely valuable and enjoyable aspect of Classical training, encompassing and enhancing so many aspects and skills needed in Theatre work.
Character Dance is a stylised representation of National Dance which, in turn, is a study of worldwide authentic and traditional Folk Dances. Think of any traditional Classical Ballet repertoire such as Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Nutcracker, Don Quixote and you will find examples of Classical Character Dances such as the Czardas, Flamenco, Mazurka, Polonaise and Tarantella, to name but a few.
Character technique is often taught from a young age at vocational schools as an integral part of the ballet programme. It is a vital part of any classical training and at SDSD we have found it makes a distinctive contribution to the students’ experiences. Not only are they learning new dance steps and styles, but experiencing working as a ‘corps de ballet’ – group work and in pairs etc. Inter-relationships between dancers when partnering and moving in different patterns is an essential skill for any performer to learn. It is this aspect that often challenges the most able students and adds to class enjoyment.
A small heeled black canvas character shoe and character skirt are worn in addition to the normal ballet uniform.