Ballet Training Curriculum
Founded in 1969 by respected ballet teacher, Sharon E. Dante, The Nutmeg Ballet Conservatory has continued the commitment to Ms. Dante’s original vision of providing professional-level ballet training to aspiring young dance artists. Today, The Nutmeg Ballet Conservatory is recognized as a major professional ballet training organization in the United States and its professional programs are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance.
Individual Student Development
Through quality training, education, and performance, The Nutmeg prepares its students for entry into the professional world of dance. One of the reasons The Nutmeg enjoys an international reputation for its training and placement of students after graduation is its emphasis on each student’s overall development, training, deportment, and the building of self-confidence. It is through this approach that The Nutmeg has produced outstanding students who excel in all areas of their lives.
Classical Vaganova Approach
The fundamental schooling is founded on the classical Vaganova methodology. This unique curriculum is the Russian detail-based technique which has produced legendary dancers such as Rudolf Nureyev, Mikhail Baryshnikov and Natalia Markarova. The guiding principles of the Vaganova approach enable a dancer to develop the flexibility, strength, endurance, muscle memory, discipline, and attention to detail that are not only critical components of training, but essential for growth as a ballet dancer.
Diverse International Ballet Faculty
Artistic Director Victoria Mazzarelli (’84) and Ballet Master Tim Melady (’85) have worked with Sharon Dante to assemble an international classical ballet faculty that teaches the fundamentals of the Vaganova technique with a blend of neo-classical and contemporary performing styles. The Nutmeg is unique in its dedication to teaching classical ballet alongside a full resident performance season. Placing equal emphasis on training and performance skills prepares The Nutmeg trainee for the demands of the 21st century’s ballet and contemporary dance companies.
Year-Round Intensive Training
Training for almost 5 hours a day, 6 days a week, the faculty knows each student and provides individual attention and proper corrections. The year-round program is for the hard-working, focused student and is comprised of two sixteen-week semesters, each made up of 432 clock hours (“clock hour” is defined as 60 minutes of instruction). Only a select group of students is chosen yearly for The Nutmeg’s accredited training. Standards are high and The Nutmeg seeks candidates that are inspired to excel in both dance and academic studies.
A student’s training is mastered through daily methodical and technical lessons in classical ballet technique, modern dance technique, pointe, men’s work, partnering, classical and contemporary repertoire, and performance experience. Class attendance is taken regularly, verbal reviews are conducted on an as-needed basis, and written evaluations and individual conferences are held at the end of each semester – January and May.
Women’s Ballet Program
The Women’s Program uses the Vaganova syllabus as its base – guiding the female student through the proper use of placement, progressive pointe work, suppleness, use of torso, and port de bras. The significance and importance of each of these components is reinforced on a daily basis. Students work on classical variations and contemporary repertoire as both are essential in a professional environment.
Men’s Ballet Program
The Men’s Program – with a long history of training young men ages 13–21 – provides fundamental technical development. Students are given the opportunity to dance in a professional environment and train in a methodology that places a special focus on technique and partnering skills. In addition to regularly scheduled male technique and partnering classes, our staff coaches male students on proper weight training, mobilization, and flexibility training.
Audition and University Preparation
A key component of The Nutmeg’s training program for all students is partnering. Extensive studio work under expert tutelage in the art of pas de deux is an important preparation for future auditions for ballet company and/or university placement.
Participation in The Nutmeg Ballet Performances
Performing in full productions in outstanding performance venues gives each student unparalleled stage experience. Our students learn first-hand about performance responsibilities, costumes, staging protocol, and engagement with the audience. The Nutmeg’s performances have been reviewed and acclaimed by publications such as The New York Times, Dance Magazine, and Pointe Magazine.
Guest Teacher Program & Field Trips
The Nutmeg Conservatory for the Arts also has a major guest teacher program. Throughout the school year and during our summer programs, students have the opportunity to work with a variety of dance artists from the United States and abroad. Guest Artists include well-established and recognized names such as Kirk Peterson, Eleanor D’Antuono, Moses Pendleton (P’03), Barry Hughson (’88), Amy Fitterer (’97), Brian Simerson, Brian Reeder. Alexandre Proia, Helen Heineman, Emily Patterson Nicholas (’96), Thomas Nicholas, and Denise Warner Limoli. Additionally, veteran performers from MOMIX as well as up and coming artists actively working in the field of dance are frequent visitors to The Nutmeg’s studios. Through pre-planned field trips, The Nutmeg also provides opportunities for its students to see other dancers showcase their talents at venues such as Boston Ballet, Jacob’s Pillow, Lincoln Center Theatres, the Joyce Theatre, and more.
Accreditation Programs Catalogue*
*Member of The National Association of Schools of Dance. The Nutmeg does not accept transfer credits.
Questions? Call The Nutmeg Ballet Conservatory at 860.482.4413, ext. 304 and speak with a member of our team for more information about our Training Curriculum.
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