New training framework
It is possible to teach more than 100 students per class. Although it sounds crazy, this feature can be a game changer.
No dance teacher would or could want to teach more than 100 people at once because it would be a one-way intervention. I have only once attended a training with a large number of students, but in this case there were about ten assistants and co-teachers following the whole group. And again, there was a lack of adequate sharing of knowledge.
In fact, more than a real training, it was an informative seminar where the teacher proposed an overview of exercises that reflected his research path well or badly, independently of the participants of the Workshop.
In my opinion it was more of a commercial than an educational initiative.
In fact, meetings of this kind are commonly organised in the fitness world, where the teacher, equipped with a microphone, plays host to crowds of people who repeat series of exercises without much care for the correctness and quality of what they are doing.
The only situations where this happens regularly in the dance world are auditions. But even then the candidates, which in my experience can be up to 200, are divided into groups of 20 or 30 people at the most.
This is both because of space constraints - we remember that in most cases professional dance takes place in closed venues - and to allow the jury to see the candidates enough to get a picture of them.
However, last year, in September 2020, I was lucky enough to be able to attend an online audition in Korea as a member of staff at the Giessen Theatre.
More than 80 candidates attended the audition. The Asian venue had prepared a double connection in video conferencing and streaming. In a theatre where the organisers were located, 40 dancers performed one after the other in front of the cameras.
An equal number of about 40 dancers were connected by video conference from different parts of the world. They had rented a studio or set up one of the rooms in their flat.
On the other side, if we can say so, there were us and 10 other directors of European theatres and companies. We could talk about a historical meeting, where three continents, America, Asia and Europe, were connected to decide the fate of some of their fellow citizens, far away in space and time, considering the time zone, ready to start a new career in another country on the other side of the globe.
I remember 22 years ago, when I embarked on my first interrail trip in search of a job as a dancer in some European company, I left with a list of sheets of paper full of addresses and telephone numbers, often wrong, of unknown companies or just heard about by some friends who had left to make his fortune before us.
Stories of normal immigration I would call them....
Anyway, in the end we hired X a Canadian dancer who is now part of the ensemble of the Gießen theatre.
This was made possible by digital communication technology.
If you think about the costs for a dancer to be able to move from one continent to another without any guarantee of success, you understand what facilities and equal rights such an event offers. Talent often lies where capital is lacking, in people who are unable to develop their potential because of an injustice of birth.
I will never forget Y, an Afro-American dancer who learned the variation in the room of a small flat 2 metres by 3 metres. A very promising and talented boy. Or a young Japanese dancer who rented the studio of the dance school where she was studying....
Many lives can be changed with a click.
Y received a contract from a private German company. his life changed.