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Port de bras faculty surgery

Imperial Classical Ballet faculty committee member Ben Tribe looks back on one of our many online surgeries through the lens of the lecturer

How we’ve got used to the ‘new norm’! If someone had said to me six months ago that I’d be delivering classical ballet classes online, I’d have been reluctant to believe them. Thoughts of ‘it can’t be done’ and ‘the quality of teaching will be compromised’ would have been in my mind. Fast-forward six months and there we were, delivering classes online – who knew!

On starting this lecture it was wonderful to see so many delegates engaged in one place, from all over the globe. I felt honoured so many members had signed up to the session. I was apprehensive about delivering my planned content in a limited time.

When formulating my surgery content, I was unaware of whether delegates would be in a studio, living room or kitchen, or potentially in the garden. As a result, choreographically this was extremely limiting. How could I deliver the course content alongside the correct movement intention over a computer? My focus was drawn to certain aspects of port de bras, for example shaping and tracking, coordination, the use of breath, the upper back, developing movement quality, and the use of Training Ballet Technique alongside other elements.

Considerations of reflective practice, motivation and imagery facilitated and supported my course content planning for this faculty surgery. Through my limited demonstration I was able to offer suggestions on how to develop various technical aspects of port de bras and the online teaching skills that I have developed in my own practice were beneficial.

Pre-submitted questions were extremely helpful as this allowed me to formulate my answers and save time in the lecture. At times, I felt the challenge of being visible to the delegates on the computer screen hindered my demonstration. However, there was some wonderful feedback from this surgery, which I am truly grateful for.

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