Sep 23, 2006

The Erosion of Dance in Britain [LINK]

In an interview in Spiked, Sunday Express dance critic and former dancer Jeffery Taylor says that Britain has "lost a generation of dancers" due to what some refer to as "political correctness," but which he simply calls "poison." One problem, he says, is the virtual ban on teachers touching students, a practice he regards as essential for young dancers to become accustomed to unnatural body positions. Students need a letter from parents to permit only limited touching in certain circumstances. Another problem, says Taylor, is that the more rigorous classical ballet training regimens are now being jettisoned. "Today it's almost official: you never tell a child what to do unless they are willing to do it." As the training is made less difficult, Taylor says students are being told they are better than they really are, or that they are all as good as each other. "This is extremely cruel to children. You have a child doing a five-year course, and you tell them that they should be proud and that they are good. But then after three years they are asked to leave because they won't make it. It's a very important part of growing up in any area that you learn your limitations and learn your potential."

(via Arts & Letters)

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