By Regina Green.
Young dancers in New Zealand are being given an incredible opportunity to learn from world-class teachers, at Dance Masters International. Frederic Jahn and Patricia Ruanne have worked with the most prestigious ballet companies on the planet, including the Royal Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet and Dutch National Ballet, and are now bringing their wealth of expertise down under.
Run by husband and wife team Jos and Olivia Russell, Dance Masters International (DMI) holds seminars that give students access to the truly inspirational wisdom of Jahn and Ruanne. Born in Monte Carlo and England, respectively, these two artists have had remarkable careers as dancers and coaches and now consider themselves “caretakers of dance”. Having danced extensively with Rudolph Nureyev, their illustrious schedules now include working with the Nureyev Foundation, travelling the world to restage his ballets on top companies.
“We have accumulated a vast amount of information, having been ballet masters and having coached the top dancers in Europe, United States and Japan,” explains Jahn. “It’s important that this information is passed on to artists requiring our expertise. We have the keys to shortcutting problems with the technical aspects of dance.”
At the time of writing, Ruanne had just finished working with the Paris Opera Ballet, and was visiting her mother in Leeds before flying to Japan. Then, after the upcoming DMI seminar in New Zealand, she will head to Vienna to mount Manon with the Royal Ballet team. For his part, Jahn had just returned from Trinidad, where he had choreographed a contemporary Giselle and was enjoying a break after 18 months “on the road”. He was about to head to an engagement in Suriname before flying to New Zealand, and then returning to Trinidad to work on yet another project. These truly are two active international artists, and the opportunity to learn from them is invaluable to any dancer.
Open to anyone aged eight and above, the DMI seminars include daily ballet, contemporary, drama, repertoire, and Pilates and stretch classes, as well as a culminating performance. After three highly successful intensive workshops held in Christchurch, next month will see the first Winter Seminar to be held in New Zealand’s biggest city, Auckland.
“We want New Zealand students to be able to experience what is so readily available in Europe and the USA”, says Olivia Russell. “We want them to have access to world-renowned teachers in an environment that will challenge and inspire them.”
The vision for DMI includes the continual expansion of its training programmes and seminars. Besides the twice-yearly intensives, it offers full and part-time training as well as mentoring for audition preparation, health and academic studies. DMI aims for a holistic approach, supporting the frequency and intensity of the training in an inspiring, enjoyable and challenging environment. “This provides all students with what is required artistically, mentally, emotionally and physically for the demands of this art form,” explains Russell, adding, “this will be achieved by the knowledge, experience and passion for dance that all DMI tutors have.”
“The response we have received to past workshops has been fantastic and the feedback has supported exactly what we have aimed to provide: first-rate seminars with exceptional tutors, developing our dance talent in New Zealand.”
The Dance Masters International Winter Seminar 2012 will be held at City Dance Studios, Auckland, from July 1 to 10. For more information or to enrol, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 022 670 2971.