Capitol City Dance Academy implements the Vaganova Method of teaching classical ballet, and Agrippina Vaganova developed this method. This method fused the romantic style of the French ballet and dramatic soulfulness of the Russian character with the athletic virtuosity that characterizes the Italian school to reform the old imperial style of ballet teaching.
Vaganova was a student at the Imperial Ballet School in Saint Petersburg, graduating in 1897 to dance professionally with the school’s parent company, the Imperial Russian Ballet. She retired from dancing in 1916 to pursue a teaching career. Following the Russian revolution of 1917, she returned to the school as a teacher in 1921. This method has become known worldwide as the Vaganova method and led to her being made the director of the school, training some of the most famous dancers in history.
In 1948, Vaganova authored a book titled “The Foundation For Dance.” The book outlined her ideas on ballet technique and pedagogy. This notated, and progressive training program has produced some of the best dancers in the world, including Anna Pavlova, Natalia Makarova, Rudolf Nureyev, Mikhail Baryshnikov, the legendary choreographer George Balanchine, and professional dancers in almost every company worldwide. Capitol City Dance Academy trains from the same syllabus with added elements from the Balanchine method.
The Vaganova method is considered to be very clean, with precise movements that express clean lines yet softness underneath. Even though a Vaganova-trained dancer would be powerful and clean, she/he would still be soft and perform well on stage without robotic stiffness.
There are eight levels up to diploma that this international syllabus follows. Early training focuses on epaulement, or the stylized turning of the shoulders and body, which is partnered with the development of total stability and strength in the back to produce harmonious coordination of the body and continuity of movement. This core of strength enables consistently precise, natural movement of the body; the training in epaulement, in turn, instills in the dancer intuitive anticipation of how best to use every part of his or her body to evoke breathtaking results, right down to the hands and eyes.
The Vaganova Method’s codified technical approach thus makes for INJURY-FREE training emphasizing the simultaneous development of both technical proficiency and individual artistry, and a complete range of move thoughtful expression that comes out of proper placement and a strong classical dance foundation. This scientifically proven method involves the systematic study of all ballet movements by breaking them down into their separate elements and is characterized by impeccable precision, attention to detail, ease of execution, emotion-evoking grace, and individual creativity.