Slavin Nadal Archive 1989-2015: "The Slavin Years," Austin, TX, Raymonda, Age 15, Summer '14

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Published on Sep 10, 2014
Slavin Nadal School of Ballet 1989-2015: "The Slavin Years" Pure Classical Ballet. Traditional Russian Technique. Artistic Excellence. Prior to opening the Slavin Nadal School of Ballet in 1989, Eugene Slavin and Alexandra Nadal founded Ballet Austin and the Ballet Austin Academy (1983), and served as Artistic Directors of Ballet Austin and its predecessors – Austin Civic Ballet and Academy – for 17 years (1972 – 1989). Slavin and Nadal were Principal dancers with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet before their arrival in Austin in 1972. The training at the Slavin Nadal School of Ballet from 1989 to 2015 reflected the background of its Founders. During their years with Ballet Austin, the Slavins developed an upper level ballet curriculum inspired by the Vaganova method they had learned directly from Vera Volkova – a student of Agrippina Vaganova herself. However, because the Vaganova curriculum was designed for students with very specific physical capabilities (extreme turnout and flexibility, specific body proportions, height, weight, etc) many elements were adapted to suit a more diverse student population. During her 25 years as co-director of the Slavin-Nadal School of Ballet, Alexandra Nadal focused almost exclusively on the development and refinement of a pre-ballet and beginning ballet curriculum for students aged 3 to 10 that would prepare them for the transition to Eugene Slavin’s classes at the Intermediate I level. Nadal personally taught a vast majority of the lower school classes until 2010, when she began to “pass the pointe shoe” to her protegée, Tiffany Loos. During this period, as Eugene Slavin eased into retirement, Nadal shifted her focus to teaching the upper level students (Intermediate I to Advanced). The Slavin Nadal curriculum emphasized the beautiful art of épaulement from the earliest years of training, ensuring that this critical element of classical ballet was naturally integrated into the dancer’s movement. The upper level curriculum drew from their extensive professional experience, as well as including some of the best from the French, English and Danish systems. Note: This "Raymonda" ("Pas de Dix") variation is the original Ballets Russes version of the Marius Petipas choreography, unmodified for these 15 year old dancers. Eugene Slavin learned the variation while dancing with Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo and taught it to Alexandra Nadal during her tenure as a Principal with The Royal Winnipeg Ballet.