Emmanuelle Rousse Exclusive Interview

The Art of classical dance

Emmanuelle Rousse

 

As a teacher of classical dance, she is the founder of the school and company Temps de Flèche located at the MJC of Carpentras in the Vaucluse (South of France) since 2002.

Inspired by great teachers of the Paris Opera such as R. Duflot and S. Clavier, but also by her ballet master since the age of 17, Andrej Glegoski ; Emmanuelle Rousse passes on her knowledge to her students with passion and trains the future professional dancers of France.

Since 2003, the results of her work are undeniable. Indeed, many of her students are admitted in the most prestigious schools in France and abroad :

The Paris Opera school, the CNSMDP of Paris, the ENSDM of Marseille, the ESDC Rosella Hightower of Cannes, the Rudra-Béjart School at Lausanne in Switzerland, the Joffrey Ballet School in Chicago, the Bolshoi Ballet Academy and the Ailey School in New York.

Attached to the heritage of classical dance, she knows how to blend discipline precision and artistry while fitting the contemporary world.

Emmanuelle Rousse is the guest of « Univers de la danse » this week.

 

1. What does Temps de Flèche institution represent ? Both a school and a company ?

Temps de Flèche is mainly a school, but the goal is to train dancers, so I wanted to highlight the importance of artistry, beyond technique. Therefore, the focus of the curriculum is the improvement of technique and correct placement during classes, but it all has to be applied on stage.

Temps de Flèche is also a pre-professional company formed of the students who want to become professional dancers. There are about twenty children in the company. Since the establishment of the junior company, there has been about 80 performances of ballets, resulting in roughly 5/6 performances by year. The shows are sometimes the full ballets and sometimes pieces of the ballets. The company’s repertoire now includes a dozen ballets.

 

2. How is the timetable ?

So far, the students were taking evening classes after school. But since 2014, the dance-study option was set up with a curriculum for children with the CNED (distance/online education program). Indeed, children are educated by the CNED, which encourages them to be more independent, as there are no high schools wishing to set up a dance-study program in Carpentras.

The first course was set up for students between age
– 12 and 18 : with dance classes in the morning / and school the afternoon
Then a second course was created at the request of interested students and parents later, for students between age
– 8 and 11/12: with school the morning / and dance classes in the afternoon

 

3. What is the number of students per class ?

There are about 12/13 students per class for children dance classes and about 10/11 students per for adults dance classes. The school won’t accept more than 14 students at most because it is better to work with small groups to teach dance.

 

4. In which institution the students usually pursue their professional dance education ?

Since 2003, there have been:

  • 20 acceptances at the Paris Opera school since 2003 (France)
  • 8 acceptances (including 2 with honours, and 1 with distinction) at the National Conservatoire Upper School of Musique and Dance of Paris – CNSMDP (France)
  • 11 acceptances at the National Upper School of Dance in Marseille – ENSDM (France)
  • 7 acceptances at the Upper School of Dance Rosella Hightower in Cannes – ESDC (France)
  • 3 acceptances at Rudra Béjart School (Lausanne, Switzerland)
  • 1 acceptance at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy (NYC, USA)
  • 1 acceptance at the Alvin Ailey School (New York, USA)
    1 acceptance at the Joffrey Ballet School (Chicago, USA)
  • 3 acceptances at the Regional Conservatoire of Paris (France)
  • 10 acceptances at the Regional Conservatoire of Avignon (France)

Besides, there have been acceptances for summer intensive:

  • 8 acceptances at the Royal Ballet School intensive (London, England)
  • 6 acceptances at the Paris Opera School summer intensive (France)
  • 1 acceptance at the Joffrey Ballet School summer intensive (Chicago, USA)

 

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Some students are now dancing as professionals:

  • 1 is a dancer in the corps de ballet at the Paris Opera (France)
  • 2 dancers at the Toulouse Capitole Ballet (France)
  • 1 dancer at the Company Julien Lestel (France)
  • 3 students passed the classical EAT (Examen d’aptitude technique-Technical Aptitude Exam: required to take the DE exam)
  • 2 students passed the DE jazz (Diplôme d’Etat DE-State Diploma: to be entitled to teach dance in France)
  • 1 student became a hip hop teacher

It is really good to see the students from the school, succeed and become professional dancers after 10 years. It is very rewarding!

 

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« Dance is a philosophy: the will to surpass oneself each second, to go beyond one’s own limit, the search of perfection and purity through the dream and the poem of the body. »

Emmanuelle Rousse

5. What do you think of the dance education system in France ? As you must adopt a specific pedagogy for so many students to be admitted into such prestigious schools ?

 

I try to get my inspiration from all the dance teachers and masters I had. I had the chance to be taught by amazing people: to be exposed to a varied culture, great cultural openness; not just one style but several styles.

So I keep on trying to see different things, to see other people, to listen, because finally “the new” is good but “the old” as well.

Classical dance is built on the past, on things that have existed for 300/400 years and simultaneously must be modernized. It has to become a little contemporary, adapt itself to today’s world, to the style but also to the request of the companies. Now it must also be contemporary, modern, and neoclassical, with or without pointe work, with or without jazz and it must be open to a wide range of style. It is very important!

 

Concours-prix-EmmanuelleRousse

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There are many beautiful institutions in France, but which perhaps are not fully exploited. It might be because we find ourselves on a path where we forget a bit the past. We forget that to succeed, we must repeat, we must do series of exercises. In order to achieve something, we have to work, and even when we have a great passion for dance, it still requires hard work. I think it would be a great deal to try keeping a little of both.

The strict and rigorous education of classical dance can be ultimately something positive if it is done appropriately. It is only felt as strict or severe if it is unpleasant for children, or if it’s hard for the children, if it’s violent, mean, unfair! When children feel that it is right, that it makes them make progress, improve and that it is for their good; when it is done by someone who really knows the job, then the children do not feel it as something difficult. They feel it as something that is normal and demanding. They feel the need to be rigorous and that it’s important for it to be done this way, but they do not feel that it is hard. They know they are moving forward for their passion and that they are improving, they are dancing and then that is the best way to tell them they are good and they will succeed one day.

6. Is it not too difficult to keep the students motivated every day ?

I am able to do it at Carpentras. It is true that people know me quite well for this. Children when they dance, despite the difficulty, they keep the pleasure of dancing.

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13. Elèves-TempsdeFlèche

I try to position my education system a lot towards the pleasure of dance. This is perhaps because I also did some Martha Graham dance technique, which I found very interesting in terms of pedagogy. Indeed, it is really stimulating to turn over the dance class into interpretation and not to forget that even during class, we are already on stage, we are already dancing in relation with the music and with others. It is already a corps de ballet type of work. The work as a performer has already started here, even among the youngest children. They can perform too, although the work of the posture with the right positions of the hips, the torso, and the feet…etc must be done. I dedicate a lot of time for that because it is crucial and this is what allows progress in the art. It gives the students the opportunity to be able to perform more difficult steps, and go further, without getting injured. It is important to be careful with the body, the diet, the lifestyle …everything. However, at the same time, even the youngest students have the right to have fun dancing, trying different things; they can perform, they can be elegant, be graceful and feel beautiful … all of this is not a matter of age. We are artists, even when we are very young; we are still artists despite everything, already at this moment.

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INFO

The auditions for the dance study program starting at age 9 occur during the whole year at Temps de Flèche. Please do contact the school if interested, as we support everyone no matter what the career objectives are!

Temps de Flèche international summer intensive occurs every year in July. Usually, the course includes: ballet, barre au sol, répertoire, pas de deux, modern, jazz and hip-hop. Many guest teachers coming from different horizons, including Etoile dancers from the Paris Opera, but also teachers and masters who trained in France, New York and Russia!

http://www.tempsdefleche.fr/   

7. What is the best advice that you would like to communicate to the future professional dancers in terms of technique, artistry so as to succeed and not give up ?

First of all, it is important to have a good teacher to start with: someone who is demanding despite all, if the student wants to become a dancer. If dance is a hobby for the student, this is less serious, although things can still be done correctly. But if really, the aim is to become a professional dancer, it is necessary that the foundation is built correctly. I always like to use the image of architecture: you cannot build a 10-storey building without deep and solid foundations, without a defined structure. The more the children adopt a correct posture, with everything aligned respecting the biomechanics, the structure of the body; and the more they understand what they do, the better it is. And even when they are toddlers, we can manage to make them understand how it works, even if this may seem very abstract. By using simple images, they are able to understand things.

6.Elève-TempsdeFlèche

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And when you have a good posture and you use your breath, we don’t talk very often about breathing but it’s very important too, the movement becomes easier. When everything is in the right place in the body, you just need to add a bit of artistry, to indulge yourself into the movement and after it is easy. You just need to take the movement further, to let it go … and also simply enjoy dancing. So, the kids still want to dance because they feel that joy through their movement. And every day it’s almost like a kind of detective investigation, giving oneself some kind of suspense. Today I am going to perform this step like this, tomorrow like that, this music rather like this, and that music rather like that … it takes away the monotony because, in spite of everything, we do the same exercises every day at the barre the same way, and we start again, and again and again … And so it is important to add a joyful, interesting side to the education, that they can look for individually depending on their will, on the music, or what the teacher will tell them too.
But do not give up, even when there are hard times when it is very difficult, you must go on and not give up! Sometimes you might only need to see what is elsewhere too. It is true that, after a while being in the same place, we just need something else as we evolve differently. So by discovering something different, we can progress better too. This does not mean to tear everything apart, but it means to go and see different things, to grow somewhere else, because there are many many different styles; there is not only one style, or only one way to do things.

So you must keep this flame, this passion! As long as you are passionate, things are not difficult. When you begin to feel that it’s difficult, maybe you lost a bit of that passion. But it is the passion that makes the interpretation of roles; there is theater, cinema within the dance. Something is expressed beyond technique, although it is essential and important. Plus, the technique can be worked on: you do have to have a « nice » arch of the feet, turn out … but there are plenty of things that are not prohibitive. Until a certain age, the body is still quite malleable like dough, and if things are molded the right way, it is possible. With the floor work (focused towards classical dance), and Pilates: we are able to set up things differently, this is a good complementary work to do this.

Great Manu thank you very much for this interview, see you soon!

You’re welcome, see you soon!

13. Tramayne-EmmanuelleRousse

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