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Revised Advanced 1 Modern

25 September 2012

Students make ISTD history as the first candidates to enter the exam

The Revised Advanced 1 Modern Syllabus continues to spread around the globe as more courses are delivered to excited teachers. Candidates may be entered for the exam from September 2012, however, with special permission from the Faculty Chair, there have been a few students who, because of special circumstances, were given the opportunity to take the exam early. 

The students were asked to write about their experience of training for the exam, and what they learnt about their physique and about themselves as dancers. Naomi Peaston had the privilege of being the first person to take the Revised Advanced 1 exam. As one of the demonstrators for the official launch at the Epsom Playhouse in October 2011, she is more than qualified. Naomi is a student at Bird College and was used as a ‘body’ to experiment with the choreography. Her exam in May was conducted by Miss Corraine Collins who, as a member of the Advanced 1 teaching team, has been delivering course lectures in the UK and most recently at the Italian Summer School. 

Naomi said: “It has been a privilege to be part of the creative process, to demonstrate at examiners’ meetings, and to help on teaching courses for the new syllabus. Throughout this process, every aspect of my technique and performance has been challenged. As a dancer without a perfect physique, I found some of the goals I had set myself incredibly difficult. But the wonderful, nurturing guidance of Katie Morea, Tereza Theodoulou and Lyn Richardson has proven to me that I can achieve things I never thought possible. The entire experience has been extremely rewarding and I am forever grateful for everything it has taught me.”

Students at Liberatus Performing Arts were next examined by Miss Tereza Theodoulou in June and had this to say: 

“The new Advanced 1 syllabus is very beneficial to a dancer in training. It gives a broad range of styles to work with from soft lyrical to short sharp isolations, gospel style to classical technique.” 

Rachael Head, 20 years

“Versatility is the key to a successful modern day performer and the new Advanced 1 syllabus allows you to explore many diverse styles, my favourite being the new Performance Exercises such as Turns and Kicks.” 

Mark Allison, 18 years

“The new Advanced 1 syllabus is very beneficial to a dancer in training. It gives a broad range of styles to work with from soft lyrical to short sharp isolations, gospel style to classical technique.”

“The new Advanced 1 syllabus was really fun to learn. With the syllabus there is a wide range of dance styles providing something for everyone. I found the music inspirational, particularly the music for The Falls and Performance Turns. I thoroughly enjoyed learning the Advanced 1, especially The Falls, Performance Kicks and the Technical Elevated Exercises.” 

Beccie Foxwell, 19 years

“Advanced 1 has been a challenge for me technically as well as finding the correct performance skills for each style of dance within the syllabus. Learning the syllabus has been very enjoyable and each exercise seems to have been designed to cater for everyone’s fortes.”

Ruth Lake, 22 years

“I have found learning the Advanced 1 syllabus very challenging yet rewarding. A first it was difficult to change from one style of dance and performance to another quickly, however as we practised and trained, this became much easier as time went on. The exercise don’t feel like ‘exercises’ to me; they feel like mini dance pieces, each with their own specific detail and performance quality.”

Jenny Handley, 19 years

“Learning the syllabus had made me appreciate how small details can make a big difference within my dancing. Advanced 1 Modern has pushed me out of my comfort zone by having to adapt to a variety of styles; this has ultimately made me a more versatile dancer and I have enjoyed every minute of it. During the exam, Miss Theodoulou encouraged me to perform to my best and I really enjoyed the free work and improvisation section of the exam.”

Esther Verlaque, 20 years

“Initially, I found it hard to adjust to all of the varieties of dance within the syllabus. I found it technically difficult; however injecting emotion into each of the dance styles came easily to me as I connected well with the music. I thoroughly enjoyed the exam and although I was nervous at the beginning, Miss Theodoulou put me at ease.”

Grace Upshall, 18 years

“I found working on the Advanced 1 syllabus challenging because it highlights my strengths and weaknesses.  The Blues Amalgamation took time for me to absorb in my body as it wasn’t my preferred style, but creating a story behind the movements improved my performance. My favourite exercise was the Performance Kicks as I liked the music and style of the dance.”
Jessica Evans, 19 years

“I feel Advanced 1 was challenging technically and pushed me to achieve the feeling and essence of each exercise. I enjoyed performing the exercises to contrasting music which moved me throughout the exam. I liked showing Miss Theodoulou our own solo at the end of the exam so she had the opportunity to see what we do on a daily basis at Liberatus.”

Amelia Cotes, 18 years

“I think the new syllabus is a big leap from Intermediate Modern. I think it shows more of a variety of dance styles and techniques and allows us to refine our skills in all areas of dance performance. I enjoyed Advanced 1 and found it has helped me improve my technique, my flexibility and my performance. Sadie (Morgan) made sure that we felt comfortable going into the exam and the exam itself was extremely enjoyable.”

Claudia Harris, 18 years 

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