First of all, what is a Company Class?
In most professional dance companies worldwide, dancers start their day with a Company Class every day of their career, before the day’s rehearsals and performances. Through Company Class, dancers warm-up and get ready for the day, and the company’s technique and artistry is maintained, refined and elevated. Of course, the Company Pianist plays for these classes.
So, what does a class look like?
A class starts at the barre, typically with the following exercises: Warm-up, Pliés, Slow Tendus, Quick Tendus, Glissés, Ronds de Jambe à Terre, Battements Fondus, Frappés, Petits Battements, Ronds de Jambe en L’air, Adage and Grands Battements. Then it proceeds on to the centre, typically with the following exercises: Centre Practice, Adage, Pirouettes, Coda, Petit Allegro, Medium Allegro and Grand Allegro.
The teacher communicates the combination of steps to the dancers through marking (an abbreviated physical demonstration) and verbal instructions. During this time, the pianist watches closely and prepares to play when the teacher cues the start of the exercise.
What does it take to play for Company Class?
Here are some of the pre-requisites you need to play for class successfully.