The CD: Musique Pour Le Cours De Danse Classique IV (Music for Ballet Class IV)
The Details: Piano Composition & Interpretation : Ellina Akimova (Bolchoï Dance Academy 1990-1995)
Exercises & Instructions : Franciska-Elisabeth de Mikhnevitch (Opéra of Paris 1960-1984)
Sold by: Mediaphorie
The Review: I have listened to this CD now over 30 times and am currently using it for my adult ballet class. I have found it to be very refreshing–the compositions are original and extremely well-played by Ms. Ellina Akimova. There is music here for an entire ballet class, and the barre tracks are all repeated for the convenience of the instructor.
Although the music is clear and measured, this is not a CD I would use for a beginning class. It is probably too complex for new students who do better when phrases are repeated often and the music is simple. For more advanced students, however, I found the tracks to be quite inspirational–especially those for the center work. The barre music is also a departure from the typical ballet class fare.
One of the best features of this CD is the fact that the tracks are lengthy. Some ballet class CDs have short tracks that necessitate pausing the exercise to re-start the music. This is extremely distracting to the students and teacher alike. More advanced classes have longer exercises both in the barre and the center, and this CD allows plenty of time for longer combinations.
There is also a nice mixture of music here so that you can get a lot of use out of the CD. There are tracks for pirouettes, petite variation, tours en l’air and adagio, among many others. This will allow you to mix and match exercises and create several different classes while still utilizing the same CD.
Ms. Akimova’s skill is considerable, and all of the music is completely measured and steady. I’ve always appreciated the difficulty that goes with playing ballet music for students. In order to do it well, you have to be able to play flawlessly, yet infuse some emotion into the pieces you are interpreting. This is no easy task, but it is done extraordinarly well here. The tracks for small jumps and tendus have a sprightly feel to them and the slower ones have an ebb and flow that encourage artistry.
I have not heard the other CDs in this series (I, II, III), but based on my experience with this one, I would definitely say they would be worth investigating. I’ve been very pleased with this one and recommend it without hesitation.
My students enjoy it too.