Alida Segal invited me to photograph her Character Dance class at the Christine Walsh’s school of dance in Fitzroy.
Christine Walshs is a Principal Dancer in Australia and internationally, Christine Walsh’s professional ballet and teaching career has spanned over 40 years. Trained originally in Sydney, Christine Walsh graduated from the Australian Ballet School and rose to the rank of Principal Artist with the Australian Ballet where she danced all the major Principal roles in the ballets Swan Lake, Giselle, Sleeping Beauty, La Sylphide, Romeo and Juliet, Onegin, La Fille Mal Gardee, Coppelia, Don Qiuxote and many others. Christine also danced Principal roles with Roland Petit Ballet de Marseille including Carmen and Coppelia.
Alida Segal is an Honours Graduate of Russia’s Moiseyev School of National Character and Dance in Moscow USSR and regarded as one of Australia’s most respected dance lecturers and choreographers specialising in National and Character Dance. Alida has worked with professional companies and leading training institutions as an advisor, teacher and choreographer for more than 28 years.
She has performed across Australia with Kolobok Dance Company and at the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall, Moscow, with the Moiseyev School.
Alida’s teaching and choreographic engagements include The Australian Ballet school (lecturer and member of assessment panel), The Australian Conservatoire of Ballet, Shalom Australia Dance Company, the Queensland University of Technology (Dance Department), The Victorian College of the Arts and The National Theatre Ballet School.
Character dance is a specific subdivision of classical dance. It is the stylized representation of a traditional folk or national dance, mostly from European countries, and uses movements and music which have been adapted for the theater.
Character dance is integral to much of the classical ballet repertoire. A good example of character dance within ballet is the series of national dances which take place at the beginning of Act II of Swan Lake. The ballet Don Quixote also features many character variations based on traditional Spanish dances. Popular character dance adaptations for ballet also include the national dances of Hungary, Russia, Poland, Italy and Spain: csárdás, mazurka, tarantella, flamenco, etc.
Most serious ballet schools around the world include training in Character Dance in their curriculum.