John Clifford and His Refreshing Choreography “BACK to BACH”

Livestreaming in Vienna, on March 19th 2021:

Even in these pandemic times, when you have a responsible group of open-minded ballet dancers, everything is possible! Who loves work and self-discovery through different means of dance expression, is welcome to the Noja-Nebyla Stage Education.

Original education lab

Twelve dancers from eight countries came in the fall to Vienna to join a new original education lab for ballet training and artistic development. In this original education lab, young people learn mental skills for ballet dancers, and how to use them in creating their own strategies of learning. They open up towards a deep systematic understanding of the movement within their space, time, and energy. In other words, they perceive the art of ballet as a Pursuit of Excellence, as ballet has always been.

Individual training programs

Complementary to them, they learn the advantage of the individual training programs. The awareness and the acknowledgment of the connection between brain and body and soul are supportive tools. For maintaining health, power, injury prevention, and rapid regeneration, recognizing the importance of these connections is vital. Knowing them, dancers can apply them in their daily life, on and off stage.

How powerful, joyful, and rewarding the artistry of dance can be for self-determination and self-development

Noja-Nebyla Stage Education lab is a pool of creativity and emerging ideas. The team is constantly working in the ballet mentoring research field. Developing programs for improving the gap between dance education and professional dance life is here the main goal. 

Learning to deal with neo-classical movement

Studying John Clifford´s exquisite choreography “Back to Bach” has been definitely a great challenge. Above all, dealing with the neoclassical off-centered movements. The fast and jazzy choreography, making complicated steps look easy and spontaneous, was big work to do.

John Clifford was a principal dancer and choreographer with George Balanchine’s New York City Ballet for 8 years and guest artist for another 6 years. He was considered to be Balanchine’s protégé (Saturday Review). He choreographed his first (of eight) ballets for the NYC Ballet under Balanchine at age 20, thus making him the second-youngest choreographer in history ever to be attached to a major company.

Clifford is also a Ballet Master/Repetiteur for the George Balanchine Trust. In that capacity he has staged Balanchine ballets: The Bolshoi Ballet, (3) The Paris Opera Ballet, (10) The Mariinsky Ballet, (2) The Royal Ballet, (2) Ballet of La Scala, (3) Rome Opera Ballet, (2) Ballet di Opera San Carlo, (Naples, Italy) Les Ballets de Monte Carlo, (4) Deutsche Oper Ballet and Staatsoper Ballet, (Berlin) The Universal Ballet, and the National Ballet (Korea) The Zurich Ballet, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens,(Montreal) Slovakian National Ballet, Ballet Belles Artes, (Mexico City) National Ballet Teresa Carreno, (Caracas, Venezuela) The Hungarian National Ballet, and nearly every major American company. 

Clifford has also been a most popular guest teacher for all of these companies teaching classes to Rudolph Nureyev, Sylvie Guillem, and virtually all the great dancers of the late 20th and early 21st century.

STAGE EDUCATION Vienna had the rare privilege of dancing for the season 2020-2021 one of John Clifford´s ballets! We would like to thank John Clifford for his generosity in sharing his work and his valuable time with us!

Our thanks

Thank you for the exquisite work to the ballet master Shoko Nejime and the Noja-Nebyla Stage Education dancers: Hokoru Akiyama Anna Bugulova Giorgia Farimbella Emely Hetterich Miyu Kitabatake Jennifer Kohli Kurumi Kojima Martina Panato Kalina Petkova Elsa Prinz Sarah Whiter Diana Zinchenko and Alessandro Zanella for filming and editing

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