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Rehearsal and Performance Volume in Professional Ballet: A Five-Season Cohort Study

Shaw, Joseph and Mattiussi, Adam and Brwon, Derrick and Williams, Sean and Kelly, Shane and Springham, Matthew and Pedlar, Charles and Tallent, Jamie (2022) 'Rehearsal and Performance Volume in Professional Ballet: A Five-Season Cohort Study.' Journal of Dance Medicine and Science. ISSN 1089-313X (In Press)

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Abstract

Introduction: Few studies have published data concerning the longitudinal rehearsal and performance demands experienced by professional ballet dancers. We aimed to describe the rehearsal and performance volumes undertaken across five professional ballet seasons, and identify factors associated with inter-dancer and inter-production variation in dance hours. Methods: Scheduling data were collected from 123 dancers over five seasons at The Royal Ballet. Linear mixed effects models were used to evaluate differences in: i) weekly dance hours and seasonal performance counts across sexes, company ranks, and months, and ii) factors associated with the variation in rehearsal hours required to stage different productions. Results: On average across the five seasons, a peak in performance volume was observed in December, whereas rehearsal hours peaked in October and November, and between January and April. Differences in weekly dance hours were observed between company ranks (p < .001, range in means: 19.1–27.5 h·week-1). Seasonal performance counts varied across company ranks (p < .001), ranging from 28, 95% CI [22, 35] in principals, to 113, 95% CI [108, 118] in the rank of artist. Rehearsal durations were considerably greater in preparation for newly created ballets compared with existing ballets (77.8 vs 37.5 h). Rehearsal durations were also greater in preparation for longer ballets, with each additional minute of running time associated with a 0.43 h increase in rehearsal duration (p < .001). Full-length ballets, however, were consistently the most time-efficient to stage due to their long performance runs compared with shorter ballets (16.2 vs 7.4 performances). Conclusions: Training principles such as progressive overload and periodization should be implemented in professional ballet companies to manage the high and variable rehearsal and performance loads.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences, School of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2022 14:18
Last Modified: 07 Apr 2022 12:25
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/32576

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