When teaching dance, ballet faculty member of the University of North Carolina, School of the Arts, Misha Tchoupakov conveys to his students a sense of history and continuity by explaining and demonstrating origins of steps and traditions, methods of implementation, anatomical considerations and kinesthetic joy. Students acquire proper and full understanding of movement: the aesthetics, the physical sensations and the qualities of movement expression in ways unique to each individual dancer.
In class, Tchoupakov talks about ballet and teaches ballet in a manner that is entertaining and familiar, by telling anecdotes and fascinating life stories of famous dancers, by explaining ballet’s role in history and by conjuring up images from epochs long gone.
“Ballet is often accused of being elitist, difficult to understand, escapist and even unnecessary. It is my conviction that none of these accusations are true. Ballet is a classical form of art, which means it must be produced and presented in a manner that reflects excellence and aesthetic aspirations. When done with conviction, taste, understanding, attention to detail and respect to tradition, the old art of ballet is capable of communicating the minutae of contemporary life.”