More than 60 years after its beginnings in 1956, the renowned school of dance in Girona continues to open its doors to future generations of ballerinas, who practise under the instructions of Maribel Bover. Originally founded by her mother, the well-known dancer Rosa Maria Viñals, the school was the environment Maribel grew up in; thus, it seemed only natural for her to follow the same path.
She has spent her whole life studying the various styles of dance; principally classical ballet, but later also jazz dance, which she herself introduced to Girona. According to Maribel, her greatest challenge will always be the stewardship of the school. Her instruction and constant dedication have created well-versed dancers – some of them talented enough to be accepted into prestigious academies – but above all, Maribel values the enjoyment all the students get out of the art. Her son, Guillem Brull, went on to become a professional dancer in his own right, having performed in Helsinki, Milan and Zurich, to name a few places. Nowadays, they both teach at the studio, and together they create annual spectacles that attract parents and enthusiasts alike.
Here, Maribel and Guillem pose alongside three students, dressed for ballet, jazz classes and in costumes worn in their last show, “L’antic teatre de comèdies”.
1. Wall mirror. An essential element in any dance studio.
2. Ballet bar. Either portable or fixed to the wall, dancers use this to perform their day-to-day routines.
3. Tutu. The classical ballet attire, there are a number of varieties. Simple black tutus are used in class to get used to the volume, especially when dancing in duos.
4. Pointe shoes. Only after years of training do ballerinas start to practice with them, and they are usually reserved for performances and shows.
5. Ballet slippers, jazz shoes. The slippers (usually pink for women and black for men) are used for practise. Jazz shoes are black, and typically made of leather.
6. Leotard. Of different colours and shapes, this is the standard class outfit, both for ballet and jazz.
7. Dance costume. Worn only on stage, this one represents Nikiya, the main character in La Bayadère.
8. Accessories. Leg warmers, thighs, short wrap skirts or crossover cardigans are all common sights in a dance class.
9. Material for buns. To make a ballet bun, the hair is pulled into a ponytail, and the twisted plait is fixed with bobby pins at the base, securing flyaways with a hairnet.
10. Stool. Initially white, the stool has been in the studio for decades; it’s literally part of the room.
11. Resin. To avoid slipping on the wooden floors.
12. Music. Dozens of CD’s, for all styles, and a tambourine to help the younger students follow the rhythm.
13. Books, dolls. Three-year-olds often need a break.