Saturday, December 26, 2009

Little Ballerina: Allegro

Allegro, literally means brisk, lively. In Italian, means gay or joyful.

In class, dance variation characterized by jumps and a faster tempo. These comprise a well-timed and directed push-off, a clearly presented aerial position,and a controlled, sustained landing. They require quick thinking, remembering quick and fast jump steps ON TIME with quick often playful music. In RAD syllabus, I find Allegro is fairly reasonable as they are fix exercise, and you are given time to rehears over until perfection. However, in ISTD syllabus, students are more quick to catch new free work. They are very versatile, you can throw demanding steps, and they will easily remember and complete the routine on the spot.

In petit allegro the dancers execute smaller jumps such as petit jete and entrechat, while the grand allegro is characterized by bigger jumps such as sissonne ouverte or grand jete.

In petit allegro, teacher always look for fast, clean work.

In grand allegro, look for sustaining in the air, ballon movement, elegance.

A good dancer understand the degree of energy needed and use only as much as required, to achieve different qualities of steps from petit to grand allegro. The more impetus on push-off the more control will be needed on landing. Grand allegro require stamina, more energy and vitality from initiation to completion.

I always believe a brilliant dancer can communicate and engage with the audience through her eye focus and use of head. This not only give clarity to the line of jump, it enliven and enhance the whole effect of dramatic elevation. Again, dancers are not just moving machines, they interpret, they feel, they listens to music, they touches audiences' heart.

Dancers' interpretation comes from total body involvement and use for breath and projection to convey the motivation for each movement. The bounding springs and soaring leaps of allegro work embody the essence of spiritual and physical flight. This is poetically expressed in Sleeping Beauty Act III, when a superbly trained and talented dancer was chosen to dance as Bluebird, dazzles Princess Florine (and of course the audience) with his rebounding vaults, enticing her to escape her confinement and ascend to his beautiful realm far above the earth. Utter beauty, my heart almost stop, admiring those graceful leaps.

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