Saturday, December 26, 2009

Little Ballerina: Adage

I'm a classical music lover.

Let me define Adagio, in music, means slowly. In Ballet, Adage, means slow, unfolding movements. A type of slow flowing, balletic movement being performed. Usually done with a beautiful music.

In a classical ballet class, Adage often come after pirouettes, this portion of the lesson concentrates on slow movement to improve the dancer's ability to control the leg and increase extension. Flexibility is always a plus, dancers to bring the leg into high positions with control and ease.

Leg extensions are at full classical height of 90 degrees, can be taken higher, though only when appropriate and without distorting the purity of their line. In adage, it is absolutely important for dancers to focus on the process by which the limbs reach their full extension rather than on how high they rise their legs. Always remember QUALITY not quantity. The quality of sustaining and lengthening the limbs outward, radiating from the centre of the whole body. Classical leg extensions achieve their beauty shaped by the dancer;s breathing, as an expression of spiritual expansiveness, never by force or strain.

For Advance students, Adage section are more complex co-ordination, using all alignments and directions of travel, a fuller range of body poses, and different ways in which the limbs can move in space from one position to another. Sometimes, it require great co-ordination, balance, control and concentration. It require strength to perform more intricate movements with the appearance of ease.

That is what Ballerina do, to make difficult movement, look so easy.

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.

Little Ballerina: Coupé Fouetté Raccourci Sauté

I enjoy this exercise very much. Love the strong ballon movement.

Coupé Fouetté Raccourci
Usually done by beginners, facing bar. (En pointe or en demi-pointe) Start with a coupé derriere (touching ankle), strongly extend the working leg to 2nd en l;air 45 degrees, and finishes en fondu, sharply whipping working foot to mid-calf, maintaining turn-out throughout the exercise.

Coupé Fouetté Raccourci Battu
A Coupé Fouetté Raccourci Sauté in which the legs join in the air to beat in 5th position without change of feet before landing. Very light beat. Require control and technique. More difficult if it were to execute en tournant.

Coupé Fouetté Raccourci Sauté
A coupé action leading into a vertical jump, working leg strongly extended to 2nd en l’air 45 degrees, with an sharp inward whipping action of the working leg. End with left foot sur le cou-de-pied derriere en fondu (touching the mid-calf), arm 3rd position right arm forward, eye focus over the right forearm.

Thought on Coupé Fouetté Raccourci Sauté

- Strong and quick whipping action of working legs, remember to maintain turn out during landing
- Extend working legs fully to 2nd en l’air 45 degrees
- Jumping supporting leg fully pointed in the air ( for Coupé Fouetté Raccourci Sauté)