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psavola

Sissonne fermee

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I'm slightly unclear how sissonne fermee should ideally be executed (I have now twice tried and forgot to ask about this from my teacher. frown.gif )

 

The basics are clear, I think: I plie in 5th and push off to air. Then I throw the working leg to a direction and land on the supporting leg, which bends while I close the working leg to 5th demi-plie. Lastly I straighten knees.

 

The first problem is the part between puhing off to the air and throwing the working leg out. Obviously I should wait until both legs are stretched and not touching the ground before throwing the working leg, but should I theoretically show 5th position in the air? Or just straighten the legs without moving them closer together, which would be pretty close to showing 1st position? Or should the action of throwing the working leg be so immediate after leaving the floor that no position can be seen? confused.gif

 

The second question is: Should I aim to spend the time of the jump moving the working foot "fluidly" first up and then down, or should I move it quickly to the required height, hold still for the highest part of the jump and quickly close?

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Paivi, I think I see your point of confusion. Sissones can be done any of the ways you describe, but best to start with the "plain vanilla" sissone fermée before moving on to sissones fermées collées and temps de poisson and the compound steps that come from them.

A sissone takes off from two feet to one foot, and in the fermée version, the "working" foot closes very immediately back into fifth. You have to establish that you've landed on one foot, if only for a split-second, then close. I think that answers your second question, too, now that I look at it again. smile.gif

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A common correction that I get while doing sissone of any kind is that I think too much about the working leg and not enough about the supporting leg. Ideally, you take off from two leg and both legs achieve the same height, or relatively close to it. In sissone devant and derriere you should aim to show a split in the air before closing. If you concentrate on pointing the bottom foot that action becomes a lot easier than you'd think (but only on days when your body is cooperating smile.gif )

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Well, to me a 'normal' sissonne closes with 2 feet... But again, what is call 'normal' or 'regular' is up to you!!

 

For more info on sissonne (and since explaining in words is so difficult for us, mortals) I advise you to have a look at the ABT ballet dictionary (it's not a concise one, but it's not bad for an online dictionary)You go to: http://www.abt.org/library/dictionary/index.html Sometimes, they have little videos of the step to show you how it's done, but it doesn't work on my slow computer, maybe you'll have more luck with yours... It goes like this:

 

- sissonne: Sissonne is named for the originator of the step. It is a jump from both feet onto one foot with the exception of sissonne fermée, sissonne tombée and sissonne fondue, which finish

on two feet. Sissonne may be performed petite or grande.

The petites sissonnes are sissonne simple, sissonne fermée, sissonne ouverte at 45 degrees and sissonne tombée at 45 degrees. The grandes sissonnes are sissonne ouverte at 90 degrees, sissonne renversée and sissonne soubresaut.

- sissonne fermée: Closed sissonne. A step of low elevation performed to a quick tempo. This sissonne finishes on two feet with the working foot gliding along the floor into the demi-plié in the fitth position. It may be performed en

avant, en arrière and de côté in all directions, such as croisé, effacé, écarté, etc.

- grande sissonne ouverte: Big open sissonne. This sissonne is usually performed with high elevation and is done from a demi-plié on both feet and finished on one foot with the other leg raised in the desired pose, such as attitude,arabesque, à la seconde, etc. It is performed en avant, en arrière, de côté, en tournant and is done with a développé or a grand battement at 90 degrees.

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Just a point of clarification here. While a sissonne fermé "closes" with two feet, this can be confusing as it still LANDS on one foot. The difference is that, as Major Johnson said, the other foot closes very quickly. And as Colleen mentioned, BOTH legs have to work equally as hard. Students do sometimes forget to work the bottom leg (the one you are landing on) while in the air. While both legs open, not all of them go to a split, as some are meant to be very small smile.gif

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Right, Victoria, and as the great maestro Berra once said, "it ain't over 'til it's over!" And of course, we all know that sissone fermée is not over until both legs straighten from the demi-plié in 5th! (Or at least closes to 5th, in order to do the next one.) Some of those seconds get pretty split-!

 

[ January 16, 2002: Message edited by: Mel Johnson ]

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Thank you for clarifications. I think my first question stemmed from the fact I did not realize the supporting leg had to work too. redface.gif (I guess I was sort of equating sissonne fermee with sissonne simple, except that the working foot does different things.)

I'll definitely try focusing more on the supporting leg in today's class, and see if my fermees improve.

 

I think I was unclear with the second question. (The English language making its tricks - I'm sorry) What I meant was should I "freeze in position" for a split second at the height of the jump showing off a (very theoretically wink.gif ) beautiful line? Or is sissonne meant to be a fluider jump? Or maybe there are both kinds and which one is used depends on occasion?

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You have correctly picked up on the idea that there are different sissones fermées for different occasions. The ones that Odette does in her act II variation are strikingly different than ones done in a more highly accented variation, like some in Don Quixote Act I, where there definitely is a "stop" en l'air. Learn to do them all together, the first way, then move on to the sort that have distinctive accents in them.

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Thank you! smile.gif

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