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Ballet Talk for Dancers

supported pirouettes


Guest Medora

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Guest Medora

When doing a partnered pirouette, should the leg in retire be in exactly the same place it is in a non-supported pirouette? I am not a good turner, as you all already know and some of you have seen ;) , so naturally this is my big pitfall in partnering also. I know where it should be from looking at professionals on tapes, in front of the knee maybe slightly below it. Also, I notice that some of the professionals seem to slightly overcross their leg almost. Is that the right position? I ask because my teacher is always scolding me, "lower your passe, lower you passe!" I know why, she doesn't want me to hit my partner, and I obviously don't want to either. So, when I do the turns, should I think of putting my retire under my knee, or what should I do? Thanks!

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Medora, when I first learned to do supported pirouettes I was taught to lower the leg a bit, however, I really do not see that being done today very much. If your partner is experienced you should be able to work with a regular pirouette position. That said, if it is a choice between over crossing and lowering, I would say lower it, but very slightly! Don't like the over crossed at all.

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Also, remember that no matter how many times it's been revived and revised, "Corsaire" remains, at its core, a rather older ballet, and takes some restraint, as in Giselle to perform. I'd go for a slightly lower leg in pirouettes, say at demi-retiré to suggest some period flavor.

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