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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Cambré en avant in pointe tendue devant


Susanne

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One of my teachers loves to give us the excercise where we in tendue devant do a cambré to the front. What I haven't understood is the weight placement and the placement of your buttocks. Should you reach as far as possible in the tendu and with your toes remaining on the same spot on the floor, plié with the other leg = your buttocks is somewhat "sticking out"? Your butt is therefore further back than your standing foot. This would mean that this principle of the plié is different from the ordinary plié where the aim is to have your butt as much in the muddle as possible?

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Nope, the principle of alignment still holds: hips over the knees, knees over the toes. Or in this case one hip over one toe.

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Then it is impossible to plié without moving your outstretched (tendu) leg about 5-10 cm? If you just use plain geometry: /| if you shorten the standing leg (which is what happens with a plié) and your outstretched leg is still of the same length (which it must because your bones are of a certain length) you must move the outstretched leg to compensate for the shortened vertical line. For some reason it doesn't seem as my teacher move the outstretched leg?? :D

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Well I am not an expert but my teacher loves this pose especially after a series of rond de jambe par terre. What I have learned is: PLIE!! What I mean is that if you are standing correctly on your supporting leg and adequately bringing your chest sort of forward and up while going down, one should have almost no weight on your extended leg and therefore achieving somewhat of a proper form. Basically, when I do this, it actually "tingles" in the buttock area of the standing leg since the weight is almost nonexistent on the extended leg.

Hope I make sense and this is actually how one is supposed to achieve a cambre in "petite pose effacee".

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Hmm well, I think it isn't the cambré bit that I don't understand. It is the plié on one leg with the other extended. How on earth do you manage not to move the extended leg while pliéing? Shouldn't it be geometrically impossible?

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No, Susanne, it's not impossible :wink: Really. Just stand correctly on the supporting leg, make a demi plié just as you would in any demi on one leg, keep your front leg pointed in tendu devant and in place, and bend forward. Yes, the butt is a bit back, but don't let it shift to the side. This movement in choreography is generally done with a long romantic tutu, or, if not, the plié is not that big.

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Susanne,

I think I understand what you're saying. If you tendu to the front and plie on the supporting leg, maintaining correct alignment then, yes, your foot will need to move forward unless you totally stick your butt out. You're "squashing" a triangle, and all the angles need to add up to 180 degrees---your working leg would need to grow and shrink in order to hold it completely in place.

 

Perhaps there is some methodology which dictates that working leg not budge, but I have always let mine slide forward a few centimeters and have never been corrected on it. Trying to hold it completely in place seems very awkward to me personally. I feel like lower back is arching and my butt is sticking out.

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I find no need to slide the leg out in a tendu devant. When I do that I find it very difficult to keep the rotation on the supporting leg, as it wants to roll inward. The plié needed for this movement is not that extreme, and you should be able to do it without moving the leg forward.

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Hmmm. OK, I'm perplexed :D

 

If I understand what Susanne is trying to get at, she's not really "actively" moving the foot forward or doing any other adjustments. The foot just "naturally" slides forward a few centimeters when you plié on the supporting leg. It has to. It's geometrically impossible to maintain, for instance, a 60 degree angle between your working leg and the floor when the length of the opposite side (your supporting leg) is shortened through the action of plié.

 

If you take a simple tendu front and do little "pulsing" type of demi pliés on the supporting leg, are you saying the foot should be glued to the same spot on the floor and not be allowed to slide naturally forward and back? This seems very odd to me.

 

I can't figure out how it would be possible to plie and keep the working foot glued in place without sinking back into the hip :thumbsup:

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Well, I don't think about "glueing the foot to the floor", however, when I do it, the tendu does not seem to move. Perhaps it's because I don't have as much plié anymore. :D Anyway, I really don't think it's a crucial factor, whether it moves or doesn't. I would not tell anyone they must not move it. However, I would carefully watch the supporting knee.

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I just got up, at Ms. Leigh's urging, and tried this to see what happens. (The things I do for this board, honestly!) I found that my pointed foot does move forward just a little, maybe three or four centimeters, but then, I'm really bowlegged, and this phenomenon may not hold true for everyone.

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(The things I do for this board, honestly!)

 

I was hiding behind the bookshelf at work doing tendu with plié. Actually, that's the spot in the office I usually reserve for stretching my glutes when they decide to spasm (which is often).

 

I seem to be able to keep the foot in place with a very shallow demi. I can imagine that this could look very pretty with a romantic tutu and soft arms where the focus is on the shape of the foot.

 

My legs are really straight if not very slightly knock-kneed, hyperextended and my tendu slides out, so not sure if the bowlegged thing makes much of a difference. I think it really just has to do with the depth of the plié.

 

I actually really dislike cambré forward with tendu because of the aforementioned tight glutes. My piriformis seems to be in a constant state of spasm lately. I spent a month thinking I had strained a hamstring. If ballet allowed for a turned-in pigeon-toed stance, the cambre would actually stretch the areas I need :(

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Guest BalletBrat

I hope I can reply here... I am still new and figuring everything out!

 

In my early training we used to do an exercise with a plie, tendu devant and then stretch the supporting leg. Our teacher wanted us to specifically see the (fully pointed) outstretched foot slide in toward the body. She said this meant our pelvis was centered correctly over the standing leg and no derrieres were sticking out. So now, when I do a tendu followed by a fondu that foot always slides forward a tiny bit, but when I then cambre forward I don't notice the foot goes anywhere, as I guess the hinge at the hips is not creating a change in the plane of the hips only the location of the upperbody? :wink:

 

p.s. I am also standing in my office "re-enacting" I think my co workers are used to it now though! :wink:

Edited by BalletBrat
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Ah thank you Lampwick for helping me to clarify my problem!! By the way, I asked my teacher about it, and she said the same thing as Mel and Victoria :wink: and she said that probably it was only because she showed the movement sloppy when she didn't move the tip of her feet.

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I was hiding behind the bookshelf at work doing tendu with plié. Actually, that's the spot in the office I usually reserve for stretching my glutes

If anybody sees you and asks what you're doing, just say, "religious devotions" - close enough.

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