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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Plie's


pink_tutu

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Ok, so this is a weird question, but I've been wondering this for a long time. :unsure:

 

Every Balanchine teacher I have ever taken with has always started out the plie combination in 2nd position, and then we did 1st and 5th.

 

Almost every "non-Balanchine" teacher I have taken with has always started in 1st position and then done 2nd, 4th, and 5th.

 

I'm just curious as to why they do this... :D

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Well, I'm definitely a 'non-Balanchine' teacher, and I start in 2nd. Actually I do only second in the first combination, which is facing the barre. I do a couple of grand plié in first and fifth later in the barre. Never do fourth. So, your observation does not quite hold true with everyone, perhaps only the ones with whom you have studied. :D

 

Actually, I would not think twice about eliminating all grand pliés except second position, but I still do it because it is expected and they need to know how to do it. Second position is easier on the body, especially the knees, than the other positions, which is why it is often done first.

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Believe it or not, there's no hard and fast rule about this. SAB classes used to start most usually with pliés in 1st, then on to other positions. A justification for this is that first position establishes your rotation and turnout. When you tendu to go to second, the foot does not go any further back, but points straight from the direction it's in when it's in first. It is hoped that turnout is 180°, but if not, that's something to be worked on over a long, long run. Starting in second, though, starts the stretching and rotating so that when the legs are in closed positions, they will be showing the maximum rotation they have. Different teachers do different things. Starting in first is diagnostic, starting in second is therapeutic.

 

(PS. I hate grand plié in fourth, too!)

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Therapeutic works for me! :unsure::D

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Thank you! lol :blushing:

 

Yes, my teacher just got back from Russia and came home with a whole new collection of combinations. He started in second for the first time ever (well, in my life anyway.) And he skipped fourth today too... :unsure: Thanks again! :D

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There is a lot of information on this board about grand plié in 4th. Try a search! Some of us feel that it is totally unnecessary and potentially dangerous. I have not used it for many,many years, and I see no harm whatsoever to my dancers. Of course they get it from other teachers, but I still see absolutely no need for this exercise. :D

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Yeah. we never do grand pliés in 4th. My teacher does 1st, 2nd, (or 2nd, 1st depending on her mood) we usaly skip 4th and go to 5th but sometimes we do use 4th but we do a cambré or something. We don't ever do grand pliés in 4th. (unless someone forgets we are doing cambré and does a grand plié in 4th by mistake :blushing: )

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Using 4th position in the barre is important, as it is used for pirouettes and of course for other movements which travel through a demi plie, like temps lie. (Sorry, working on a laptop and have not yet learned how to do the accents here, without the numerical keypad.) But, using demi plie in 4th is all that is necessary. The grand is simply useless, and potentially dangerous, IMO. Doing cambres in this position are fine!

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I hope this isn't a silly question.... :thumbsup: but why do we even do grand plies? I can understand demi plies. But grand plies....It's not like we use them in the centre in our combinations or anything.

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That's what I have been wondering too a long time. Is it a kind of extra stretch/strenght?

Is it just me or is turning out in fourth much harder than in the other positiones?

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Well, they are a good stretch, especially second position. They are helpful in warming up and in learning control of rotation.

 

Yes, 4th is much more difficult for people who do not have excellent rotation and control of that rotation. They are very hard on the knees, and that is why I discontinued them many, many years ago.

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Hi :wub: My teachers usually will do demi and grand plies in fourth, sometimes we go directly to fifth and other times we do demi plies and a balance. You said it is very hard on the knees. Is there any way to not make so hard on them???

 

~DewDrop5392~

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Unfortunately, no. You have no choice over what your teacher gives, except perhaps to ask if you can replace the grand pliés with demis, but as a personal choice for your own warmups, I'd leave them alone.

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Actually, yes. If you HAVE to do them in 4th, then use a more open position, not crossed. That will make it somewhat easier on the knees. :wub:

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This is where Ms. Leigh's training and mine part company. I follow a 4th ouverte that is really open, and the grand plié there is done without lifting the heels from the ground. Very Olde-Tyme, very like the old French School or Bournonville.

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