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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Releve passe

Guest kella

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  • 11 years later...
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  • Victoria Leigh


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I know this topic was posted forever ago, but I have a question along similar lines.


I am actually quite proud to say that my relevé passé in flat shoes are really good. I can balance them nicely from 5th and 4th.


However, on pointe I do something weird and I don't get the same feeling I do in flat shoes. In flat shoes I spring up into a really nice passé position. On pointe I go off on weird angles.


What I am asking is, do you have any helpful suggestions about what I should be thinking when I am about to do that initial plié to go up into passé? Should I be pushing off equally from both feet?

I think I mentally put myself off, so I need to keep my mind actively thinking about what I need to do.

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Yes, you must push off of two feet equally, from your heels. Two heels leave the floor simultaneously. Also be aware to springing forward to the 1st 3 toes of the supporting foot. Supporting heel, strongly forward. No sickling the supporting heel.

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It also helps me to think about where my hips need to be placed in releve. If I'm pressing to the platform I will need to transfer the weight of my hips towards the standing leg, but if I'm snatching the supporting foot under my hips don't move laterally.

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I know it seems like a very short distance, from your metatarsals to full pointe, but that is a pretty large shift for your center. Just remember, there is a definite need for you to lift and stack your hips (as gav mentioned), center, shoulder and heads up and over just a bit more to be directly on top of your platform! That's almost an additional 2-3 inches for some people! It's quite the shift! Really lift out of the hips and literally place your body over that platform.


Get used to using the barre and balancing in retiré on pointe first, without the relevé. Just place yourself in retiré and feel the difference in your body of exactly where your whole body now needs to be when in this position en pointe. Your muscle memory has to make it feel natural too before you can start to just spring up and do it! ;)

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Springing up requires the shift to take place from the bottom up, the ball of the foot or tip of the pointe shoe under the spine. There is no need to shift the hips anyway but upward with this rise.


Please understand, two different ways of rising are being discussed in this thread. One will need to distinguish the difference between the two ways of rising to figure out how to go up.

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Thanks for all your suggestions. I don't think the method my school uses is the one where you bring your leg underneath you. I think we move our weight over to the supporting leg.

What I am aiming for is something like what you see if you youtube "Royal Ballet Relevé"


I'm going to back to the barre and hope I can get some good muscle memory in my body.

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Guest Pas de Quoi

Just in time! The latest video from "Ballet In Form" ballet technique videos is all about passé relevé. The video is excellent and may provide some answers for you. If you put Ballet In Form into a search you will most likely be able to find the site, and see this video. There are other great videos, with explanations from well known instructors.

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Both ways of doing relevé to one foot are needed for various types of movements in the center. By the time students are properly ready for pointe work, they should be learning both ways, IMO. I have students who regularly arrive in my upper Int. classes who have only been taught rising, not springing up. I don't believe that is preparing them for everything they need to do at that level.

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I am hopefully changing to a different school (an RAD one), so maybe I will learn the other method too.


Pas de Quoi, what great timing! I've watched that video quite a few times now (and I expect to watch it quite a lot more). I wish I could slow it down even more. What a great resource.

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I do agree Victoria. My suggestion was regarding the lack of clarity in the thread. Not the fact that they need to know and use both. ☺

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Sorry if it has already been explained but I am not sure of the difference between springing up and rising.

Springing up: in 5th, you go on pointe and tighten the two feet at the same time;

rising: in 5th, you go on pointe but they stay slightly apart.

Is it correct or not?

I do not see how it comes in the way of going to a retiré/passé, so I am a little confused.

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You are correct. When one springs up the toes of the working leg go under the head. Rising up the weight of the body must shift over the supporting foot. It does not matter which you are doing, but you do need to know how to do it in both cases.

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Thank you for the explanation.

Is there a rule (like rising is more used in adage and springing up is more used in allegro) or is it up to the teacher/choreograhy? Excepting in 5th I do not remember anything like this being specified so I just wonder.

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