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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Grand plie to double pirouette


Redbookish

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In the more advanced class I've started taking we do an exercise I remember from Cechetti syllabus days. We do a full plie in fifth and go straight into a double pirouette en dehors as we rise up from the plie. As is the way of these things, I enjoy it more now than I did then, but of course don't have quite the facility to do it any more! I'm afraid I could only manage a single pirouette.

 

I focus on keeping the pelvis neutral & dropped in the plie ie not sticking my bottom out, but keeping a plumb line through my body, and then to get the turn - which we were taught should start as you come up from the plie - I was thinking of a spiral into it, and trying to get a strong supporting leg. Of course my shoulders hitched up to "help" me round (naughty shoulders!!). Any other advice or technical tips or images to help? I'd like to be able to get a double turn eventually. (Ps it's on demi-pointe not pointe)

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Ugh! In my opinion, a rather old fashioned and very unpleasant exercise! :D Have never seen it used for females, and personally I never include it in my classes. But then, I'm not much of a grand plié person in general. :clapping:

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Oh my gosh, I had totally forgotten that exercise, I did that too as a kid and have not seen it in years. Rather hard on the knees wouldn't you say?

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Yes, it is. Not too bad for boys, though. One of the things I remember my teacher telling me was to make sure that both heels got down to fifth position before the turn even starts when you come up from the plié.

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When I went to the BIM teacher's course Ms. Osiyeva told us not to put the heels down, essentially that the turn does not start once back at the demi-plie but from the depths of the grand plie. For me, it made the turn much, much easier.

 

I don't know if this is a Vaganova teaching or just Ms. Osiyeva's. I'm sure Ms. Schneider can give more information into this. :clapping:

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In Legat, it was the way I described it. Can't speak for Vaganova.

 

Boys do this with double tours. And you thought YOU had troubles.

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Thanks for the comments, esp. re placement of heels. It was a male teacher who set this exercise! and he did say I could workn it from a demi plié into a single turn, but I preferred the sense of spiralling I gort from the grand plié - but I've always enjoyed learning some of the men's work, for example in an advanced beginner class I was doing regularly once we were "invited" (challenged?) to learn tours - releve, quarter turn jump and so on.

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After all, you never know when you might get asked to dance the Polka from "Façade", which ends with a double tour!

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I have had the grand plie into double or single pirouette combination many times from my male Vaganova teacher. He learned Vaganova principles from a student of Vaganova; my teacher is quite advanced in years. I like the sense of spiral too. I find myself having my arms-one straight to the side and one curved to first position, or prep. for pirouette-as I am coming up from the grand plie to help get into the turn. I don't put my heels down before starting the turn either. I think that is the way that my teacher preferes. My teacher likes to start center work with a combination with a grand plie. I don't think he ever gives the same combination twice!

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Grand plie as a preparation for pirouette, as Ms. Osiyeva said, heels do not lower to the floor before the rise. Vaganova also does tours (single and double) in big poses using grand plie as a preparation for both men and women. Both movements are very difficult indeed.

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After all, you never know when you might get asked to dance the Polka from "Façade", which ends with a double tour!

 

LOL Mr Johnson! I think I can safely say that is never going to happen, but as a former Girl Guide, I suppose I sghould still "Be Prepared"!

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Also makes me think of the amazing move that Vladimir Malakov does in La Corsaire when he does the assemble ending in the grand plie in 5th, turning out of it with a single into a develope if my memory serves me right. (I must double check the ending). It is amazing to watch but still hurts my knees. :)

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It's a very olde-tyme exercise which is intentionally made more difficult by coming out of a grand plié.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest BalletBrat

I've been given this in class, from fifth and first position, and find it incredibly fun, however, I am somewhat of sado masichist when it comes to ballet! B) We do not put the heels down either, it goes straight up from the grand plie heels lifted, I like this because it helps reinforce the amount of pressure of the supporting leg and foot agianst the floor needed for any pirouette. I sort of struggled with that concept for a while. :wink:

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