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The masculinity and the "grounded" dancing

Guest PrinceSiegfried84

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Guest PrinceSiegfried84

Hi guys,


I am a 21 pre professional ballet dancer. I graduate at English National Ballet School in London last summer. Since then I have danced quite a lot, only recently I am the lead role in a small production for my hometown theatre as the painter Degas in "Marie, Degas' petite dancer".


It's quite a hard character to play, being very dark, ambigous, sad and full of insight depth.


I am still fighting with some technical details, but in the last days I came to the conclusion that a good percentage of what I get to do onstage or during a rehearsal depends very much on the emotional load I put in it. I mean, as a male dancer I need to put a different energy in my steps, especially when it comes to big jumps or tours en l'air where you MUST put a certain amount of ,let's say, "masculine rage", in order to give them the right form. Apart from the deepening of plies before jumps, and the development of a "dancing wide" sensation, does anybody have any other suggestion to achieve an even more mature, noble and masculine way of dancing?


I am so upset that most of the times I f*** up the end or the middle part of an otherwise good combination because I start feeling like "I'm not gonna get it", and let the emotional load take over me. :P


Best to everybody

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It sounds as though you're suffering from the crossover of what used to be, and still is, called "emploi". This term means the overall style in which a dancer performs. It can be particularly difficult when it comes to the crossover between a danseur noble, rather like Siegfried, who doesn't do much dancing but does a lot of showing off of the ballerina, and the danseur classique, like the pas de trois dancer in the same ballet, who has next to no acting, but dances for a long extended period of time. Without seeing the choreography, it would be hard to reckon what difficulties lie with your part, but it sounds like you have to be nearly an all-purpose male dancer - a rather hard thing for a choreographer to do to a dancer. The most valuable piece of advice I can give you in appearing "grounded" is, when not given specific things to do, don't just do something, stand there~!

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Guest PrinceSiegfried84

Thank you so much Mel!


This is something I would have otherwise had a hard time to understand. Perhaps being a small production with a small amount of dancers this is what I get to be. The all purpose dancer sounds alright, I do lots of acting and I usually dance immediately afterwards and for quite a long time. It's a good challenge though, where a little bit too much demanding coreography-wise


The very last suggestion was SOOO GREAT! In fact that's what I was personally trying to do as the best way to be ON without camping around....


Do you think that trying to take my own time and privilege a good execution to an impeccable tempo is still a good solution when it comes to communicate the good "à plomb".

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Guest PrinceSiegfried84

Mel, I have done whaat you suggested me to do. I have felt immediately IN the role, and my technique just came out with elegance and no lack of concentration whatsoever. I did the whole rehearsal with this "grounded" sensation. It was a success, the coreographer was amazed and even gave me compliments in front of everybody (a very rare thing of her). I just didn't do anything but BEING on, standing, proud. Pirouettes and double assembles and tours were impeccable and I felt so natural and relieved.


Thank you so much for your support.

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It's what we're here for, and I'm glad that the advice was useful so quickly. :yes:

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what a wonderful result! congratulations mel!


the term 'emploi' is one that i have never come across, anywhere in the ballet world except at ballet talk - where i have come across it quite a number of times. i have to assume that it is a term perhaps used in AMERICAN ballet - or maybe only at this board?


THAT aside, your advice to this poster did not seem useful to me, so i am popping in here to acknowledge how very different people are, and how it is just as well that there are different 'types' of people here, as moderators and as posters, because obviously what you said was just what was required - even though *i* didn't get it! :yucky:


GO mel! :yucky:


are women allowed in the men's forum? it's been so long that i have forgotten...

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Actually, women aren't supposed to enter the men's clubroom, but a genteel knock at the door, as given here, is sufficient for us to put down our cigars and re-tie our ties.


"Emploi", as I was given to understand the term, was derived from Jean-Georges Noverre's Lettres sur la Danse, 1760. It remained in current usage at least through the days of Carlo Blasis, ca. 1800, who wrote of the stylistic differences among dancers, as well. It still has application today. It survives as a term of description, I think, best in Denmark. I believe that there may be something of one medium affecting another, in that in the cinema, we see the hero who can do EVERYTHING, and not a little bit of everything, EVERYTHING! So Siegfried doesn't step off in the White Swan pas de deux and say to the audience, "Isn't she beautiful," as Benno promenades her, showing her off. Now, he has to do the whole thing! No rest for the wicked! :yucky:


Your resident danseur demi-caractère,

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