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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Adagio (not adage) dancing


jimpickles

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I know this is not ballet, but maybe it'd be just about allowed on a buddy board (especially since most people doing it will have had at least some ballet training) - but I'd be glad to know if anyone on the board has ever done adagio dancing. I will have the opportunity to do some later this year, and will I hope also to start some earlier, having found a partner who is both light and flexible (I also need to find a teacher, but maybe my jazz dance teacher will, if time and space can be found). But, apart from inspiring little TV bits seen years ago (dreams again) I dont have much of a "vocabulary" of it. If anyone has done it, or knows any resources where I can see videos/find out the different things that can be done, I'd be pleased to hear. It certainly wont be anything like the very strong/athletic/strong man (absolute joke in my case!!!) type, more a gentle, flexible, style.

 

Jim.

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Jim, adagio dancing is a kind of acrobatic double work that used to be frequently seen as a vaudeville turn. I've done some in musical comedies, and it's fun, but has its hazards, too. There are lots of tosses, catches, and lifts in nonstandard ways, like an arabesque held by the woman over the man's head while he holds her by the ankle! :pinch:

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Well, as I was typing, I was thinking, maybe I should add: "I bet Mel's done it"! - but didnt want to presume. You've done everything!

 

From the bits I saw on TV, I know there are lots of styles, not all needing a great deal of lifting power in the male, and not always very fast and acrobatic, but sometimes more gentle and romantic.

 

I will say briefly, but would prefer not to go into details at the moment, that later this year, I shall be partnering a contortionist, who will obviously be the focus. I will be more like a (moving) support. My own strength and abilities will set severe limitations on the style. I did meet someone who years ago did adagio dancing regularly, and he was not a hefty male by any means (the opposite), so great strength is not always a necessity. What I am hoping, is that I will be able to do something with my (non-contortionist) partner here in preparation.

 

If anyone knows sources of e.g. videos of dancing in this more fluid gentle style, which I can use for ideas, I'd appreciate hearing. I have some clips (often it seems from Italian TV) of the more muscular style.

 

Many thanks,

 

Jim.

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Jim, as a ballet dancer, you are probably better prepared to do adagio work than many other sorts of dancer. It's a lot of balance and timing, not necessarily strength, especially in the more lyrical style. For examples of both lyrical and bravura types, see videos of Bolshoi "highlights", and for the latter type, see especially "Moszkowski Waltz" - holy cow! They used to take that one touring on the bed of a truck(!) to entertain Russian soldiers near the front(!!!) during WWII.

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Mel - many thanks again for your reply. I guess you may be referring to "Glory of the Bolshoi" which is available here.

 

About the Moszkowski Waltz done on the back of a truck - from a write-up I found, where it says the male catches the woman casually on an outstretched arm after a leap, it sounds stupendous. And so Russian - encompassing the extremes of the human condition.

 

I also see lots of mentions of Plisetskaya in the Bolshoi one. A memory: my first trip abroad after being a student was to the USSR in about 1973, when I went to the Bolshoi and saw her in Anna Karenina. At the time unfortunately I wasnt all that knowlegeable about ballet, and didnt realise quite what I was seeing. Still, that evening was one of the most memorable of my life. It is my very great regret now that I have seen so few of the really great dancers of the world (not helped by living at the ends of the earth).

 

But then, I guess you've probably danced with Plisetskaya!

 

Many thanks indeed for your help,

 

Jim.

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Actually, there is also an aspect of ballroom that does this sort of thing. I can't remember the term they use for it though. That said, there might be some ballroom studios that teach it.

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But then, I guess you've probably danced with Plisetskaya!

 

No, but I did super for the Royal, so I got to see Fonteyn and get paid for it, too! :wink:

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