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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Two questions


Claude_Catastrophique

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So.....I have two questions, one about my arabesques and one about my fouettés. Let's start with the fouetté-question: I am not really good in doing them, especially when on pointe. I can do about six (good days seven or eight) on pointe (on flat about 13-16). When I do them on pointe I tend to wander to the side I do them (in flats I don't have this problem). My teacher said that it would come from my arms. I can control only the arm I turn to (to clarify: For example I turn to the right side, work with the right leg, I can control my right arm but my left arm is just ...... somewhere).

So my teacher meant that the arm which I control pulls me to its side. Sound logic to me. Anyway, I wonder if there is anything to do that I can practice my arms. Mostly I stand in front of the mirror and pretend to do the fouettés just without turning but it does not seem to help that much.

My next problem with them is, that I have too much "drive" after 5 or 6 turns and I can hardly land. When I come down I turn half around in plié or I am totally twisted. My teacher meant that it also comes from my bad arms (she really could be true!).

Any suggestions? Any experiences? Any help? Thanks in advance.

 

Now to the arabesque-question: It seems to me that I don't have enough backflexibility. My back has ever been rather unflexible caused by scoliosis. When I stand straight with legs parallel and hang over I can (after long and hard stretching over the years) touch the floor flat with my hand (I feel most of the stretch in my back, not in legs). When I do this, only my upper back is bent, my lower back is flat (I always say "This is my table"). The other way around (like cambré or the cobra-stretch) it is totally different. My lower back is rather flexible (regarding my scoliose) and my upper back is extremly unflexible and exactly this is my problem when I do arabesques. I always have the feeling that my upper back is not open enough and I think that I look kind of "squeezed". My lower back is nicely arched but my upper back is just straight and I try to create a nice line with my neck (this does not really work).

Is there any way to stretch my upper back or am I just hopeless? I'd say this problem comes from my scoliose but I reached the goal for my lower back and now I really want to try to reach the goal also for my lower back.

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I think we have to subdivide these questions still further. I see at least two in the fouetté matter, and at least three in the arabesque.

 

One of the latter, I think I can help. In arabesque don't try for a perfectly erect torso. Think of reaching diagonally up and forward. Eventually, the forward component can get so intense that the penché comes out of it as a natural consequence.

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Now this was really helpful! :thumbsup: I don't see anything yet when I look in the mirror while doing arabesque but I can really feel that some different muscles are working in my UPPER back. I'd say, they just need some training and my arabesque will become much better. When think "diagonally" I don't feel squeezed anymore and when I tried it yesterday in class, my leg went up like nothing.

Thanks a lot for this suggestions, I have something new now to work on and I am pretty sure that my problem will be gone with some training. :hyper:

 

I agree.....more than two questions..... :)

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Now for dissecting the fouetté questions out.

 

One of the most important things about them, whether you do the Russian version, with the degagé to seconde, or the Cecchetti variety with the rond de jambe, is that the accent is UP! I wish I had a quarter for all the students I've seen who put the accent DOWN, even to the point of doing a heel tap at the bottom of the fondu. So it goes, turn-BAM-turn-BAM-turn-BAM, etc. Don't let that happen.

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It could be that I do that :ermm: .....I have to wait to try it until next class (not good practising fouetté at home :ermm: )

 

My teacher let me do consecutive turns in fifth and made me do the same arms she wants for the fouetté. There I got them right. I'd say she hopes that I learn there to "feel" the right position of the arms.

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That's right, that's good practice for the fouetté arms. The students who come down hard between turns tend to let the arm to the opposite side the turn goes get jarred loose from the correct position. They also tend to think of that arm as a "trailing" or "following" arm. It's just as active as the "leading" arm.

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So I had my class yesterday. I could not really try it, we did no pointe :shrug: After all, I tried it in flats and it is really true that I kind of bump down. I could do a lot more turns (about 20) and I did not wander, I could stay where I was (with a little movement). My arms were still not good but I'd say that this is a matter of practise. The consecutive turns and the accent up will help me (I am sure).

Now I have to try the whole thing tomorrow in my regular class.

You were also right about the tendency with the arm. I know now that I did that and now I know better WHAT I really have to watch.

My teacher also found out, that I loose my posture after about 4-5 turns.

 

The answer to my arabesque question was really helpful :P I can really feel it how it gets better and better.

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Today I had pointe rehearsal for a performance and I have to do fouettés (that's my teacher :shrug: ) Well, I took your advice and I really could stay at one place (I have to because in this dance two classmates are kneeling next to me and I could kick right their head :wacko: )

With thinking "up" I can better control my turns and I could constantly do more than 10 turns. Now that I can control my turns I can watch my arms and start to practise the right placement.

 

:( Thanks a lot for your help! :unsure:

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See, sometimes teaching ballet by computer can work! :(

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At my University this is called "E-Learning" :lol:

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Yes, and the nice part is the ability of our "students" to absorb the information that the teachers write, process it and interpret and apply it correctly. You are all owed our admiration. :lol:

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That's really true.

 

It is always good to get a second meaning on things. My studies (law) opened my eyes for different meanings. My professors love to say that two lawyers have three meanings :shrug:

 

Seriously, I wish sometimes that I would have to different teachers. Sometimes I go to open classes at a different school and there I learn a lot of new things. My regular teacher knows me now since the kindergarten and has seen me grow. She knows me well and this is good but sometimes I think that she looses her objective sight on me. This can be sometimes very difficult for me, especially when I come up with questions about details she did not notice on me or we things I am not satisfied with but she thinks that they are okay.

After all these years with the same teacher I wanted to change school but it was a big drama and at the end I decided to stay. :lol:

After all two pairs of eyes see more than only one pair.

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