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During the summer I was taught that tondu from fifth position front or back you should create a line in the middle of foot, pushing from the heal. I was wondering why one would do tondu that way rather than creating a line to the heal. thanks


ballet boy

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The line of the heel is the way the old French School used to do it. It is somewhat preserved in Bournonville today, not so much in the tendu exercises, but more in the preparation for pirouettes. The problem with the line-of-the-heel position is that it creates an open fourth, which doesn't look like it's truly going to the front or back. It's especially noticeable when doing an arabesque facing straight downstage. It looks like all you need is a fire hydrant to complete the picture. (pas de chien!)

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balletboy101 do you mean the line that is created is with the toes of the working foot in line with the heel of the supporting foot? I am a bit confused! Could you please explain a bit further what your question is?

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I apologize for not making my question clear. I have always assumed that the correct and most logical way to do tondu would be to create the line you were speaking of vrsfanatic and to allign the toes of the working foot with the heal of the supporting foot. Assuming that one does the tondu from fifth position. Over the summer I was taught that one should allign the foot between the heal and ball of the foot. I was wondering what the logic for this would be, and why it is that one would prefer this over the tondu stated earlier. thanks


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If you do a tendu devant from 5th and align the toes of the working foot with the heel of the supporting foot, the foot is not front. The working leg should be in front of your center. If you tendu with the leg open, that is where your développé and grand battement will be, and that does not look good at all! :o Front is front, not sort of open to the side.


Now tendu side can align with the heel of the supporting leg, assuming you have perfect rotation. :D

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balletboy101, as many ballet professionals have learned, there are different ways to do almost everything in ballet. In the end, we all do seem to be striving for the same end result, the very best dancer possible in a performance.


What may be front/side/back (directions) to one school of training, is not necessarily considered in the same way by others. What is very important is what a dancer does with the information. For example, when performing a Balanchine ballet the technical requirements are vastly different than a Petipa ballet. Today, non-Balanchine dancers are performing Balanchine. Do those dancers look the same as NYCB, mostlikely no, but that is not necessarily a bad thing! The differences are not considered better or worse, just differences in preference.


The ballet world is global and ballet students do need to learn to do it all. Talk with your teachers about your question to see if there may be an answer that is satisfying to you! This very important information will be very useful to you in your future. Your question is a very important one. :lol:


Since I teach the directions of the leg in the way you understand, perhaps the answer you are seeking could be described by Ms Leigh who does have a better grasp on the teaching of the directions in this way. My take would be based upon assumptions rather than the facts from a knowledgable person who teaches the directions front/back in the center of the body.

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:lol: Totally agree, Ms. Schneider! It is very important for the student to understand that there are different roads that lead to Rome, and one is not necessarily better than another, or one right and one wrong. They are just different, and understanding the differences can be very important for a dancer today, as they really do need to be VERY versatile. Also, for dancers who may teach someday, it's important to understand the different ways of doing things, and then make their decisions as to what works best for them.
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