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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Starting, and Keeping, Rhythm in Pique Turns on Pointe


gerlonda

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Here we go again, more problems with turns and pointe. For the life of me I cannot keep rhythm during consecutive pique turns on pointe. First off, it's just a struggle to keep my piqueing leg straight, then the actual "going around" part takes up my next train of thought, then there are no more brain cells for me to think about the rhythm like "and GO and GO and GO and GO".... you know like the nice fast pique turns that advance students do :D Does anyone have any tips at all?

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An added rhythmic hint, to emphasize one OTHER important aspect of piqué turns. Think about the coupé that has to happen between each one!

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:D

 

Thanks, Mel! I'm getting ready to embarrass myself this coming Tuesday with these things. I think I need to go join the children's classes!

 

:o

WM

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I found that I did them much better when I was in better control of myself. So practice doing one pique turn and then stop completely and see if you are balanced on one leg in plie and pulled up and you're not wobbling. Then do another pique and stop and see if you are balanced again. Too often people depend on solely momentum to keep them going, but if you ask them to stop they fall over.

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Um, how about the music? I mean, if you are working with music, and the turns are set ON the music, there is no option! Mel said to think about the coupé...right, and be sure that the coupé is DOING what it is supposed to do, which is plié quickly and push you right back out to the other leg! Don't sit there and have a cup of coffee in the plié. :(

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Yeah, our music is always at the speed of light. I'm like, "can't they just slow it down a LITTLE?!!!!" Maybe I need to practice that whole plie UP, plie UP, plie UP thing across the floor before I try the turn?

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Wait a minute! I thought two-footed landings only happened in figure skating?! :P

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And, they should happen in gymnastics! B)

 

When you practice the piqué coupé without the turn, be sure you are facing where you are going and that the piqué leg is in front of you in effacé. Don't practice it sideways! So many people do that, and it really makes no sense. They then proceed to step on a turned in leg when they start turning, and rarely get around far enough to where they are going, which is one of the main reasons they can't do them fast. If they were taught to move forward instead of sideways it would make life on the diagonal ever so much easier! :P

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When you practice the piqué coupé without the turn, be sure you are facing where you are going and that the piqué leg is in front of you in effacé. Don't practice it sideways!

 

This does sound like it makes a lot more sense and I am looking forward to practising this way at my next class.

But I'm a bit confused. I have always been taught to practise moving sideways - the non-turning practice version being a plie with a degage to the front and then whipping it to the side before stepping up onto that leg. If I practise travelling forward, how does the whipping action fit in once I start to turn them? :blink:

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I was wondering about the same. And doesn't is also matter if your foot is at the front (Cecchetti) or at the back of the knee (RAD)?

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There is no fouetté (whipping action) needed. And no, it doesn't matter if your foot is front or back of the knee, although in a piqué en dedans turn it is almost always at the back of the knee. In Bournonville technique it is, however, in a cou de pied devant position. :blink:

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Thank you all for responding.

Ms. Leigh, when you speak of the quick plie push of the back leg- should that be a very deep plie or whatever depth you need for a strong push? Also, I hate to say it because I thought I had conquered it, but in that split second between the push off and landing on the tip of the piqueing tip there's always this little internal yelp of fear. I know a strong push off is needed from every turn (flat or on pointe, but especially on pointe), but unlike the pirouette, in the pique turn there's actually a nano second when your body is in mid-air (before you touch down on the piqueing toe). Although it's never happened to me (and due to therabands my ankles are becoming stronger) I just always have the split second image of me twisting my ankle right before I land on the piqueing foot. How can I get over this fear? Would it help to try to think of the movement as a WHOLE instead of my one foot? Should I try not to think about my landing foot at all?

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I'm not on pointe yet (because of my recurring tendinitis problems, grrh) so this is probably not all that helpful -- but I love piqué turns as well as the piqué movement in general :wub:

 

At least on flat, I love the image of reaching with the working foot and pushing the leg through the floor once you get contact with the floor. I find this helps with keeping the leg and ankle strong and lengthened. I've had the fear factor even on demipointe, because of my bad ankles, and this image of actively reaching with the working foot and toes has helped me in conquering that.

 

(For me, the exercise without turning has also been really useful -- it helps with the spotting, as well as getting on top of the leg. The little rond de jambe (?) after the turn comes naturally, when you always step in the direction of travel for the next one :wink:)

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gerlonda, that moment really should not exist if you are busy keeping your body weight moving forward. The moment of coupé is so short, and the leading foot, if pointed immediately and not allowed to flex as you plié on the other leg, should be on the ground before you have time to think about it! :speechless: The depth of the plié is not critical at all, it's the usage of the plié, in everything. It should be enough to get you where you need to go, ON the music, but not allow a stopping action. Basically, the amount of plié is determined by the music, the strength of the dancer, and what kind of demi plié the dancer has. Many do not have deep demi pliés at all, but if they use what they have well, they will be fine.

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