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Ballet Talk for Dancers

One-Footed Releves on Pointe


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Hello all,

In one of my more advanced classes the teacher told us to do (en pointe) "fondu, releve (on one foot) coupe (the other foot), fondu, releve devant; fondu, releve coupe, fondu, releve a la seconde; fondu, releve coupe, fondu, releve derriere." I was wondering in releves on one leg should you take your body weight out TO the toe or do you SCOOP the toe underneath? Going to releve from 2 feet to 1 foot from fifth position en pointe (like to releve retire) I usually balance better by scooping the supporting foot underneath rather than going to it, but from 1 foot to 1 foot I don't know what to do. :clapping:

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There are two ways of going on pointe, rolling up through the foot, and springing up. The spring up involves a slight snatch under, the rolling through does not. Both are valid, and, in my opinion, dancers need to learn both ways, as they are both used in different kinds of movements in the center.

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If you roll through your foot on one foot, and plan to sustain any length of balance, you're effectively moving your entire body the distance from your metatarsals to the tips of the toes...a couple of inches?


With a "snatching" action, you don't move your body.


So I would choose one method of releve over the other depending on whether my body should be moving in space or not.

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As has been stated, both ways of plie/releve/plie are necessary. It is not a personal choice when it comes to doing choreography and maintaining lines in ballets. It is a part of good technique. Of course anything can be done in a classroom only situation, but on a performance level both forms of plie/releve/plie are necessary. :dizzy:

Edited by vrsfanatic
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I've also been taught that both "scooping" and rolling up over the toes are correct, depending on the purpose of the one-to-one releve. In fouette rond de jambe, for instance, I prefer "scooping" my releve, to make sure I don't travel. But in ballone releve, I'd certainly go with the rolling over the toes, because I need to travel. Like lampwick said, "scooping" will make sure you don't move the center axis of your body. So it is very helpful for releves in which you'll need to balance, as in pirouettes.


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Yes, knowing how to do both is critical. Each is called for plenty of times. Just imagine that at the end of an adagio, you need to rise gracefully onto pointe in arabesque. Rolling up will probably be what the choreographer wants to give the desired effect. However, in very fast variations, rolling through won't be used as much because it can't be appreciated as well, it can slow one down, etc. Please mind that rolling through the foot to rise is only half of the job! One must also be able to roll down. I've seen some lovely rises onto pointe that used a rolling up action only to see the dancers plop back down from pointe to flat without any articulation. You've worked hard with all your tendus, dégagés, relevés, etc., so don't throw that work away. Do utilise what you've got and roll back down when you're supposed to.

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