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Ballet Talk for Dancers

What do you think "attack" means?


sarahlyn

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I'm just curious, but what is your description of a dancer with good "attack"? It seems to be different depending on the technique or style you are learning. Would a Balanchine style "attack" movements differently than a Vaganova technique? It just seems that wherever I go, there is a difference in expectation. One teacher wants you traveling across the floor and "running people over" and another would want the opposite it seems, with more control.

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To me it means 'Go For It!' Attack the work full out, with full energy and no fear. Fear holds one back. Literally. You can't move forward when you are busy resisting out of fear, which automatically puts your weight back. No place for timid in ballet! :wub:

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Yes, fear would not be good in this world of ballet!!! But, I guess I am not making my question clear. For example I was trained to "attack the movement" by a former teacher, but under my Vaganova teachers, they tend to think it is wrong and not proper. Where before I was told to "go to the movement" now I am told so many details in exact placement that it feels very rigid and controlled and I have been told to travel less, take smaller steps, my arms can only go to one spot, my head too, etc. You get the picture. So I guess it is just the difference in style. And of course we must be able to meet both requests. It is just very interesting to look at how various companies attack their movements.

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Yes, it is a difference in style. Personally, I feel that ballet is dance, dance is movement. The breadth and the breath of the movement, the energy patterns, the movement through space, is what it's all about. Yes, you have to develop the technique to be able to do this. However, if you spend too much time perfecting every tiny detail and being rigid and controlled, you will never move. On the other hand, free movment with not enough attention to details, especially in the in between steps, the line in the air and in the landing, or in the turn, or whatever you are doing, and of course the port de bras, is just plain sloppy and that won't work either. Ideally, a teacher will be able to combine all these things and build a strong technique, with clean lines, good articulation, and good port de bras and ├ępaulement, in a dancer who can really move! :wub:

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Thank you Ms. Leigh!!! I agree! All I know is I find joy in being technically strong, yet free in my movement. Sometimes we as dancers need to protect that joy. We have to defend it with our lives so it does not get robbed, squelched, or ruined.

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