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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Countdown to Adult Dance Camp


Laschwen

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I thought I'd start a new thread for those of us going this year. I did a count of available classes between today and the day I go. I have 24 opportunities.

How about everyone else?

I lost track of when the first session starts. I hope it is in time to chime in with your excitement and any plans you'd like to share.

I started putting together summer cover-up clothing "outfits" that I plan to use now through camp. I took scissors to a few things too...... I realized I didn't have any shorts so I made some and took care of a couple of tighter t-shirts with the scissors.

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Well mine isn't till August 18th. And if I go to every available opportunity at Ballet Austin (class everyday, 2 classes on Saturday) that will give me 65 classes in about 9 weeks.

 

But that.. doesn't sound like fun... and seems to be a ticket to injuries!

 

I do understand that stamina will be the biggest issue though, I'm already planning to skip the pilates class. And Modern/Jazz classes will be the first thing I drop if I get too tired.

 

As it gets closer to August I'll probably push myself to do more 2 classes in a row, even if the second class is Jazz.

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Woo Hoo!

My leotard for the performance came in and it fits beautifully. Don't freak anyone, I just had to get a special order for extra length. They bought an assortment of sizes up to XL for the camp for people to borrow. I am happy to have my own, and I can use it certainly, but now I don't want to wear it for fear of anything happening to it before camp.

My husband thought it was a bathing suit. I guess it could be....after the performance. It could pull double duty in the Hot tub at the hotel afterwards.

 

I was so psyched that I ordered another leotard (while the getting is good and they still have my specs on file) and a wider pair of slippers for the forewarned chance of swollen feet at camp. They are Grishko Ultimates and lovely too.

 

I figured out another class I can go to at the YMCA that is scheduled right before my water class. It may not be as good as pilates but I have done it before and it is a good strength builder and I like the teacher.

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So much for counting how many classes I will have before camp. I missed 2 already. Maybe that was provoking fate a little?

I am still interested in everyones preparations both training-wise and little practicalities.

 

Does anyone else feel like they are cramming for a test in technique? I have become acutely aware of the stuff mentioned in the website that a level 2 should know.

 

9 Positions?

Hmmm.

I can come up with:

Croise

Efface

Ecarte

 

Do Devant and Derriere count separately? I am still short a few.

 

Can I count first through Sixth positions?

 

I don't recall the difference in the difference in 1st 2nd and 3rd arabesque either for that matter. Nobody has gone over that in my 3 years back. Other than that I was familiar with most of this back in college. It has been a while.

 

I don't want to be too much of a pain asking questions in a class where everybody really ought to know these things already but I throw one in once in a while. Most of my classmates have been at this or back at ballet for over 10 years.

 

I am not totally stressing really. I am really excited about going though. I do wish I was more up on things but I manage to follow along in class generally anyway. I may start looking up a few of these....

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I doubt it's going to be a written and oral tests.. more likely can your body assume those positions during class.

 

Waitaminute, how do you know what leotards to order? Do I need to order mine now?

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No thoughts of tests in my head other than wanting to know what I am supposed to be doing without "following" someone all the time. That tends to mess up ones head position anyway.

 

Seriously, who knows what these 9 positions refer to? I was thrown when I came back to classes after most of 20 years off and suddenly there were 6 feet positions. I'd only ever known 5 that counted.

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I can only come up with 8 positions of the body? The 4 corners of the room and the 4 cardinal directions. I don't remember the 'ballet names' but we always used to go though them in class.

 

Or maybe 9 positions of the feet, 1st through 5th with their coordinating parallel positions assuming maybe there's no such thing as parallel 3rd?

 

I need to go find my book.

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Lashwen,

You should get the Gretchen Warn Warren book "Classical Ballet Technique"

 

It's an incredible resource.

 

Croisé Devant

À la quatrième devant

Effacé devant

Croisé derriere

À la quatrième derrière

Effacé derrière

Écarté devant

À la seconde

Écarté derrière

 

The body positions are really valuable to study in the mirror, to see what lines you are presenting to the audience. One of the most fundamental things to learn in ballet, IMO.

 

It makes learning choreography easier too, if you break everything down into these positions. Dynamics of movement in space become clearer, and the technique will make more sense :yes: And more visually appealing.

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The eight positions of the body are formally taught in the Cechetti syllabus both at the barre and in the centre, generally in relation to tendus, degagés and grande battements. As one of my teachers says about those exercises "Bread and butter for dancers."

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appealing.

 

 

 

Thanks so much. I know some of them from Cechetti days long past......printing now.

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Lampwick's so right - this goes back to another post I wrote earlier this year about the geometry of dance - as a geometry of position and of direction, if that makes sense.

 

Easiest way to remember 9?

 

Well, your leg goes three ways: devant, derriere, seconde.

 

And you face three ways (right foot front, say) - croise, en face, efface.

 

3 x 3 = 9. Easy peasy. :(

 

... and then you start facing directly to the side, or using different arabesques, adding arms... eeeek.... ;)

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... and then you start facing directly to the side, or using different arabesques, adding arms... eeeek.... ;)

 

... or your teacher gives the "Eight positions of th body" with super fast glissés, or in the centre with grande battements ...

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There was a time I had to learn positions done up as an adage, moving from one position to the next, for a skills test in college. Only the one teacher who had been with the Royal Ballet once upon a time ever did anything like that in any of my classes.

I liked it.

I just don't remember the details so well any more and the local teachers don't ever go over anything like that. They just say "start in croise" and we get on with it. You can readily tell who has ever been taught the positions in detail before ans who hasn't. Sadsly, the ones who never had it before are left to sink or swim.

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Just a couple quick notes here ...

 

Physical preparation - last year I was taking four classes a week before camp, and I made it through taking pretty much all the classes (I only skipped one jazz class and one character class.) I was hitting the NSAIDs pretty heavy and being a little cautious about jumps by the end of the week, but not out of the running. I did do, to the best of my very limited ability, all the performances, and still took classes the next morning. This year I have been taking a heavier load of classes (camp was very inspiring) and made it through the whole week without chemical aids, and even feeling fairly cheerful and energetic in the evenings. It's only one week; you can exceed your normal capacity by quite a lot for that short a time.

 

Positions - this year I felt I was in the middle of the lowest level (Level 2), a big improvement over last year. Like many adult beginners, I've never been drilled in "The Positions" - it seems to be assumed that you took classes as a kid and got enough of that drilling for a lifetime then! We often did an adagio moving through them as part of the morning technique class. I've heard of most of them, though often confused about which arms go with which foot, but you can pick up enough from marking and following others to get by. When I asked I was referred to Gail Grant's little book which has illustrations in the back - 8 for Cechetti, 9 for "French" school, etc. It wasn't a big deal, but I will be bugging my teachers at home to give us some more formal training.

 

Costumes - Heidi has leos and skirts for women and tights for men, in coordinated colors, which are the performance costume. Guys need a white shirt and black shoes, which we all have of course. I'm not sure but I think the women just need to bring some pink tights - which you all have of course. Beyond that, we're all grown-ups and nobody is fussing about uniforms!

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