Jump to content
Ballet Talk for Dancers to close ×
Ballet Talk for Dancers

Variations that Favor Left Turns or Jumps


Recommended Posts

Does anyone know of any ballet variations that have some of the turns or jumps using the left foot?


Any help would be so appreciated.




Link to comment
  • Administrators

Havyn, most solo classical variations can be adjusted to put turns on whichever side is better for the dancer.

Link to comment

With all its turns to the right, how many dancers perform Medora's variation from the Corsaire's PD2/PD3 from the opposite corners?

Link to comment

There are other dynamics at work here.


With the European audience, and other cultures where the reading of text is done from left to right, if the dancer dances AGAINST this method of scanning the stage, s/he seems to grow in importance as a variation proceeds from stage left to stage right (viewers' right and left, respectively). A termination ending down right is the second most powerful way to finish. The most powerful is down center.


With the entry of Asian, notably Japanese, dancers into the ballet international scene, they may have a reading scan of right to left (compare manga), so the dynamic changes. Down left becomes the second most powerful place on the stage.


An classical rule of stagecraft also holds to this scan rule: Never turn back on yourself without a clearly defined reason. For a good example of a "clearly defined reason" see "our" Daniil Simkin's site and his Don Q male variation. Taking a stage left > stage right diagonal, he does a double tour en l'air to the left ENDING IN ARABESQUE! The brilliance of execution, combined with the finish in arabesque provides a proper reason for doing the turns to the left in this particular case. It expends the dramatic energy of the cross in a wise manner.


All that being said, I think that you can see that a dancer may not haphazardly change a step from right to left, but must consider the overall stage dynamic before doing so, and then do what there is to do very, very well!

Link to comment
  • Administrators

Meaning that, in terms of "can be adjusted", which I posted above, while the variation can be changed, it is not randomly changed just for one step, and it should never be changed by the dancer him or herself. It should only be changed by the person staging/choreographing/rehearsing/or coaching the variation.

Link to comment
  • 1 month later...
  • Administrators

I don't think so, havyn. I would not, if I were judging. Soloists are generally allowed to do that when dancing a solo, to my knowledge.

Link to comment

On the other hand, I would, if the right-to-left change seemed to violate the reading-scan stagecraft rule I cited above.

Link to comment

If you look at a lot of DVDs of classical ballet, you will see that many of the principal male dancers do indeed turn to the left. There are more who prefer the left than would be accounted for by the normal proportion of left handedness in the general population.


This opens a whole new debate about left brain versus right brain dominence. But it does seem to support the idea that left handedness goes with artistic leanings. However, this only seems to be with the men - does anyone know of any ballerinas who are left handed?

Link to comment

Dd is a lefty. Because most things are initially taught on the right she has become pretty strong on this side. I notice that in turns and leaps she is stronger on her right than most of the 'righties' in her class are on their left. She says she actually has trouble sometimes reversing what has been taught from right to left.


This said, her handwriting remains an untidy scrawl that looks like a spider has dipped its feet in ink and wandered over the page :yes:

Link to comment

My daughter, while being right handed, is much stronger on the left. She has done some of her YAGP performances to the left. (choreographed properly as Mel intends of course). In a year where her variation was repeated frequently--it provided a nice break and I personally believe (or maybe it was her amazing talent...????BAHAHA) it helped to get her awarded high marks. (La Corsaire--odalisques, THird variation I think--the one with all the turns. and Aurora variation from sleeping beauty--works particularily nice to the left and as it is often repeated--a nice break). A very frustrating thing that my dd has voiced is that in auditions, they often only leave time for the right floor exercise, disadvantaging the left turner. SIGH...

Link to comment
  • 1 year later...

My dd is also a righty who dances better to the left. She finds that there are advantages and disadvantages. We first talked abou tit because in partnering and variations classes they always did everything to the right which of course frustrated her since it was her 'weaker' side. And she was upset because they would only do it the one way which she felt was a disadvantage to becoming an evenly developed dancer (too funny that she presented it to me as a concern for the whole class and that the guys in partnering never get to practice to the other side.). She had an instructor early on who pushed her to work and develop both sides of her body evenly. We did inquire and was told that most dancers prefer their left and a choreographer CAN change it for a lefty dancer since it is a solo. The ADVANTAGE?? Well, dd is finding that she is getting much better on her right side and is almost even in her ability now. I did notice at the last variations class that I watched that the instructor asked the girls if anyone was better to her left (the best dancer in the school is a lefty :grinning: ) and allowed them to choose which direction they danced it... my daughter danced to the right! *shrug*

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...