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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Richmond Adult Dance Camp


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  • Reebs511


  • Serendipity


  • ripresa


  • Marcel


en croix and temps de cuisse. :) I'm loving that petite allegro combo!




No problem! When I went en pointe as a child we had to take a test to get into the intermediate/beginning pointe class. The teacher would show us a step, a position, or tell us a definition ('to melt'), and we'd have to write down what it was. Somethings just stick! But I'm bad with the accents.... I always mess them up.


Reebs, I have a question about your petite allegro -- did the ballone go through seconde (ecarte derriere) with the right leg going from front to back, then going through fifth to a changing glissade to the left? That's how I read it, but I wanted to make sure. I'm also giving the ballone and the temps de cuisse two counts each.

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... I helped with the men's pas yesterday (where Pedro was teaching them what to do) and it was a blast....

Reebs, I love you!


OK, we've never actually met - but Heidi has only recently started incorporating a men's pas class before the regular mixed pas de deux, so we get a leg up on it. Most of the guys are actual pros hired to fill out the (thin!) men's ranks, so it's pretty intimidating to be in such company when I am almost completely inexperienced. This one class has been a really big help to me, and the women who have generously stepped down to help out have been incredibly encouraging as well. Plus its an incredible treat and honor to dance with women who are so much better dancers than I am. So thanks, even in absentia!

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Jutty - Pedro was wearing head to toe purple today! It was pretty fabulous.


And today I reached near-nervous breakdown with the choreography. Hopefully I was just getting that out of my system! :/ I'm really nervous about the variations and partnering choreography. I'm really really inexperienced with partnering and my partner is less experienced than I am which makes me really really anxious on top of the fact that I find the choreography really difficult to begin with. I need to stop worrying!

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I don't mind making a fool of myself :blush:

The choreography is difficult indeed :P

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Today was a purple day. I think half of level 4 (and Pedro) were wearing purple today. It's like we all planned it!


Ami, yes, your interpretation of the petite allegro was correct! Here's one from today:


Start right foot front in 5th: Glissade right (keep right foot front), three petite jetés, gilssade left (change to right foot front again), three petite jetés, coupé right, assemblé under, sissonne to right, sissonne to left, failli through, glissade right (keep left foot front), brisé, assemblé over. Repeat to left.


In pirouette class we had to do fouetté turns and I was fairly successful with them on both sides. Kathy was teaching and asked me what version of fouettés I learned and I told her I'd never been taught so I did my own version. :blush: She said they weren't bad for teaching them to myself and after class she taught me how they're supposed to be done.


Marcel, keep in mind that most of us aren't too experienced with partnering and it's a lot to ask people who've rarely worked with a partner to learn a variation, feel comfortable and confident with our partner, and perform it in, um, two days! I bet you'll be fine tomorrow and we will all be cheering for you!


Olddude, maybe next year we'll be at the same camp and have a chance to work together. :P I think helping with the class is good for the women too, because it helps us remember what we were taught a long time ago and get the feel of different partners.


Speaking of partnering, I really wish we had more time to work on partnering stuff. I'd love to learn more and get an opportunity to improve. I was thinking about scheduling a private lesson with Pedro and Heidi, but I don't think I can afford two instructors and I'm not sure I could convince one of the guys to join me. Maybe next year!

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You could always just ask Pedro. After all, he's just as experienced in working with inexperienced partners as he and Heidi together. Last year, I had Jesse from the RBC (he's actually working upstairs while we're on the second floor! LOL!). He was exceptional in quietly explaining to me how to hold my body, what to do when and how to do it. He'd make an excellent teacher some day (hopefully won't have to teach though for a loooong time!).


My toe on the right foot gave out today. Just hurts. My ballet teacher back home said, in essence, "suck it up." But I'm too old and wimpy to do that. I hope it'll be reasonable for Saturday's pics, though. I can do two feet and be on my left foot, at least, without too much agony. The ankle, on the other hand, is doing just fine. I'm really surprised. My doctor was right about being able to do what I want if I want to.


Skipped the entire pas de deux class. Rested the first hour, then went into an empty studio with some of the others and practiced the Kitri. I had the music from recording some of the groups in class, which helped. The gals were very patient with me. The private today with Kathy was superb. I really felt I am almost coordinated with that blasted fan. And, well, I'm almost, ALMOST actually liking Kitri after all... What's in my mind in how I look I'm sure is not how it really looks but, hey! that's the way things go. Danile's amazing with the way she can talk in rhythm making constructive and amusing comments. Wish I'd recorded her. She could put out a CD and make loads, it's such a riot. We have the rehearsals for the variation and the rep tomorrow, so it's a chance to cement the steps in the head. My main fear is forgetting what to do in the first part....or not getting the feet out for those pas de chevals correctly. Ah well...that's where talent in FAKING IT comes in, eh? ;-)



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Thanks Reebs -- I'm guessing those petite allegros were by the same person!


The tricky thing about them is the quick coupes/closing fifths necessary to do the glissades, and the unusual directionality -- i.e. glissade right with right foot front but then start a petite jete with a left foot. (I'm interpreting the petite jetes as being over.) Cool stuff.

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Ami - they were actually by two different instructors, just sort of similar! The tricky part was remembering the closings and direction changes. I love how this camp is making my mind work almost as hard as my feet!

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That's funny, Ami--I imagined the first set of jetés going under, then the second set going over! I guess it could be done both ways.

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Hans -- it was the temps de cuisse that (for some reason) made me decide that the jetes should be over.... And now that I think about it, I don't think I've ever had to do a 'reverse' temps de cuisse!

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Going to miss breakfast but quickly - Serendipity, I saw you practicing in your private and you looked fab! :rolleyes:


Eep, can't believe show's today!!!


And Reebs, thanks for the encouragement! I get so worried I forget everyone else is dealing with as many issues as I am!

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I had two nice surprises last night! I asked Dancecat to record one of our pas run-throughs and didn't look as bad on camera as I thought. My partner and I messed up a few times and were laughing the whole way through, but there were some really nice moments. The second surprise is that there was a video of my kitty on the camera! I don't know when my husband recorded it (and doubt he did it to surprise me, he probably just forgot it was on there when I packed the camera) but it was nice to see my little furbaby!


Performance today! Ahhhh!

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Oh Reebs. You rock.

Thank you so much for posting the petit allegro combinations.. it's my weakest area, and I'm working on it at the moment, and it helps to see what kind of combos you guys are doing.

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No problem, ripresa. Petite allegro is one of my weak areas too.


I'm so sad today is the last day of camp. I have learned soooo much and met some amazing friends. Do we have to go home??


Yesterday was awesome. First in our technique class/warmup (not a full class, just barre and a few center exercises), I turned not one, but TWO clean triples on my bad side! Kathy saw, so I have a witness that it can be done. They were the kind of turns that just feel so relaxed and natural and effortless.


Then we had our performance! Rep for 3B-4 was the Mazurka from Swan Lake, act 3 (aka, "That Da**** Mazurka) and I think it was pretty clean. I was least worried about this piece since we had a huge group and half the time I was in the back line. It was more character-y than balletic so was nice to relax on technique and just enjoy the music and movement. That was followed by the 2-3A variation (Swan Lake act I pas de trios), in which Marcel and whatsthepointe looked great! Neither of them had anything to worry about because they both looked beautiful. Then came the 3B variation - Serendipity's favorite - Kitri! Again, she had nothing to worry about and totally evoked the Kitri sauciness! That was followed by the men's variation from Harlequinade. I have to give so much credit to the guys, because they all performed as soloists. I don't think I'd be able to do that, at least not for a full variation. Nicely done, gentlemen!


My favorite part was next - the Grande Pas from Nutcracker. It was kinda cool how Pedro staged it. The 3B-4 couples started and did their part, then ran off and the 2-3A's ran on. There were five groups from each level and I did it in groups 4 and 5 - do one pas, run around backstage, breathe for a minute, run back on. One of my partners was a guy from camp who'd had some partnering experience and the other was a guy half my age who (I think) takes classes with Richmond Ballet. He was a perfect partner and we worked so well together. I want to adopt him and take him home with me! Doing this pas is what made me feel like a true dancer, and I got so many compliments from others (and Heidi!!) on my line. One dancer told me she wants to be me when she grows up! I don't know if it was that great, but her compliment really made me feel wonderful.


Then came the level 4 variation - Esmeralda. I wasn't completely clean on it, but it went pretty well considering I couldn't do half of it en pointe four days ago. Dancecat and I were in the same trio and she was beautiful. I also have to mention that on Thursday she was whining that she couldn't do it en pointe and wanted to wear flat shoes but she totally rocked the entire thing, including the ballonnés en pointe at the end. So much fun to dance with her!


The program concluded with the 2-3A rep - Stars from Cinderella act 1. Kathy's staging was so cool and there were so many patterns for this group to learn. It looked great from the audience and must have been tough to learn!


I got almost everything on video, except (sadly) the 3B and men's variations! My batteries died right after the 2-3A variations so another dancer ran out quickly to buy me more. I will post them when I get home.


Last night was the end of camp dinner/party and it was a blast. Heidi and Chris asked if they could interview me as "first time camper" for their promotional stuff, so we'll do that today after classes. I had a great time relaxing (and doing a bit of non-ballet dancing) with everyone.


It's time to pack up my laptop, so this is my last post from camp. :( I'm leaving here a few pounds lighter, a few dollars poorer, but a million times richer than I arrived. I wish I didn't have to wait a year to do this again!!

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