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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Attitude Derriere


pleiades

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I would love some advice, it seems like such a simple thing, but it gives me such grief. When I try to raise my knee, the hip of the lifted leg gets displaced. I've tried to literally go from arabesque into attitude, which I think technically should work right?, simply by then angling/bending the knee and leaving the upper leg in place. The feeling in my body is that this has got to be the attitude to end all attitudes and then I look in the mirror and it's really ugly.

 

At least I've progressed past the dog at a fire hydrant stage, but I'm still quite frustrated.

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Boy oh boy, I wish I could see this problem to determine if there really is one! It sounds to me like you need to enlist your teacher as an eye outside your own. I remember learning to do some things and thinking they looked really schmutzy, but my teacher showed me that they were correct, or if they were actually wrong, what exactly the fix was.

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You may have a point -- I think I'm technically correct, but just unattractive. I know that my knee needs to come higher, but that's when I start to lose placement. It may just be a matter of time and/or my own physiology.

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A good exercise that I found placed me correctly and looked aesthetically pleasing is , place the foot that you are going to do an attitude with, in the derriere coup de pied position.. (Your heel , of your working leg, should be touching the back of your ankle of the supporting leg). Now, let your hip rotate so your leg is as turned out as possible, while maintaining the coup de pied position, and all you do it lift from the front of the thigh up as far as you can go. Also, don't try and get a square attitude position, try an open it out slightly a la Russian style. Remember also, your little toe of your attitude leg should be reaching upwards, not your heel or any other part of your foot.

 

And as if those weren't enough, you have to hold your torso up on both sides, so you don't sink or drop your shoulders, feel as though you have super tight corset on.

 

It will come slowly, I remember posting on here baout how awful my attitude positions were, and now they are pretty good, and I'm proud of them..most of the time

 

:)

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Hmmmm! "Coup-de-pied"... sounds like a ballet pun for battements serrés! Either that or a really good relevé, as in "coup de théatre".;)

 

(PS. This sounds like such an opportunity for fun, I posted a new thread in Anything Goes seeking contributions for plays on words about steps and such. If you have an inspiration for a real groaner, all entries are welcome! And remember, the pun is the lowest form of humor, unless you think of it first!;) )

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The reason I said coup was actually :) because I was trying to resist using the term coupè, as so many people I know use that as a term for a position when it is a step. So I had coupè on the brain, and it came out as coup..doh!

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What feels-looks weird in your hip may really be in your ribs -- it sure is for me. (maybe has something to do with the psoas). Don't let the lower ribs rotate back with the leg; au contraire: it takes an extra effort to keep them quiet. if I work that whole side in opposition to the working leg, attitude becomes more coherent.... starting with the bottom (floating) ribs, and for sure up into the shoulder-blade, keep all that held and lined up over the supporting leg -- and then the rotating of the thigh actually feels easier; with the knee bent, it should be possible to rotate more in attitude than in arabesque.

 

I agree with hte poster who suggested using a longer attitude -- it looks better on almost everybody; the square attitude is more advanced....

 

Brynar Mehl used to teach that there are functionally 2 different attitudes -- the one that comes from passe and the one that comes from arabesque -- There's a lot of sense to thinking of it that way - -since with the working knee bent, everybody has more turnout, and going to attitude from passe you lose turnout and coming in from arabesque you gain turnout; I find it more useful in coming FROM arabesque to think of turning the knee OUT rather than to think of lifting it (you then can lift it, but if you start by lifting it, at least for me, everything just locks up), in going from passe, FIrST, hold the standing hip up through the ribs, and try to lift the whole passe backwards from underneath while lengthening the leg slightly...... It's not the hardest trick in the book -- grand ronde de jambe en dedans is the hardest barre-thing for me -- but it IS really really really hard....

 

I'm realizing that Xena really has got the best approach -- the attitude that comes from coup de pied IS the long attitude, and Samlly Streets has us practice it all the time -- especially in petite

allegro situations -- she's got a million of them -- from petite jete, releve lifting hte back leg from coupe-back to attitude..... or the reverse, where you'd sissonne croise into attitude, and releve in coupe back....

 

PS oops, i realize I'm using both passe and coupe as positions rather than actions -- but we do it in class all the time.....

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Thank you all very much -- the issue for me, I've realized is definitely the short attitude, the long one is relatively ok. (first wrote fine, but then realized with ballet nothing is ever "fine.")

 

It definitely has to do with the lower torso: until I became conscious of the fact that I was opening my body (if that makes sense) instead of remaning as squared off as I could be, the attitude looked fine. Now that I'm conscious of the torso and trying to maintain my placement, it's the working leg that's suffering. But as I understand it, perseverance furthers.

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SOunds like you're really working on it, Pleiades -- good luck. I thnk attitude is one of the trickieest thigs of all - -especially effacee (which it sounds like is hte side you're talknig about).

 

the thing about hte upper body, -- the feeling in the ribs is not so much square as it is epaulee -- not that you should really TURN your shoulders, as in real epaulee, but hte feeling is that on hte working side the back is going forward and AWAY from the hip... that's what worls best for me....

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