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A 'lyrical' ballet dancer

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OK, I'll admit it. I was known as an "adagio" or 'lyrical' dancer in my former life. And the best way I can describe it is FLOW: a continuous phrasing, even in allegro. Like a breath suspended, held, and slowly expelled as the movement continues. And innate use of arms, hands, AND especially epaulement to extend line. Ditto extension that unfolds, opens, and extends the line to infinity. Emotionally? I don't know, but I certainly "felt" the music inside, through me and supporting me. Best analogy: think of a bird in flight: held up by the air, surrounded by the air, using it to move. Mobilis in mobili. That's how I moved--surrounded by the music, through the music, with the music. Or in complete silence, I would use the "filled space" of the silence to do the same. But it was primarily an adagio technique, that had to be adapted (and in many cases truncated) for more athletic, allegro performances.

In short, I could "feel" the music, innately understood phrasing, balance till the cows came home, had decent extension (if not the 180/6 o'clocks they do now), and knew how to use my arms, hands and epaulement. But as someone posted above, most adagio dancers do not become stars, which is why it is so important for dancers to be well-rounded technicians. I had to work on the speed and "attack" of Balanchine, or preciseness of Bournonville battu. No one just does Act2 of Swan Lake, and I never mastered the 32. So the generic comments I got were all about being "the most graceful dancer... purity of line, Romantic style blah blah blah." Les Sylphides ad infinitum on tours.

Apropos the topic if not the immediately above...

Seeing Angel Corella do "Allegro Brillante" in London with Alexandra Ansanelli I was struck by the same thing I noticed after seeing a clip from 7 years ago of his Bronze Idol at the ROH re-opening gala... that an innately lyrical dancer was being forced into a mould. It was NOT a technical issue; EXTERNALLY the ballon, speed, tight precise fifths, tours, extension, elevation, and musicality etc.etc. all normal, all fine. But...I kept thinking INTERNALLY a too graceful softened edge for that very sharp, quick, almost robotic attack of Balanchine, (or a stiff bronze idol). Ansanelli looked like she was thoroughly enjoying herself and her partner, but the difference in technique was evident to me. She was a Balanchine dancer both internally and externally, whereas for Corella it definately was more an external expertise. (I agree about H. Cornejo.)

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It may not always be clear to your professor, say, that you are using a word because you are aware of the different forms of usage and have deliberately chosen a particular one or that you simply don't know any better. 'Standard' usages have their good points. :)

Dancerboy's professor is a member of Ballet Talk??? Now, I did not know that! :shake:

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It may not always be clear to your professor, say, that you are using a word because you are aware of the different forms of usage and have deliberately chosen a particular one or that you simply don't know any better. 'Standard' usages have their good points. :)

Dancerboy's professor is a member of Ballet Talk??? Now, I did not know that! :shake:

It was meant as a generic reference only, a 'for instance.' Sorry for any confusion. : :)

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Of course, you know I'm pulling your leg. :shake: I think Ballet Talk is a good place for students of all ages to try out a language that's new to them, in order to define their knowledge of it. The professor isn't here, and we can discuss usage and vocabulary in a friendly and informal environment, which can only be helpful to the linguist.

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OK, I'll admit it. I was known as an "adagio" or 'lyrical' dancer in my former life. And the best way I can describe it is FLOW: a continuous phrasing, even in allegro. Like a breath suspended, held, and slowly expelled as the movement continues. And innate use of arms, hands, AND especially epaulement to extend line. Ditto extension that unfolds, opens, and extends the line to infinity. Emotionally? I don't know, but I certainly "felt" the music inside, through me and supporting me. Best analogy: think of a bird in flight: held up by the air, surrounded by the air, using it to move. Mobilis in mobili. That's how I moved--surrounded by the music, through the music, with the music. Or in complete silence, I would use the "filled space" of the silence to do the same. But it was primarily an adagio technique, that had to be adapted (and in many cases truncated) for more athletic, allegro performances.

In short, I could "feel" the music, innately understood phrasing, balance till the cows came home, had decent extension (if not the 180/6 o'clocks they do now), and knew how to use my arms, hands and epaulement.

Ahhhh, thank you for describing the feeling of "flow" in dance. Never having been a dancer, but admiring and envying both dancers and birds, I truly appreciate the way you have vivified your experience.

In college and for about 15 years following, I sang in small Renaissance choirs, usually a cappella, and often felt something similar. I put myself in a "gear" that connected me visually and spiritually to the conductor, which connected me -- voice, body, breathing -- to the music.

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Music and dance is like a river which stretches through time, perceived at an instant, yet each instant is different, never the same, and always connected to what came before and will come after.

An interesting aspect of dance photography is the inherent implication of time which I think is impossible in music. You can see the flow captured in an instant.

I suspect (not being a dancer), that skillful lyrical or adagio dancers can support the thread of time weaving through their movement in perfectly fluid transitions from one instant to the next.

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