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Rose Adagio balancesa poll


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Poll: The Rose Adagio balances (80 member(s) have cast votes)

Is it necessary for Auroras to make the "crown" 5th position over their heads?

  1. Voted Yes - an Aurora who can't hold the balances shouldn't dance Aurora (51 votes [63.75%])

    Percentage of vote: 63.75%

  2. No - it's only 5 minutes out of a 2 hour ballet (15 votes [18.75%])

    Percentage of vote: 18.75%

  3. I don't care either way (14 votes [17.50%])

    Percentage of vote: 17.50%

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#76 sandik

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 09:02 AM

Novikova video currently available

 

 

I saw Kolpakova do the Rose Adagio in NY as part of a mixed bill.  She was beautiful and did the balances. 

 

Very nice to see this next to the Gregory video -- lots of differences in approach and style to think about!



#77 Amy

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Posted 02 April 2015 - 02:59 AM

Legend has it that the arms in fifth position during the balances was started by Margot Fonteyn; she certainly was more than capable of it, that's for sure!

 

Roland John Wiley's description of the Petipa Rose Adagio doesn't say that Aurora puts her arms in fifth when she's transferred from prince to prince. Now I don't know if the Rose Adagio is one of the many dances where there are no arm movements notated, nor do I remember if any of the reviews of the 1890 première state that Carlotta Brianza did the fifth arm position during the attitude balances, I'll have to check that.

 

But either way, I think it's fair to say that what the ballerina does with her arms during the balances is optional.



#78 ABT Fan

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Posted 02 April 2015 - 12:36 PM

But either way, I think it's fair to say that what the ballerina does with her arms during the balances is optional.

 

As long as they don't flap wildly in attempt to stay on balance. happy.png



#79 Amy

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Posted 02 April 2015 - 02:59 PM

 

As long as they don't flap wildly in attempt to stay on balance. happy.png

Yes absolutely! Luckily for me, I've yet to see that happen! Lol!



#80 Birdsall

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Posted 02 April 2015 - 04:02 PM

The thing about balance is that if you have a knack for finding your balance/finding your center I think the arms in 5th is not necessarily better than simply passing the arm to the next cavalier without putting the arms up in 5th (many Russians do not put the arms in 5th, although some do). I know yoga is not the same as ballet, but as a yoga practitioner I have better than average balance and can go into tree pose and often hold it forever and even sway arms and torso back and forth (swaying tree pose). It is hard to explain, but if you find your center of gravity you can move the arms almost anyway and all over the place and not fall out. So just putting the arms above your head does not make it more difficult unless you let moving the arms up distract you or make you worry about your balance.

 

Now, in contrast, the way the ballerinas in Cuba hop backwards and throw their arms above and behind them in the black swan coda......now THAT is, in my opinion, a truly exciting balancing act, b/c moving backwards and throwing your arms back forcefully could easily make someone fall out or lose balance, in my opinion (too many distractions to your balance). But simply raising arms above your head is not really more difficult than keeping them in a handshake position. If a person has good balance I do not believe raising arms in 5th makes it more difficult.

 

I suppose any little thing could potentially cause a person to lose his/her balance, but the simple act of raising arms into 5th should not really cause a ballerina to fall out. I think the arms in 5th is probably more impressive to the audience as a "show" b/c it gives the illusion of being more difficult, but I can't imagine it being more difficult from my experience of body movement.

 

But ask me to hop backwards on one leg and fling my arms back......I would probably fall out......raising arms in 5th, in contrast, is no big deal at all.....



#81 mimsyb

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Posted 03 April 2015 - 06:26 AM

The thing about balance is that if you have a knack for finding your balance/finding your center I think the arms in 5th is not necessarily better than simply passing the arm to the next cavalier without putting the arms up in 5th (many Russians do not put the arms in 5th, although some do). I know yoga is not the same as ballet, but as a yoga practitioner I have better than average balance and can go into tree pose and often hold it forever and even sway arms and torso back and forth (swaying tree pose). It is hard to explain, but if you find your center of gravity you can move the arms almost anyway and all over the place and not fall out. So just putting the arms above your head does not make it more difficult unless you let moving the arms up distract you or make you worry about your balance.

 

Now, in contrast, the way the ballerinas in Cuba hop backwards and throw their arms above and behind them in the black swan coda......now THAT is, in my opinion, a truly exciting balancing act, b/c moving backwards and throwing your arms back forcefully could easily make someone fall out or lose balance, in my opinion (too many distractions to your balance). But simply raising arms above your head is not really more difficult than keeping them in a handshake position. If a person has good balance I do not believe raising arms in 5th makes it more difficult.

 

I suppose any little thing could potentially cause a person to lose his/her balance, but the simple act of raising arms into 5th should not really cause a ballerina to fall out. I think the arms in 5th is probably more impressive to the audience as a "show" b/c it gives the illusion of being more difficult, but I can't imagine it being more difficult from my experience of body movement.

 

But ask me to hop backwards on one leg and fling my arms back......I would probably fall out......raising arms in 5th, in contrast, is no big deal at all.....

Agreed.  Also, when a dancer is "on her leg" and is centered, she should be able to move her arms to fifth without  any distortion or unease.  The upper back will help her in this and support the move.  Some dancers seem also to have an "inner gyroscope" that allows them to retain balance with ease.



#82 canbelto

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Posted 03 April 2015 - 06:35 AM

If I'm not mistaken the raising the arms in fifth started with Mathilde Kscessinskaya who had wonderful balances and wanted to show them off.



#83 SandyMcKean

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Posted 03 April 2015 - 07:56 AM

To me, the importance of raising the arms to 5th is not in the situation in which the ballerina is in balance and the raising of the arms might throw her off, but rather in the situation in which a ballerina is somewhat off balance from the moment she releases the cavalier's hand. The time to grab the next cavalier's hand is far shorter without going to 5th.  Indeed, I think one could never be in balance and still grab that next hand if it were placed close enough.  I have seen the next cavalier place his hand so close to the current cavalier's hand that the ballerina only has to move her hand 6 inches to grab it.  The power of going to 5th, is that all such "safety valves" have to be foregone.



#84 Amy

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Posted 04 April 2015 - 02:26 AM

If I'm not mistaken the raising the arms in fifth started with Mathilde Kscessinskaya who had wonderful balances and wanted to show them off.

Really? To be honest, that certainly sounds like Kschessinskaya, where did you hear that?



#85 Birdsall

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Posted 04 April 2015 - 05:13 AM

To me, the importance of raising the arms to 5th is not in the situation in which the ballerina is in balance and the raising of the arms might throw her off, but rather in the situation in which a ballerina is somewhat off balance from the moment she releases the cavalier's hand. The time to grab the next cavalier's hand is far shorter without going to 5th.  Indeed, I think one could never be in balance and still grab that next hand if it were placed close enough.  I have seen the next cavalier place his hand so close to the current cavalier's hand that the ballerina only has to move her hand 6 inches to grab it.  The power of going to 5th, is that all such "safety valves" have to be foregone.

 

I think it is probably a "mental" thing caused by nervousness. Granted I tested this without an audience and without being on pointe, but I just got into tree pose, found my balance and giving my hand to 10 or 20 or 30 cavaliers by simply moving my hand to the next imaginary one or raising my arms above my head in 5th and bringing them down each time did not make any difference at all for me. Of course, I was on a flat foot. But ballerinas should be so used to being on pointe that I would think that they can easily find their balance and stay on pointe the way I can stay on one flat foot. I will say that I am sure that being on pointe and staying there is much harder than tree pose in yoga. I really do think any wobbling or fear, however, is actually caused in their minds by an expectant audience sitting there watching them. If you are balanced (found your center) and good at balancing (and all ballerinas are probably much better at finding their balance than I am), this is really smoke and mirrors. It looks incredibly hard to the audience but it really isn't to a dancer (but maybe dancers could chime in here if they have something to say), I suspect EXCEPT for their fear of messing up in front of an audience and the fear that one of the cavaliers might move their hand as she takes it and throw her off accidentally. So what I am saying is that, yes, anything can throw someone off balance (thoughts, the cavalier's hand moving, stage fright, etc), but just by itself the crowning of the head does not make the move/pose harder except for a ballerina who is freaking out about her balance already. I think the fact it is such an exposed moment. It is a static moment for the ballerina, so moving around the stage can not hide a slight mistake. She is standing still and balancing and just moving her arm.....very exposed during a very iconic moment in the ballet, and that creates nerves, b/c, yes, people can lose balance when they least expect it, but I have come to believe it is a mental thing. I don't believe moving the arm up into a crown messes the ballerina up. I think her own thoughts or fears causes it, and if she falls out putting her arms into a crown, she would also fall out simply passing her arms from one cavalier to the next because the state of mind she is in.

 

I think staying balanced is a weird thing. It is very mental and it is less about strength and much more about being in an almost zen moment and feeling your body find its center of gravity and just mentally staying in that place in your mind. I think I watched a video once and it showed all these Royal Ballet dancers doing zany things while balancing on one leg like drinking tea while staying balanced. They were moving their arms in many different ways. They were all rock solid as they moved their arms all over the place. However, put them in front of an audience where there are no re-takes and make it one of the "important" moments of the ballet, and THAT is what plays with their mind and causes them to worry about falling out. Not where their arms are moving.

 

I have given advice to people who constantly fell out of tree pose during yoga class, and I told them to stop trying to use the strength of their leg, grow tall and reach the top of their head to the sky and somehow find your center and suddenly balancing becomes incredibly easy. It is actually more about "letting go" than muscling into and holding the balance as weird as that sounds. Hard to describe, but once you find your balance it feels like nothing can throw you off except someone pushing you down. Hands and arms can move all over the place in every direction if they are well balanced.



#86 SandyMcKean

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Posted 13 June 2015 - 10:14 AM

I think it is probably a "mental" thing caused by nervousness.

 

Birdsall,

 

I am in complete agreement with you.  I wouldn't dismiss the additional challenge of being on point as easily as you do, but otherwise I agree that the challenge is mental more so than physical for the well trained and experience ballerina.  For me it's that conquering of the mental challenge that is so impressive.  You cataloged the pressures very well.  That a ballerina can so dominate these pressures and become confident enough to go to 5th position (even if they are in balance at that moment) is, to me, a triumph of the human spirit.  For some (many?) guys, quarterbacks, or wealthy self made persons, or other more worldly folks are their heros, but for this guy, it is ballet dancers that I admire most.



#87 Fraildove

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Posted 13 June 2015 - 11:52 AM

Speaking from someone who has danced this ballet many times (it was a bit of signature for me and my husband) lifting the arms above the head is actually extremely difficult. It's not the final position that's hard, but the transition from first to third (Russian training, it would be 5th most everywhere else) When the arms are traveling, suddenly there is a lot more weight in front of the body, so you have to compensate, then return to the original position to balance in. Being on pointe is so different to standing flat. You can even see this when student are at a balance at the barre then told to lift their arms up. Even in soft shoes, dancers struggle. When you and hyperextended knees and big insteps, it complicates it even more. Yes mentally you have to be focused, but in that very simple movement lies a minefield. Another thing to take o to consideration, is that she is dancing with 4 different partners, all of which partner differently. When you see a dancer dancing with a new partner, adjustments are made to suit both dancers. Not so for Rose Adagio. The ballerina has to make adjustments for every partner she has. That alone can be beyond nerve wracking. I could balance all day in a secure position. But changing arms or head changes the weight, which changes where your center is. I hope that makes sense.

#88 nanushka

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Posted 13 June 2015 - 03:03 PM

Speaking from someone who has danced this ballet many times (it was a bit of signature for me and my husband) lifting the arms above the head is actually extremely difficult. It's not the final position that's hard, but the transition from first to third (Russian training, it would be 5th most everywhere else) When the arms are traveling, suddenly there is a lot more weight in front of the body, so you have to compensate, then return to the original position to balance in. Being on pointe is so different to standing flat. You can even see this when student are at a balance at the barre then told to lift their arms up. Even in soft shoes, dancers struggle. When you and hyperextended knees and big insteps, it complicates it even more. Yes mentally you have to be focused, but in that very simple movement lies a minefield. Another thing to take o to consideration, is that she is dancing with 4 different partners, all of which partner differently. When you see a dancer dancing with a new partner, adjustments are made to suit both dancers. Not so for Rose Adagio. The ballerina has to make adjustments for every partner she has. That alone can be beyond nerve wracking. I could balance all day in a secure position. But changing arms or head changes the weight, which changes where your center is. I hope that makes sense.

 

Thanks so much for these insights, Fraildove!  I was dubious about the comparison of on-pointe balances to tree pose.  What a difference between a few toes and a whole footsole!

 

If you've seen the new ABT Sleeping Beauty, do you have any insights on the balance on pointe with a backbend that Aurora does in the adagio of the Grand PDD?  People were suggesting on the ABT forum that she's being supported by leaning in to her partner's chest during this, but that really doesn't fit with what I've seen from several different spots in the theatre.  It looks to me like she really is going into a backbend while balancing on her own.  This was really impressive when Sarah Lane did it in May; less so (though still impressive) from Isabella Boylston and Gillian Murphy this week -- as soon as they finished bending back, their partners began supporting them, whereas I feel like Sarah held the pose a few seconds before getting support.  It was quite astonishing.  Though perhaps they were all three the same and I was just particularly impressed by seeing it for the first time.  But people did gasp and break into applause there for Sarah, whereas they did not for Isabella and Gillian.



#89 Birdsall

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Posted 14 June 2015 - 04:31 AM

It must be different for each dancer then, because two dancers actually convinced me that it does not matter where your arms move and one of them showed me a video of the Royal Ballet dancers moving their arms every which way and even drinking tea as they balance on one leg.

 

Originally I voted above that Auroras SHOULD do the balances or not dance the role and I thought the 5th position for the arms was important. But after two dancers explained about balance and one showed me the Royal Ballet video on balancing and then I compared it with my experiences in yoga I decided to change my view, and I came to the conclusion that putting arms in 5th is not as important as I originally thought. They both said it is mainly a mental thing. In my above posting I did say that I have only experienced balancing with flat foot (although I have done tree rising up to tip toes as well) and pointe is probably different.

 

But now I wonder if it is different for each person b/c each person has a different body. Maybe some bodies are just built to balance easier than others so some have to work at balance much harder or something. No idea.



#90 sandik

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Posted 14 June 2015 - 11:40 AM

Balance is a dynamic process, not a perfect position, and as fraildove points out, if you change part of the overall alignment, there needs to be accommodations all along the way.  The dancers from the Royal are actually making those changes as they move their arms -- they are just very skilled at the process.




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