Partnering skillsWhat are they?
Posted 05 January 2009 - 05:01 PM
Since partnering involves a couple dynamic is this mostly driven by the ballerina's style needs etc. or the male? So would the different partners to ballerina A tend to be more like each other such that if male dancer partnered ballerina A, B and C he would do it rather differently.... Or would A, B and C adapt to HIS technique? Let's assume for this thought experiment that all ballerina's are the same size and all partners are the same size? Or maybe it depends completely on the dancers themselves as to the dynamic of the pas de deux?
Posted 05 January 2009 - 05:59 PM
*As a young dancer with my first soloist part, learning to trust my adult partner, who was much larger than I, from a different culture, and speaking a different language.
*Then learning how to time a sissone lift (think white swan pdd) so that I didn't counteract the upward momentum, but worked in tandem so the motion was upwards, the split moved upwards, and the lift itself moved upwards, before finally subsiding back to earth.
*And finally, how to center my weight over my standing leg when doing the standard 'develope en avant fouette into arabesque', (a la Giselle and much of Petipa) so i could pdb back without pulling myself or my partner off balance. He had to know how far apart to stand to maintain tension holding my hand as a counterweight, while i had to think "centered & up", even though I was leaning (or in S.L. eventually falling) backwards.
Seeing how timing can affect the two 'angel lifts' in Act2 of Giselle:
Done right it is seamless from Giselle's first tendu/ step back and turn into Albrecht, to the top of the lift, so she floats up in one complete move; as if you were drawing a circle in the air starting with Giselle on earth at 7 o'clock, and then drawing a single arc back and up counterclockwise to heaven at noon.
Similarly, in between/before the second lift, when she is lowered and then almost hugged:
A matinee cast's hug looked constricted/scrunched & grounded, the 2nd lift heavy; the evening's cast flowed: from a man gently trying to hug an insubstantial ghost that drifted away, but then turned back to him, to be lifted in a weightless arc that floated skyward. A single movement from beginning to end, and a brilliant demonstration of partnering. In short, if you can break that lift into its component parts, and see the dancers calculating each of those parts, it won't feel right, or look right. It's not an acrobatic lift, but here timing and placement are everything.
I also heard a funny anecdote from an Albrecht trying to convince his Giselle NOT to jump first, but instead "do nothing" and just let him do the lift(ing). After many tries, and a few mistranslations (both were from different countries), she did as he asked, and the rest was history.
FUTURE: I have some really amazing footage and comments from several rehearsals of the pdds in La Bayadere, but you'll have to wait until the doc is released. (Or catch a few clips in the trailer online.)
Posted 05 January 2009 - 06:12 PM
Posted 05 January 2009 - 09:23 PM
Also, with some of the 19th century partnering, I think it was Jacques d'Amboise who told us, that the man was to always look at his partner, but she was not to look at him but rather out toward the czar...
My modern dance friends used to object to ballet's tendency to haul women around like objects.
Posted 05 January 2009 - 09:49 PM
Does that mean it is not historically correct if the ballerina looks at her partner? I like it when they do but maybe that is a modern expectation?
Posted 06 January 2009 - 04:34 AM
Posted 06 January 2009 - 09:35 AM
Posted 06 January 2009 - 10:05 AM
Posted 06 January 2009 - 12:11 PM
Posted 06 January 2009 - 04:11 PM
After I somehow got her down safely without injuring myself as well, we had a rip-roaring argument. That was not a blessed partnership.
You never know what makes a good partnership - actually I think I do - I'd say most of the time it's a similar internal timing of movements. One dear friend of mine was extremely light but I dreaded partnering her. Whenever I was getting ready to lift her, her weight was somehow going down and it was as if she weighed 250 pounds. I was nervous partnering one of the best girls in the school - she should have been easy to partner, but I was never comfortable with the way she turned. A partnership forced on me by my teacher blossomed into a lifelong friendship - we discovered we had a lot in common as we worked out how to dance together as well; we both improved together. And one girl (Danielle Lehsten, who danced with Bejart before injury cut her career short) who should have been all wrong for me I still remember with the same excitement as getting to take a Lamborghini out for a test drive. She should have been too tall for me to partner but I innately felt comfortable with how she moved.
The biggest trick of all for partnering, at least as a student, is *wanting* to dance with the other person. Once you get there, 50% of the work is done.
Posted 06 January 2009 - 09:36 PM
Just a note: One of the most memorable "partnerships" I saw this past year was when Angel Corella and ABT Ballet Mistress & Repetiteur Susan Jones demonstrated pdds from La Bayadere for his company. She was so graceful, and he was so attentive, that despite the differences in age and technique, and consequently, the lack of pointe shoes, tutus, or lifts, turns, or other major physical displays, it was truly beautiful watching them move together. I kept thinking how transcendent ballet is; to convey so much, despite those missing elements.
Posted 06 January 2009 - 11:51 PM
Posted 07 January 2009 - 12:21 AM
Posted 07 January 2009 - 07:28 AM
How tricky/dangerous are they? How do dancers (male and female) tend to feel about them and approach doing them?
I watched dozens during the past Nutcracker season and THINK I can visualize and have an understanding of the basic mechanics. Though complicated and difficult to do smoothly and on the beat, they now seem to me to be less daring or risky than the overhead or shoulder lifts that have been discussed above.
Posted 07 January 2009 - 09:16 AM
0 user(s) are reading this topic
members, guests, anonymous users
Help support Ballet Alert! and Ballet Talk for Dancers year round by using this search box for your amazon.com purchases: