Partnering skillsWhat are they?
Posted 07 October 2009 - 10:43 AM
Posted 09 September 2010 - 02:14 PM
"Pas de duex technique from Vaganova Ballet Academy.
Back in the middle of XX century, in Leningrad USSR, in Vaganova ballet school, it was one of the greatest ballet Pas de deux teachers - SEREBRIANIKOV. He wrote a book about partnering in ballet, and this film was his idea."
Posted 09 September 2010 - 02:46 PM
Posted 10 September 2010 - 04:17 AM
What amazes me is how the males partner does this. I suppose by holder her from the beginning of the jump he is aware of her forces and intuitively takes over in that seamless manner. And of course the jump comes to a peak at the top when it stops and reverse down (gravity). So the motion is not even linear, but more sinusoidal... no motion > slow > faster > slow > stop. But the partnering is more complex than lifts and so this ability of the two to trade off force and do it so seamlessly is indeed an art and a science.
What a beautiful lesson!
Posted 05 February 2013 - 11:12 AM
DanceView: Can you talk about what goes into good partnering?
Fairchild: It’s all coordination. Because there are certain lifts that you wouldn’t think would be a problem at all, but if you don’t have the coordination, it won’t happen. So you’re going for a lift, but if she pliés before you’re ready, then it’s no good. You have to plié with her, and lift her just at the moment her foot is pushing off the floor, with your hands going up at the same time as her body, and so that it’s timed as perfectly, and is as easy as can be. But also the girl has to let the guy do it. Which is really hard for some girls to do, because they might get stuck with a bad partner early on and learn to do it themselves; because originally that’s what they needed to do for the show. So it’s a challenge sometimes and it’s funny to say to your partner, “Stop doing anything here, you need to let me move you,” and mainly the guy is in charge. He’s the driving force. And if the girl’s responsive to that, then ideally you’re going to find the coordination.
Posted 05 February 2013 - 01:02 PM
From Joseph Mazo's "Dance is a Contact Sport," (pp. 136-7) where he describes a rehearsal where Jacques d'Amboise and Melissa Hayden's shoulder sit lift doesn't start out so well:
The problem was one of balance--Milly was trying to set herself for the shoulder sit, not realizing the she already was in position. That sort of thing is hard to judge while you are being carried through the air. If you think too much about it, dancers say, it won't work; if you let your body do the thinking, there will be no problem.
They do the lift a few more times, and with each repetition, Milly becomes more sure of herself. She has found her old economy of movement again. Her spring uses exactly the amount of energy needed to initiate the lift, then she holds herself erect, keeping her muscles firm for Jacques grip, and lets him finish the job she began.
Balanchine, standing with his hands in his pockets, shoes the exhilaration of the lift with an upward thrust of his own torso. "That's RIGHT," he crows. "That's RIGHT."
Generations of male dancers were likely nodding when they read this. I love that Mazo describes it as "economy of movement."
Posted 05 February 2013 - 01:19 PM
Posted 17 February 2013 - 06:22 AM
Yes, thank you for reviving this thread, innopac.
Arthur Mitchell has said something similar about the partnering in Agon - it works better if the woman allows herself to be manipulated, and as he also observed, today's women can have more trouble with that. Of course, the reverse can also obtain. In the memoirs of Peter Martins and Robert La Fosse, both men complain about a small ballerina who wouldn't help with lifts. It made for a nice airy effect but it was hell on a fellow's back.
Posted 17 February 2013 - 08:43 AM
Posted 17 February 2013 - 09:23 AM
Posted 17 February 2013 - 12:22 PM
I remember reading something a few years ago, possibly from Agnes deMille or one of her contemporaries, talking about how strong women had to be at the time since there were so few skilled male partners -- I think it was deMille, in her description of making Rodeo and working with well-trained men. It was a revelation to actually get lifted, rather than to jump and make it look like the man was doing the work.
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