pbl

Name the step (from video links)

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Hi everyone,

I saw there is an existing thread which begins with step names and then explains them. I have a different problem. I am entirely new to ballet. I began watching ballet DVDs around Christmas when I purchased Baryshnikov's Nutcracker for my four year-old, and together we have now watched scores of performances on DVD and have gone to a few performances together too. I've read a few books, but having never trained in ballet, sometimes the text descriptions don't help me make the connection. The ABT glossary/dictionary site is useful, but incomplete and some of the videos and explanations don't make sense to me yet.

All of which is a windup to asking about some steps. Here's my first question:

Paloma Herrera in Le Corsaire 1999:

at 7:40 she dances a small circle - what is the name of the step?

If it's OK with everyone, I will post some more questions with video links on this thread.

Best,Paris.

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Next video link question. What is the name of the step/leap Angel Corella does at 1:28?

Thank you . . . .

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And one more question:

What are the names of the steps at 10:04, 10:11, and the little jumps at 10:20?

If these are OK questions to ask here, and this is the right place to ask them, let me know, I have many more questions like this . . . thank you.

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Hello, Paris - I'll have to leave the technical details to some of the other, very knowledgeable, members on the forum (many of whom were trained in classical ballet), but I will say that there are often choreographed steps/movements that are not necessarily codified ballet steps. The language of ballet choreography is built up from those basics, but doesn't consist solely of those building blocks (if that makes any sense).

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with regard to 'technical' names and vocabulary for ballet steps, as indicated above, sometimes the movement or pose has a classroom/syllabus name, but sometimes not.

Balanchine once replied to a query about the name of certain move that caught the eye of an observer of one of his ballets thus:

"Is not 'school,' is choreography."

that said, to be sure many of the steps that might catch your eye in watching performances do have specific names and some of these may be pointed out to you on this forum.

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at 7:40 she dances a small circle - what is the name of the step?

I would call them temps levés in attitude devant

What are the names of the steps at 10:04, 10:11, and the little jumps at 10:20?

The little jumps look like a series of demi contretemps and assemblés.

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After a while, you get to know the basic steps. It is the combination of steps, as these answers suggest, which are difficult for so many of us and which are not always codified or consistently used, as has been mentioned. "Failli assemble"; "demi contretemps with assembles"; who knew?

When I first came to Ballet Alert, I relied a lot on American Ballet Theater's on-line dictionary. I still do.

http://www.abt.org/e...nary/index.html

If you click that link and scroll down to "tour en l'air", you will find a listing for "jete entrelace" (accent on the final e). That's NOT Corella's jump, but you will notice a few similarities in preparation and lift. Complicating things is the information that, although this is called "jete entrelace" in the French School it is referred to as a grand jete dessus en tournant" in the Russian School; and "grand jete en tournant en arriere" according to the Cecchetti method.

What makes questions like yours so useful is that they require those of us who are not trained dancers to look closely at the step(s), breaking them down into the basic components, some of which we recognize and some of which we won't. That kind of analysis, once it becomes automatic and even unconscious, greatly enriches the ballet experience for me -- if I don't overdo it and end up missing the forest for the trees. wink1.gif

I once read a complex term for Corella's jump, but have forgotten it, so I hope someone will help us out. Tour en l'air (or grand jete) avec ... quelque chose? helpsmilie.gifAidez moi, svp.

The point, of course, is how cleanly and beautifully Corella performs those jumps .... whatever they are called.

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The only person who taught me demi contretemps worked in he Cecchetti system taught it as a little airborne half turn with hte working leg bent, the back foot passing in a VERY low passe at hte ankle from the back to front by wrapping around hte ankle, then you'd chasse forward on that foot, from which it would be very convenient to do assemble.

This jump looks like what my ballets-Russes trained teachers would call Failli-assemble. where hte airborne jump comes through a low arabesque, with the back leg straight in hte air, then you fall onto it[similarly] and then do assemble. Failli-assemble is hella fun and a great way to skim across the ground -- you can travel a long ways in just a few of them. You don't have to jump high to jump FAR.

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I've been taught demi-contretemps with a very small attitude to the back, then chasseing through to fourth, which is why I said it looked like a demi-contretemps, but really, it was hard for me to tell from the angle, which I'd never seen it done at before. I will bow to those with superior knowledge, and agree from the descriptions that it is most likely the failli-assemble combination.

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Hi pbl, Welcome to Ballet Alert! I suggest you purchase these two, IMO indispensible resources: Gail Grant's book Technical Manual and Dictionary of Classical Ballet (Dover Books) and the DVD The Video Dictionary of Classical Ballet (Kultur). I use them hand in hand in 'lessons' I devise to technically learn how ballet steps work and coordinate (without being a dancer myself).

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Hi everyone,

I saw there is an existing thread which begins with step names and then explains them. I have a different problem. I am entirely new to ballet. I began watching ballet DVDs around Christmas when I purchased Baryshnikov's Nutcracker for my four year-old, and together we have now watched scores of performances on DVD and have gone to a few performances together too. I've read a few books, but having never trained in ballet, sometimes the text descriptions don't help me make the connection. The ABT glossary/dictionary site is useful, but incomplete and some of the videos and explanations don't make sense to me yet.

All of which is a windup to asking about some steps. Here's my first question:

Paloma Herrera in Le Corsaire 1999:

at 7:40 she dances a small circle - what is the name of the step?

If it's OK with everyone, I will post some more questions with video links on this thread.

Best,Paris.

emboite in attitude devant

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I concur with Mme. Hermoine... These are emboités.... Temps levé would have more the supended dynamic of skipping...

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Giselle 10:20: sissonne failli assemblé... Sometimes shortened to failli assemblé. I don't know what the turning chugs at 10:04 are called... I don't know what to call a jump that doesn't really loft into the air... I did not see any demi contretemps...

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Thank you, Acsballerina, for your gracious reply. I'm picturing your step and thinking it's beautiful - -and realizing I haven't been asked to do demi-contretemps since Brynar mehl's class. and remembering that hte chasse was a lovely feature of that step -- which failli has to a slight degree [as you come down on that foot it should slide forward a little before you jump from it, depending on how much time you have]. Was your teacher Cecchetti-trained?

@Mme Hermine -- i have also been trained to call that step emboite in attitude devant. But it would not be wrong to say it's hte ballet version of hte Cakewalk step, which was just coming into ballet at the time of Petipa's revision of Giselle [he used it a lot in Sleeping Beauty, too]. Check out this turn-or the-century footage, the step is done VERY clearly around ;30 till hte end:

you sometimes see African-American football players doing this step as they run into the end-zone, when they know they can't be caught before they make the touchdown.

Debussy composed a Cakewalk for piano -- here he is playing it himself

Here is Scott Joplin's Cakewalk "Swipesy"

{which Macmillan used in his ballet "Elite Syncopatoins"]. Unfortunately Macmillan didn't use hte cakewalk step much.

Debussy had composed a Cakewalk

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That particular piece of Joplin is not used in Elite Syncopations, in fact.

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Loved the historic footage. Reminds me of Joffrey performing Ruthanna Boris' Cakewalk.

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Thank you, kbarber -- I thought 'Swipesy' was the opening number in the ballet-- which it resembles greatly but is NOT in fact the same. [Macmillan's tempo is way slower -- but the two pieces are very similar.]

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Thank you, Acsballerina, for your gracious reply. I'm picturing your step and thinking it's beautiful - -and realizing I haven't been asked to do demi-contretemps since Brynar mehl's class. and remembering that hte chasse was a lovely feature of that step -- which failli has to a slight degree [as you come down on that foot it should slide forward a little before you jump from it, depending on how much time you have]. Was your teacher Cecchetti-trained?

Yes, my teacher was Cecchetti-trained. It's a lovely step!

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Sissonne. Sissonne fermé (ferme with accent on last e) to sissonne failli I would say.... One might insert arabesque or en avant to indicate that the sissonne passes through arabesque and travels forward. (sissonne can travel side to side or even backwards). I believe Mel Johnson informed us once somewhere that the step was named after a count at court who was particularly good at them... But I forget the details...

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