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High extensions


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Poll: High extensions (98 member(s) have cast votes)

High extensions

  1. YES!! The higher, the better. (16 votes [8.99%])

    Percentage of vote: 8.99%

  2. In some ballets, but not in others. (130 votes [73.03%])

    Percentage of vote: 73.03%

  3. Don't care one way or the other. (3 votes [1.69%])

    Percentage of vote: 1.69%

  4. UGH!! Ballet is *not* for contortionists. (29 votes [16.29%])

    Percentage of vote: 16.29%

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#1 BalletNut

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Posted 17 April 2002 - 09:18 PM

So, what do people think of dancers who can scratch their head with their toes? Do they make your spine tingle, your stomach turn, or somewhere in between? ;)

#2 glebb

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Posted 18 April 2002 - 05:33 AM

Originally posted by BalletNut
So, what do people think of dancers who can scratch their head with their toes? Do they make your spine tingle, your stomach turn, or somewhere in between? ;)


It depends entirely on what is appropriate for the ballet being performed.

For BUGAKU, I like high extensions. For LES SYLPHIDES, I like tasteful extensions.

#3 LMCtech

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Posted 18 April 2002 - 09:42 AM

Agreed.

I think maybe a good guideline could be: If it horribly distorts the costume, the leg probably shouldn't be that high.

#4 dirac

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Posted 18 April 2002 - 10:30 AM

Yes, and if it distorts the style horribly, as well. Of course, distortion can be in the eye of the beholder, and that's where the issue gets sticky. :)

#5 Doris R

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Posted 19 April 2002 - 03:40 PM

How many times have I seen (in youthful competitions especially)a girl doing a lovely lyrical dance and lifting her leg to the point that her flowing costume loses all of its beauty?
I admit I do like high extensions -- I find them very impressive, but I have to agree that sometimes they just don't "fit".

#6 BalletNut

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Posted 20 April 2002 - 06:31 PM

While in some ballets high extensions can look good, I think it's important to consider whether a particular ballet would still look impressive without them, or whether the whole point of the ballet IS the fact that the dancers are lifting their legs so high.

#7 kirovboy

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Posted 21 April 2002 - 08:20 AM

I am a fan of high extensions. I think that they are very beautiful to look at. Though, Ive also seen in many instances where people have their leg at almost 180, but they hike their hips so much that it distorts the image and it is a horrible sight. SO I voted yes to high extensions....but only if it is placed well.

#8 balletstar18

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Posted 21 April 2002 - 04:46 PM

I agree with Kirovboy, yes i love to see extensions, but they must be placed well :)

#9 glebb

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Posted 21 April 2002 - 04:48 PM

Even in a tutu?

#10 balletstar18

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Posted 22 April 2002 - 10:59 AM

Good point Glebb :) I guess in addition to distorting the body you also have to be careful not to distort the line of the costume :)

#11 sylvia

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Posted 01 May 2002 - 08:28 AM

I like them when they're appropriate, like in story ballets when they seem to convey extreme emotions.

#12 Paul Parish

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Posted 06 May 2002 - 09:19 PM

Well, Glebb, with respect, both Symphony in C and THeme and Variations require high extensions -- Symphony in C has 6 o'clock penchees -- and the ballerinas are in tutus......

though 180 a la seconde is I guess what you're thinking about...

#13 glebb

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Posted 06 May 2002 - 09:46 PM

And there's the Romantic tutu to consider. :D

#14 Paul Parish

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Posted 06 May 2002 - 10:59 PM

Actually, Myrtha and Giselle have very important penchees -- extremely significant moments in that ballet -- how high is too high on one of those?

I don't think I want to see 6 o'clock -- but in any case, hte important thing is not hte height but hte phrasing, the whole hting has got t o be a kind of reverence, a gesture on hte grandest scale, and it's MORE hte movement, than the position that matters.....

just last Friday, Muriel Maffre's opening solo at SFB was near perfection -- the action was on hte grandest scale, but she performed it utterly in character -- she stepped into arabesquewith SUCH decision, swept into the promenade with no visible preparation, and descended into magnificent, deep penchees, all with no sense of haste nor second-guessing, and in hte temps lie after each arabesque swept back into breathtaking cambre before starting he other side......

#15 glebb

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Posted 07 May 2002 - 03:51 AM

I'm well acquainted with the choreography of 'Theme and Variations', 'Symphony in C', and 'Giselle'. I've staged a 'Giselle' and could probably stage the other two, (with a little advance video studying).

In 'Giselle', as you have said Paul, it's the way the penche is done. I don't think a six o' clock penche is necessary. I love Makarova's develope a la second in her solo leading into the pas de deux in Act II. But there is something poetic about the high leg. It's not high for the sake of being high, or "scratching her head with her toes" as is asked in the first post of this thread. It's just in the right place, taste wise.

I do think they way the develope, or the penche is executed makes the difference. I've recently seen photos of a gorgeous NYCB ballerina (one of my favorites), in a past six o' clock penche in the 2nd movement of 'Symphony in C'. It just didn't look good.

Get out your video of Gelsey in 'Theme' and see her a la second, and her penche. That is what I like.

I don't think the leg to the ear (as it is more often done today), in a short or long tutu is appropriate.

:D


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