Posted 15 January 2001 - 07:11 PM
Posted 15 January 2001 - 10:57 PM
Gail Grant's Technical Manual and Dictionary of Classical Ballet defines placement thus:
"A dancer is said to be well-placed when he or she has learned to hold body, head, arms and legs in their proper alignment to each other, has acquired the turn-out of the legs, a well-poised head, level hips and a straight spine in all steps and poses."
Sometimes dancers "cheat" with their placement a little for aesthetic reasons. This is acceptable for a professional dancer, whose technique is established, and whose body is no longer developing. It is, however, inexcusable in a student (except for medical reasons) whose body is still developing and who needs to build a stable technical foundation. If this does not happen, the student will acquire more and more "bad habits" that will only impede his or her progress. Bad habits usually take years of hard work to correct, so they are to be guarded against at practically any cost. If, though, a professional dancer has established strong technique, slightly shifting the position of one's body in a given position or doing a step a slightly different way because it happens to work better for them that way are generally not a problem because the dancer knows to keep the changes small enough only to afford a better line or a more effective jump, turn, etc., and therefore are not detrimental to the strength of his or her technique.
I realize this is very general and somewhat confusing, but I hope you can sort it out and understand my meaning. Do please ask about anything that seems hopelessly unclear.
Posted 16 January 2001 - 08:09 AM
I heard (or read) someone say that a particular dancer's placement needed to be "more forward." I wonder just what if anything you would understand by that.
Posted 16 January 2001 - 08:13 AM
Describing what an all-encompassing concept like placement is in a sentence or short paragraph would be a daunting task for the very best of us! As for an example, one used to say something akin to: Good placement=Margot Fonteyn.
Posted 16 January 2001 - 10:20 AM
CygneDanois - and Gail Grant! - really stated it very well. Placement involves finding ones center of gravity, their "control zone", which means aligning the bones and placing the weight of the body in the right place for that dancer in that particular movement.
Posted 16 January 2001 - 02:52 PM
An experienced dancer's body has learned it, and when it is achieved it feels almost weightless, and the body is thus ready for movement. Basheva
Posted 16 January 2001 - 10:14 PM
Posted 17 January 2001 - 12:21 PM
Posted 17 January 2001 - 08:57 PM
Posted 17 January 2001 - 09:58 PM
Posted 18 January 2001 - 12:33 AM
Does anyone have examples, among dancers working today, of ones whose placement is particularly good?
Darcey Bussell is as "placed" as they come.
Posted 18 January 2001 - 02:41 PM
Most dancers from Paris Opéra are impeccably placed, although Sylvie Guillem's placement (especially in developpé à la seconde and première arabesque) tends to be somewhat off-center.
I think it's probably because at some point her rib cage just gets in the way of her leg!
Did you ever see the "South Bank Show" (shown on Bravo) interview/program about Guillem? There's a bit toward the end where she does a developpe a la seconde (leg-to-ear, of course) and then, very slowly, releves onto pointe. You can't be uncontrolled and unplaced to do that. I'm not saying I agree with all her exaggerations, but boy is it fun to watch!
Posted 18 January 2001 - 04:29 PM
I tend to look at it as the leg getting in the way of the ribcage, although it is fun to watch her contort herself in modern pieces. She has the most extraordinary dancer's body.
Posted 18 January 2001 - 10:19 PM
Posted 22 January 2001 - 08:36 PM
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