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dirac

High extensions

  

  1. 1. High extensions

    • YES!! The higher, the better.
      11
    • In some ballets, but not in others.
      56
    • Don't care one way or the other.
      2
    • UGH!! Ballet is *not* for contortionists.
      11


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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? ;)

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glebb   
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.

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LMCtech   

Agreed.

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

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dirac   

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. :)

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Doris R   

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".

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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.

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kirovboy   

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.

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sylvia   

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

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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...

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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......

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glebb   

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.

:)

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Glebb, I'm really sorry if I implied that you didn't know Giselle; if I had one millionth of hte actual experience of making these great roles come to life that you have....

you're SO right about Gelsey -- in fact, hte way she does those develloppees, supported by the soloists bourreeing around her, is a passage I'd quote to anybody as a great example of poetry in phrasing -- look how she brings the leg DOWN; each devellooppe is a pas de cheval, enlarged to show detail, but with a perfect arc in its phrasing.....

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