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Ballet music for gym workouts?

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Recently I decided to purchase a mini-Ipod for working out at the gym. My routine involves a mix of free weights, machine weights, and a version of a barre-without-the-barre. The problem: finding music that was interesting to listen to, familiar enough so it didn't distract me, and which fit the physical movements. A solution I've just discovered: music associated with ballet.

I was wondering whether others on Ballet Alert use ballet music as a part of their gym work out, or while doing cardio, jogging or serious running, etc.

If so, what music works best for you? And which do you avoid?

I just switched my music a couple of weeks ago, but so far I have discovered what works and does not work for me.


Symphony in C (Bizet) -- The four sections allow for every kind of physical movement . It also helps that I can visualize the women in white tutus performing at least some of Balanchine's great choreography. I adjust my pace to the different tempi. I LOVE this. Even while crunching (as on an ab chair or a rubber ball) I become a dancer.

Sleeping Beauty. Rose adagio. Strangely, this works well doing bench presses. I find myself naturally upping the intensity and effort as the music reaches each crescendo.

Bayadere. Kingdom of the Shades scene. Great for center-work (tendus en l'air; ronds de jamb; grands battements; and especially grands battements in fondu with the legs extending to attitude.) This music makes me feel like a truly Great Artiste.


Swan Lake, Act II.

Faure's music from Emeralds.

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When I did marathons before messing up my knee I used to listen to guess what...

Giselle!! :D

Visualizing the ballet would kill the anxiety of what was still ahead in terms of miles...

I know what you mean: visualization is key. For Symphony in C, I watch the ballet. For Rose Adagio, I am IN the ballet, which is the best experience of all. Same with much of Giselle Act II. Perhaps I identify with the element of desperation in both Albrecht's AND Giselle's variations. And those Wilis keep you moving in the gym as on the stage, especially during the business with Hilarion. Ouch!

I haven't tried Giselle Act I, but suspect it might be a little light -- and episodic -- for my own purposes.

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For me it was more of trying to keep my mind in control against boredom. The running training gets very tedious if you're running by yourself, and Giselle's music would lead me, mentally, to the story. The visual part of it as an entertaining factor was the key element here, and next thing I knew, I had left 4/5 miles behind me.

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I always like Tchaikovsky's dances from Eugene Onegin (the Waltz and the Polonaise). These are included, along with other rousing tunes (including Glinka's Valse-Fantasie), on a disc called Ballets Russes: Russian Dances and Ballets (don't let the title mislead you, though: most of the selections have nothing to do with Diaghilev). Paarvo Jarvi conducts the Orch. Philharmonique de radio France. Virgin Classics (maybe a moderator wants to link this to amazon.com so that BA gets a cut?).

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