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Jumps from Swan Lake...

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Hi everybody! I know I'm getting annoying, but now that I started ballet, every time I see a variation I want to know every step of it! But I have difficult on recognizing them, especially the jumps! I know that here you are all competent and experienced (as well as very kind in answering my questions:) ), so I'd like so much if you could tell me the names of these jumps (3:11, 3:52 and 6:37... maybe the 6:37 one is a sissonne...?) from the pas de trois of the act 1 of Swan Lake: 

Thank you!!

Edited by Mariangela
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Oh, twist my arm and make me watch the pas de trois...

Not sure where you are in your technical knowledge -- if this is already in your vocabulary, please excuse me.

When I first started dancing, I spent some time with movement notation as well, and found that the basic vocabulary for looking at jumps was really helpful.  There are essentially 5 kinds of "air work" (jumping), and they have to do with how you get off the ground and how you land.  Go up from both feet and land on both feet -- you've got a jump.  Take off from one foot and land on the same foot, it's a hop.  Take off from one foot and land on the other is a leap.  The last two borrow some French from ballet -- from one foot to two feet is an assemble, and the reverse (take off of two and land on one) is a sissone.  These terms are not specific to ballet, but they help you see the fundamental categories that all the air work gets sorted into.

Your first ask is a two jump sequence, a sissone ouvert (a jump from two feet to one foot ending in an open position, that is, just on one foot) and a version of a temps de fleche (a jump from one foot to the other foot that doesn't really travel much).  It's generically called a hitchkick, and you see it in all kinds of dance forms.  Done to the back, both legs do a little degage action to the back -- to the front you often this version, where one leg does a develope)

Your second ask is a classic two jump sequence, that gets all kinds of variations applied.  You've got another sissone (two feet to one foot), this one traveling to the side, and then an assemble (one foot to two feet).  In this case, the sissone is fairly low (some fly pretty high) and the assemble gets more loft, which the dancer needs because he's including beats, where the legs close in 5th position the air, before switching that 5th in order to land.  Beats are thrilling little things, and very useful in phrases like this since you can basically add as many as you can do.  Here he's beating the legs twice, with some very nice separation between each one, before he changes the 5th one more time when he lands.

Your third ask is deceptive -- if you just look at the contact of the feet on the floor, you see that it's really a simple saute -- she jumps off one leg and then lands on the same leg with the free leg in arabesque, then takes a little hop (again, a one-to-the-same saute) before stepping on the other foot to do the same sequence to the other side.  The tricky bits are that she's getting much of her loft by swinging the free leg up in front of her and then turning to face the other way and beating the legs in the air (trying to bring the lower leg up to match the height of the first one).  Like the man in the second example, the beats take this sequence into another level of sparkle.  This is a very grueling sequence, and is often done, as it is here, in multiples, which just adds to the challenge.

Depending on who you studied with and where they came from, air work often has slightly different names attached to it, but the fundamental actions remain the same.  Hope this is helpful.



Edited by sandik
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3 hours ago, nanushka said:

explanations are very detailed and super helpful.

And if I'd proofread them, they would be more helpful!

The Schorer videos are great!

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Thank so much you for your exhaustive explanation sandik, you have been really helpful to me! And nanushka, thanks for sending me these videos, I was looking for videos of this kind but without finding them! :)❤

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Another good reference is The Video Dictionary of Classical Ballet. If I recall correctly it started life as a set of VHS tapes, then became a set of DVDs (which are still available on Amazon), but at least some of it is now on YouTube. You can find uploads from disk 1 here:

Part 1 of 5: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xiFK4Df1hx8

Part 2 of 5: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31kpRuQpC7Q 

Part 3 of 5: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HG0sRvaP1ek


Part 4 of 5: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9d2YcTq8YJw

Part 5 of 5: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-RX5aZIQokM

It is quite comprehensive.




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