Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Passé Relevé THIS!

There's a big difference between the teaching styles of the "old" and "new" studios. At the "old" studio there is only one level of ballet. What is taught is what is needed for use in something "dancey" (my words).

The "new" studio offers other styles of dance, but the focus is ballet. There are several levels of adult class, including pointe, and the more advanced classes sometime include minor pro dancers who are looking to keep fit during breaks in their jobs. The skills that are taught at the beginner level are those that are needed to advance to the intermediate level.

Here's a clear example of the difference. In the "old" studio, we learn relevé, which is to rise to demi-pointe. We also learn passé, where we balance on one foot while bringing the other up to where the toe sorta points at the knee. Once in a while we'll do passé relevé, where we do both at once. At the "new" studio, passé relevé is an every class thing, in sequences of 4 or 8 at a time, with a clean beat when changing from front to back each time.

Same thing with degagé, which literally means to disengage, or a tendu where the foot leaves the floor and the leg ends up at a 45 degree angle. It never occurred to me that you could do degagé from relevé, much less do it in the beginner class. But we do.

How about going from fifth to second to passé relevé, with a full turn en dehors every four? If I'm not mistaken, that's a pirouette. And these in combinations of 4 or 8 on each side.

They swear this is the beginner class.

I've read that some people don't look on dancers as athletes. Those people have never taken a ballet class.

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