Have some ballet.

Since I mentioned fouettés, I should share the infamous Black Swan Coda from Swan Lake, probably the most well-known of all instances of the thirty-two fouettés.

I couldn’t find a decent rendition that also included more of the pas de deux — all the ones I went through were less than stellar, at least on the fouetté end, with the dancers traveling way too much. But that gives you the idea.

The coda’s one of those virtuoso things I think every ballet student hears about. The Rose Adagio from Sleeping Beauty is another, only not so visually spectacular, because it’s more about the endurance of your left glutes and your right foot — more than once, but if you want to see the really famous bit, skip to the end of this video. (Embedding’s disabled on that one, alas.)

If, however, that old-skool ballet isn’t really doing it for you, have some Carlos Acosta!

If they want to sell ballet to modern audiences, scantily-clad men with freakin’ amazing bodies who arrive on stage by leaping eight feet into the air are a good way to do it. And his turns are equally glorious, if less obviously so to the uninitiated. (Watch not only the number of rotations he completes, but the way he has precisely enough momentum to get around. A lot of dancers ground what’s left into the floor; he doesn’t have to. He floats down.)

0 Responses to “Have some ballet.”

  1. sartorias

    Oooh, nice–she didn’t travel too far.

    Tight buns, that was what I heard, back in the day. “Hold a dime between your buns.” Amazing the diff it made to leg work.

    • Marie Brennan

      Yeah, all the other ones I found had too much traveling. And that’s the real test for that trick.

      Holding a dime — <lol> Never heard that one myself. I can see how it works, though.

      My teachers used to come around when we were doing balance-type-things, pinch a teeny bit of hair from the tops of our heads, and tug upward. It got that extra bit of lift and alignment out of our spines. Or the time — I can’t actually remember if this was Joyce or Lyndette — we were doing grande battement with our backs to the barre so we could see ourselves in the mirror and notice the way some tiny muscle in our thighs kept releasing at the top of the battement. Whichever teacher it was knelt on the floor so she could jab us with a fingernail right in that muscle when it released. None of this hard enough to hurt, mind you, but enough to get our attention and make the ribcage lift or the muscle stay tight.

      There was also a guest workshop teacher one year who taught me how to set my shoulders and back so it would all stay strong and solid when doing work in the center. Even now, I remember how to do it, and how much difference it makes in one’s balance.

    • kendokamel

      Wow, that dime sure is handy for lots of things!

      Back when I was training as a soprano (before I had knee surgery that required being intubated, which caused my vocal cords to be nicked when they pulled out the tube, making me a permanent mezzo), my opera coach would tell me to squeeze the dime between my glutes to get the posture for the high notes. (;

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