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Monday, October 15, 2018

Mad Monday Fun Five



Mad Monday Fun Five

No, I’m not talking about the five positions of the feet. Instead, today’s blog features the five basic jumps in ballet. They are:

1.     Sauté = any jump from two feet landing on two feet; or sometimes, one foot to the same foot. It literally means “jumped” and when this word is added to another step it means the step is performed while jumping.
2.     Temps Levé = a hop from one foot to the same foot. This term means " high time ." 
3.      Jeté = any jump or leap from one foot to the other. It means “throwing step”.
4.     Assemblé = a jump from one foot landing simultaneously on two feet. It means “assembled” or “joined together”.
5.     Sissonne = a jump from two feet, landing on one foot. The exceptions are sissonne fermée, sissonne tombée and sissonne fondue, which finish on two feet.

Now you know!


From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets
Secret #15sss:
“There are five basic categories of balletic jumps.”

Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
“To practice five things under all circumstances constitutes perfect virtue; these five are gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness, and kindness.”
-         Confucius

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Sunday, October 14, 2018

Sunday October Motivation



Sunday October Motivation

Recently I talked about letting things go, and the above photo says it all.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets
Motivational Secret #:
“Fall is a beautiful example of letting go.”

Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
“There is no season when such pleasant and sunny spots may be lighted on, and produce so pleasant an effect on the feelings, as now in October.”
— Nathaniel Hawthorne

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Saturday, October 13, 2018

Superstition and Anna Pavlova



Superstition and Anna Pavlova

Anna Pavlova was known to be a superstitious dancer – not uncommon for her time. She requested to be carried over the threshold when entering a theater for the first time to avoid any bad luck that might await her. Also, she would never look at images of herself on posters or advertisements.

The Palace Theatre in London that opened in 1891 is believed to be haunted by Pavlova’s ghost,  along with several other ghosts (for details see this article : https://australianballet.com.au/behind-ballet/very-supersitious ). Witnesses claim to see an apparation that looks like Pavlova on the theater’s stage.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets
Superstitious Secret #141:
“The ghost of Anna Pavlova is believed to haunt the Palace Theatre.”

Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
"I am haunted by the need to dance. It is the purest expression of every emotion, earthly and spiritual."
- Anna Pavlova

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Friday, October 12, 2018

Fun Friday Down and Out



Fun Friday Down and Out

If things aren’t working well in class lately, here’s an idea. Think down and out for every combination you do.

This, of course, is part of the two-way energy idea that I talk a lot about, but sometimes it is helpful to use this down and out idea as a theme for an entire class. Think about pressing down into the floor and then outward into a: tendu, degagé, rond de jambe, grand battement…and that’s only part of the barre. Imagine what you can do in the center: glissade, chassé, assemblé, grand jeté…etc. etc. etc.

Down and out, therefore, means something entirely different in ballet than in boxing.


From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets
Secret #7uuu:
“When in doubt, think ‘down and out’.”

Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
“When life gets you down, improvise as if crawling was part of the choreography.”
― Iveta Cherneva

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Thursday, October 11, 2018

Throwback Thursday and Rosa Richter



Throwback Thursday and Rosa Richter

Born in 1863, Rosa Maria Richter, whose stage name was Zazel, became the world’s first known human cannonball in 1877. She was fourteen years old at at the time. Her father was a talent agent and her mother was a dancer in the circus so she began taking dance classes early and performed as an acrobat and aerialist at the age of five.

But she wills always be remembered as a human cannonball. She was first shot into the air at the Royal Aquaruim in London, and the cannon that propelled her was invented by tightrope walker William Leonard Hunt. It consisted of a spring system accompanied by a gunpower charge that was set off to make it sound like a real cannon. Zazel flew out of the cannon into a waiting safety net.

This new stunt that seemed so perilous became a big draw and as many as 15,000 people gathered to watch her fly over their heads. Later Zazel became a part of P.T. Barnum’s circus in the United States.

Although she was often injured, it was in 1891 that she overshot the net and sustained a broken back that forced her to retire from the circus. But she and her husband started an opera company in which she sang. She also held exhibits promoting safety nets.

She died on December 8, 1937 in England.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets
History Secret #252:
“Teenaged acrobat Rosa Richter was the first human cannonball.”

Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
“Something about the circus stirs their souls, and they ache for it when it is absent.”
― Erin Morgenstern

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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Wacky Wednesday Musical Barre



Wacky Wednesday Musical Barre

Is the daily class routine becoming a bit stale? Has the enthusiam of September begun waning now that we are into October? It happens.

Try shaking things up a bit. One way to do this is to have students change places at the barre after each exercise. It forces them into a new and different environment  and prevents the lack of focus often seen when things become too routine.

For even more fun, create combinations that have the students move to a different location during the combination. They can walk, or glissade, or whatever works within the specific set of steps.

Try it. It’s fun!

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets
Secret #21ww:
“Shift places at the barre after each exercise.”

Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day (about writing):
And it's fun, when life is just flat-out boring.”
― Alysha Speer

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Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Terminology Tuesday Voyagée



Terminology Tuesday Voyagée

This term is easy to understand. An arabesque voyagée is a traveling arabesque. It travels.

This arabesque moves in a series of small hops in an arabesque position, and, according to Gail Grant’s Technical Manual and Dictionary of Classical Ballet, “the supporting knee is bent and the instep of the supporting foot does not stretch.”

Arabesque voyagée can travel forward or backward.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets
Secret #30k:
“Arabesque voyagée is a traveling arabesque.”

Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
“No thief, however skillful, can rob one of knowledge, and that is why knowledge is the best and safest treasure to acquire.”
― L. Frank Baum, The Lost Princess of Oz

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