2 3 Technical Tuesday and Four Parts | Ballet Webb

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Technical Tuesday and Four Parts

Technical Tuesday and Four Parts
Grand pliés are often performed incorrectly, simply because one of the four parts that make up the grand plié is left out.  Usually this is part three.
A grand plié moves through these four parts:  1. Demi plié, heels on the ground; 2. Full descent, heels off the ground;  3. Return to demi plié with the heels coming back to the floor as soon as possible; and  4.  The knees straighten and the arm opens to à la seconde.
Eliminating or rushing through any of these parts reduces or eliminates the benefits of the grand plié.   But especially part 3:  the heels must return to the floor expediently, to stretch the Achilles tendon and other muscles of the leg, and to provide the “push” or impetus needed to complete the plié and straighten the knees.
There is an exception:   A grand plié in second position.  In this case the heels stay on the floor all the time, and the pelvis never goes lower than the knees. 

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets:

Secret #2g 
“A grand plié has four parts.”

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