2 3 Mad Monday Manège | Ballet Webb

Monday, June 30, 2014

Mad Monday Manège

Mad Monday Manège

The French word manège (ma-NEZH) means circular.  Most dancers are familiar with the term since it is used frequently in the ballet classroom, particularly when it comes to a sequence of traveling turns that move in a circular pattern around the room or the stage.

It is this circular pattern that can cause problems.  Since “if it turns it spots”, (Ballet Statute #5) the dancer must spot while traveling in a circle, and exactly where to spot can be confusing. 

It is actually very simple.   Think of the path not as a circle, but as a square, or rectangle (depending on the configuration of the room or the stage).  If the dancer begins in the downstage left corner of a square stage, and the combination calls for sixteen piqué turns, the first four turns will spot the wings on the stage right side, the next four will spot the upstage wall or scrim, the third set will spot the stage left wings, and the final set of turns will spot toward the audience – thus bringing the dancer full circle and back to the beginning point.

This is the basic hint for most circular patterns – divide the number of turns into the space and spot accordingly.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets:

Secret #14h:  
When performing a manège of traveling turns, think of the path as a square or rectangle.”

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Quote of the Day:

“The whole universe is based on rhythms.  Everything happens in circles, in spirals.”
-          John Hartford

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