2 3 Tendu Paths and CD Cases | Ballet Webb

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Tendu Paths and CD Cases


Yes, another tendu blog.  Now that the energy sensations and “slurping” action of the tendu have been discussed, it is time for another important concept.  How does one keep the leg turned out during the tendu?  Although turn-out should originate from the hip sockets (see the post on turn-out), here it helps to think about the foot and ankle.

When performing a tendu to the front (devant), the heel (ankle) leads the movement.  This should happen naturally if the legs are  rotating correctly in the hip socket.  To the back (derrière), the opposite is true:  the toes lead the movement – again this should be a natural reaction to the legs being rotated correctly in the hip sockets.

In à la seconde it becomes more complex. The tendu should follow the “hallway” created by the dancer’s first position, with an imaginary X marking the spot where the tendu ends (this is the same spot regardless of whether the tendu originated from first or fifth position).  Unless the dancer’s rotational capability is a perfect 180 degrees, the direction of the tendu and the imaginary X will not be directly to the side.  Instead, it will be slightly in front of side.  I demonstrate this using two CD cases.  I have the student stand in their best, correct first position, and then place one CD case on edge on each side of the foot.  Then I slide the cases straight out past the dancer’s toes, creating a “hallway” for the tendu.  I stress that during the tendu the dancer must focus on using the turn-out equally on each leg.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets:

Secret #3d:  “When performing a tendu devant, the heel leads the movement.  In tendu derrière, the toes lead, and in a tendu à la seconde, the degree of rotational ability determines the path of the tendu.”

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