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 Post subject: Higher passe?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2001 4:36 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 270
Location: Wisconsin
In class, we use this combination: start fifth (right front), pas de cheval, passe-to-retire (right back) pas de cheval. My teacher always emphasizes the need to raise the knee of the working leg quite high when in passe-to-retire so as to "circumvent the knee" (quote). <P>However, whenever I lift the knee higher (so my toe traces an arc above my knee) my teacher tells me I am using the TOP of my thigh too much in order to execute the step. She says that by mentally thinking about "pushing" from the underside of the thigh, I will solve this problem. I've tried - no go.<P>Is there any exercise which will engage the underside of my thigh? I would engage them if I knew how to use them!


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 Post subject: Re: Higher passe?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2001 5:12 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
Bree - that's a great question.....it was discussed in a previous thread with some terrific answers from Maggie, Trina and many others...<P><A HREF=../../../ubb/Forum19/HTML/000068.html><B>INNER THIGHS</B></A><P>There are different schools of thought as to whether the lifting toe goes ABOVE the knee and then passes from front to back, or whether it goes just to the knee and then passes. <P> There are also some schools of thought that the lifting toe should remain in front of the knee and make a marked pass (an arc) to the back before descending - as opposed to another school of thought which likes the lifting toe to come to the side of the knee and then descend to the back. Which would give a much less marked arc movement. More like a V.<P>For me personally - it depends on what the combination is - as to whether I make a V or an arc. Usually in pirouette, for me, it will probably be an arc, whereas in an adage movement it will probably be a V.<P>You need to do as the teacher wishes. I hope the thread on inner thighs helps.<p>[This message has been edited by Basheva (edited June 21, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Higher passe?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2001 8:26 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2001 12:01 am
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Location: Basking Ridge, New Jersey, USA
I just skimmed over our previous thread on the inner thighs, and it does have some great info in it. However, I have many students who have trouble achieving that "lifted look" in the passe position, even if they have learned to engage the inner thigh muscles in straight-legged positions. There is something about passe...<P>Does anyone have some suggestions specific to engaging the inner thighs in passe?


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 Post subject: Re: Higher passe?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2001 12:09 pm 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
The thing that seemed to work for me personally, and also for my students was to do what a teacher had told me - to think of the knee as lifting into passé. That did seem to change the look - lifting from the knee - as if there is a hook on the knee cap (ouch) - but it did work.


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 Post subject: Re: Higher passe?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2001 1:17 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2000 11:01 pm
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Location: USA
Nancy, could you describe that "lifted look" you are referring to? Do you mean the knee, or the trunk, or both? Where are you having the toe? At the side of the knee or slightly in front? I have some exercises I can offer that can help the student feel some of the things they need to in the working leg. Truly an eye opener in my opinon.<P>Have the student sit on a stool 24" tall or less where she can comfortably place her feet flat in a second position. Depending on her body size, you can have her plie onto the stool. She should be on the edge, not in the middle, unless she has 180 turnout. (!) Be there to help position the stool.Make certain that she is sitting square on both sitting bones and that she is lengthened thru her abdominals. Avoid any hyper-extension in the lumbar or thoracic. The lumbar may have a slight curve, or be fairly straight, but the pelvis must not tilt either forward or backward. The arms can be in second or fifth en bas. Then, the student slowly lifts one leg up, keeping the knee bent and pointing the foot and then slowly lowers it replacing the foot. <P>This really creates an awareness of the hip flexors work. It is also very interesting regarding the work of the adductors in turnout because the student's weight is not on her feet, and if she is over-turned you will see the hip/knee/foot alignment change as she attempts the exercise, or she may tilt her pelvis. I think it's a fun real wake-up exercise. Oh, and you can also extend the leg to the front or side to illustrate hip placement, too.


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 Post subject: Re: Higher passe?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2001 5:08 pm 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
Nancy - I am wondering if the students you are discussing here are putting any weight on the place where the passé toe contacts the standing knee? <P>Even the tiniest bit of weight will destroy the "look" of a lift in passé. It's a easy thing to do, whilst concentrating on something else, to allow the point of contact to become a point of support.


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 Post subject: Re: Higher passe?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2001 1:07 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2001 12:01 am
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Location: Basking Ridge, New Jersey, USA
Maggie and Basheva, thanks for your great responses. Maggie, I was talking about the lifted look of the passe leg; hopefully the trunk will remain elongated as well! And passe with the foot in front of the supporting knee seems to present the greatest challenge. So far I have tried your suggested exercise on my computer chair, and look forward to more formal exploration soon.<P>Today in class, I worked on the image of the knee lifting so high that the passe foot has to fight to make contact with the supporting leg. Changing the focus from the foot to the knee helped, and incorporated your ideas, Basheva. And it worked! Yessss!


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 Post subject: Re: Higher passe?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2001 6:47 pm 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
Nancy - you have no idea how happy it makes me to know that sometimes my ideas work.....it really does.<P><BR>Brings a smile to an old teacher's heart...it does.<P>


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