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 Post subject: Re: Pliés and the Knees......
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2001 10:18 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 63
Location: Knightdale, NC, USA
I can not tell you the last time I have done a grand in 4th (or asked it). I also do 2 demi's at barre to take up the extra time as Basheva does. I have been teaching 1st and 5th, but after this discussion I may remove them. One of my favorite sayings "do no harm"!!


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 Post subject: Re: Pliés and the Knees......
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2001 10:41 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
Berry - I posted in the link to the site you have in your above post - into a thread the men have going "Can a Teacher See a Guy's Legs" - I thought they would find it as interesting as I did.<P>Thank you so much for it.<P>......................<P>back to "Pliés and the knees" - sometimes even the most engraved traditions need to be re-thought - they can become "ingrown" sort of like a toenail....LOL<P>What utterly amazed me was how many teachers I talked to here in San Diego who absolutely agreed with Dr. Hamilton and then went right on giving grand pliés - 'cause it had always be done and so they continued to do it.


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 Post subject: Re: Pliés and the Knees......
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2001 10:44 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
Thought you all might be interested in Dr. Hamilton's site:<P><A HREF="http://www.dancepro.com/w_hamilton.html" TARGET=_blank><B>Dr. William G. Hamilton</B></A><BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Pliés and the Knees......
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2001 10:52 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 1999 12:01 am
Posts: 2708
Location: Seattle, WA USA
Thanks Basheva!!


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 Post subject: Re: Pliés and the Knees......
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2001 5:23 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
I wrote a letter to Dr.Wiliam Hamilton about this entire subject. He wrote back (very kind of him!!) and confirmed my memories of his articles in Dance Magazine and this subject.<P>He said that since the full plié in every position except second can be harmful, and they are never done in performance - and I quote here "why do them"?


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 Post subject: Re: Pliés and the Knees......
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2001 6:35 am 
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Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 66
Location: Barto PA, USA
I too am rethinking use of grand plie in all but 2nd. <P>I will give it a go!<P>Janet

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 Post subject: Re: Pliés and the Knees......
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2001 8:23 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 27, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 921
Location: US
In regard to the modern dance grand plies...well first off I'm not even going to discuss the Graham class, I do NOT have the body for Graham technique so it was never very comforatable for me to begin with. As for Horton, I havn't experienced many problems except that in the beginning my legs really had never worked so hard!!!!!!! I was always sore for days when I started. However, I think the reason that I don't have knee problems, etc. is due to the actual class/teacher. I have studied Horton technique with both the Alvin Ailey School (in workshops) & with a professor here at college who danced with Bella Lewitzsky. I have often heard horror stories about Bella and how demanding she used to be back in the day. Now days, at least here at college, I think teachers are much more conscientious (perhaps they have to be at least on the university level? otherwise lawsuits would ensue). My professor left Bella's company after 2 years because his injury tole was so high so I think he is especially sensitive to the elements of this technique that might be quite damaging. There are also certain very advanced, precarious movements in this technique that he WILL NOT use..one that comes to mind is this odd (hard to describe) lateral backbend type flip...where one goes from standing to laying down and has bent way back..its quite amazing to watch..but only safe for certain body types..especially suited for compact small bodies like Bella's (who HOrton built his technique on)...so while I may do some grand plies in modern class, in the center, I have never felt that I was doing anything that caused me pain (perhaps because they are turned in, second position plies?)..as I have in ballet..I have now followed Basheva's advice and decided to replace my grand plies in ballet w/ something else..I began to hear my knees snap or crack in a way I'd never heard before and it was only occuring during the grand plies so I thought it was silly to execute grands in 1rst & 5th...


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 Post subject: Re: Pliés and the Knees......
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2001 8:41 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 93
Location: new york city
misa,<BR>i am mighty curious. for me, turned in plies in 2nd are infinitely harder to keep aligned than turned out ones -- it feels like the leg starts at an angle that isn't very conducive to tracking properly. i assume you still track knees over feet, but it seems like if the leg is like /\ out of the foot, kind of (allow for the tragedy of the art), the alignment wouldn't be there.<P>i've asked my teachers and i've never quite gotten an answer. any thoughts?<P>curious, now, and avoiding that final paper (brain...melting...from...finals...),<BR>--ari


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 Post subject: Re: Pliés and the Knees......
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2001 8:53 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 27, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 921
Location: US
Hmm.. Ari, Interesting question/thoughts...I suppose I've been lucky because this movement is not difficult for me..aughh for once I must have done something right! as far as alighment goes that is Image LOL I'm not really an expert though because in my classes the grand plies have not always been an integral part of class..not used EVERY time like in ballet. I only had one teacher last semester 2 x a week who liked to use them..of course the turned out grand in second is the best as far as lack of pressure but I also think that you are working so hard in the center, parallel grand that there is really no room for sitting as there is at the ballet barre. You are much more aware of using the muscles in this movement when it is executed in the center and you don't have anything to hang on to..it doesn't leave the time to relax and sag or drop your bottom or pause.. Image you get down there in a controlled way and then you are ready to come back up! Image Sorry I know this answer isn't exactly what you're looking for but this has been my experience and again..I'm not an expert..although I run my mouth a lot! Image<P>------------------<BR><BR>"If it's self expression you are looking for the place for you is the analyst's couch" - Merce Cunningham


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 Post subject: Re: Pliés and the Knees......
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2001 6:33 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
Misa - in my experience, the snapping and cracking sounds in the knees - is not a good thing. <P>What I do in ballet class - if the teacher is giving grand pliés in any position except second, I do two demi pliés, it fills in the music. Stretches my Achilles tendon, calves, etc., without stressing anything.<P>Last week I took a class and the teacher said: "please be careful, this is not good for your knees" and then she gave grand pliés in all the positions!! Well, if she <B>knows</B> its not good for the knees why give them? I don't understand teachers like that...I really don't.<P>For me personally, it didn't matter - I did two demis instead.


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 Post subject: Re: Pliés and the Knees......
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2001 1:58 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 27, 2000 12:01 am
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Location: US
I am going to take your advice Basheva! I am not paying to have someone give me combinations that damage my knees. Besides it seems to me that I will feel just as warmed up!<P>------------------<BR><BR>"If it's self expression you are looking for the place for you is the analyst's couch" - Merce Cunningham


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 Post subject: Re: Pliés and the Knees......
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2001 2:44 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2001 11:01 pm
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Location: El Granada, CA, USA
OK. This may be an entirely new thread, but grand plie wreaks havok on my HIPS. My knees are fine. Any others have this problem?


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 Post subject: Re: Pliés and the Knees......
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2001 3:16 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
LMCTech - I can understand that might very well happen. Same advice applies - only do demi-pliés. If grand plié is affecting your hips in second position, then only go as far as you feel safe/comfortable with.<P>And, yes, Misa - I feel just as warmed up with demi-pliés. As I believe I said elsewhere I haven't done grand plié, except in second position since about 1979 or so. I have gone to ballet class all these years, warmed up for performance all these years with demis - and never felt like I was missing anything. <P>The hardest thing I found, was in dealing with the teachers. But, sorry, I don't kill my knees to please a teacher.<p>[This message has been edited by Basheva (edited May 31, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Pliés and the Knees......
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2001 4:05 pm 
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Location: US
YEs, that is my only concern...explaining the situation..this month or next I'm going to begin classes again (some of you have heard me mention my time off from dance due to surgery) & I will be working with an entirely new studio & teacher. I'm worried about approaching a teacher I've never met to explain that I would prefer to substitue 2 demis in place of a grand plie. Of course, it is my opinion that if the teacher is a safe, consciencitious teaacher he/she will appreciate my safety/health concerns & respect my opinion/decision. Just out of curiosity, Basheva, do you have any concise statement you make to the teacher or do you just implement the change in class & not discuss it beforehand? <P>------------------<BR><BR>"If it's self expression you are looking for the place for you is the analyst's couch" - Merce Cunningham


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 Post subject: Re: Pliés and the Knees......
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2001 4:11 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 1689
Location: USA
Misa_Danseuse, I have had 2 knee surgeries. What I said to a teacher was simply, "I've had knee surgery, and my doctor recommends that I don't do grande plie." That should do it. In my opinion, Basheva is very articulate, and she probably has something really appropriate to say, also. I await with bated breath.....and cinnamon breath mints....


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