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 Post subject: Re: Port de Bras - where the beauty begins......
PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2001 2:04 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
I came to ballet via modern dance and i find that the way I look at ballet is different from my ballet fan friends. I tend to look at the upper body much more and sometimes have to force myself to look at the feet.<P>In a company like RB the emphasis is mainly on the lower body these days. Thus the supple Tamara Rojo is a real bonus.


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 Post subject: Re: Port de Bras - where the beauty begins......
PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2001 2:52 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 498
Location: neworleans, louisiana
I think you two are counterparts for two reasons:<P>You both rely on, and make good use of, imagery.<P>And -- you both seem really interested in examining movement and the impetus for it. <P>In the last few days, I've had opportunity, as you know, to step back, and think about class (while not actually being in it). It is odd that I am now recalling -- or pulling from the back burner, so to speak -- thoughts that I must have suppressed for a time. <P>One of those thoughts had to do with how -- particularly in evening class, where the students didn't seem nearly as intent as those in morning class -- the class would be divided into two groups for all center work, and the second group always applauded the first group. But it was not necessarily vice versa. Sometimes I just could not bring myself to even watch certain people any more. The ones I'm talking about are the people who spring up naturally on pointe and wax on and on about how much they luuuuuuuv ballet, but who contort their mouths into goofy expressions, let their chests and backs drop, and fling their arms around as if they have no relation to the rest of their bodies. These are the ones who really need to do what people like you discipline yourselves to do: reflect on the movement, the what, how, why, etc. <P>I'm amazed at the people who tell me that they're "passionate" about dance and the music and the choreography, etc., and I think, "But you move with no energy, your face has a perpetually worried expression, and you remember precious little from one day to the next." <P>Remember that thread where lots of people spoke quite a bit about the down side of teaching children? I think the very UP side of teaching children, even the older ones, is their retention. Adults so often quit testing themselves and pushing themselves. I don't think we should go home from class focusing on what we didn't do well or right -- but I do think we need to focus on what we need to work on, and to do that, we need to know HOW. <P>Oh Lord, don't actually make me THINK about the movement. I just want to FEEL it, yadayadayadayada ........... puhleeeeze.<P>


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 Post subject: Re: Port de Bras - where the beauty begins......
PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2001 5:02 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
Stuart - It has been my experience that when the arms don't speak - I don't even care about the feet. At one point I needed surgery on my shoulder for a bone spur, it almost inhibited my movement completely. I said to the surgeon "please give me my voice back"......he smiled - and he did.<P>In flamenco, you hear the feet, but it is the arms that capture.<P>Christina - what a lovely thing to say, truly. Perhaps -that is what happens when one comes late to the ballet, as an adult, and the work for what you want is so hard, there is a need to analyze, to investigate where things come from, before you can decide where they are to go. <P>I do know that I really don't care for exercise (ok I do like riding my bike - but only because it is around the lake and I can look at the birds), but the ballet has never been exercise for me. That was an unlooked for plus. <P>When I see a dance picture, I don't see the height of the arabesque - I see its shape, the spirals and triangles. When I was teaching I tried to get my students (adults and children) to see those shapes. We would take pictures of great dancers and trace out those shapes. Then we would go as a group to a performance and watch those shapes take life. <P>I also found that those students of mine who had to work the hardest, those with stubborn bodies, often progressed the furthest. They couldn't just wave their legs around, they had almost no choice but to pay attention to the underpinning, so they could harness the discipline, that gave them the freedom to dance.<P>What do you think - has that been your experience too?


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 Post subject: Re: Port de Bras - where the beauty begins......
PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2001 2:06 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 53
The use of the hands is sometimes not given enough importance in ballet.The study of some south Asian dance forms like odissi and bharata natyam is interesting in the use of hands .Teaching young children to use their hands as well as simple port de bras, arm movements, stays with them when they become more advanced.


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 Post subject: Re: Port de Bras - where the beauty begins......
PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2001 6:32 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
Good to see you again Gavin. <P> Most of the dance forms I can think of, except one, use the hands even more extensively than the lower portion of the body. <P>The only one I can think of that does not use the arms (and I could be very wrong here) is Irish dancing. I was told that was because of the history behind it, not wanting to be seen dancing from a distance because dance was against the law. I could be wrong about that, too, I don't know how accurate my source was.<P>Can anyone think of a great dancer - or at least a well known one - who had poor arms? I can't but conversely I can think of several who were not physical virtuosos, but captivated an audience through their port de bras. <P><p>[This message has been edited by Basheva (edited January 27, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Port de Bras - where the beauty begins......
PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2001 9:15 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 498
Location: neworleans, louisiana
And if you really want to see a lesson in the incredible skill and strength displayed in port de bras, how about Sankai Juku?


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 Post subject: Re: Port de Bras - where the beauty begins......
PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2001 12:34 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 774
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
That last post of Christina's is up four times.<P>Sankai Juku is a butoh group, right?


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 Post subject: Re: Port de Bras - where the beauty begins......
PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2001 1:04 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 498
Location: neworleans, louisiana
Yes, Priscilla, on both counts. Is it something I am doing??? No one ever accused me of duplicity in the past ...


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 Post subject: Re: Port de Bras - where the beauty begins......
PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2001 2:20 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
That was more like quad-ricity, Christina LOL. Well, I took the liberty of deleting the extra posts. <P>Are you trying to see your post after you have "submitted" it and when you can't typing it again? If so - you might want to press your refresh button and it will come up. Or are the duplicate posts just coming up automatically?<P>And, while I have your attention, would do me a favor - por favor - there is a folk dance question in the "Other Dance" forum about what a man should wear for such a class - could you take a look at it? I tried to answer it - but you have more expertise in that area than I have. Thanks a bunch!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Port de Bras - where the beauty begins......
PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2001 2:46 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 498
Location: neworleans, louisiana
Re-typing my posts? whaddareyanuts???<P>No Basheva, my posts are simply coming up in duplicate by themselves, and thank mucho for deleting. I do find I have to press the refresh button quite a bit.<P>Thanks for the alert about our folk dancer; I have so advised him.


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 Post subject: Re: Port de Bras - where the beauty begins......
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2001 8:04 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 02, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 1
Location: Manchester, CT USA
Basheva,<BR> You are very inspirational!! My only reply is that I plan to put your advice into action.Thank you for your great posts!


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 Post subject: Re: Port de Bras - where the beauty begins......
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2001 8:28 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
Hello Leslie - first let me say a very warm welcome to the board - it's a pleasure to have you with us.<P>And, thank you very much for your kind words. A teacher couldn't ask for anything more than what you have said.......<p>[This message has been edited by Basheva (edited February 02, 2001).]


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