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 Post subject: Re: tendu
PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2001 12:57 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2000 12:01 am
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Location: IL, USA
To further clarify the use of the toes in a 'Balanchine' tendu (or really ANY time there is no weight on the foot): I ask my students to gently PRESS their toes against the pleats of their shoes (soft or pointe). This is not to be construed as knuckling, etc. and there should be no sickling or winging.<P>------------------<BR>It is not knowing the answer that matters, but what question to ask...

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 Post subject: Re: tendu
PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2001 1:56 pm 
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Location: Seattle, WA USA
Hmmm..Cabriole, however you want to describe it, it still seems like "overpointing" to me. Not great when it comes to pointe work, (as Basheva mentioned)or jumping for that matter, becasue the toes are curled BEYOND the vertical line (assuming that one has a very good arch). When you land from a jump, for instance, you run the risk of stubbing toe, landing with toe curled under, etc. I know because I did that a lot when I was younger. Of course, one would hope the toes would land correctly, but "accidents do happen" and things don't always work 100% right. Why invite disaster with the overpointing idea..it might "look" pretty....but.....................?


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 Post subject: Re: tendu
PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2001 4:51 pm 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
In the same context I would wonder about the propensity for stubbing the toe in frappe' - especially in a slipper. <P>There is another question that I have Cabriole - in an earlier post I believe you said, if I understood you correctly, that in Balanchine technique tendu, you never go through the demi-toe to full pointe. Could you tell me how you would get to full pointe then without going through the demi-toe in a SLOW tendu?<P>Or did I misunderstand?


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 Post subject: Re: tendu
PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2001 7:10 am 
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Location: IL, USA
Let me continue to clarify and in turn answer Basheva's question. As I do, let it be understood that other schools DO teach differently and Mr. Balanchine made modifications in training to enable his dancers to dance his ballets. This method of training has proved valuable to other companies however; one has only to note the number of representatives of other companies who flock to the yearly SAB workshops to snatch up the advanced students.<P>It is correct that in tendu we never go through the half point in tendu. The misconception again is that Balanchine barre is only one tempo: fast. Actually tempos worked towards extremes at BOTH ends, but it was the new increased speed that attracted the attention of the 'outside' world. Going through the half point requires dropping the metatarsal, but Mr. Balanchine noted that in fact dancers DO NOT truly go through the half point when jumping or landing in plie. Therefore the focus is on the ankle and the metatarsal and transverse arches ALWAYS support the longitudinal arch.<P>The transfer of weight to the ball of the support leg happens IMMEDIATELY (but SMOOTHLY), not gradually as taught elsewhere. <BR>The weight is maintained on the support leg until the 'free' leg returns to fifth unless the tempo requires it to remain there. Again, the support leg is not allowed to release the body weight in a makeshift fashion, but with control and purpose. The free ankle is never permitted to drop, nor is the heel allowed to slam into fifth. The strength and articulation of the toes gained from this manner of training results in soft landings and the smooth pointework Balanchine trained dancers are known for. This also resulted in the use of softer, more responsive pointe shoes.<P>This approach to tendu follows through the rest of the barre into battement degage and battement frappe; metatarsal NEVER drops and toes strike the floor lightly.<P><P>------------------<BR>It is not knowing the answer that matters, but what question to ask...

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 Post subject: Re: tendu
PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2001 8:02 am 
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I am still trying to visualize doing a slow tendu - moving outward away from the home position (let's say fifth) and as the working leg goes out it does NOT go through half toe? <P>I can picture is coming back that way (though it is not my choice) but I can't picture it going "out" without going through half toe. Not acticulating through the ball of the foot.


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 Post subject: Re: tendu
PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2001 8:19 am 
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That's correct; there is NO flexion through the ball of the foot!<p>[This message has been edited by Cabriole (edited February 06, 2001).]

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 Post subject: Re: tendu
PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2001 10:50 am 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
Well, I have to say this is new to me. I also checked with Debbie - who is a member of this board - I take class from her at the present time. She was trained by Linda Yourth (Balanchine dancer) and she also is unfamiliar with this. <P>But, then the world is full of things of which I have much to learn.


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