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 Post subject: Re: tendu
PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2001 6:04 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2001 12:01 am
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Location: Washington St.
Dear Basheva, I always read your expounding posts very happily (and gratefully), and then wish I could have you as my teacher. I haven't replied, though, because I really have nothing enlightening to say. I do have lots of questions, but I've been shy... but here, I'll say something:<P>Tendus. This is a thread about tendus. So: They're one of my favorite exercises, and I like how they give me an opportunity to work on really pointing my foot, turning out, pressing into the floor, warming up my toes. I like them, and I'm glad to learn more about them here. And that's my un-enlightening opinion! Image<P>Katheryn<BR>


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 Post subject: Re: tendu
PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2001 7:52 pm 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
Trina - I am getting a very clear picture of what you are saying about the knee bending before the heel of the tendu foot contacts the floor - and, in my opinion, it is an error. It is a mannerism.<P>The general rule is, again in my opinion, and I can think of only one exception, is that:<P>when the heel is off the floor the knee is straight. I am not talking about poses here, like the B + position, but in movement - when the heel is off the ground the knee is straight.<P>The exception that I can think of off hand is when the ballerina is hopping on one foot sur la pointe.<P><BR>Katheryn - it is a pleasure, truly, for me to do and say anything that could be of help. And your opinion is valuable to me and to this board. It's just nice to know someone is reading my typing >>>>>>LOL<P>And, please Katheryn - do ask your questions.........I would love very much to hear them.<P>


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 Post subject: Re: tendu
PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2001 10:19 pm 
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Location: Washington St.
Okay, here goes! I don't get what you mean when you say "flexing the toes going out or coming in" from a tendu. The only thing I can think of is when doing tendus, we sometimes do exercises where we tendu to half-pointe (sort of flexing the toes against the floor), then point the toes all the way, then stop at half-point again, then close. Is this what you mean by flexing? Or is it more that when you've almost closed to fifth, you've over-corrected and your toes have curled up off the floor? <P>And while I'm at it, what is the _exact_ definition of articulation? I have a general sense for it, but sometimes the specific words help me understand better. (It's not in my _Classical Ballet Technique_ book -- I looked.)<P>Thanks! Image


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 Post subject: Re: tendu
PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2001 10:29 pm 
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Location: Washington St.
PS. Speaking of tendus, they are also one of my least favorite exercises, because they let me spend lots of time concentrating on just how un-turned out I am! And how much harder I need to point my feet, pull up out of those hips, suck that stomach in....<P>"I am large. I contain contradictions" -- (a faint approximation of a Whitman quotation, I believe)


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 Post subject: Re: tendu
PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2001 5:16 am 
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Posts: 68
Location: IL, USA
This is to clarify use of the foot according to Balanchine-based teachers/dancers (from Trina's post). It is NOT correct to force the arch and exaggerate the arch going into the plie from tendu. Dancers who do this are indeed missing the concept as we do not ask for the 'free/gesture' foot (I never say 'working' as that implies that leg is somehow doing more than the support leg) to force the arch. Balanchine technique does NOT go through the half point in tendu, the metatarsal arch ALWAYS supports the longitudinal arch and ankle. At faster tempos, the weight is NOT shifted back to both legs upon closing, but is maintained over the support leg while FULLY closing the free leg each time (but this is a very specific detail that is closely linked to the tempo of the music). <P>------------------<BR>It is not knowing the answer that matters, but what question to ask...

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 Post subject: Re: tendu
PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2001 5:47 am 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
Of course, as Cabriole says, in the faster tempo tendu it is not possible to return the weight to both feet, but I believe I was describing very slow tendu.<P>And that is interesting what you say, Cabriole, about not articulating the foot in tendu in the Balanchine method - because it was taught to me by a Balanchine dancer, Jaqueline Hepner - a member for several years of NYCB. But that, of course, does not mean that she learned it there. I found it extremely helpful to me, however, it really increased the flexibility of my feet.<P>Katheryn - articulating the foot means to use each part separately - one after the other. As you are standing in the "home" position, the ankle is naturally flexed. Feel the heel lift as the flex in the ankle is straitghtened out, and then pressing out through the ball of the foot, then into the toes - ending with the toes reaching out. <P>And flexing the toes either going out or going in (which is wrong and a common error)means that some people do indeed allow the toes to curl upward, just as you describe in your post.


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 Post subject: Re: tendu
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2001 12:08 pm 
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Location: Winthrop, Maine
Thank you all for the wonderful answers and insights! I found it most helpful. After reading through everything a couple of times, I believe I have discovered at least one reason I felt I was "missing the point" of the tendu--we go toooooooo fast. In my class, we do 4 tendu to the front, then side, back, side, all at a fairly good clip. Once the excersize is over, tendu's are not revisited or really mentioned again for the rest of the class. I think a slower pace would allow me to really concentrate and feel what was happening. <P>Christina, you mentioned tendu releve, can you describe this for me? I couldn't find it in my Vaganova book. Thank you all again.


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 Post subject: Re: tendu
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2001 12:42 pm 
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Posts: 498
Location: neworleans, louisiana
Elise -- that may be because we've never done these in my Vaganova-based class, nor did we do them, come to think of it, when I was taking class from a former Rambert ballerina, but we did do them quite a bit in Cecchetti class. They are not that difficult to explain, so here goes:<P>You tendu to second, lift the leg just a couple of inches, bring the pointed foot back to the floor and close 5th back. Keep repeating, alternating closing front and back each time. I found they built strength and stamina and forced you to find your placement. You MUST really stay pulled up on your supporting leg and keep your chest well forward.


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 Post subject: Re: tendu
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2001 1:14 pm 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
We always called those tendu degage' (as in disengage from the floor).<P>Elise - tendu should never be just an exercise - and yes, they can be done quite quickly - but only after having done them quite slowly, in my opinion. I don't mean doing them slowly because one is a beginner - I mean doing them slowly at the barre in EVERY class. <P>Tendu can also be done coming back to releve' which is a particular favorite of mine.


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 Post subject: Re: tendu
PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2001 5:07 pm 
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Location: Australia
i am coming late into this thread, and trying to pick up a few thoughts, here and there - i do have trouble understanding some of it, but i think that's because i am skimming for speed! for exxample, the description of what seems to have been agreed to be a fault - i can't picture this, or recognise having seen it - but maybe i haven't! still, that doesn't matter at all...<P>instead, i'd like to pick up on this last exchange about a step i may have never come across - OR it may be that i am reading the words differently.....either way- i'm going to use this 'new' step!<P>what i mean is:-<P>to me, battement dégagé is another term for battement glissé or battement jeté (speaking generally, avoiding making any differentiations between this general class of step) - it is a tendu where the leg goes a bit further/gets lifted (trying for real simplicity, here). are we in agreement so far?<P>there is also 'piqué' or 'pointé' where the extended pointed foot is repeatedly lifted from the floor and replaced, with emphasis on the little lift (only a few centimetres from the floor)...<P>but i have never seen a battement tendu, lift once, replace to floor and close. (except as a vaganova 'analysed battement glissé', of course), i.e. as a training exercise for battement glissé......<P>now, how much agreement do we have here? christina? basheva?<P>as i say, regardless of whether this officially exists or not, in this broken-down form, as a regular exercise, i intend using it, for those students who are not yet at a level for pointé/piqué, but could benefit from that little extra footwork.....<P>thanks!<BR>

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 Post subject: Re: tendu
PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2001 5:23 pm 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
To try to answer Grace's questions:<P>The tendu with the little lift at the full extent of the pointing leg - is in fact a degage' broken down into its component parts. Tendu - lift, lower, close back to teh home position. Done slowly for beginners - or on a very cold morning for the rest of us LOL. <P>Degage' is the same thing as glisse', in my opinion - same thing, different "school".<P>A tendu with a repeatedly lifted foot - touch -lift - touch lift (etc.) is indeed tendu pique' or pointe' - again depending on the "school". I had a little boy in class once describe the movement as making dots. Which I thought was a terrific description.<P>I hope I didn't leave anything out.


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 Post subject: Re: tendu
PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2001 4:43 am 
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Location: Pa, USA
In regard to the tendu pique'/pointe' (or degage pique'--if you rather) we also say to "pretend your foot has a tiny trampoline under it" to accentuate the lightness of the foot touching the floor.<P>With Katheryn's (I think it was her anyway Image) query on the exagerated (sp?) articulation of the foot from tendu avant to fourth position w/ plie--is this really a temps lie she is describing? I know in my early Vaganova classes when taught the temps lies basic exercise our teacher did exagerate the foot coming into fourth complete with a nice pressing forward of the heel. That is just what came to mind from her description--not saying it is correct, just offering another possibility of the movement.<P>One of my favorite exercises to give at the end of a barre (after nicely warmed-up) is this: 1x tendu--1x degage--1x 45 degree battement--1x 90 degree battement; reverse all and end with a demi plie--repeat en croix. I ask students to truly feel the difference between each movement--especially the tendu/degage. I also like exercises focusing just on tendu/degage and the small but important difference between the two.


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 Post subject: Re: tendu
PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2001 6:35 am 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
Jan - now that I reread - it was Trina's question, I believe, - I think you are right!! It does read as temps lie' now that you mention it. And yes, many people do that sort of exaggerated mannerism. It is captivating to watch however, isn't it? <P>I like that exercise you describe - I really do. I used to tell my students to pretend they were touching a hot stove for the tendu piques. Another mannerism that can creep into it is - after completing the "touching" and going on to the next position (like from devant to second) the leg can make an exaggerated arc if one is not careful. There is certainly a lift - but it should not be exaggerated. What do you think?


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 Post subject: Re: tendu
PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2001 11:10 am 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
Bree started another thread and asked this most interesting question - I have taken the liberty to move it here because I thought it was part of this discussion - I hope you all agree.<P>Bree posted:<P><BR> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>I was trained originally in a studio taught by RAD graduates. It was a wonderful experience. We were taught that, when pointing the foot, you initiated the pointe from the top of the foot, extending all the way through from the top of the leg to the tip of the toe. The toe should NEVER be curled!<BR>My new teacher is a Balanchine-based dancer - very knowledgable and very talented...an excellent teacher. However, she encourages us to pointe our foot with toes curled, saying this pushes the pointe to the n'th degree, so it is fully pointed.<P>My question - which is right? She has cited the book Suki Schorer on Balanchine Technique pg.43 to us (the book is sitting next to me as I type)...I always like doing things the "right" way...and I am confused as to which is right!<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><BR><p>[This message has been edited by Basheva (edited February 05, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: tendu
PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2001 11:15 am 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
Now I will try to give you my feeling on your question. <P>It seems to me if you train the foot to point to a curled toe - then it would be trained to do so inside a pointe shoe - and I do not agree with that. I like the concept better - which was stated quite close to the beginning of this thread - of reaching out - rather than curling under.<P>I had several very prominent Balanchine dance teachers (two were principals with NYCB) and I can't ever recall being taught that.<P>And let me once again offer you a warm welcome to this board, Bree - it is a pleasure to have you here.


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