Advanced Class: Temps Lie, Turns, and Transitional Steps

None of the above-mentioned things, of course, are specific to advanced ballet studies. Dancers begin to learn all three almost from the beginning.

However, they’re all examples of skills that, as a dancer, you never stop honing.

Today, we touched on all three.

At barre, we used temps lié in several combinations; we came back to it in our adagio at center, then again in our pirouette combination. At barre, we were reminded to really work through the whole of each foot in order to keep our turnout; at center, we were encouraged to make our temps lié bigger (without losing our turnout or letting our cores fall apart).

Curiously, our turns themselves garnered little correction today — really, we just got a note about using a better coupe-piqué into our sus-sous turns. The idea was to make it sharper and cleaner; a clear, unambiguous step rather than a sort of blurry pivot.

We repeated everything up to the pirouette combination, making subtle but transformative changes. My favorite involved one of the really common transitional steps, faillé — Ms. T asked us to really make something of it; to carry our arms and shoulders through along the diagonal and make it beautiful. This is something I’ve been working on, and I feel like I really nailed it down pretty well today.

Not perfectly, but pretty well. Better than it has been so far.

On Wednesday, Mme B noted that I was doing a weird thing with my arms in turns from fourth and sorted them for me — so turns today were also much better than they’ve been for a while.

During petit allegro, I finally got my temps de cuisse sorted again, which is comforting. For a while, I kept stepping on my own foot during the shift between the posé phase and the sisson fermé phase. I suspect that may have been a function of not engaging my lower core, and thus losing my turnout on the back leg.

In case you’re unfamiliar with temps de cuisse, it’s a handy little jump that combines a coupé with a sisson fermé.

I still screwed up the combination a bit, though — I kept forgetting that there was a pas de bourree in there and also a second set of entrechats, so I kept going, “Oh!” and winding up a quarter-beat or so behind. Not the end of the world, but not ideal.

We ended with a simple zig-zag grand allegro, one at a time (with the next dancer starting as the previous one zigged for the first time, since there were a million of us in class today).

It went, simply:


tombé à droit
pas de bourrée
glissade
saut de chat
tombé à gauche
pas de bourrée
glissade
saut de chat

…twice, for a total for four diagonal passes.

Not difficult in terms of steps, but very exposed and timing-critical.

I think my tombés were probably terrible, but it’s also the first time since I received clearance to dance that I’ve done grand allegro (okay, except in Essentials, which almost doesn’t count).

On the other hand, my sautes de chat were pretty decent.

Anyway, I must go do a bunch of cleaning and make a portable dinner for tonight. We’re going to have a picnic with B and N and then go watch U of L’s spring dance gala.

That’s it for now.

À bientôt, mes amis!

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About asher

Me in a nutshell: Standard uptight ballet boy. Trapeze junkie. Half-baked choreographer. Budding researcher. Transit cyclist. Terrible homemaker. Getting along pretty well with bipolar disorder. Fabulous. Married to a very patient man. Bachelor of Science in Psychology (2015). Proto-foodie, but lazy about it. Cat owner ... or, should I say, cat own-ee? ... dog lover. Equestrian.

Posted on 2016/05/21, in balllet, class notes and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Modern monday mixed message!

    in adage: “YES, yorksranter! That’s great! That’s technique!”

    a while later, towards the end of across-the-floor, I ask for a detail on a turn:

    “well, your turns *have* been appalling today…”

    we’ve extended one of the variations I mentioned here (the one that injured me) to incorporate more material after the hitch kick and close 5th that finishes it; now, from there, we take four steps and do a big plié down, in open 4th with arms in 3rd, extending the left leg. Then shift weight onto the left, rise up, extend right (well, developpé really) with arms in first. open out to the right in passé, arms 4th, rise, and rdj en l’air to an arabesque, dropping the arms down. Hop back into suspension on demi pointe. Relax that, extend left and windmill over to touch the floor with the right. Come back up in passé, pivot back around to the right (en dehors), and touch down with both hands like you were about to do a box split. Sprint off.

    and we fucking DID this and it happened. apparently there’s video.

    • OMG, seriously. Mixed messages, indeed! Most confusing…

      In other news, that combination sounds awesome! Like, seriously, I would enjoy the hell out of watching it.

      I have no such awesomeness to report, though we did a thing today with Graham contractions followed immediately by Hawkins contractions … I think all of our cores were thoroughly confused by the end of the first run, but we got it sorted in the end.

      • I don’t know about the video, but the boss just posted photos of our class and they’re not actually terrible:

        (That was the same adage as the “That’s technique!” moment.)

  2. hold on, what happened to the link?

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