Technical Notes: Biiiiig Bada Beats

Tonight JMH gave us a really useful note about beats, especially the ones that don’t change the legs:

Beat on the way up, not on the way down.

This reminded me instantly of the weird sissone-thing at the beginning of Albrecht’s variation, in which you essentially launch as if you’re going to soubresaut yourself into orbit, then open in mid-air (I’ll see if I can find video of this in the morning; there are other versions that use a sissone failli or something battu or whatevs—men’s variations are really, erm, variable).

Anyway, running the combination, this made all the beats (which were legion) feel so, so much better*.

*When I was doing the right combination, anyway. We did one that went, echappé 4th, jump – beat; echappé 2nd jump – beat, and so on all the way round, and I kept reverting to a combination BW gave us this summer that went echappé 4th, jump – beat – 2nd; jump – beat – 4th; etc all the way round, which was both wrong and harder than what we were supposed to do. I also “opted” to put fecking extra entrechats and royales into an exercise designed to leave room to rest.

WTF, brain?

Regardless, this will also help with cabrioles—you want to beat the bottom leg against the top and throw the top leg higher, which is easier if you’re beating on the way up in the the first place. Also helps prevented bad landings.

In other news, I hate royales, and today we were required to do them A LOT, and I eventually found myself doing what one might call “velociroyales,” with my arms in full-on Jurassic Park mode.

To my defense, I was having a rough time in the breathing department, and pretty much had a choice between using my arms and using my legs—so what begin as a acceptable first position collapsed into despair.

And this is what happens when your asthma acts up during class, but you hit that inhaler and keep going anyway. Specifically, you get through class, but sometimes you look really dumb for entire combinations at a time.

I also ruined my really nice grand allegro by making Effort Face the whole time 😛 In my case, this seems to involve leaving my mouth open, then tucking my lips behind my teeth. In case you’re wondering, it looks exactly as balletic as it sounds >—<

I didn’t do going left (that I know of…), but only the entrelacé and the last leap (I chose pas de chat Italien going left, of course; on the right, I threw a beautiful, lofty regular pas de chat with my face like this: :||) were anything to write home about on that run.

The combination in question, by the way way, went:

sauté arabesque, failli, assemblé, sissone failli, assemblé, sissone failli, assemblé

piqué arabesque, chassé, jeté entrelacé, tombé, pas de bourré, glissade, leap of your choice

…So not hard at all, but lovely, unless you ruin it by making Broken Robot Face.

About asher

Me in a nutshell: Standard uptight ballet boy. Trapeze junkie. Half-baked choreographer. Budding researcher. Transit cyclist. Terrible homemaker. Neuro-atypical. 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 2018/01/09, in balllet, class notes, technical notes and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Anne Cecilia

    You are hilarious! I am sure with your robot face is still way better than my chasse, pas de bourre, glissade, grand jete … what went here, cant remember,,, oh assemble, oh 2 steps.. and what that 1 leg up and land on that leg, body turn backwards.. oh, It was something new yesterday and i can’t catch the word,,, i don’t know french… beats were.. what? LOL!

    • Thanks! And that reminds me of one of my favorites: tombé-pas de bourée-glissade-something else?-um sissone? – or that thing? what the heck? run away!
      BG always cracks me up when my brain (or anyone else’s) fries on a combo like that—he does this thing where he peeks out between his fingers and says, “I’m not watching! I didn’t see that!”
      I love it; it’s his shorthand for, “We both know you got that wrong. No worries! You can fix it on the next side!”

  2. Effort Face is my nemesis! I just suck both my lips in and look reeeeally stupid. xD I even manage to do it when trying to take pictures of myself after class.

    • I’m glad it’s not just me ^-^’ Monday night, we were all in our own silos of suck: I ran the grand allegro with T, who looks disturbingly like Steven McRae (this guy: :P), and apparently I was so busy noticing that I was making Effort Face and he wasn’t that apparently I missed him screwing up half the combination?

      The funny part is that I remember catching sight of our legs in the mirror only once and thinking that my sissone looked good; other than that, all I remember is basically our heads floating through space with my face being stupid XD

      • Oh boy, I can see how that would be distracting! I’m usually so focused on trying to remember the combination, I have only a very vague idea of what other people are doing with their faces – hell, I have no idea what my own face is doing. 😂 But then, someone takes a video and the horrible truth is revealed. 😐

      • Oh, egads, video is the worst Great Revealer of Truth!!! …Which reminds me, I need to dig up my magnetic phone-holder thingy so I can video Rep tonight!

        T has the advantage of being actually a legitimate professional actor, so I assume he has better control of his face than I do. Mine is slowly improving, but apparently not when I need it the most! 😀

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