Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited


717 Excellent

1 Follower

About Michelle_Richer

  • Birthday March 26

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location:
    Spalding, South Lincolnshire, England
  • Interests
    Social Dancing and Ballet

Recent Profile Visitors

4,661 profile views
  1. Thank you for the info, most interesting, however I would have thought that you would have known I don’t do “safely” and seek sanctuary in my comfort zone, I do challenging to push my boundaries. Pointework for me isn't something I would like to do, as I can dance solos well enough without. Pointework for me is an essential tool I need for dancing PDD’s, it not the same on flat especially for promenades or partner assisted pirouettes. I also intend to dance through the Cecchetti Advanced 2 pointe work exercises as part of the syllabus too. I think the photo illustrates my attitude and culture I follow. As for word Eleve, what distinguishes it for being a formal ballet term and not something that evolving from slang. This is from an article in the Pointe Magazine November 2018: "My biggest pet peeve is the use of the term élevé to describe a relevé without the use of the demi-plié. When I asked a former dancer from the Paris Opéra Ballet about this term, she looked at me with the most curious tilt of the head and asked, “How does élever pertain to ballet? I élève my glass for a toast, I can élève chickens,” which translates as “I raise my glass,” or I can “breed chickens,” “but there is no élevé movement in ballet.” The translation for élever is “to raise, bring up, breed or rear.” The reflexive verb se relever means “to raise oneself, to get up,” so when you do a relevé with straight knees, that’s just what you say". Even though Gail Grans “TECHNICAL MANUAL AND DICTIONARY OF CLASSICAL BALLET” defines it as “Puple, student. The apprentice dancers at the Paris Opèra are known as les èlève’s” However I have a DVD called THE VIDEO DICTIONARY OF CLASSIC BALLET and has it defined under Pointe work 9.0 as 9.1 eleve / rise, which is as you have described
  2. Why should there be expletives Linda ? While I was on holiday in Scotland I played a long-shot as I had been looking for a particular electric outboard motor for one of my boats from marine suppliers near me without any success. I checked the US website for agents in Scotland and found Ardfern Marine, which is about 30miles south of Oban, and not too far from where we were staying. I rang them, but also they didn’t have the one I wanted in stock, however the proprietor I spoke to thought he may be able to locate one for me, then I said I would need it by Friday as we are leaving for home on the early hours of Saturday morning. Adrian was worried we wouldn't get it in our car with him and all our luggage, especially mine, but with not tutus this year it was fine. I received a phone call from in on Wednesday afternoon that it had arrived at Ardfern, Adrian and I collected it on Friday afternoon. It weighs 17Kg so I can remove it from the boat when not in use. Similarly with the large batteries too (4 x 110AH), not sure on their weight, but they are difficult to lift on to my charging station bench, so we are constructing some steps to design that issue out. The weight of the engine approximates the weight of the Spinnaker bar I hold while doing 30 reps of pumping plies in second but on a permanent rise of high demi, good for the inner thighs, note no pointe shoes (yet). While I can I will
  3. My you do have a good memory Peony, however as you can imagine I have since increased my horizon to higher things. While on my break I have repaired a split in our fibre glass facing you in the picture, sadly the company that supplied it has long gone out of business. One thing from ballet that became extremely useful was stepping on to a ladder from the flat roof using turnout, so the extended foot steps along the spell of the ladder, allowing the hand from the same side to hold onto the ladder before transferring the weight off the roof, very stable and very safe. Before ballet it was always a little bit frightening making that first step when I was stepping out on to the arch of my foot.
  4. Hi People I must apologies for my absence from this thread, as I’ve been on Holiday in Scotland with my partner Adrian, Unfortunately we were not able to showcase our rep work there this year, but we did pop in and see Gillian our rep coach and very dear friend. I agree with everyone's comments as to the beautiful technique displayed by Romany Padjak, I think Peony sums it up well in her comment, I guess at the end of the day I'm only splitting hairs. As for the foot position in second, I guess I’ve just been looking at too too many enchappe’s in the Cygnets dance where the steepness of the foot is a little more pronounce, and of course as Anna_C indicates is achieved by “pulling upwards using her legs and core correctly” , personally I like to see the big toe more or less in line with the heel, but that's my personal preference. I love her comment “There is *so*much more to correct pointework than mobility at the front of the ankle”, do feel free my learned friend to enlighten me. Coming back to the original discussion on the thread, jumps without plies in pointe shoes, It seams according to Gail Grant’s “Technical Manual and Dictionary of Classical Ballet”, that a Plie is not mentioned under Relevé, other than for the Cecchetti method, which also applies to the Russian method. However I came across the term “Elevé”, which seams to better describe our pointe work movement to launch the metatarsal strengthening jump, although our teacher does use the word relevé although she clearly demonstrates it without a plie. I guess Elevé is a slang term which is gathering momentum and may evolve into a proper description of this rising movement. For the moment I'm basically taking a break from Ballet other than my pointe work, as we have a lots of house catch up renovation work to do. However we will resume things in the last week of September when I start my new schedule, hopefully it will include another two pointe classes a week, one will replace my rep as we are virtually up to date for this year, also with the same teacher, we will restart rep again in January with pieces from La Bayadere for 2022.
  5. I find Anna C releve video quite interesting, particularly when the dancer is on pointe in 2nd position, it seams as if she has limited mobility in the Tibia -Talus joint and has taken that up by increasing the range (bend ) in the toes metatarsals, even on releve 5th I do detect slight curling (scrunching) inward of the toes. Although her movements are gorgeously beautifully with little or no effort, I have noticed with other dancers there is considerable more movement above the ankle on the Tibia – Talus joint, so consequently I've been focusing on increasing that mobility.
  6. Hi Peony You have it absolutely right, I’m not jumping on to pointe, even though my teachers instruction were jump pointe close. Its simply a high speed rise with strait legs through demi and through full pointe into the air, then descending through full pointe and demi etc. resisting to some extent on the way down, providing a similar braking action via the metatarsal and ankle as to what you are normally used to with the legs going through a plie, even that if its done properly, you will still articulate some of the weight through the feet. Obviously using with strait legs the ankle and metatarsals need to be very much stronger to articulate braking force through them. That's why we have spent weeks and weeks going through rises at different speeds to produce sustained and controlled ascent as well as a resisting decent so we don’t incur injury on landing, I have also mentioned as part of this, its not just up and down, we have spent a lot of time going between full pointe and 80% pointe, and alternating between the two. As if that's not hard enough for us to alternate between these two levels, we also have to repeat the exercise in second position and also on one leg. When you think you have just about cracked it in most positions, the teacher insists you cross your hands holding the barre so you make more use of the power in your feet. Its tough but its very much about building strength, rather than looking pretty. The jump on strait legs in all 3 positions is just a natural progression, hope that makes it clear to everyone.
  7. Wow and I thought I was the beginner here. What a lot of disbelief, when is a jump not a jump?, a hop perhaps as suggested by Peony. For me a hop suggests on one leg, not two. We are strongly and immediately corrected by our teacher if our legs / feet are not symmetrical on either the accent, decent or in the air, that is true of of any movement. Although this is a beginner pointe course, its been running now for almost a year, we started on day one with pointe shoes on. The jump is a natural progression from rises on strait legs for strength building. We have spent weeks, and weeks with various rises slowly up onto full pointe, down to 80% pointe (on the edge of the block) and back again in all position. Basically everything we do is based on building strength. The fast rise off the ground is a natural progression providing you have developed the strength to do so, and both feet are clear off the ground, I can still hear my teachers commands Jump, pointe, close and Linn is quite correct when you descend you do go through demi-pointe, in fact you resist to some extent all the way down, but maintaining those strait legs. Cumming back to bangorballetboy assumption that we were using the barre, that's quite correct, but our teacher discourages relying on the arms, by insisting we cross our arms over, it makes it much harder. We now do all our pointework exercises with the arms crossed. The jumping exercise I have described we have only been doing for the last couple of weeks.
  8. Firstly in the jump I described you are airborne by an inch or 2, there is no plie on either the ascent or the decent, this is purely to increase the ankle and metatarsal strength, in our exercises we do for this in first position, second position which is a little harder and on one leg with the other at cou-de-pied which is really tough, first position can be done with a towel clenched between your thighs. Linn: As for the changement on pointe, that was probable down to me finishing off the music in one of our exercises by adding in a little conventional changement, I think that inspired our teacher to show us the changement with out coming off pointe during the landing, however it does involve clenching your toes which is normally very much frowned upon
  9. Its probably not quite the correct term as you are launching the jump from flat feet, but just imagine you have a resistance band around your knees, it done purely for strengthening, just imagine it as a high speed rise on to pointe where with the momentum you leave the ground. We also do a lot of rises on to pointe and up and down between full pointe and ¾ pointe. As for jumping on pointe, we most certainly have done changements on full pointe (no flat feet at all), but of course the knees do bend in that instance.
  10. Hi Esme I see my physio last Thursday and he is familiar with dry needle therapy, but he wouldn't use it to increase mobility as in my case, strangely enough they already have a shock-wave devise on order. I wont see him now until after my holidays at the end of September, but I will still need to keep the pointe strengthen up, jumps without plie’s including single foot, that's hard.
  11. Hi Esme Thank you for that, that's really interesting, I have never come across dry needle work, reading up on it , it looks as if it may have merit and worth checking out. I'm with one of my Physio’s tomorrow, I will certainly ask him about it, he is a senior physio working between a number of clinics. As for the ShockWave, he doesn't do that nor do my other two guys, I also mentioned it to my Chiropractor and I know she doesn't either. However I do have a shock wave impact massager device which I haven't used yet, but once my holidays are out of the way, I can take on a more elevated risk running up to the Christmas break. If all else fails I can call on Liz Atha, senior physio within the Northern Ballet Building in Leeds for her advice.
  12. Gosh what a term once group classes restarted, Initially I started to suffer from the effects of overuse that plagues me some years ago. I added in stretch after every class but that took about 3 weeks before I really noticed the benefits. One of the things that has emerged out of the stretching, after each rep session which is quite full on, not only do we do a conventional stretch session for about 10mins but we have also added partner PNF stretching, something I experienced from Sander Blommaerts stretch class that followed our rehearsals at BBT. The rep this year has come together nicely, in fact we added in an extra as a stretch objective of Gulnara’s solo from Pas de Esclave and we are pretty well up to date with it with one week to go. Our solo is loosely based on a combination of ENB, Bolshoi and Mariinsky, however in order to stretch it further mainly as a result of a restriction of the studios diagonal from upstage left corner to down-stage right corner. I have decided to restrict the travel by utilizing ENB’s spectacular travelling turns ending. Normally we would be showcasing our work in Scotland during August, but that isn't possible this year, however we are planning to wrap this years rep and next years for showcasing together next year, so we will need to keep this years rep fresh during next year too. The increased time to showcase our work has also led to another stretch objective, a few years ago I performed the Odalisque PDT as a long solo, it really did take a lot of stamina and I was so worried I would run out of steam before the end or at least I would not be able to do the final curtsy properly, so consequently in the performance I held back and didn’t really do it justice. This time round, not only do I want to dance it full on, but also the three solo in succession with no more than being escorted by Lankendem (My Adrian) to the up-stage left corner to commence the next solo. The motive behind this is really to check my stamina level after the lock-down, as I feel generally when I'm out shopping I’ve lost a lot, but strangely it doesn't appear to be holding me back with ballet or fitness classes. Sunday I said goodbye to my Cecchetti advanced 2 teacher at her retirement party, about 4 weeks ago she broke the news she was retiring, however she has arranged another school to take over her younger students. That school teaches to the ITDA syllabi and I think its unlikely anyone will contact me, although I left my availability with my old teacher. In any case I'm quite happy to continue through the new Cecchetti Syllabus on my own, as quite often my old teacher would select the pieces for me to study on my own then present them to her the following week and then we would go through them together. Pointe work for me seams to have plateaued, whilst I'm still gaining strength, its mobility of my ankle which is letting me down, particularly the Tibia -Talus joint. We have increased the intensity of the PNF stretching of the ankle with my Physio’s, which started off quite light, through the barriers of discomfort to the last session which was intense pain virtually to the maximum limit that I could tolerate, before saying no more. A few week ago I also approached a Chiropractor, the initial meeting was a full body check even though I had documented the ankle mobility issue, she admitted ballet dancers feet wasn't something she was familiar with, she promised to look into it for me from some form of injury / therapy data base. A detailed report with a lot of recommended exercised followed as promised. The exercises were far to gentle to have any real merit, so I rewrote the exercise plan, but it did give me a chance to start to think about things a little more deeply and utilize some of the things from class but in a far more intense way. Essentially warm up the feet with the resistance band, at least 150 reps per foot, then forced prances with a heavy push on the front edge of the pointe shoe using imagery to sense the stretch of the ankle particularly the Tibia – Talus joint, the music track I used gives 48 prances, I run through it twice. The other I use is coming up from a pie onto pointe before rising up with the legs, however I only use the into of the music to get onto pointe, then its 4 counts up and 4 counts down whilst focusing on pushing the ankles out under tension all the way up and all the way down. I'm not sure how many reps are involved but the music I use is a piano version of the Dream Scene from Don Q, its quite long and I take it twice through, its quite tiring. I haven't been using this for long, it it does feel as if it has merit, also my feet fit into a foot stretcher more easily than it did before. I guess now I have just about completed my first year of beginner pointe work. So any words of wisdom to increase ankle mobility would be gratefully appreciated.
  13. One bit of welcome news on my hair dressing saga, went on my weekly appointment on Wednesday, this time it was for wash-n-blowdry and re-bun my hair, whoopee no increase in price, still £18.00 and still below their regular price. This was always done prior for rehearsal, sadly these days I have to make do with my on-line Cecchetti one-to-one class later that evening which after the Easter break was quite challenging this week with the amount my teacher packed into it. Although not strictly rehearsal, Thursdays I now have my one-to-one rep coaching in studio, so my hair is still in good shape for that one too. Another good run through this week, however I do need to modify the rep slightly as we cannot accommodate the space needed to get in 3 grand jete / arabesque combinations in the studio we have mainly due to its shape of the upstage R corner to the downstage L corner which is restricted. Although the opposite diagonal if fine for the particularly lone sequence of travelling turns which I thought we may have a problem with. Even so we have to keep the turns very tight so they don’t travel very much, at least we can accommodated them. Due to the space restrictions for the Grand jete combination, we are now replacing the first with an introduction port de bras, although me and my coach through some ideas together, the actual port de bras is still work-in-progress for next week. Next week we also need to add in the previous weeks rep giving us three and a half minutes of mainly grand allegro, that I will need to build my stamina for and my teacher too. Who said Ballet was easy, not me.
  14. Hi Laetitia I love the idea you have of running a piece of rep over multiple weeks, as you say about a month. If you only intend to run your on-line sessions up to the summer, I’m assuming the beginning of the summer break at the end of July which would give you between 3 and 4 pieces of rep. As for not having to commit every week, in order for those that either missed a week or started halfway through a piece of rep, would they be able to have a recording of the zoom class(s) missed of that piece of rep to allow them to catch up. I like the idea of Starting with Swan Lake and focusing on “Swan arms”, however to carry that forward into a piece of rep with space only sufficient as you say “As long as you have enough space to extend your arms and legs all around, this will be sufficient space” , seams very challenging. I've tended to stay away from on-line tuition for rep, even though I have 30 sq metres of harlequin sprung floor space with the floor marked for camera coverage. For me its just about sufficient with care to cover my Cecchetti Advanced 2 Syllabus centre work, rep for me does need more. I cant help wondering what rep within Swan Lake can be adapted down sufficiently to meet your criteria, the only piece I can think of is possibly Odette’s solo’s from Act 2, as I cant see the usual popular pieces for adult ballet rep like “Entrance of the swans, “Waltz of the Swans” and “Dance of the Cygnets” could be sufficiently restricted in movement to contain them. I guess the length of the music of the opening of Act 4 would be far too long to contemplating using that one anyway. I guess you are a gifted choreographer to squeeze the movements into tiny spaces, I would dearly love to see it. Sadly Thursdays at 10am I’m committed on working on my own rep in-studio with my own coach, ready for presentation in August each year. Never the less I love the sound of your offering and I'm so so curious as to how it can be squeezed. PS can I ask a favor with Swan Lake, if possible, can you include the mime scene from Act 2 just after the Entrance of Odette, as so many ballet companies have dropped it, and I for one would certainly love to keep it alive as an essential part of that ballet, and also the art of expression in using mime before its lost forever. Many thanks and good luck x
  15. I went back through my on-line banking to find the comparable cost just before the first lock-down, it was £55.00, after first lock-down £79.00, now after last lock-down £91.00, its almost doubled in not much more than a year, hence my ouch! Do I begrudge it, no. As it was it did give me a lift for my in-studio rep session in Lincoln. I went through the rep on Tuesday as I thought my Cecchetti class resumed Wednesday this week, but luckily I was wrong, its next week. To be fair, I over did my Tuesday rep practice as I thought I still knew it, and had to relearn quite a lot, the other issue is, it requires a lot of stamina which I know I had lost over the year lock-downs. At the end of Tuesday after spending several hours going through the rep, I was so so stiff and though I would really be in trouble when I came to dance it in Lincoln on Thursday. Surprise surprise, it went incredibly well, both me and my coach danced through the first two thirds several times, as we both had minor issues with connecting steps and orientation between sections of a PDT which I has re-choreographed into one long solo. In fact I even had time to walk through the last third with my coach for next week, needless to say that became her homework for familiarity. We both parted with a real feeling that things had gone really well, for me in particular that I hadn't tired at all which I was dreading. I don’t know if the weather had an effect but the drive to and from Lincoln in the sunshine was incredibly nice and really gave me a buzz. At least for the time being I can say we are on schedule as I have allowed 4 weeks for this piece, mainly because of the stamina required to dance it full on with three and a half minute of mainly grand allegro. I’ve also allocated 2 weeks for each for the 4 solos, but expect to continue to refresh the main piece during this time too. There are three weeks at the end to dance and polish everything for showcasing in Scotland in August. Hair, weather and dance, all was well, what more could I ask, Thursday was a good day.
  • Create New...