A significant part of ballet terminology is in the French language, because Ballet became formalized in France, thus, a a major part of of ballet terminology is in French. Pirouette is translated into English as a “whirl”. It is an important part of the ballet training when ballerina makes a controlled turn on one leg, starting with one or both legs and rising on pointe.
On this video the art of pirouette is demonstrated during ballet training by Finis Jhung – one of the legendary American ballet instructors. He began teaching ballet lessons since the beginning of the seventies and trained many dancers of New York City Ballet and American Ballet Theatre, aspiring professional ballerinas and amateur adult beginners.
Pirouettes can be executed with a single or multiple rotations. Ballet instructor Jhung shows in normal and slow motion how the non-supporting leg can be held in retiré position, or in attitude, arabesque level or second position. Then the pirouette returns to the starting position or finishes in arabesque or attitude positions.
Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1975 Paloma Herrera soon became a famous prodigy ballerina in the South America. She began studying ballet when she was 7 years old and won many prestigious ballet competitions on the continent. She continued her ballet training in Belarus and its completion returned back to ballet dancing in Buenos Aires.
As her talent became known worldwide, Paloma was invited to study at the English National Ballet in London. Later she moved to America and was accepted to the corps de ballet of American Ballet Theatre in 1991. When Paloma Herrera was only 18 years old she was promoted there to soloist and in 1995 she became a principal dancer.
Alina Cojocaru was born in Bucharest, Romania in 1981. When Alina was a kid she was studying gymnastics and never saw a live ballet. This all changed when she was sent to Bucharest Ballet School and several months later sent with eight other students to Kiev to participate in student exchange program.
At the age 16 Alina won a gold medal at a prestigious international ballet competition Prix de Lausanne. The medal came with another benefit – a six month scholarship at the Royal Ballet School in London.
After intense ballet training in London Alina Cojocaru made a decision to join the Kiev Ballet as a principal dancer. After one season she returned back to the Royal Ballet in London in 1999, and soon she got promoted there to the principal dancer in 2001.
Since that time she performed in many dramatic roles on stage including her Her famous ballet dancing as Giselle, alongside her partner in life and on stage Johan Kobborg. Her famous performance was recorded in 2006 and aired in England on Boxing Day.
In any ballet studio we observe horizontal bars, approximately wast height, and wooden bars mounted along the walls. They are very important for ballet exercises and for developing dance techniques. In fact, every ballet training class for young and mature ballerinas start with basic barre ballet positions. These warm up exercises are very important for dancers as they relax ballerinas muscles. And this is just one of the benefits that barre work brings.
Typically, barre exercises make up a significant portion of the beginning ballerinas class. Young dancers who have just joined ballet studio may find barre exercises boring at first because they are slow and repetitive. Yet, soon enough, they learn to depend upon them.
Overall, barre exercises are extremely important in all levels of ballet training. They gradually build strength while teaching the body correct placement. Beginning pointe dancers will find them extremely useful too, as their ankles may not be strong enough to support them in the center. Barre work also prepares ballerinas for partnering, with the barre providing support that a partner would offer later, during actual partnering.
I could not pass by excellent video from Czech ballet school. Maybe, the music is out of tune, but young ballerinas vividly demonstrate the importance of barres and ballet stretching. I hope you will enjoy this video too.
Ballet is a highly technical form of dance with its origins in the Italian Renaissance court, where it emerged in the late 15th century as a dance interpretation of fencing. Later ballet was developed into a very complicated dance works with mime, acting and other components that are set to music. Ballet has graceful, flowing and very precise movements with almost ethereal qualities.