Form and/or Function
Ballet has a strong focus on jumps and has accumulated a rich and detailed vocabulary over the centuries. Class traditionally ends with grand allegro; a travelling jumping phrase using the diagonal or roaming in the entire available performance space.
Jumps (leaving the floor in flight) was not part of the movement possibilities for all the dancers in the group. Related movement possibilities we could work on however were: bouncing and rebounding quality, fast shifts and spatial patterns.
Notes on our approach
Other potential to include jumps were already taken up by individual dancers in the waltz phrase. For the dancers with this movement range, jumps could also be added explicitly to the centre temps lié phrase.
Exploration and Setting:
We explored open jump/travel elements: as in a jetté (leap, changing support between take off and landing) and stationary jumps: as in a temps levé (skip or hop, same take off and landing support).
We first explored an open stride. Each dancer took their way of locomoting and gradually increased the time and space use.
Walking is inherently asymmetrical and alternates sides. Wheelchair propulsion tends to be symmetrical in the two handed push. For this exploration Suzie worked on connecting the symmetrical push and the asymmetrical travelled action.
The music was set as a oingoing, rapid current to avoid imposing a specific tempo. Each dancer worked with the movements and their body’s inherent tempo and rhythm.
In a second step each dancer explored travel and moving into an elevated, balance position (temps levé without take off). The dancers then were asked to join Suzie’s actions and timing. Also see Glossary notes on setting.
- From fast locomotion into an open stride (jetté)
- Combining the open stride (jetté) with an elevated balance position (temps levé)
- Add take off to this phrase for the dancers with this possibility
- Let another dancer set the material and pace
- Add more specific instructions for the material
- Explore different facings and directions of travel
- Define and explore other ballet jumps
- Add developed jumping material into centre and travel phrases
- How are aspects of jumping performed by different dancers?
- How would this apply to other jumps or movements?