Thursday, March 15, 2007

A Peerless Pair

"The peerless pair... Rogers and Astaire." I'll always remember that assignation of cinema's incandescent dancing duo. I could watch them perform "Cheek to Cheek" or "Let's Face the Music and Dance" and never get tired or fail to get caught up in their magic.

So why am I bringing this up? Well because at this point in SONNETS, we have some back up partnering that occurs. Out of the almost prayer-like preceeding dance, a female dancer (Trudy Cunningham) jets out to perform a solo.

Trudy is a clean, crisp dancer and does a lovely job with her bouncy, jumpy allegro solo. At the halfway point, she is joined by Kristy Cirillo (our Alice in Alice in Wonderland), who performs the identical steps. one faces front and one faces back.

But while both dancers acquit themselves admirably, I am going to discuss what is going on behind them. Behind, we have first 2... then 4 couples who perform a minuet-ish dance. What is memorable about this, is that one of the couples is made up of the tallest girl in the company with the shortest guy. Because of the primary solo going on in front, this is not so evident. The partnering is not particularly difficult, but there are considerations involved in partnering.

It is usually not a matter of strength, it really has more to do with height. Some partnering techniques require a guy to assist a girl in turning by being a balance point over her head. This simply cannot be done if the size difference is too large. The man ends up being unable to control the turn. Likewise, if he is assisting her balance by holding her waist, this is much easier to do if you can look over the girl to see the relationship of her hips to her supporting foot from above. If her waist is at your eye level, you can get her over her leg but little else.

In this case, I put Ari and Christine together because I knew that the partnering was not going to be that dependant on size. And I wanted to keep rotating the guys and the girls they partnered throughout. I didn't want the audience to get too comfortable with the idea of "Oh, that is a COUPLE for the rest of the ballet."

Which brings us to our next section.

Bring on the dancing... MEN!



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