Friday, January 18, 2008

A "Classic" Two - Step

The final piece for the couples is accompanied by Sugar Cane (A Classic Two-Step).

This piece features Chelsy and Askar.

It has a little more "bite" than the other two versions. Whie both Chelsy and Askar can be quite romantic when they dance, I wanted to play up a little more of the bravura element of their dancing to contrast with the previous couple dances.

This dance features a lot of assisted jumps on point. Jumping and hopping on point is a crowd pleasing feature of ballet. Seeing a girl bouncing around on the tips of her toes is exciting because... it looks hard... and it looks painful. Well, it is hard and it is painful. But in the case of this piece, the men were basically holding the girls off the floor, so that no weight was coming down on the toes.

So it was rather fun for the girls to "pretend" that they were jumping on point.

Since Chelsy and Askar are also our Sugarplum Fairy and Cavalier in Nutcracker, some of the steps that were put in their dance echo the traditional grand pas de deux from Nutcracker.

As I had mentioned before there is a teeny, tiny shred of a "story" in this piece.

It really is just that the guys are dealing with the girls much as the Poet figure in Les Sylphides dances with the sylphs. They are the visions of an artist. In this case, the guys are standing in for Scott Joplin and the ladies are the classical form. It begins by being elusive (Rachel's pas), then he begins to manipulate it (Abby's pas), and finally he is able to confidently present it (Chelsy's pas.)

I never told the dancers this because I didn't want them to over interpret it.

I also took a cue from Joplin's own subtitle of this piece. A Classic Two - Step. Stress the classic.

Pas de deux (which is the ballet term for a duet) literally means Step for Two.

So we are doing a classical Step for Two to A Classic Two-Step. Nifty.



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