I could do that.
May 22, 2014 11:39 AM   Subscribe

The Washington Ballet's hardest dance moves - PostTV goes behind the scenes at the Washington Ballet to get six professional dancers to show off the most difficult moves in their repertoire. [via]
posted by Think_Long (12 comments total) 40 users marked this as a favorite
That was some incredibly beautiful dancing and persons doing ridiculously difficult things all shot and edited in a very sensible and watchable way that I could have used about another ten minutes of content from like maybe who are these people and what do they mean when they say 'power' and 'fifth position'.

Wishing for more shouldn't diminish my appreciation of that two minute clip though. Thanks, it was awesome!
posted by carsonb at 12:07 PM on May 22, 2014 [4 favorites]

Spending a year working in a circus, one of the things I learned (and which was confirmed by this video) is that the most difficult moves to execute don't always *look* difficult. In fact, making it look easy is what's so hard! One of the aerialists had a routine that *looked* amazingly difficult and dangerous but which she insisted was simple and unimpressive if you actually knew anything about acrobatics.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 12:12 PM on May 22, 2014

If you are unwilling or unable to watch this, the reason you are looking at the comments is to find this little tidbit out:
Yeah, they've all got banging bodies...it's probably why they can do these things.

But then there's this guy.
posted by hal_c_on at 12:22 PM on May 22, 2014 [5 favorites]

I did ballet for 20 years, from the time I was 2-22. I could do ONE of these things, and when I did it it looked like work. The thing I love about ballet is that the goal is to make it look effortless. I think there's a sort of humility in that; you don't need people to know how freaking hard something is for it to be impressive.
posted by chatongriffes at 12:23 PM on May 22, 2014 [5 favorites]

They're all from the Washington Ballet, which has done profiles of a few of their dancers, including Andile Nlovu and Chong Sun.

Maki Onuki doesn't seem to have a profile, but here's some footage of her in rehearsal for Alice in Wonderland. I think the jump she performs is from one of Kitri's variations in Don Quixote. I couldn't find anything on Corey Landolt, but a tour is a jumping full turn; a double tour is a jump with two turns. Here are the positions of the feet; basically between every jump he does, he both cushions the landing and prepares for the next jump by landing in fifth position and bending his knees without letting his heals come off the ground. I couldn't find much about Francesca Dugarte, but here's her dancing a variation from Le Corsaire, a ballet about pirates! I couldn't find anything about the proper Luis Torres, either, but I would imagine that lift is from their production of Alice in Wonderland from a few years back.
posted by ChuraChura at 12:32 PM on May 22, 2014 [4 favorites]

Awesome. Chong Sun has an attention to detail that is beautiful. Not all male dancers can combine that kind of lift with that kind of toe point.
posted by domino at 12:41 PM on May 22, 2014

In her autobiography, Gelsey Kirkland (probably best known for playing Clara in the Baryshnikov Nutcracker that was a holiday staple on PBS), writes about how learning Kitri's grand jete beat the hell out of her physically -- she describes the bruises she sustained falling out of it rather vividly. If I recall correctly, her motivation for learning it was in large part driven by wanting to show up Baryshnikov, who was (at least in the early years after his defection) disdainful about American ballerinas' technical capabilities.

I do wish they'd shown one full speed clip of the moves, particularly the first two, just to appreciate how quickly everything needs to happen, but this is gorgeous.
posted by EvaDestruction at 1:09 PM on May 22, 2014 [3 favorites]

For a full-speed 540, see former ABT dancer Gennadi Saveliev.
posted by thomas j wise at 1:41 PM on May 22, 2014 [4 favorites]

Oh, this is wonderful, thanks for posting it.
posted by desuetude at 11:19 PM on May 22, 2014

This is great but I wish it was longer. I've taken lots of ballet as a adult and all of these moves will never be possible for me. It's amazing how difficult ballet is. This clip led me to this one, boy's program at ABC; it surprised me how young they are when they start dancing with girls, helping to lift them.
posted by shoesietart at 6:09 AM on May 23, 2014

Lovely. I wish they hadn't cut to the second camera after the 6th double fouetté before she closed with the triple. /minor gripe

I have a hyper-mobile vertebrae, and Don Quixote is/was one of my favorite ballets. One day in my prime ballet youth years, I got a bit overenthusiastic with those grand jetès in variations class.

Kicking yourself in the forehead with a pointe shoe really fucking hurts.
posted by romakimmy at 11:18 AM on May 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

It is an amazing video - my only quibble is that I wish they showed each move twice - once slowed down to show the tricky bit and once at full speed.
posted by winna at 7:04 PM on May 23, 2014

« Older No helmet? No Problem.   |   Puccini didn’t even want that. Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments