WEEK #4: Wednesday

It’s Wednesday again!  And it’s the last day of August!  Try not to panic.  It’s still technically summer until September 23.  In today’s Coffee Break With the Ballet feature, “Then & Now,” we’re all about partnering and lift.

Then & Now

These days dancers lift each other – though we still love watching them fly through the air!

Teddy Walters and Roy Ellis in the vaudeville Adagio The Sea Nymph and the Pearl Diver (1928)

Brennan Boyer in il nodo at OBT (Photo: Blaine Covert)


 OBT Asks Ballet Master Lisa Kipp:

“What is the hardest aspect of partnering?”

FOR MEN: “Strength, obviously.  Gut, brute strength.  And that’s just for starters.  You also need to be sensitive – sensing your partner’s balance and timing – and every woman is different.  Some have talked about the challenges in partnering women with beautiful legs – hyperextended and flexible – sometimes it’s best if you don’t look at what their lower body is doing, and just sense where their balance is.”

FOR WOMEN:  “Sometimes the toughest part of being partnered is just letting go and let them lead.  If you encounter bad partners when you’re first learning, you can develop a habit of trying to do things all by yourself, then if you are partnered by an accomplished partner who wants you to let him handle things, it can be very hard to let go and let him do the work.  Women need to have a very strong core, yet also be able to sense when you are being too rigid.  Being sensitive to musicality and timing is very important; a good female partner can be a huge help when it comes to hard lifts by helping with the preparation.”

FOR EVERYONE: “The really hard part for both is working together, dealing with two strong personalities with strong opinions, and not taking things personally; you’re being very close and intimate with someone [so it’s vital to keep it] professional.  And trusting your body and your performance to your coworker is very challenging.”

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