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THE ART OF ACCOMPANYING CLASSICAL BALLET TECHNIQUE CLASSES

by
Yee Sik Wong

An essay submitted in partial fulfillment


of the requirements for the Doctor of
Musical Arts degree
in the Graduate College of
The University of Iowa
July 2011
Essay Supervisors: Professor Rene Lecuona
Assistant Professor Deanna Carter

Graduate College
The University of Iowa
Iowa City, Iowa

CERTIFICATE OF APPROVAL
_______________________
D.M.A. ESSAY
_______________
This is to certify that the D.M.A. essay of
Yee Sik Wong
has been approved by the Examining Committee
for the essay requirement for the Doctor of Musical Arts
degree at the July 2011 graduation.
Essay Committee: ___________________________________
Rene Lecuona, Essay Supervisor
___________________________________
Deanna Carter, Essay Supervisor
___________________________________
Kate Gfeller
___________________________________
Rachel Joselson
___________________________________
Volkan Orhon

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
I would like to extend my gratitude to Professor Rene Lecuona and Professor
Deanna Carter, supervisors for this essay, for their time, guidance and valuable
suggestions through the process of this project. I am also thankful to my D.M.A. essay
committee members, Professor Kate Gfeller, Professor Rachel Joselson, and Professor
Volkan Orhon, for their time and assistance.
I wish to thank The University of Iowa Youth Ballet and the Department of Dance
at The University of Iowa for exposing me to the field of ballet accompaniment and for
giving me opportunities to be practically involved and to experiment in the field.
My thanks also to Eileen Bartos, whose editorial expertise has made the written
style of this essay more elegant and presentable. Special thanks go to composer Lan-Chee
Lam from the University of Toronto and to Calvin Wong for their generous and timely
help with the editing of my musical selections.
Finally, I want to thank my family for their unconditional support throughout the
course of my doctoral studies. Without their constant help and encouragement, this
project could have never come to fruition.

ii

TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION ...............................................................................................................1
Statement of the Problem..................................................................................1
Objective of this Essay .....................................................................................2
Methodology .....................................................................................................3
Limitations of the Study ...................................................................................4
CHAPTER 1 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE ...............................................................6
CHAPTER 2 APPLYING PRINCIPLES OF MUSIC TO BALLET TECHNIQUE
CLASSES .......................................................................................................16
The Structure of a Ballet Technique Class .....................................................16
The Role of the Ballet Teacher and the Role of the Accompanist .................17
Similarities to and Differences from Instrumental and Vocal
Accompaniment .......................................................................................19
Counting .........................................................................................................23
Tempo .............................................................................................................26
Phrasing ..........................................................................................................26
Musical Introduction .......................................................................................27
Phrase Endings and Cadences ........................................................................30
Switching Sides and Vamp .............................................................................31
CHAPTER 3 RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ESSENTIAL BALLET
MOVEMENTS AND MUSIC ........................................................................33
Combinations at the Barre ..............................................................................35
Plis .........................................................................................................35
Battements Tendus ..................................................................................36
Battements Dgags ................................................................................39
Ronds de Jambe par Terre .......................................................................40
Battements Fondus ..................................................................................42
Envelopps and Ronds de Jambe en lAir ...............................................44
Battements Frapps .................................................................................45
Adage .......................................................................................................47
Petits Battements .....................................................................................48
Balanoire / En Cloche ............................................................................49
Grands Battements...................................................................................49
Stretches ..................................................................................................51
Combinations in the Center ............................................................................52
Tendus in the Center ................................................................................52
Port de Bras and Adage ...........................................................................53
iii

Pirouettes .................................................................................................55
Petit Allegro.............................................................................................59
Medium Allegro ......................................................................................60
Grand Allegro ..........................................................................................62
Big Jumps with Beats ..............................................................................65
Turns en Diagonale (Chans) .................................................................67
Grand Pirouettes ......................................................................................67
Reverence ................................................................................................68
Pointe Class ....................................................................................................69
Slow Prances and Warm-Up ...................................................................70
Pas de Cheval ..........................................................................................70
Relevs and chapps .............................................................................71
Grand Battement Fouett Relev.............................................................73
chapp with Pirouettes from Fifth or Fourth Position...........................73
Piqu and/or Soutenu en Tournant with Pas de Bourre .........................74
Hopping on Pointe ...................................................................................75
Pas Couru and Bourre ............................................................................75
Turning en Mange and Fouetts Ronds de Jambe en Tournant .............77
Piqu Turns and Chans .........................................................................78
CHAPTER 4 ADVANCED TECHNIQUE SPECIFIC TO THE BALLET
ACCOMPANIST ............................................................................................80
Waltz Pattern ..................................................................................................80
Arpeggiation ...................................................................................................81
Alberti Bass ....................................................................................................82
March Pattern..................................................................................................82
Galop Pattern ..................................................................................................84
Melodic Influences .........................................................................................84
Tonality ...........................................................................................................85
Awareness of and Response to the Physical Accents of the Ballet
Movements .....................................................................................................86
Choosing and Modifying Pieces .....................................................................88
Aspects of Pianist Execution ..........................................................................89
Staccato and Legato .................................................................................89
The Use of Dynamics ..............................................................................90
The Ballet Accompanists Touch ............................................................91
The Use of Pedaling ................................................................................92
Interchangeable Music for Different Combinations .......................................96
Changing the Qualities of Music within a Combination ................................96
CHAPTER 5

SUMMARY AND FUTURE ..................................................................99

APPENDIX A MUSICAL SELECTIONS ......................................................................102


Musical Selection 1.......................................................................................102
Musical Selection 2.......................................................................................104
Musical Selection 3.......................................................................................108
Musical Selection 4.......................................................................................110
Musical Selection 5.......................................................................................111
Musical Selection 6.......................................................................................112
Musical Selection 7.......................................................................................113
Musical Selection 8.......................................................................................115
Musical Selection 9.......................................................................................116
iv

Musical Selection 10.....................................................................................118


Musical Selection 11.....................................................................................120
Musical Selection 12.....................................................................................122
Musical Selection 13.....................................................................................123
Musical Selection 14.....................................................................................124
Musical Selection 15.....................................................................................125
Musical Selection 16.....................................................................................126
Musical Selection 17.....................................................................................128
Musical Selection 18.....................................................................................130
Musical Selection 19.....................................................................................132
Musical Selection 20.....................................................................................133
Musical Selection 21.....................................................................................135
Musical Selection 22.....................................................................................136
Musical Selection 23.....................................................................................138
Musical Selection 24.....................................................................................140
Musical Selection 25.....................................................................................142
Musical Selection 26.....................................................................................144
Musical Selection 27.....................................................................................146
Musical Selection 28.....................................................................................148
Musical Selection 29.....................................................................................150
Musical Selection 30.....................................................................................151
Musical Selection 31.....................................................................................152
Musical Selection 32.....................................................................................156
Musical Selection 33.....................................................................................158
Musical Selection 34.....................................................................................160
Musical Selection 35.....................................................................................163
Musical Selection 36.....................................................................................164
Musical Selection 37.....................................................................................166
Musical Selection 38.....................................................................................167
Musical Selection 39.....................................................................................169
Musical Selection 40.....................................................................................170
Musical Selection 41.....................................................................................173
Musical Selection 42.....................................................................................175
Musical Selection 43.....................................................................................179
Musical Selection 44.....................................................................................180
Musical Selection 45.....................................................................................181
Musical Selection 46.....................................................................................183
Musical Selection 47.....................................................................................185
Musical Selection 48.....................................................................................187
Musical Selection 49.....................................................................................191
Musical Selection 50.....................................................................................193
Musical Selection 51.....................................................................................195
Musical Selection 52.....................................................................................196
Musical Selection 53.....................................................................................198
Musical Selection 54.....................................................................................200
Musical Selection 55.....................................................................................202
Musical Selection 56.....................................................................................204
Musical Selection 57.....................................................................................205
Musical Selection 58.....................................................................................207
Musical Selection 59.....................................................................................208
Musical Selection 60.....................................................................................209
Musical Selection 61.....................................................................................211
Musical Selection 62.....................................................................................213
Musical Selection 63.....................................................................................214
v

Musical Selection 64.....................................................................................215


Musical Selection 65.....................................................................................219
Musical Selection 66.....................................................................................221
Musical Selection 67.....................................................................................223
Musical Selection 68.....................................................................................227
Musical Selection 69.....................................................................................228
Musical Selection 70.....................................................................................229
Musical Selection 71.....................................................................................231
Musical Selection 72.....................................................................................233
Musical Selection 73.....................................................................................235
Musical Selection 74.....................................................................................237
Musical Selection 75.....................................................................................239
Musical Selection 76.....................................................................................241
Musical Selection 77.....................................................................................242
Musical Selection 78.....................................................................................244
Musical Selection 79.....................................................................................246
Musical Selection 80.....................................................................................248
Musical Selection 81.....................................................................................249
Musical Selection 82.....................................................................................250
Musical Selection 83.....................................................................................252
Musical Selection 84.....................................................................................253
Musical Selection 85.....................................................................................254
Musical Selection 86.....................................................................................256
Musical Selection 87.....................................................................................258
Musical Selection 88.....................................................................................260
Musical Selection 89.....................................................................................261
Musical Selection 90.....................................................................................262
Musical Selection 91.....................................................................................263
Musical Selection 92.....................................................................................264
Musical Selection 93.....................................................................................265
Musical Selection 94.....................................................................................266
Musical Selection 95.....................................................................................268
Musical Selection 96.....................................................................................270
Musical Selection 97.....................................................................................272
Musical Selection 98.....................................................................................274
Musical Selection 99.....................................................................................276
Musical Selection 100...................................................................................278
Musical Selection 101...................................................................................280
Musical Selection 102...................................................................................282
APPENDIX B ALTERNATIVE MUSICAL SUGGESTIONS ......................................284
BIBLIOGRAPHY ............................................................................................................289

vi

LIST OF TABLES

Table 2-1

How Dancers and Musicians Count in Different Meters. .......................24

vii

LIST OF EXAMPLES

Example 1-1

Knosps presentation of Battement Frapp................................. 8

Example 1-2

Cavallis musical example............................................................... 12

Example 1-3

Unclear introduction........................................................................ 13

Example 2-1

An introduction for a polonaise....................................................... 28

Example 2-2a An introduction for a coda............................................................... 29


Example 2-2b Another introduction for a coda....................................................... 29
Example 2-3a A musical introduction using the harmonic progression I-V-I-V.. 30
Example 2-3b Another musical introduction using the harmonic progression
I-V-I-V............................................................................................ 30
Example 3-1

Sparse texture in J. Strausss operetta Der Zigeunerbaron..............39

Example 3-2

Specific dynamic marking in the excerpt from the ballet Giselle... 40

Example 3-3

Half notequarter note rhythmic pattern...................................... 41

Example 3-4

The rhythm in the melody of Franz Lehrs waltz.......................... 42

Example 3-5

An excerpt from Chopins Waltz Op. 69 No. 1................................ 43

Example 3-6

The rhythms in a tango.................................................................... 44

Example 3-7a The rhythm of four single frapps................................................... 46


Example 3-7b The rhythm of four double frapps.................................................. 46
Example 3-8

The dotted rhythms in the Prokofiev example................................. 50

Example 3-9

The special rhythmic pattern in a polonaise.................................... 53

Example 3-10 The rhythm in the melody of My Fair Lady................................... 56


Example 3-11 The melodic shape of J. Strausss Waltzer Op. 367........................ 57
Example 3-12 The repeated rhythmic pattern in J. Strausss Waltzer Op. 367...... 58
Example 3-13 The rhythmic characteristic in a mazurka....................................... 58

viii

Example 3-14 The melodic characteristics in the excerpt from Nutcracker.......... 62


Example 3-15 The melodic characteristics in the Grande Valse Brillante............. 63
Example 3-16a A driving motif in the La Bayadre example................................. 64
Example 3-16b A driving motif in the Schubert example....................................... 64
Example 3-17 The recurring motif in the melody.................................................. 66
Example 3-18 The rhythmic characteristics in a polka-mazurka............................68
Example 3-19 The melody in the excerpt from the ballet Raymonda.................... 71
Example 3-20a The change in note values within a measure................................... 72
Example 3-20b Another example of changes in note values within a measure........72
Example 3-21

The continuous sixteenth note arpeggio in the left hand.................77

Example 3-22 Relatively longer note-value on the downbeat................................ 75


Example 3-23 The continuous sixteenth note arpeggio in the left hand................. 77
Example 3-24 The characteristics in a coda........................................................... 78
Example 3-25 The melodic characteristics in Mozarts Piano Sonata in
A Major K.331................................................................................. 79
Example 4-1

Waltz Pattern................................................................................... 80

Example 4-2

Arpeggiation.................................................................................... 81

Example 4-3

Alberti Bass..................................................................................... 82

Example 4-4a March pattern............................................................................... 83


Example 4-4b Block-chord accompaniment........................................................... 83
Example 4-5

Galop pattern................................................................................... 84

Example 4-6

An example of accent out............................................................ 87

Example 4-7

Music begins with an upbeat........................................................... 87

Example 4-8

Use of crescendo to propel the dancers into the air......................... 90

Example 4-9a Traditional pedaling in Chopins Grande Valse Brillante............... 93


Example 4-9b

Reverse pedaling in Chopins Grande Valse Brillante............... 93

Example 4-10 Legato pedaling................................................................................94


ix

Example 4-11 Pedaling in Bizets Carmen Habanera........................................... 95


Example 4-12 Pedaling in J. Strausss Walzer Op. 367......................................... 96
Example 4-13a An excerpt from Chopins Waltz Op. 64 No. 1.............................. 97
Example 4-13b Modifying the qualities of the piece............................................... 98

INTRODUCTION

Statement of the Problem


Piano accompanying for classical ballet technique classes1 is a specialized area of
collaborative piano arts. It requires musical understanding and sensitivity, pianistic ability,
knowledge of specific repertoire for classical ballet, as well as communication skills and,
of course, some knowledge of the characteristics of the ballet movements. There are a
significant number of commercial publications and academic research studies pertaining
to the field of ballet accompaniment. Most of them deal with the basic essential elements
of music for dance, for example, rhythm, meter, phrasing, etc., and thus provide useful
information to help pianists begin to accompany ballet technique classes.
However, in my own experience as a ballet accompanist, I have discovered that
almost none of the existing publications or ballet music anthologies includes detailed
instructions to guide pianists in understanding why a particular piece of music is suitable
for a particular exercise. Ideally, ballet accompanists are not simply providing music with
a steady pulse; they are striving to offer music that supports the artistic qualities of the
movements. That is why I devote a substantial portion of my essay to help ballet
accompanists to develop their abilities to relate music to movements.
Also, in my opinion, none of the existing resources places enough emphasis on
the importance of the piano skills needed to accompany ballet technique classes. A
pianist might choose the right piece of music for a particular exercise, but might not use
the best dynamics or articulations to fit the quality of the ballet movement.

1 For ease of reading, I will sometimes use the shorter phrase ballet technique class,
instead of the more cumbersome classical ballet technique class.

Objective of this Essay


The aim of this essay is to further explore the art of ballet accompaniment,
particularly accompanying for ballet technique classes, based on what has been done in
the field of ballet accompaniment. The main focuses are the relationships between music
and ballet movements, and specific piano skills needed for the successful ballet
accompanist.
This essay is intended for classically trained pianists who are currently playing or
are interested in playing for ballet technique classes. The discussion of ballet movements
and accompanying techniques covered in this essay are designated to assist the pianist in
accompanying beginning ballet up to pre-professional levels.
Currently in the United States, The University of Arizona (Tucson) is the only
institution that offers a Master of Music in dance accompaniment program. Furthermore,
I am aware of only one professional dance musician, Miro Magloire, choreographer,
musician, and artist director of the New Chamber Ballet, who offers one-on-one training
and coaching to accompanists. The vast majority of current professional ballet
accompanists learn to play for ballet technique classes on the job.
This essay is also designed to be a resource for ballet teachers to communicate
more effectively with live pianists in class. Ballet teachers today have very few
opportunities to work with live musicians, and most ballet teachers have never taken any
course or training about how to work with accompanists. As a consequence, many of
them have not developed the skills to communicate in artistically meaningful ways with
pianists.

Methodology
This essay begins with a review of the latest publications and research about
ballet accompaniment. I also examine several published ballet music anthologies and
review CDs intended for ballet classes as well as DVDs of recorded ballet master classes.
I then draw upon my own observations about accompanying ballet technique
classes. Since 2007, I have accompanied different levels of ballet technique classes at
The University of Iowa Youth Ballet (former Dance Forum), Interlochen Summer Arts
Camp, Interlochen Dance Institute, and the Department of Dance at the University of
Iowa. Throughout most of 2010, I observed the ballet technique classes taught by ballet
mistress and international choreographer Deanna Carter at the University of Iowa
approximately three times a week. This research was invaluable in my own
understanding of how the execution of a piece impacts the dancers.
Finally, based on my research, I offer a selection of music which I have compiled
and edited for classically trained pianists to use in ballet technique classes. In addition, I
provide detailed explanations to help the pianist understand why a piece is suitable for a
particular movement. In the process of creating my list of musical selections, I recorded
approximately 130 tracks of music. Deanna Carter and I then explored how each
selection works with different ballet movements.
Musical selections in this essay range from classical music to non-classical piano
repertoire, orchestral arrangements, excerpts from famous classical and romantic ballets,
opera excerpts, show tunes, and holiday music. For several reasons I have selected pieces
that are not technically demanding. First, I believe that most professional dance
musicians would agree that they do not have a lot of time to practice the repertoire for
classes. But second, and more importantly, it is desirable that pieces be easy to read and
play so that accompanists do not need to keep their eyes constantly glued to the score.
Instead, they should be able to assimilate and respond to the plethora of information from
the body language and gestures of the ballet teacher. Finally, I have chosen to categorize

musical selections according to different ballet movements, to allow for the clearest
presentation of my ideas as well as to be of the most use to beginning ballet accompanists.
As a ballet accompanist gains knowledge and expertise, he or she will begin to collect
and edit his or her own music.
I have chosen to use the French terms for most ballet movements because French
is the universally accepted language of classical ballet. The use of French was established
at the birth of classical ballet; the language of classical ballet was first systematized in
the Acadmie Royale de Musique et de Danse, founded by Louis XIV in 1661.2

Limitations of the Study


There are different schools of ballet: the French School,3 Bournonville
(Denmark),4 Cecchetti (Italy),5 the Royal Academy of Dance (England),6 Vaganova
(Soviet Russia),7 and Balanchine (American).8 Some schools, such as the Cecchetti and
2 Gretchen W. Warren, Classical Ballet Technique (Tampa: University of South Florida
Press, 1989), 1.
3 The hallmark of the French school is a clean and sophisticated style . . . The training
concentrates on port de bras and epaulement [shouldering] from the earliest stages. First-year
students do their exercises facing the barre and holding it with both hands, sometimes doing
nothing more than moving their heads properly. Eliza G. Minden, The Ballet Companion (New
York: Fireside Books/Simon & Schuster, 2005), 64.
4 The Bournonville method is a ballet technique and training system devised by the
Danish ballet master August Bournonville (1805-1879). It emphasizes brilliant petit and medium
allegros but never in a showy, bravura style . . . Bournonville training includes long, hard
endurance-building exercises that repeat not just left and right but in all orientations. Ibid., 65.
5 Italian ballet master Enrico Cecchetti (18501928) developed a system for training
dancers called the Cecchetti method, based upon a routine set of daily exercises for each day of
the week; it is still used by many teachers today. Warren, 376.
6 See Chapter Two.
7 The Vaganova method is a method of teaching classical ballet that was developed by
Agrippina Vaganova (1879-1951). Vaganova, a distinguished Russian ballerina and a renowned
teacher, created her own instructional systemfusing elements of French, Italian and influences
from other Russian dancers and teachers. This system later became known to the world as the
Vaganova method.

the Royal Academy of Dance, follow their own syllabus and have their own music, so
finding music to play for class is not necessary. Also, each school has different emphases,
and thus every teacher teaches differently depending on his or her own training. In
addition, as dance musician Katherine Teck observes, when it comes to musical styles,
some teachers will wince at ballet repertoire while some adore it; some will welcome pop
and Broadway tunes while others find them inappropriate for class; some prefer on-thespot improvisation in a jazz vein while others want only folk music or excerpts from
classical concert pieces.9 Similarly, every pianist has his or her own style of playing,
and there is not only one way to play for ballet technique classes. However, there are
ways to be an effective ballet accompanist and a true collaborator with the ballet teacher.
There are hundreds of commercial CDs and ballet music anthologies designed
explicitly for ballet technique classes. My decisions about which CDs and anthologies to
examine were based on suggestions and recommendations from my advisors, ballet
teachers with whom I have worked with, and professional dance musicians. I have looked
at many of the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) publications, as I grew up with this
system during my twelve years of ballet training.
I have chosen to limit the scope of this essay to piano accompanying for classical
ballet technique classes, the area of my expertise and passion.

8 In America, teachers generally take ideas from different schools of ballet and use those
that work for them. In the ballet world, American ballet technique is referred to as Balanchine
technique. George Balanchine (1904-1983) was one of the foremost choreographers in the
twentieth century. Born in Russia, he was instrumental in the founding of the New York City
Ballet. His highly influential ballet technique is an extension of nineteenth-century classicism.
Minden, 71.
9 Katherine Teck, Movement to Music (New York: Greenwood Press, 1990), 167.

CHAPTER 1 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE

In this chapter, I provide an overview of some of the research that has been done
in the field of ballet accompaniment.
Only four theses related to piano accompaniment for ballet have been completed
from 1980 to 2003, and no one has published a thesis on this subject for the past five
years. Musical Accompaniment for Ballet Class by Rebecca Gardner (2003)10 is for
beginning accompanists. Gardner, a dancer as well as a pianist, teaches ballet while her
mother plays for her classes. Utilizing the advantage of her own background, Gardner
sets a class, creates some combinations, and selects music for each of her own
combinations.11 Under each ballet movement, she provides a definition of the movement,
presents her combination in words by describing the intended movements in each
measure, and also briefly explains how each musical selection works with each
combination. Moreover, Gardner includes a special section discussing the roles of the
dancer, the teacher, and the pianist. Gardner has many good ideas in her thesis; however,
the music she selects for her own combinations is predominantly popular, and, in my
opinion, the texture is too thin and the rhythmic interest is not high enough in the
arrangements to provide enough support for the dancers.
A Ballet Pianists Handbook by Nancy Elizabeth MacLachlan (1998)12 is an
excellent thesis and covers many aspects of ballet accompaniment in detail. MacLachlan
first describes the characteristics of each type of dance (minuet, bolero, polka, tango, etc.);

10 Rebecca Gardner, Musical Accompaniment for Ballet Class (MA thesis, Hampshire
College, 2003).
11 Her combinations are intended for intermediate dancers (Vaganova method level IV).
12 Nancy E. MacLachlan, A Ballet Pianists Handbook (MA thesis, George Mason
University, 1998).

then she discusses classical ballet movements and provides musical examples for some
movements. She also compares different musical examples for the same exercise.
MacLachlan also provides practical suggestions to the pianists, such as the lengths of
pieces, how to count, how to best organize a portfolio of music, and how to improvise.
While most of the musical examples are very good choices, they are chosen exclusively
from the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD). Some of the RAD musical examples are short,
and the lengths of the introductions are sometimes inconsistent. MacLachlan does not
comment upon or amend these flaws.
A Manual for the Beginning Ballet Accompanist by Suzanne Knosp (1988)13 is
very informative. Knosp surveys all the basic information that a ballet accompanist needs
to know, such as how dancers count and what makes an appropriate beginning and
ending of a piece. She gives a description of the style or character of each ballet exercise,
including any specific required meter. Example 1-1 below is her presentation of the ballet
exercise Battement Frapp (see Example 1-1).
She also talks about how to develop and organize the repertoire for ballet
technique classes. However, Knosp does not include any actual musical selections in her
DMA dissertation.

13 Suzanne Knosp, A Manual for the Beginning Ballet Accompanist (DMA diss., The
University of Iowa, 1988).

8
Example 1-1 Knosps presentation of Battement Frapp.14

In his M.F.A. thesis, A Manual for the Novice Ballet Accompanist at United
States International University, Including Selected Music for a Complete Technique
Class (Barre, Pointe and Center)(1980),15 Joel Jacklich discusses all the basic aspects of
ballet accompaniment, including the class structure and the process of selecting music.
He gives detailed instructions about many facets of the music, such as phrase length,
tempo, meter, and style. He discusses the responsibilities of the accompanist, for example,
what are the pressing matters that need attention during classes, and the importance of
seeing and feeling the movements. His thesis also includes edited musical example based
on his personal experience and observations as a ballet accompanist at United States
International University. While Jacklich covers many aspects that a novice ballet
accompanist should know, in my opinion the discussions are not detailed enough for the
reader to truly understand how to accompany a ballet technique class efficiently and
effectively.
14 Ibid., 36.
15 Joel Jacklich, A Manual for the Novice Ballet Accompanist (MFA thesis, United
States International University, 1980).

In addition to the above theses, several books have been published on the subject
of dance accompaniment. These books generally dedicate a great deal of space to
accompanying for ballet, and sometimes include some information about accompanying
for other kinds of dance, such as modern dance and character dance.16
Movement to Music: Musicians in the Dance Studio by Katherine Teck (1990)17
and Dance with the Music: The World of the Ballet Musician by Elizabeth Sawyer
(1985)18 are similar books that discuss all the practical issues that a dance accompanist
needs to know. Both are very good references for dance musicians, especially the one by
Teck, which more thoroughly covers accompanying for ballet technique classes.
Movement to Music has a very useful appendix for accompanists, including forty-six
ways to vary a motif, common accompaniment patterns, and common forms that are
especially useful for ballet. Both books contain many quotations from famous
international dancers and dance teachers in which they describe what to listen for in the
music and what they expect of a good collaborative musician. Both authors cover the
classroom situation as well as the rehearsal situation; however, neither book includes any
musical examples.
The Ballet Accompanists Handbook by Laurence Galian (1989)19 is a very short
handbook for ballet accompanists and teachers. In addition to all the basic things that are
covered by the above books, Galians handbook has two special sections: one for teachers
on how to communicate with the accompanist; the other for accompanists on how to
make the music less mechanical and more supportive of the dancers movements.
16 In character dance class, dancers learn steps taken from folk dances of different
countries.
17 Katherine Teck, Movement to Music (New York: Greenwood Press, 1990).
18 Elizabeth Sawyer, Dance with the Music (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,
1985).
19 Laurence Galian, The Ballet Accompanists Handbook (New York: L. Galian, 1989).

10

A Handbook for the Ballet Accompanist by Gerald R. Lishka (1979)20 was the
earliest comprehensive book for ballet accompanists among the references that I have
been able to review, aiming to point the pianist in the direction which will enable him to
orient himself in this challenging field.21 Suzanne Knosp includes a long summary of
this handbook in her D.M.A. essay. While there are no actual musical examples in the
handbook, Lishka provides a long list of music suggestions. I agree with Knosp that the
music suggestions are too difficult to sight-read. Also, in my experience, many of the
music selections are not suitable for the indicated exercises.22 Moreover, even though
this handbook discusses all the basic aspects that a ballet accompanist needs to know, as
Knosp mentions, Lishka does not discuss a procedure for determining which piece of
music to choose for an exercise.23 Lishka mentions pointe class briefly but only offers
very general suggestions about the nature of the music appropriate for the
accompaniment of pointe. Nevertheless, it is quite a helpful handbook to help a pianist
get started in the field of ballet accompaniment.
Quite recently two excellent books have been published that I believe every dance
musician and dance teacher should own as references. Dance and Music: A Guide to
Dance Accompaniment for Musicians and Dance Teachers by Harriet Cavalli (2001)24
first appeared in German, under the title Tanz und Musik. It is a comprehensive guide for

20 Gerald R. Lishka, A Handbook for the Ballet Accompanist (Bloomington: Indiana


University Press, 1979).
21 Ibid., ix.
22 For example, in my opinion, the music selected for the slow pirouettes, Schumanns
Promenade from Carnaval, Op. 9, is not optimal for the combination because the rhythmic
pattern of the opening of the Promenade does not provide enough information for the dancers
to execute the pirouettes.
23 Knosp, 11.
24 Harriet Cavalli, Dance and Music: A Guide to Dance Accompaniment for Musicians
and Dance Teachers (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2001).

11

dance accompanists and teachers and is by far the most thorough book on the subject of
dance accompaniment in print. Cavalli, who specializes in the art of music for dancers
and dance teachers internationally, hopes this book will encourage more musicians to
explore the field of dance accompaniment.25 Cavalli discusses classroom etiquette,
dance class structure, how teachers demonstrate, and steps and movements, making this
book a wonderful resource for both beginning or inexperienced accompanists and
professional accompanists. Beginning or inexperienced accompanists can benefit from
her descriptions of the qualities of dance movements and her advice on selecting the
proper music, while professional accompanists can improve their playing by following
her pianistic suggestions, such as articulations and pedaling. Cavalli emphasizes the
necessity of effective communication between dance teachers and their accompanists
throughout the book, with one section of the book devoted to ways in which the dance
teacher can improve communication with the accompanist. There is also a glossary of
dance steps, movements, and positions for accompanists who may be unfamiliar with
dance vocabulary.
Moreover, Cavalli includes close to one hundred musical examples from standard
classical repertoire to rag.26 Although Cavalli does not explain very thoroughly why each
musical example works well for a particular ballet movement, she has edited all the
musical examples. I found that many of her musical examples were technically
challenging, as she makes frequent use of octaves (see Example 1-2);27 I also found
some of the introductions to be somewhat confusing. Nevertheless, this is a very good
resource for both dance teachers and beginning and professional dance accompanists.
25 Ibid., xv.
26 One unusual aspect of Cavallis musical selections is the omission of any music by
Johann Strauss (1825-1899), one of the most prolific composers of music for dance.
27 Cavalli mentions, [i]f necessary, an accompanist can eliminate the octaves
(preferably only in the right hand) until he is farther along technically (Cavalli, 219). However,
it is difficult for an inexperienced pianist to omit octave doublings.

12
Example 1-2 Cavallis musical example.28

A Dance Class Anthology: The Royal Academy of Dance Guide to Ballet Class
Accompaniment29 was published in 2005 by the Royal Academy of Dance, a leading
international dance examination board specializing in classical ballet. It is the only
anthology currently on the market that is solely dedicated to accompanying ballet
technique classes. The approach of this anthology is very similar to the approach I am
taking for this essay. It discusses the basic class structure and general principles of
accompanying ballet technique classes. The musical examples in the anthology are
mainly orchestral reductions for the piano, excerpts from famous ballet repertoire, and
jazz. They are classified according to different ballet exercises. For each piece of music

28 Ibid., 244.
29 Royal Academy of Dance, A Dance Class Anthology (London: Royal Academy of
Dance Enterprises Ltd., 2005).

13

there is a brief explanation of why the music was chosen. This anthology even includes
two musical examples with irregular phrasing to provide an opportunity for the dancers to
experiment with something unusual.30 However, the annotations are not very detailed;
some annotations contain only the background of the piece and do not discuss the musical
characteristics which make it appropriate for the particular ballet movement. In general,
the musical examples are too long for most ballet exercises, and the introductions are
sometimes written in a way that makes it difficult for the dancers to know when to begin.
For example, in Example 1-3 below, the fourth-beat rest in the musical introduction
makes it difficult for the dancers to feel whether the music is in 2 or in 3 (see
Counting in Chapter Two).

Example 1-3 Unclear introduction.31

Taken as a whole, I found this to be a very good resource for the pianist to find a
wealth of similar and related material from which to develop a personalized repertoire32
to play for ballet technique classes. Although the approach of my essay is very similar to
the approach of this anthology, my intention is to build upon what this anthology has
already done, by including aspects of the art of ballet accompaniment that have not been

30 Ibid., 90.
31 Ibid., 51.
32 Ibid., 3.

14

explored in the anthology, such as how pianists can vary the execution of musical phrases
to enhance the dancers experience.
Advanced Principles in Teaching Classical Ballet by John White (2009)33 and
Suki Schorer on Balanchine Technique (1999)34 are books for ballet teachers. Each of
them has a short informative chapter about music for ballet technique classes. There are
some good ideas presented in both books. The authors discuss how dancers hear the
music and how ballet accompanists may provide different kinds of support to the ballet
movements. Unfortunately, the chapters concerning ballet accompaniment are relatively
short.
As you can see from the above overview, some research concerning piano
accompaniment for ballet technique classes has been done. However, this research
contains few detailed explanations of why a particular piece is chosen to support the
qualities and dynamics of the ballet movements.
Numerous collections of music are available for pianists to use in accompanying
ballet technique classes. However, in the vast majority of these collections the musical
selections are introduced by name and sometimes in conjunction with the name of the
intended ballet exercise, but without any information about the choice. I have even found
some of these pieces to be inappropriate for the indicated exercise. The Royal Academy
of Dance (RAD) has published many collections of music that go with their
examinations syllabi, but even their collections do not have explanations about what
makes each piece suitable for a particular ballet movement. My goal in writing this essay
is to help the ballet accompanist achieve a deeper understanding of what kinds of pieces
suit particular ballet movements as well as develop a clearer idea of how to play the

33 John White, Music and Musicality, in Advanced Principles in Teaching Classical


Ballet (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2009), 17:105-10.
34 Suki Schorer, Suki Schorer on Balanchine Technique (New York: A. A. Knopf, 1999).

15

selected music to enhance the qualities and dynamics of each ballet movement. At that
point, a ballet accompanist may skillfully use the many collections of music published for
ballet accompaniment.

16

CHAPTER 2
APPLYING PRINCIPLES OF MUSIC TO
BALLET TECHNIQUE CLASSES

Every accompanist for ballet technique classes needs to be familiar with the
structure of a typical ballet technique class in order to provide music that best supports
the dancers movements. This chapter will also review the basic principles of music for
ballet technique classes. Additionally, I will focus on several areas in which dancers and
musicians have different ways of thinking about music, such as phrase structure and
counting.

The Structure of a Ballet Technique Class


The structure of a ballet technique class is generally the same worldwide, with
every class divided into two parts: barre35 work and center. Barre work involves a series
of standard exercises that helps dancers warm up, as well as prepare and train them for
the steps that they will encounter in the center. At the barre, exercises are executed with
one hand on the barre, acting as a light support for the dancers as they execute the ballet
movements. When a combination is completed, the ballet teacher generally instructs the
dancers to perform the same combination on the other side, at which point the dancers
place the other hand on the barre (see Switching Sides and Vamp later in this chapter).
In the center, the combinations are usually longer and involve dancing that
combines movements that have been practiced at the barre. Beginning-level classes
usually spend more time at the barre. Some schools have pointe36 training included in the
35 Barre means bar.
36 Pointe means point.

17

last part of a ballet technique class, which consists of barre work and combinations en
pointe in the center as well. Ballet expert Gretchen Ward Warren describes pointe class
as the following: [a]t the advanced level, pointe class (usually forty-five minutes to one
hour in length) is an intensive session in which excerpts from female variations from the
classical repertoire are studied and virtuosity en pointe is mastered.37
Dancers do not always have the opportunity to hear the music before they execute
the combinations in class, in particular for the combinations at the barre. In the center,
however, dancers often get to mark the combination with music to see if the physical
and musical elements of the exercise are compatible. When the demonstration is
complete and the class is ready for the combination, the teacher usually signals the
accompanist either with a gesture or by announcing, Preparation or simply And.
Many of the references listed in the bibliography contain a detailed description of
the structure of a ballet technique class. Some references also contain descriptions of
sample classes showing common combinations and their order in class.

The Role of the Ballet Teacher and


the Role of the Accompanist
There are three main ways in which a teacher expresses his or her musical
preference for a combination in ballet technique class. The most widely used method,
according to dance accompaniment specialist Harriet Cavalli, is for the teacher to
demonstrate a combination to her own counts, leaving the choice of the music to the
accompanist.38 Alternatively, some teachers require a specific piece that they have in
mind for a specific combination. Finally, sometimes a teacher suggests a particular ballet

37 Warren, 349.
38 Cavalli, 69.

18

movement, lets the accompanist choose a piece, and, after hearing the music, sets an
appropriate combination of movements based on the core ballet movements.
In order to choose appropriate pieces, the accompanist needs to pay close
attention while the teacher is demonstrating to the class; the teachers voice and gestures
often reflect the qualities and dynamics of the ballet movements. Warren notes: [m]ost
teachers demonstrate exercises using a combination of words and physical movements.
Many also sing, hum, or chant [emulate] the rhythm while they demonstrate.39 Teachers
do not always fully demonstrate the movements of a combination. As Katherine Teck
says, there may be times when a teacher does not demonstrate physically but merely
asks for an exercise verbally.40 The more advanced the level of ballet technique class,
the more an accompanist encounters this kind of challenge. Therefore, it is important for
the accompanist to learn ballet terminology. Ballet terms are often descriptive and can be
inspiring to the accompanist. For example, pas de chat means step of the cat, which
evokes the movement of a cat.
Not only must the ballet accompanist choose music to suit the movements, but he
or she must also make these choices as quickly as possible. Standing and waiting in class
is not good for dancers because their muscles may cool down. Therefore, the ballet
accompanists must learn to choose music fairly quickly, optimally while watching the
teachers demonstration. The accompanist should never make the whole class wait while
he or she searches through piles of music. I agree with Cavalli that [b]y the fourth count
of a demonstration, I almost always have a concrete idea of what I will play; then I
observe further, to see if something else would work better.41

39 Warren, 72.
40 Teck, 173.
41 Cavalli, 89.

19

The ballet accompanist plays a critical role in the ballet class. As Karel Shook,
internationally known ballet master and co-founder of the Dance Theatre of Harlem
School, has said, [t]he musician assisting in the ballet class has equal importance with
the teacher.42 The musicianship of the accompanist is vital to the artistic success of the
dance class, but the accompanist should function in conjunction with the ballet teacher.
Therefore, the ballet accompanist should be open-minded in terms of tempo, dynamics,
and other musical parameters. There are obvious parallels with instrumental and vocal
accompaniment in that the ballet accompanist should not think of himself or herself as a
soloist, but rather as a true partner with the ballet teacher.

Similarities to and Differences from


Instrumental and Vocal Accompaniment
It may be interesting to compare ballet accompaniment with instrumental and
vocal accompaniment. First of all, both ballet accompanists and instrumental and vocal
accompanists have to be aware of the larger art work which is being created. Instrumental
and vocal accompanists, for example, have to know the musical work as a whole, not just
the part that he or she is playing. Many skilled accompanists are even able to sing the
other parts by heart. Likewise, the ballet accompanist must understand and appreciate the
dance movements which he or she is accompanying, and his or her playing should reflect
the qualities and dynamics of the movements.
Also, both ballet accompanists and instrumental and vocal accompanists must be
able to respond instantaneously. When something goes wrong during an instrumental or a
vocal performance, for example if the partner comes in early at entrances, the
accompanist has to adjust quickly. Accompanying ballet technique classes similarly

42 Teck, 9.

20

demands a high level of concentration and awareness. Once the class has begun, the
ballet accompanist must devote his or her attention to the teacher as well as to the dancers,
in order to be able to make necessary requested changes in the tempo or character of the
music. Also, if the music selected is not suitable for the combination, the accompanist
should immediately and graciously switch to another piece. Benjamin Harkarvy, a
renowned American dance teacher, has said of the ballet accompanist: I look for
involvement in the teaching process, the kind of focus that supports the teacher in his
cultivation of the professional attitude that one must always be there, totally committed,
concentrated.43
Moreover, an awareness of breathing and phrasing is essential for all kinds of
accompanists. Skilled vocal and instrumental accompanists breathe with the soloist and
have a sense of where the musical phrases are going. Ballet accompanist Rebecca
Gardner has likewise observed, good accompaniment [for ballet technique class]
incorporates movement and breath into the music; it encourages the dancers to move and
reminds them to breathe.44 Ballet accompanists who incorporate breathing into
accompanying will be in greater harmony with the ballet movements because, in a way,
they are dancing at the keyboard.
Sound projection is as important for the instrumental and vocal accompanist as for
the solo pianist, especially when the piano part has the melody. Likewise, the ballet
accompanist should be able to project sound when it is artistically appropriate: the notes
produced by the fingers cannot be effective if they are aimed into the depths of the piano.
They must, in various ways, project
studio].45
43 Sawyer, 11.
44 Gardner, 9.
45 Sawyer, 203.

go outward in to the surrounding space [the

21

Furthermore, in an ideal world, a successful partnership for all kinds of


accompanists is facilitated by knowing their partners well. In my experience, most
instrumental and vocal accompanist find that having mutual understanding about artistic
matters with the soloist will make everyone feel more comfortable. Likewise, I have
found that mutual artistic respect between the ballet accompanist and the ballet teacher
helps create a positive learning environment for the students. Moreover, by being an
ongoing partner with the teacher, the accompanist may develop a clear understanding of
the goals of the class. For example, it is helpful to know beforehand if the teacher has
ongoing, strong preferences or prejudices concerning the genre of musical style.46
Some teachers like to say just a hair faster when they want to adjust the tempo; it is a
lot easier if the accompanist knows
teacher

from accumulated experiences of working with the

just how much faster the teacher really means.


Despite the similarities between a ballet accompanist and an instrumental or a

vocal accompanist, there are differences. The most obvious is that an instrumental or a
vocal accompanist accompanies other musical lines, whereas the ballet accompanist
accompanies physical movement. In the classroom, the ballet accompanist plays music to
support the characteristics of the dance movements. A ballet accompanist must have the
ability to pay attention not only to the score, but also to the movements of the dancers and
the gestures and instructions of the teacher. A vocal or an instrumental accompanist may
have to look at his partner at entrances or phrase endings, but not nearly as frequently as a
ballet accompanist must watch the dancers and the teacher.
Another important difference between a ballet accompanist and an instrumental or
a vocal accompanist is that a ballet accompanist should not follow the tempo suggestions
marked in the score and should not adjust the tempo according to their partners (in the
case of the ballet accompanist, the dancers); rather, the accompanist should establish and
46 Teck, 168.

22

adjust the tempo only as directed to do so by the teacher. As stated in The Royal Academy
of Dance Guide to Ballet Class Accompaniment, [a]s a general rule, once you have set
the tempo, keep it exactly where it is, even if it appears that the dancer is getting off the
beat: they will be able catch up with you if you stay in tempo, but not if you change the
tempo to accommodate them.47 Instrumental and vocal accompanists, on the other hand,
generally make subtle tempo adjustments throughout a performance, which are often
planned with the soloist in rehearsals.
Another major difference between a ballet accompanist and an instrumental or a
vocal accompanist is that an accompanist for chamber music or song repertoire has to
play every note on the page and follow every performance instruction indicated on the
score. However, as stated in The Royal Academy of Dance Guide to Ballet Class
Accompaniment, breathing and dancing at the keyboard with those that you are playing
for is more important in a class than reproducing every note exactly as printed in the
score.48 Skilled ballet accompanists often modify aspects of the music presented in the
score to suit the qualities and dynamics of the movements. I discuss this in greater detail
in Chapter Four.
In addition, a pianist playing for ballet technique classes must be able to start and
stop upon the teachers requests

unlike the instrumental or vocal accompanist, who

should never stop playing even if his partner makes mistakes or stops during a
performance.
Finally, the ballet accompanist has a responsibility for which there is no parallel
in the fields of instrumental and vocal accompaniment: to constantly search for music
which beautifully suits the characteristics of the dance movements. When the teacher
demonstrates the combination, the accompanist has to immediately analyze the tempo,
47 Royal Academy of Dance, 75.
48 Ibid., 22.

23

the qualities, and the dynamics of the movements in order to find a suitable piece to play
for the class. Furthermore, human beings get tired of hearing the same melodies. This is
why the ballet accompanist should keep broadening his or her repertoire, preparing
enough music to serve for ballet classes day after day, month after month, year after
year.49 For me, the constant search for new repertoire is one of the most enjoyable
facets of being a ballet accompanist; I gain the opportunity to discover how many
different pieces might fit a combination, and in the process learn a greater variety of
repertoire.

Counting
The most important thing for a ballet accompanist to bear in mind is that dancers
and musicians count differently. While musicians do occasionally count the number of
measures in a phrase (for example, if they are studying phrase structure or creating an
awareness of hypermeter50), musicians much more commonly count each beat within a
measure. Dancers, on the other hand, organize their phrases by keeping track of
counts.51 As Teck says, [f]or purposes of phrasing, the musician must also learn to
count the way dancers count.52
Musicians, teachers, and dancers have to remember that all combinations in a
traditional ballet technique class are either set in two beats or three beats, i.e., either in
duple meter or triple meter. Musicians refer to music written in groups of two beats as
49 Sawyer, 10.
50 Hypermeter is a term which refers to a meter at levels above the notated measures, i.e.,
the sense that measures or groups of measures organize in a way in which a measure itself serves
as a beat.
51 The number of counts sometimes corresponds to the number of measures, but
sometimes corresponds to a multiple of the number of measures.
52 Teck, 168.

24

duple meters and groups of three beats as triple meters, while dancers simply refer to a
2 or a 3. As Laurence Galian notes, [t]he [ballet] teacher is not counting measures.
She/he is giving exercise counts from which the pianist can gather the necessary
information as to meter and tempo;53 therefore it is better for the ballet teacher to tell
the accompanist whether he or she wants a 2 or a 3, rather than trying to dictate a
specific time signature. Table 2-1 shows how dancers and musicians count differently in
different meters. When counting out loud, dancers use very specific words; for a duple
they say, ONE and TWO and... and for a triple they say either ONE and a TWO and
a... or ONE - a TWO - a....

Table 2-1 How dancers and musicians count in different meters.


Meter

2 or 3

53 Galian, 8.

25

Occasionally, some teachers might choose irregular meters such as 5/4, 5/8, 7/8,
etc., or polymeters for a combination to provide students with a rhythmic challenge,
preparing them for the time when, as professionals, they will have to dance in ballets with
complex contemporary scores,54 as Warren notes.

54 Warren, 75.

26

Tempo
Achieving the correct tempo of a combination during demonstration is one of the
most important yet most difficult responsibilities for the accompanist. It is essential for
dancers to have the music performed at the right tempo: music that is too fast or too slow
prevents dancers from executing their movements correctly, and may even result in
injuries.
It is not easy for an accompanist to feel the tempo of a combination. Teachers
very often demonstrate or speak faster than the actual tempo that they want; this is
especially true for Adages. It is extremely helpful if the accompanist tries to mark the
combination with his or her own body, or at least with the hands; making physical hand
gestures helps establish an inner pulse. I have also found that while I am observing a
combination, it is useful to try to speak the combination in words, imitating the teachers
vocal inflections and pace. This helps me to establish the tempo of the combination easily
and to ascertain the dynamics of the ballet movements more profoundly. Nevertheless,
once the tempo is chosen, it is essential to pay close attention while accompanying, as the
teacher may ask for a further adjustment of the tempo. Through experience, a ballet
accompanist develops an instinct for the general tempo for each combination.

Phrasing
Traditionally, a ballet phrase has eight counts, which is considered squared. The
length of each combination is not fixed, although it is typically even

grouped in

multiples of eight, i.e., with a total of sixteen, thirty-two, or forty-eight counts, etc. The
most common length for a combination is either four or eight eight-count phrases, a total
of thirty-two or sixty-four counts. Since some teachers make up combinations
extemporaneously, sometimes a combination might end up with an odd number of eight-

27

count phrases. Some teachers also like to add an extra eight-count phrase at the end of
combinations at the barre for the dancers to practice their balance.
Each dance phrase is equivalent to a complete statement or sentence in verbal
language. It is essential to play compatible music with clear phrasing, so as to not confuse
the dancers. The ideal piece of music to use for a ballet technique class should make the
dancers feel they are able to do a particular movement at a certain count naturally, instead
of making dancers guess what counts their movements are supposed to be executed
on.55 Thus, music for ballet technique classes sometimes needs to be adjusted to the
counting and phrasing of the combination.

Musical Introduction
The musical introduction (often referred to by dancers as preparation) is very
important because the dancers gather essential information about the tempo, meter,
rhythm, and style of the music they will be dancing to Many teachers request that the
dancers execute an opening preparation, such as a series of arm movements, a positioning
of the legs, etc., during the musical introduction. The musical introduction also allows the
dancers to physically and mentally prepare for the combination. The introduction has to
be in the same tempo as the music that follows.
Different teachers require different lengths for the introduction. Some teachers
prefer a four-count introduction, while other teachers like an introduction of just two
chords. I agree with famous ballet teachers John White56 and Marjorie Mussman57 that a
four-count introduction is preferable to a two-count introduction. As White says, a two-

55 Cavalli, 48.
56 See note 33 above.
57 Kate Mattingly, Music Counts, Pointe 4 (2003): 81.

28

count introduction does not really give a clue as to what will be the meter, tempo, or
phraseology of the music to follow.58 Harriet Cavalli argues that a four-count
preparation for dancers is by far the most clear.59 Moreover, a four-count introduction
gives the teacher a clearer sense of the music as well: if the teacher wishes to suggest a
change in tempo or even in piece selection, he or she can stop the accompanist before
getting into the body of the piece.
However, there are two musical forms that require a different length of
introduction: the polonaise and the coda. A polonaise is a slow 3 with long phrases; a
four-count introduction would be too long. Instead, a polonaise should have a twomeasure introduction, a total of six counts (Example 2-1).

Example 2-1 An introduction for a polonaise.

In the case of a coda or any fast 2, it is more desirable to have an eight-count


introduction to give the dancers enough time to prepare for the combination (see
Examples 2-2a and b).

58 White, 108.
59 Cavalli, 145.

29
Example 2-2a An introduction for a coda.

Example 2-2b Another introduction for a coda.

There are many ways to create an introduction. The easiest way is to play the last
four dance counts of the piece: the character of the piece can be heard immediately.
However, as Cavalli observes, the piece almost always ends on the tonic, so [an
introduction comprised of the last four counts of a piece] will sound like an ending,
instead of having a preparatory, anticipatory nature.60 Furthermore, sometimes the final
phrase of a piece does not contain a clear presentation of the dance counts. Thus, a
simpler alternative is to create an introduction using the harmonic progression I-V-I-V in
the key of the piece

with the left hand playing the bass of the chord in octaves and the

right hand playing full chords (see Examples 2-3a and b).

60 Ibid., 146.

30
Example 2-3a A musical introduction using the harmonic progression I-V-I-V.

Example 2-3b Another musical introduction using the harmonic progression I-V-I-V.

There are many examples of musical introductions provided in Chapter Four of


Gerald R. Lishkas A Handbook for the Ballet Accompanist. The goal of the musical
introduction is to provide a clear lead-in to the body of the piece, allowing the dancers to
know exactly where beat one of the first dance phrase is, as well as establishing the basic
character of the music.

Phrase Endings and Cadences


While I have observed from personal experience that some ballet teachers do not
care whether the accompanist ends the piece with a cadence or not, I believe that it is
helpful to the dancers if the music conveys a sense of completion at the end of a
combination. If the dancers feel the end of the combination is coming, they are able to

31

mentally prepare for a graceful, controlled finish. Abrupt musical endings make the
dancers [feel as if they] are left hanging in the air.61 Ballet accompanists should pay
close attention to the dancers and more importantly to the teacher when the combination
is approaching the end. I usually try to form a cadence (preferably dominant to tonic) as
soon as I see the dancers finishing the last movement of a combination. Ideally, the ballet
accompanist should try to ascertain the length of the combination when the teacher
demonstrates.
Based upon my numerous hours accompanying ballet technique classes, I
recommend marking and numbering each dance phraseeach group of eight countson
the score. This helps me feel more comfortable and confident, because it helps me be
prepared to end the music at the end of any dance phrase.
Finally, some teachers might request a slight ritard at the end of a combination to
help the dancers experience a sense of completion.

Switching Sides and Vamp


As mentioned earlier, exercises at the barre are executed first on one side of the
body and then on the other. Some teachers like to have a break between the two sides of a
barre combination to give corrections or let the dancers consider possible improvements,
while others like to move straight to the other side of the barre. When the combination is
continued on the other side without a break, the accompanist can use a slight ritard at the
end of the first side so that the dancers do not have to rush to switch to the other side. Of
course, the original tempo has to be resumed immediately after the dancers switch sides.
When the dancers have switched sides, it is also important to start the music from the
beginning again in order not to confuse the dancers about the phrasing of the combination.

61 Lishka, 8.

32

Sometimes teachers require a four-count vamp between the two sides of a barre
combination, or most often, in between groups for the center combinations. If you are
comfortable with improvisation, of course, you can make up something for the four-count
vamp. What I usually do for the requested vamp is to play the introductory harmonic
progression (I-V-I-V) again. If the combination is uneven, for example, with three eightcount phrases, I continue playing half of the last eight-count phrase as the vamp.

33

CHAPTER 3
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ESSENTIAL
BALLET MOVEMENTS AND MUSIC

Knowing how to apply principles of music to ballet technique classes as discussed


in the previous chapter is essential to becoming an effective ballet accompanist; however,
it is not enough. It is equally essential for a ballet accompanist to also know how each
ballet movement looks and to understand the desired qualities of each movement. Many
times, as Harriet Cavalli says, you can eliminate many musical choices simply by
hearing the name of the combination, which can save a lot of time. For example, when a
teacher says, plis, an accompanist knows a coda is never suitable; when a teacher says,
frapps, an accompanist knows a smooth waltz or adagio is never suitable.62
Moreover, as Gerald R. Lishka notes in his handbook, [w]hatever combination the
accompanist is playing for, he [or she] should always attempt to convey and express the
essential quality of the dance movements, whether they reflect the smoothness and grace
of an adagio, or the sharp, accented brilliance of a petit allegro jumping step.63 Alfredo
Corrino, a highly regarded master ballet teacher from Uruguay, adds, [t]he accompanist
must have the sensitivity to relate the quality of the music which he plays to the quality of
the dance steps to be executed.64
As mentioned in the introduction of this essay, there is some variation among the
various ballet schools. Some schools have a fixed syllabus while other schools do not
even have a list of required combinations for a class. Also, because of the existence of

62 Ibid., 100.
63 Lishka, 41.
64 Sawyer, 106.

34

different schools of ballet, there are different names for the same ballet movement. Thus,
this chapter is not intended to be a comprehensive ballet dictionary. Rather, the ballet
movements that I am going to discuss in this chapter are some of the most common
movements found in ballet technique classes. For each movement, I am going to first
briefly describe each movement so as to give potential accompanists an idea of what each
movement is like; more detailed references for each ballet movement can be found in
Classical Ballet Technique by Gretchen Ward Warren,65 Technical Manual and
Dictionary of Classical Ballet by Gail Grant,66 and The Video Dictionary of Classical
Ballet by Kultur International Films.67 After providing a basic definition of each
movement, I will discuss the desired qualities of each movement and explain why my
particular musical selections work for each movement. The movements are divided into
three sections: combinations at the barre, combinations in the center, and pointe class.
All of the musical selections discussed in this chapter can be found in Appendix A
of this essay. At this point it may be valuable to briefly review the nature of musical
scores. There are generally two types of performance instructions in musical scores: the
most important instructions are from the composer himself or herself; other suggestions
are from editors. In the field of ballet accompaniment, as I mentioned earlier in the
review of the literature (see Chapter One), there are many published collections of music
for pianists to use in accompanying ballet technique classes. Some editors of these
collections have chosen to leave the composers original dynamic and articulation
markings in the scores. Some anthologies contain music specifically composed for a

65 Gretchen W. Warren, Classical Ballet Technique (Tampa: University of South Florida


Press, 1989).
66 Gail Grant, Technical Manual and Dictionary of Classical Ballet, 3rd ed. (New
York: Dover Publications, 1982).
67 The Video Dictionary of Classical Ballet, DVD (West Long Branch, NJ: Kultur
International Films, 1991).

35

syllabus, such as the Royal Academy of Dance anthologies. These anthologies also
generally include performance instructions in the scores. However, in Dance and
Music,68 Harriet Cavalli chose to include very few performance instructions in the
musical selections. In my own musical selections, I have also chosen to omit most
performance instructions pertaining to secondary musical parameters such as dynamics,
articulation markings, pedal markings, and tempo. A ballet accompanist can vary the
execution of the music in order to better support the dancers movements; therefore a
cleaner score is often easier for the ballet accompanist to use. I will be discussing in
detail many of the musical choices open to the ballet accompanist in Chapter Four.

Combinations at the Barre

Plis
It is very typical for a ballet technique class to begin with a pli combination at
the barre. A pli combination usually consists of demi-plis, grand plis, and port de bras
(literally carriage of the arms) movements. Pli means bending of the knee or knees
demi-pli is half-bending of the knees while grand pli is full bending of the knees. No
matter if it is a demi-pli or grand pli, the movement should be smooth and continuous.
As Suki Schorer, a noted principal dancer with George Balanchines New York City
Ballet, notes, it is very important that the music not suggest unwanted divisions in the
pli.69

68 See note 24 above.


69 Schorer, 59.

36

Cavalli advises, [t]he vast majority of teachers use slow 3/4s for their pli
combination.70 Beginning ballet students will benefit from a slow waltz for plis
because the counts are more easily heard with the waltz rhythmic patterns in the left hand.
I have selected one by Evelyne Hubler (see Appendix A: Musical Selection 1). However,
for more advanced ballet students, music with a flowing accompaniment is ideal for
helping the dancers to execute the plis in a smooth and continuous way. For example,
O mio babbino caro from Giacomo Puccinis71 opera Gianni Schicchi72 is well suited
for plis because of the fluid feeling and the sense of expansiveness created by its
flowing accompaniment (see Appendix A: Musical Selection 2). Also, as Cavalli
observes, a flowing accompaniment helps to generate fuller execution of the pli
throughout the whole leg, rather than just bending the knees.73 A sustained, singing
quality is ideal for the movement. However, it is important to remember that the purpose
of pli combinations is for dancers to warm up their muscles and build their technique
and strength; thus, music which is too emotional or sentimental might not be suitable
right at the beginning of the class.
Musical selections 1 to 3 in Appendix A are appropriate for this combination.

Battements Tendus
In battements tendus, the supporting leg stands while the other, known as the
working leg or the gesture leg, brushes along the floor to reach to point without
70 Cavalli, 102.
71 Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924), an Italian composer. He is famous for operas such as
La bohme, Tosca, Madama Butterfly, and Turandot.
72 Robert Schultz, ed., 24 Piano Transcriptions of Classical Masterpieces, 2nd ed. (Van
Nuys, CA: Alfred Publishing, 2008), 104-5. This musical example and all examples in Appendix
A have been edited by the author.
73 Cavalli, 103.

37

lifting the toe from the ground. These are very often practiced en croix74front, side,
back, sidein a repeated pattern.

Battements Tendus from First or Fifth Position75


Battements tendus can be done with the gesture leg extending to any position,
typically, front,76 side,77 and back.78
Music for battements tendus is best when it is a clear and clipped 2, in
particular in 2/4, as in all three musical selections that I have included here. When
dancers hear march-like music that is in 2/4, they execute their footwork more efficiently,
getting to full point more dynamically because of the crisp attack provided by the left
hand. A slow waltz might work for a slower battement tendu combination.
Musical selections 4 to 6 in Appendix A are appropriate for this combination.

Battement Tendu with Pli


Battement tendu with pli basically combines a battement tendu with a demi-pli,
or, as Suki Schorer describes, [f]rom the tendu position, both knees start to bend as the
working leg starts to close, ending in a demi-pli, with the heels down and weight settled
on them.79
74 En croix means crosswise.
75 There are five basic positions of the feet in classical ballet, and every step or
movement is begun and ended in one or another of these positions, which were established by
Pierre Beauchamp, matre de ballet of the Acadmie Royale de Musique et de Danse from 1671
to 1687. Technical Manual, s.v. Pieds, cinq positions des.
76 Also known as devant.
77 Also known as la seconde.
78 Also known as derrire.
79 Schorer, 68.

38

This combination has a more andante con moto80 feeling, as Cavalli describes,
than does a regular battement tendu combination. A flowing waltz, with a feeling of
tension (for the battement tendu) and release (for the pli), is excellent for this
combination.
Musical selections 7 and 8 in Appendix A are appropriate for this combination.

Battement Tendu with Temps Li


Temps li is a movement that involves the transfer of body weight from one
position to another smoothly and rhythmically. From a battement tendu, the gesture foot
steps forward towards the front foot, then through a demi-pli the original supporting leg
becomes the gesture leg.
A waltz with a right hand that corresponds to the change of dynamics within the
combination, such as my musical selections from the ballet Swan Lake and from a waltz
by Charles Gounod81 (see Appendix A: Musical Selections 9 and 10), will successfully
support the combination

Fast Tendus
A fast tendu combination is usually composed of tendus that are accent in (see
Awareness of and Response to Physical Accents of the Ballet Movements in Chapter
Four). Since the tendus have to be executed quickly, the music should be light and less
accented. In order for the dancers to achieve the quickness of the tendus, it is often
helpful for the dancers to hear an emphasis on the first beat of the movement phrase
without any other additional accents. The excerpt in my musical selections from J.

80 Cavalli, 104.
81 Charles Gounod (1818-1893), a French composer, is known for his operas Faust and
Romo et Juliette.

39

Strausss operetta Der Zigeunerbaron82 is a perfect example for this combination


because of its relatively sparse texture in the right hand (see Example 3-1).
Musical selections 11 and 12 in Appendix A are appropriate for this combination.

Example 3-1 Sparse texture in J. Strausss operetta Der Zigeunerbaron.

Battements Dgags
Battement dgag is similar to battement tendu but with the gesture leg brushing
off the floor from either first or fifth position. The height of the battement dgag
depends on the tempo of each combination; no matter how high the dgags are, they
should be executed with a sharp, brisk, and crisp quality.
The excerpt from the ballet Giselle in my musical selections (see Appendix A:
Musical Selection 14) is ideal for a fast dgag combination; however, the music has to
be played with specific dynamic changes. Example 3-2 shows my specific dynamic
markings for the combination. The basic principles of music for a fast dgag
combination are the same as those for a fast tendu combination.

82 Albert E. Wier, ed., The Scribner Radio Music Library (New York: C. Scribners
Sons, 1931), 5:168-9.

40
Example 3-2 Specific dynamic marking in the excerpt from the ballet Giselle.

A second musical selection (see Appendix A: Musical Selection 15), from one of
the Royal Academy of Dance publications, is, on the other hand, ideal for a relatively
slower dgag combination because of its compact melodic texture.
Musical selections 13 to 15 in Appendix A are appropriate for this combination.

Ronds de Jambe par Terre


Rond de jambe par terre means circle of the leg on the ground, in which the
pointed toe of the gesture leg draws half-circles on the ground through first position with
battement tendu. There are two kinds of rond de jambe, going in opposite directions of
the half-circles: en dehors83 and en dedans.84 Rond de jambe par terre is a smooth and
continuous movement, although sometimes teachers might request that dancers
emphasize certain points in the half-circlemost commonly the front, side, and back.
Many teachers like to attach a circular port de bras at the end of a rond de jambe par terre
combination.

83 En dehors means outward. In ballet, it refers to circling away from the center of the
body.
84 En dedans means inward. In ballet, it refers to circling towards the center of the
body.

41

A smooth waltz, for example, Frdric Chopins Waltz Op. 64 No. 1 (see
Appendix A: Musical Selection 16),85 is well suited for a rond de jambe par terre
combination because it enhances the circular quality of the movement. Moreover, as
Gretchen Ward Warren notes in her Classical Ballet Technique, [t]he musical accent in
rond de jambe par terre is as follows: the working leg passes through the 1st position on
the count (i.e., the accent) and executes the outward circle on the upbeat.86 Therefore,
this Chopin example is ideal for supporting the dynamics of the movement because of the
waltz rhythmic pattern in the left hand and the repeated half notequarter note rhythmic
pattern (see Example 3-3) in the melody.

Example 3-3 Half notequarter note rhythmic pattern.

Schorer describes a common rond de jambe par terre combination that comes
from George Balanchine: tendu front with pli on count one, demi-rond to tendu side as
the supporting leg straightens on count two; or in fifth; or in tendu (back for en dehors,
front for en dedans).87 This way of executing a rond de jambe creates a gradual
sweeping movement towards the end of the half-circle. A smooth waltz, such as my

85 Frdric Chopin, Waltzes for Piano (Warsaw: Institut Fryderyka Chopina, 1975), 48.
86 Warren, 98.
87 Schorer, 111.

42

musical selection by Franz Lehr,88 has an ideal rhythm (see Example 3-4) in the melody
to support the changes in dynamics within the movement.
Musical selections 16 to 19 in Appendix A are appropriate for this combination.

Example 3-4 The rhythm in the melody of Franz Lehrs waltz.

Battements Fondus
Battement fondu is like a pli but with the gesture leg in sur le cou-de-pied89
position. The gesture leg extends out onto the floor ( terre) at forty-five degrees, or at
ninety degrees when the knees are straightened; the supporting leg can be flat on the floor,
on demi-pointe, or even en pointe. This movement should be executed smoothly and
continuously like a pli, and, as Warren describes, the bending and stretching of both
legs must always be smoothly coordinated.90

88 Franz Lehr (1870-1948), an Austrian composer. He is mainly known for his operettas,
such as The Merry Widow.
89 The toe of the pointed foot is placed above the ankle bone in the front, or the heel of
the pointed foot is placed against the ankle bone in the back.
90 Warren, 106.

43

A battement fondu combination can be done to a smooth waltz, for example,


Chopins Waltz Op. 69 No. 1 (see Appendix A: Musical Selection 20).91 This Chopin
example is perfect for the combination not only because of its well-connected melody
and the excellent mood of the music; in addition, the subdivision of musical phrases and
the rhythmic combinations in the right hand (see Example 3-5) clearly evoke for the
dancers the precise moments when they should execute the pli and when the knees
should be straightened.

Example 3-5 An excerpt from Chopins Waltz Op. 69 No. 1.

In more advanced ballet technique classes, a battement fondu combination might


be done to a slow 2, or in particular to a tango. Tango has different qualities. A smooth
tango provides a smooth and elastic quality for the battement fondufondu comes from
the verb to melt. The rhythms in a tango (see Example 3-6) perfectly correspond to the
gestures of a battement fonduthe syncopation which occurs in the first half of each
measure happens with the bending of the supporting knee, and the two eighth notes in the
second half of the measure correspond to the straightening of the knees.
Musical selections 21 and 22 in Appendix A are appropriate for this combination.

91 Chopin, 63-64.

44
Example 3-6 The rhythms in a tango.

Sometimes teachers combine battement dgag, battement fondu, and rond de


jambe par terre within the same combination. For this combination, I have included
Gabriel Faurs92 Sicilienne93 as a musical selection (see Appendix A: Musical Selection
23). This piece has the perfect smooth and circular qualities, dynamics, and rhythmic
characteristics to support this combination.

Envelopps and Ronds de Jambe en lAir


Envelopp begins with a battement dgag, with the foot immediately drawn back
to either retir94 or sur le cou-de-pied position; it is like the reverse of a dvelopp,
which will be discussed below. Since the envelopp begins with a battement dgag,
again its height depends on the tempo of the combination.
Rond de jambe en lair is very often misinterpreted as a whole rond de jambe in
the air; however, according to Schorer, [r]ond de jambe en lair is like rond de jambe par

92 Gabriel Faur (1845-1924), a French composer, organist, pianist, and teacher. He was
one of the foremost French composers of his generation.
93 IMSLP/Petrucci Music Library, Project Petrucci LLC, http://www.imslp.org
(accessed March 22, 2011).
94 The gesture leg is bent, and the toe of the pointed foot is touching the inside knee of
the supporting leg.

45

terre in that it is done to the dancers side.95 Rond de jambe en lair traditionally begins
with a battement dgag to second position on the count; then the lower part of the
gesture leg draws an oval shape to the dancers side with the point of the gesture foot
lightly touching the side of the supporting leg.
These are considered adage movements. Music for this kind of combination
therefore should be smooth and provide continuous support for the movementsusing,
for example, continuous eighth notes in the accompaniment as in the Evelyne Hubler
selection (see Appendix A: Musical Selection 24). At the same time, it is ideal to have the
melody in the right hand closely imitate the rhythmic and dynamic differences within the
movements. Because this combination can be executed to a variety of musical forms, I
am providing several different pieces for reference.
Musical selections 24 to 27 in Appendix A are appropriate for this combination.

Battements Frapps
Warren defines frapp as a sharp movement [that] must always be performed in
a dynamic manner.96 Dancers usually begin a battement frapp combination with the
gesture leg tendu to second position. Then, during the musical introduction, they bring it
back to either a flat or pointed sur le cou-de-pied position. The basic idea of a battement
frapp, according to Schorer, is that the dancer shoots the foot rapidly out from sur le
cou-de-pied to hit the floor lightly and continue out and up, finishing with a straight knee
and the foot several inches off the floor. On the return, the working knee maintains
maximum turnout as the foot returns to sur le cou-de-pied.97 Note that the dancers

95 Schorer, 119.
96 Warren, 114.
97 Schorer, 103.

46

following the Russian method do not hit the gesture leg on the floor, but the basic
principle of the battement frapp remains the same across schools.
Frapp comes from the verb meaning to strike. This explains why battements
frapps are always bright, sharp, and crisp. Music for a battement frapp combination
should have a precise attack for the striking action of the foot, very marked, and with a
well-punctuated and distinct rhythm. There are double and triple battement frapps in
which the dancers beat the gesture leg on the supporting leg for either two or three times,
respectively, before they strike the leg out. Cavalli offers two very distinct examples98
showing the rhythmical differences between single and double frapps (see Examples 37a and b), which I reproduce here because they are so useful for the ballet accompanist.

Example 3-7a The rhythm of four single frapps.

Example 3-7b The rhythm of four double frapps.

My three musical examples (see Appendix A: Musical Selections 28 to 30) all


have precise attacks for single battements frapps combinations. The piece by Heinrich

98 Cavalli, 106.

47

Lichner99 and the one from the Royal Academy of Dance publication are perfect for
double frapps combinations as well, because of the rhythmic structures in their melodies.

Adage
Adage is the French equivalent of adagio, which means slow and at ease. Adage
at the barre usually consists of a succession of slow, graceful movements such as
battements dvelopps, grand rond de jambe, port de bras, and arabesque penche,100
etc. Cavallis observation is worth remembering for both dancers and ballet accompanists:
adagios may sometimes look like a series of static poses, but in reality they are moving
positions that require a great deal of strength to both maintain andoftenelongate.101
Battement dvelopp is a movement in which the gesture leg is drawn up and
extended slowly into the air from the retir position. Grand rond de jambe is basically a
rond de jambe at ninety degrees or higher. Port de bras should be beautifully coordinated
and integrated with the adage movements. Port de bras, in particular circular port de bras,
might also be attached solely at the end of an adage combination.
The quality of these adage movements is smooth, continuous, sustained,
controlled, and elongated. Music to support them should therefore be very legato,
graceful, and substantial. Also, as ballet accompanist Nancy MacLachlan mentions of
dvelopps, you need music which can grow and expand during the phrase so it can lend
support to the working leg as the dancer slowly unfolds it from the supporting leg to an

99 Heinrich Lichner (1829-1898), a German composer. He is best-known for his


pedagogical piano compositions.
100 Arabesque is one of the basic ballet poses in which the body is supported by one leg
and with the gesture leg extended behind. Arabesque penche is an arabesque in which the body
leans well forward in an oblique line, the forward arm and the head being low and the foot of the
raised leg [gesture leg] the highest point. Technical Manual, s.v. Arabesque penche.
101 Cavalli, 114.

48

extended position in the air. It matters not whether you choose duple or triple meter, as
long as the melodic line is long and fluid, and often has a slowly rising shape.102 I have
included three musical selections with different meters (see Appendix A: Musical
Selections 31 to 33), all of which have the long and fluid melodic qualities that I have just
mentioned.

Petits Battements
Very often teachers attach petits battements to the end of a battement frapp
combination. Petit battement consists of small and fast beats of the little toe or the heel of
the gesture leg which is in sur le cou-de-pied position against the supporting leg. These
movements are very brisk and crisp.
Both musical selections that I have chosen here (see Appendix A: Musical
Selections 34 and 35) have very busy-sounding melodies which reflect the movements
of the petit battement. The scores might not initially seem to have many notes in their
melodies, but the fast tempo, together with a note on every subdivision of each count,
creates the perfect qualities and dynamics for this combination. Schorer offers another
musical suggestion for this combination as she recalls her experiences with George
Balanchine: [o]n occasion he [Balanchine] would ask for the riding rhythm in the
William Tell Overture just after the bugle call (Lone Ranger music). Its incisiveness
fostered clean, sharp beats and musical clarity.103

102 MacLachlan, 162.


103 Schorer, 109.

49

Balanoire / En Cloche
Balanoire/en cloche is defined as a series of grands battements executed with a
continuous swinging motion through the first position to the fourth position front and
back.104 The gesture leg can be either straight or in attitude.105
Typically, balanoire requires music counted in 3; however, it is important to
remember that not all music in 3 is suitable for this movement. For example, a mazurka
in 3 is not suitable because its accents on either beat two or beat three creates a
heaviness in the music. Music for balanoire needs to reflect the swinging motion of the
dancers gesture leg. The two musical examples that I have included (see Appendix A:
Musical Selections 36 and 37) are excellent for balanoire because of their natural
swinging and circular feeling in the music.

Grands Battements
In grands battements, dancers toss their gesture leg up quickly to its full height.
As Schorer notes, [t]he action of grand battement is essentially the same as the one for
battement tendu and for battement tendu jet [battement dgag], except that the leg and
foot are thrown higher into air, while maintaining proper alignment of the body.106
Grand battement is a broad, firm, and energetic movement. As Cavalli notes, the
height of the movement, as well as the power necessary to get the leg to that height, must
be reflected in both the musical structure and the dynamics.107 Therefore, the music for

104 Technical Manual, s.v. Balanoire, en.


105 Attitude is a position on one leg with the other lifted in back, the knee bent at an
angle of 90 degrees and well turned out so that the knee is higher than the foot. Technical
Manual, s.v. Attitude.
106 Schorer, 73.
107 Cavalli, 109.

50

grand battement is usually the most projected and energetic compared to music for other
combinations at the barre. Both of my musical selections here (see Appendix A: Musical
Selections 38 and 39) are marches: one by Sergei Prokofiev,108 the other by Ludwig
Minkus.109 They are well suited for grands battements because of the dotted rhythms in
their melodies (see Example 3-8), which provide a sweeping feeling for the dancers
gesture leg.

Example 3-8 The dotted rhythms in the Prokofiev example.

Also, both pieces make use of a broad range of the keyboard as well as octaves in
either one hand or both hands, giving the music a broad and solid quality. However, the
ballet accompanist using these two pieces for grands battements must keep in mind the
height and energy of the movement and remember not to play with a heavy touch.
In making their own musical selections, ballet accompanists should keep in mind
Schorers recollection of George Balanchines requests for music for grands battements:

When I give a grand battement exercise, I do not


necessarily allow the pianist to play a loud, strongly accented
march, which most will routinely choose. There is a lot of energy
108 Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953), a Russian composer, pianist, and conductor. He is
regarded as one of the major composers of the twentieth century.
109 Ludwig Minkus (1826-1917), an Austrian composer of ballet music.

51
that the dancers hear and therefore feel in that kind of strong beat,
but they may not be exploding out of fifth, and they probably will
not be bringing the foot and leg back down sharply to be placed
quietly into fifth. In this case the music takes over and the dancers
do less.110

Musical selections, therefore, do not need to be marches. Appendix B in this essay


lists additional musical selections for grands battements, i.e., non-marches based on
Balanchines comments.

Stretches
Very often towards the end of the combinations at the barre, students will be
given some time to do stretching either on their own or as instructed by the teacher.
Music for stretches should be smooth, flowing, and relatively quiet so as to make the
dancers feel relaxed and not tense their muscles. Music should also refrain from being
dramatic or inspirational; dramatic, inspirational adagio music should be saved for adage
combinations later in the center. One of my musical selections for stretching (see
Appendix A: Musical Selection 40) is The Swan from Camille Saint- Sanss111 The
Carnival of the Animals;112 its light and graceful melodic lines encourage dancers to
stretch their bodies and muscles. My two additional musical selections here (see
Appendix A: Musical Selections 41 and 42)with similar textures and qualities as The

110 Schorer, 36.


111 Camille Saint-Sans (1835-1921), a French composer, organist, conductor, and
pianist.
112 Maxwell Eckstein, ed., Everybodys Favorite Series, No. 3: Piano Pieces for
Children (Amsco Music Publishing Co. Inc., 1992), 70-71.

52

Swanare from operas: Jules Massenets Thas113 and Pietro Mascagnis Cavalleria
Rusticana.114

Combinations in the Center


Center combinations build on the steps and exercises first executed at the barre,
but in the center combinations dancers are moving in space. For example, the grand
battement executed at the barre is transformed into the grand jet115 executed in the
center. The music for these combinations in general can be more delightful, expressive,
and dramatic than music for barre combinations.116

Tendus in the Center


Many teachers begin center combinations with a battement tendu combination
that involves changing body directions and coordinating arms and head with the feet and
legs.
In general, tendu combinations in the center have the same physical movement
qualities as battement tendu combinations at the barre; therefore, the music should have
similar qualities. It is common for teachers to incorporate a change of accents (see
Awareness of and Response to Physical Accents of the Ballet Movements in Chapter
Four) in center tendu combinations. I recommend trying a rag, such as my musical
113 Jules Massenet (1842-1912), a French composer. He is best-known for his operas,
such as Thas.
114 Pietro Mascagni (1863-1945), an Italian composer. He is best-known for his operas.
Cavalleria Rusticana is one of his masterpieces.
115 See note 146 below.
116 For center combinations, the ballet accompanist may play the same music he or she
has already used for the barre combinations. However, I believe that it is preferable to select new
music for center combinations to add freshness and inspiration for the dancers.

53

selection from Scott Joplins The Strenuous Life117 (see Appendix A: Musical Selection
45), whenever there are changes of accent in a tendu combination. The syncopated
rhythm in a rag closely imitates the dynamic differences in a tendu combination that
contains a change of accents. The lively quality of a rag can also help to create more
energy in the studiooptimum for center combinations.
I have also included a polonaise as another musical selection for center tendu
combinations (see Appendix A: Musical Selection 46). A polonaise has a special
rhythmic pattern (see Example 3-9) in which all three beats are relatively emphatic.
Musical selections 43 to 46 in Appendix A are appropriate for this combination.

Example 3-9 The special rhythmic pattern in a polonaise.

Port de Bras and Adage


All the adage movements at the barre are most likely to be executed again in a
center combination without the support of the barre. Sometimes teachers might also have

117 Scott Joplin, Complete Piano Rags, ed. David A. Jasen (New York: Dover
Publications, 1988), 46-47.

54

the dancers do slow turns, such as promenade118 or adagio pirouettes in a center adage
combination.
The qualities of these movements are the same as when they are executed at the
barre. Music for these movements should again, like the adage at the barre, be very legato,
graceful, and substantial. Furthermore, music for center adage combinations can be more
sentimental, dramatic, and inspirational than at the barre, so as to make the dancers feel
as if they are really dancing. As dance musician Elizabeth Sawyer notes, [s]ince one of
the major faults of the dancers is to break down an adagio into disconnected poses, the
primary concern for the accompanist is a piece of music which forcefully (or gently)
carries the dancers impulses through the phrase and the sectionand, ultimately, the
entire adagio.119 My two musical selections here (see Appendix A: Musical Selections
47 and 48) are from the ballets La Bayadre and The Seasons. Both have inspiring,
narrative, and beautiful melodies, with well-connected and flowing accompaniments, to
keep a sustained and very legato feeling that will help dancers to connect every
movement.
I have also included two additional similar musical selections here (see Appendix
A: Musical Selections 49 and 50): one is by Evelyne Hubler and the other is the familiar
song Memory120 from the Broadway musical Cats. These two selections again have
sustained, narrative melodies which create an ideal atmosphere for center adage
combinations.

118 In promenade, slow turns executed on the whole foot with the other foot raise in
retir, attitude, or fully extended at 90 degrees (or above). Warren, 174.
119 Sawyer, 183.
120 Andrew Lloyd Webber, Now and Forever: Piano, Vocal, Guitar (Milwaukee: Hal
Leonard Corp., 2003), 69-70.

55

Pirouettes
Pirouette is a turn in place on one foot, either on demi-pointe or pointe. Pirouettes
can be executed either from fifth position or fourth position, and either en dedans or en
dehors (see footnotes 83 and 84 in this chapter). For pirouette combinations early in the
center, the gesture leg is usually in retir while the dancer is turning.

Pirouettes from Fifth Position


Pirouettes from fifth position are usually non-travelling pirouettes. Typically a
series of pirouettes is executed with a pli preparation between each pirouette.
Harriet Cavalli notes, every pirouette combo should be supported by a very firm
rhythmic structure which the dancer will use for his spotting and for the piston-like
action of his legs during turns in succession.121 Pirouettes can be done to music that is
counted either in 2 or 3 depending upon whether the pirouettes are fast or slow, and
whether the dancers are aiming for multiple turns or not. As MacLachlan says in her
handbook, [i]f the dancer is aiming for multiple rotations [turns] and lengthy
suspension time, a triple [a 3] will be preferable. If she is wanting whippiness,
choose a duple [a 2]. For beginning classes, I would choose a triple [a 3], preferably a
waltz.122
I have edited a piece with a theme from My Fair Lady here (see Appendix A:
Musical Selection 51); it is well suited for pirouettes from fifth position for its steady
rhythmic pulse to guide the attack and timing of the pirouettes. When dancers hear the
music, they can definitely visualize and feel when to begin the pli preparation and when
to execute the turn.

121 Cavalli, 115.


122 MacLachlan, 195.

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The rhythm in the melodywith a dotted note in beat fouris also effective in
supporting the differences in dynamics between the pli preparation and the turn
(Example 3-10).

Example 3-10 The rhythm in the melody of My Fair Lady.

Travelling Pirouettes
Travelling pirouettes are typically executed across the floor in smaller groups.
Pirouettes (usually from fourth position) are usually preceded by other travelling steps,
for example, balanc,123 tomb-pas de bourre,124 etc.
Because of the more dance feeling nature of the travelling pirouettes, music for
these combinations can be a bit more flowing and flexible, especially for the travelling
steps. The rhythmic framework for the pirouettes should still be strong.
Light, lyrical waltzes are in general suitable for travelling pirouettes, in particular
Viennese waltzes, such as J. Strausss Walzer nach Motiven der Operette Die

123 A rocking step which is very much like a waltz step.


124 Tomb comes from the verb meaning to fall.

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Fledermaus Op. 367125 in my musical selections (see Appendix A: Musical Selection


52). The waltz pattern in the left hand provides a steady rhythmic pulse for the pirouettes
and also precisely imitates the rhythm of the travelling balanc step. This waltz is also
particularly good for the combination because of its melodic shape (see Example 3-11).
The melody is mostly comprised of eighth notes, which creates a flowing feeling for both
the pirouettes and the travelling steps. Also, the scale-like, narrow-range melody evokes a
circular feeling, making dancers want to turn. Furthermore, the occasional ornaments and
repeated rhythmic pattern in the right hand (see Example 3-12) create momentum for the
dancers to execute the pirouettes.
Some teachers occasionally request a waltz with Spanish flavor for this
combination, such as the Spanish waltz that I have included here (see Appendix A:
Musical Selection 54), to help dancers develop a range of character in their dancing.

Example 3-11 The melodic shape of J. Strausss Waltzer Op. 367.

125 Johann Strauss, Waltzer (Hungary: Konemann Music Budapest, 1995), 68.

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Example 3-12 The repeated rhythmic pattern in J. Strausss Waltzer Op. 367.

In addition to waltzes, a mazurka is almost always ideal for travelling pirouette


combinations. Its characteristic dotted rhythms (see Example 3-13), with an accent on
either the second or third beat, contribute a sprightly, forward, and turning impetus for
the pirouettes. Also, the mazurka has a heavier feeling than a waltz, which will help the
dancers feel more grounded.
Musical selections 52 to 55 in Appendix A are appropriate for this combination.

Example 3-13 The rhythmic characteristic in a mazurka.

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Petit Allegro
Allegro, according to Gail Grant, is a term applied to all bright and brisk
movements.126 All jumps come under this classification. The terms petit, medium,
and grand identify the size of the jumps.
Cavalli observes, [t]he first jumps in every class are almost always executed
from two feet to two feet,127 to give dancers the opportunity to warm up their feet. As
the class goes on, the jumping becomes progressively more difficult as the jumps are
executed from two feet to one foot, from one foot to two feet, and from one foot to one
foot.128 Petit allegro combinations include jumps like saut,129 changement,130
chapp,131 glissade,132 jet,133 and assembl,134 etc.
Music for petit allegro combinations should be light, bright, cheerful, and very
lively. Music for jumps, whether they are petit allegro or other, bigger jumps, should

126 Technical Manual, s.v. Allegro.


127 Cavalli, 117.
128 Ibid.
129 Saut comes from the verb meaning to jump.
130 The heels pass each other in 1st at the height of the jump. The feet change from 5th
to 5th. Warren, 248.
131 Small jumps from 1st to 5th position in which the legs are thrown equally apart on
the ascent, achieving an open pose in 2nd or 4th in the air. Ibid., 249.
132 A traveling step executed by gliding the working foot from the fifth position in the
required direction, the other foot closing to it. Technical Manual, s.v. Glissade.
133 As the dancer plis, the working foot brushes side from fifth or from coupe back or
front. The working leg is thrown, with the knee stretched and the foot pointed, a little lower than
45 degrees as the dancer pushes off the floor with the supporting foot virtually simultaneously.
Schorer, 352.
134 A step in which the working foot slides well along the ground before being swept
into the air. As the foot goes into the air the dancer pushes off the floor with the supporting leg,
extending the toes. Both legs come to the ground simultaneously in the fifth position. Technical
Manual, s.v. Assembl.

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convey a sense of buoyancy, a feeling of resilience, and should never make the dancers
want to stay in pli. Music with these qualities, played with the correct touch, creates a
musical push for the dancers to feel free and jump higher. It is also important for the
accompanist to keep in mind that, as Warren also mentions, [a]s a general rule, dancers,
when jumping, are always in the air on the upbeat and down on the count.135 That is
why almost all of my musical selections for jumps, such as the excerpt from one of the
variations in the ballet La Bayadre, begin with upbeats (see Awareness of and
Response to Physical Accents of the Ballet Movements in Chapter Four for details).
Among my musical selections here is another rag by Scott Joplin (see Appendix
A: Musical Selection 58). A rag is usually suitable for petit allegro combinations; it is
usually syncopated, happy, snappy, and full of vitality, with the left hand at the same time
maintaining a steady pulse.
A tarantella is generally ideal for petit allegro combinations as well. It is
particularly well suited for quick, small jumps from one foot to the other. The excerpt
from Burgmullers Twenty-five tudes Faciles, op. 100, no. 20136 is a tarantellawith
single chords on the first and fourth beats (counting as musicians do) in the left hand, and
with a continuous, running eighth-note figure in the other hand; it originated as an
exciting form of dance.
Musical selections 56 to 59 in Appendix A are appropriate for this combination.

Medium Allegro
Dancers gradually progress to larger jumps after their feet are warmed up.
Medium allegro combinations are generally slower in tempo and consist of bigger jumps
135 Warren, 244.
136 Friedrich Burgmller, Twenty-five Easy and Progressive Studies for the Piano, ed.
Louis Oesterle (New York: G. Schirmer, 1931), 24.

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than in petit allegro. Sissonnes,137 pas de chat,138 ballonn,139 and ballott,140 etc., are
jumps usually seen in medium allegro combinations.
Because of the size of the jumps and slower tempo, medium allegro combinations
work well with a bright waltz, such as the Charles Gounod and Karl Ziehrer141 waltzes I
have selected (see Appendix A: Musical Selection 60 and 61); or with a 6/8, such as the
excerpts here from the ballet Giselle and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakovs symphonic suite
Scheherazade (see Appendix A: Musical Selection 62 and 63).142 All have been selected
for their melodic structuresdotted rhythms and rests within the melodieswhich give
extra time and lift for the dancers to execute their jumps.
Medium allegro combinations of course can also be done to music that is counted
in 2, such as the excerpt from the ballet Nutcracker that I have also included (see
Appendix A: Musical Selection 64). Again, the effervescent melody, the dotted rhythms,
and the occasional triplets (see Example 3-14) help propel dancers into their jumps.

137 Sissonne is a jump from both feet onto one foot with the exception of sissonne
ferme, sissonne tombe and sissonne fondue, which finish on two feet. Technical Manual, s.v.
Sissonne.
138 The name of this movement translates as step of the cat. It is a jump from fifth pli,
lifting the back leg with bent knee to 90 degrees and immediately drawing the other leg up to
match it. The pose is briefly sustained en lair, traveling slightly to the side. Warren, 290.
139 This may be performed either petit or grand. In petit ballonn, the leg is extended to
the second or fourth position at 45 degrees; then the knee is bent and the foot brought sur le coude-pied. In grand ballonn, the leg is extended at 90 degrees and finished with the foot at the
knee. Technical Manual, s.v. Ballonn simple.
140 Ballott means tossed. This step consists of sur le cou-de-pied over and under
performed in a series with a light rocking quality.
141 Karl Ziehrer (1843-1922), an Austrian composer who wrote light Romantic music
similar in style to that of Johann Strauss.
142 Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908), a Russian composer. He was a master of
orchestration. His symphonic suite Scheherazade is one of his best-known orchestral
compositions.

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Example 3-14 The melodic characteristics in the excerpt from Nutcracker.

Grand Allegro
Grand allegro is the largest jumping and travelling combination in ballet
technique class. Dancers typically dance across the floor in groups. Grand allegro
combinations consist of a variety of big jumping movements such as saut in
arabesque,143 temps levs,144 chass,145 grand jet entrelac,146 grand fouett
saut,147 etc., The qualities for grand allegro combinations are always broad, powerful,
robust, and soaring.
Music for grand allegro combinations should have enough drive to help dancers
execute the grand allegro combinations with the power and soaring quality mentioned
143 Jumping in arabesque position.
144 This is a hop from one foot with the other raised in any position. Technical Manual,
s.v. Temps lev.
145 A step in which one foot literally chases the other foot out of its position; done in
series. Ibid., s.v. Chass.
146 A big leap.
147 This fouett is performed with a temps lev on the supporting foot instead of a
relev. There are numerous kinds of grands fouetts sauts. The step is preceded by a glissade,
sissonne simple, faille, etc. Technical Manual, s.v. Fouett saute, grand.

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above. I find that grand allegro music from famous ballet repertoire such as La Bayadre,
Don Quixote, Nutcracker, etc., is the most suitable for grand allegro combinations in
class. In addition, big waltzes with thick textures, powerful basslines (especially with
octaves on the downbeat of each measure), and an uplifting rhythmic motive in the right
hand are well suited for grand allegro combinations. The excerpt from Chopins Grande
Valse Brillante148 (see Appendix A: Musical Selection 69) is ideal for its continuous
driving, uplifting, and stirring motive in the melody (see Example 3-15), making the
dancers want to get up into the air.

Example 3-15 The melodic characteristics in the Grande Valse Brillante.

Grand allegro combinations are full of peaks and valleys; accompanists should be
sensitive enough to identify those peaks and valleys and provide music with the correct
accents to support the combinations. In general, the first beat of each measurewhere
the dancers are in the airshould be correspondingly strong, projected, and powerful. A
driving motif in the upbeat or towards the end of a measure, like in the La Bayadre
example and the Schubert149 example (see Examples 3-16a and b), is very helpful for

148 Chopin, 7.
149 Franz Schubert (1797-1828), an Austrian composer. He wrote about six hundred
Lieder, nine symphonies, liturgical music, operas, some incidental music, and a large body of
chamber and solo piano music.

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conveying an intense drive for the dancers to get into the air by the first beat of the next
measure.
Musical selections 65 to 70 in Appendix A are appropriate for this combination.
Sometimes a coda might also work well for a grand allegro combination,
especially when the dancers are leaping across the floor. I have listed additional musical
suggestions in Appendix B.

Example 3-16a A driving motif in the La Bayadre example.

Example 3-16b A driving motif in the Schubert example.

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Big Jumps with Beats


In more advanced ballet technique classes, dancers begin executing jumps with
beats (Batterie or Battu). Beats can be added to almost all of the jumps in petit
allegro and medium allegro combinations. Jumps with beats usually use different
terminology, for example, entrechat,150 royale,151 bris,152 cabriole,153 etc.
In general, music for these combinations may have slower tempi in order to give
dancers time to jump higher and execute the beats. I also agree with MacLachlans
suggestion about the music for batterie: as each one of these movements is quite
energy intensive, the music should support this effort by having recognizable rhythmic
patterns which remain constant for each jump.154 For example, in my musical selection
from one of the Royal Academy of Dance publications (see Appendix A: Musical
Selection 71), there is a recurring motif in the melody (see Example 3-17), which makes
very clear to the dancers the moment when the batterie should be executed. This
recurring motif also has an ascending contour, helping the dancers to move up into the air.

150 A step of beating in which the dancer jumps into the air and rapidly crosses the legs
before and behind each other. Technical Manual, s.v. Entrechat.
151 A changement in which the calves are beaten together before the feet change
position. Ibid., s.v. Royale.
152 A small beating step in which the movement is broken. Briss are commenced on
one or two feet and end on one or two feet. Ibid., s.v. Bris.
153 An allegro step in which the extended legs are beaten in the air. Ibid., s.v.
Cabriole.
154 MacLachlan, 234.

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Example 3-17 The recurring motif in the melody.

In mens classes, the dancers will practice tour en lair combinations in addition
to those jumps with beats in a regular ballet technique class. Tours en lair are essential
combinations for men, and they are often included in the variations and codas in famous
ballet repertoire. Music for tours en lair should be robust, grand, loud, and heavy, like
the selection from Georges Bizets Carmen155 and the polonaise from Pytor Ilyich
Tchaikovskys Eugene Onegin (see Appendix A: Musical Selections 72 and 73),156
whose thick chordal textures prompt the large muscle movements required for the tours
en lair.

155 Georges Bizet (1838-1875), a French composer and pianist. He is best-known for his
opera Carmen. His music was used in several ballets in the twentieth century.
156 Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893), a Russian composer. The ballets Swan Lake,
The Sleeping Beauty, and The Nutcracker and the opera Eugene Onegin are some of his most
famous theatrical works.

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Turns en Diagonale (Chans)


Chan is a series of rapid turns commonly executed in pointe class; however,
sometimes the teacher has the dancers practice chans across the floor in a regular ballet
technique class on demi-pointe. In chans, the feet are held very closely together and
remained close to the floor, and the weight is transferred rapidly from one foot to the
other as the body revolves.
In higher-level ballet technique classes, a coda (see Turning en Mange and
Fouetts Ronds de Jambe later in this chapter) is almost always used for these turns.
However, some uncluttered, rhythmically clear waltzes are also suitable for these turning
combinations, such as mile Waldteufels waltz157 and Chopins Waltz Op. 64 No. 2158
in my musical selections (see Appendix A: Musical Selections 74 and 75). Both of these
waltzes have continuous eighth notes in the melodies, providing impetus for the dancers
to turn.

Grand Pirouettes
Grand pirouettes are defined as a series of turns on one foot with the raised leg
held in the second position en lair, in attitude or arabesque, or in a combination of
poses.159 The supporting leg is lowered into demi-pli, then immediately pushes from
the floor to demi-pointe again in between each pirouette. Grand pirouettes are done in all
poses, both en dedans and en dehors (see footnotes number 83 and 84), and are
considered advanced movements, usually done in no less than eight turns in a row.

157 mile Waldteufel (1837-1915), a French composer of dance music.


158 Chopin, 54-55.
159 Technical Manual, Pirouette, grande.

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Among my musical selections for grand pirouettes is a polka-mazurka (see


Appendix A: Musical Selection 76)that is, a slower mazurka with similar rhythmic
characteristics. The dotted rhythm in each beat (see Example 3-18) provides impetus for
bigger pirouettes with three clearly defined beats in a measure. Its moderate tempo allows
dancers more time for executing big pirouettes. Also, in this polka-mazurka, the dotted
melodic rhythm gives an impression of a longer musical phrase, so dancers should feel
comfortable in executing one smooth, unbroken, and coordinated motionone big turn
per measureinstead of several small turns.

Example 3-18 The rhythmic characteristics in a polka-mazurka.

Waltzes with a thicker texture, especially a deep bass line, are also suitable for
grand pirouettes. Since grand pirouettes are physically more demanding than other kinds
of pirouettes, music with thicker texture will give dancers greater support in executing the
movements.

Reverence
Reverence is done at the end of the class as a bow to thank both the teacher and
the accompanist. As Cavalli notes, [t]eachers often dispense with a preparation before a

69

reverence.160 Teachers often extemporaneously create some adagio movements with


port de bras according to the music that the accompanist plays, while the students simply
follow along. Music should be calm and reflective in nature, and it should not be too long.
The accompanist may choose any music that is suitable for adage and port de bras
movements. My selections (see Appendix A: Musical Selections 77 and 78) include
music from the musical The Phantom of the Opera and the animated film Pocahontas.

Pointe Class
Dancing in pointe shoes is an extension of dancing in soft ballet slippers in a
regular ballet technique class. Many combinations that are exclusive in pointe class are
developed from movements that are practiced in a regular ballet technique class, for
example, battement tendu with pli becomes chapps on pointe (see Relev and
chapp later in this chapter). Hence, many of the combinations that appear in regular
ballet technique classes, especially for those at the barre, might appear in a pointe class as
well; therefore, as Lishka notes, [m]uch of the literature which the accompanist uses for
(ballet) technique class may be employed in the pointe class, if certain considerations are
borne in mind.161 In general, music for pointe class needs to have a light, uplifting, and
bouncing quality. Variations from classical and romantic ballet are extremely useful for
pointe class, in particular for the center combinations.

160 Cavalli, 148.


161 Lishka, 124.

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Slow Prances and Warm-Up


In the warm-up at the barre, dancers usually roll through their pointe shoes to get
on point slowly; they either alternate left and right foot several times or roll through both
feet together.
Although music for this kind of warm-up does not have a specific quality, it
should not be jumpy, as the dancers are rolling their feet (rather executing a firm, sharp
movement). The two musical selections that I have chosen (see Appendix A: Musical
Selections 79 and 80) are basically legato and with a very clear pulse, so that one can
definitely feel the prancing temponecessary for when the dancers alternate feet.

Pas de Cheval
Pas de cheval is an essential exercise for stepping onto pointe. Many steps and
combinations en pointe begin with pas de cheval, for example, piqu arabesque and
tomb-pas de bourre. Pas de cheval means the step of the horse. It has a gesture
similar to a horse pawing the groundbrushing the pointed foot towards the supporting
leg and passing through sur le cou-de-pied positionbefore the execution of the tendu.
Music for this combination should reflect three different qualities within the
combinations: the circular quality of the pas de cheval, the feeling of unfolding the
gesture leg to a battement tendu, and the attack for the arrival of the tendu. My excerpt
from a variation in the ballet Raymonda (see Appendix A: Musical Selection 81) closely
reflects the necessary qualities mentioned above. In Example 3-19 below, the sixteenth
notes in the beginning of each measure reflects the circular quality; the change from
sixteenth notes to eighth notes within the measure reflects the unfolding feeling; and the
first note of the measure is the same as the last note of the previous measure, reinforcing
the sense of attack.

71
Example 3-19 The melody in the excerpt from the ballet Raymonda.

Relevs and chapps


Relev and chapp is a typical combination for pointe class that is usually
executed at the barre first then again in the center. Gail Grant defines relev as a raising
of the body on the points or demi-pointes, point or demi-pointe. There are two ways to
relev. In the French School, relev is done with a smooth, continuous rise while the
Cecchetti method and the Russian School use a little spring.162 Relev can be executed
in different foot positions, and with the gesture leg in sur le cou-de-pied, retir, or even in
arabesque. Similarly, chapp, according to Schorer, is [a] spring from fifth position
pli to second or fourth position on pointe;163 both feet should arrive at the same time in
the new position.
According to Warren, the quality of a relev lies somewhere between a jump and
a smooth, rolling-up movement through the feet,164 while an chapp is a sharper and
brighter movement. Music for relev and chapp combinations is mostly in 2,
although the combination can of course be taken at a moderate tempo, in 3. The size of
the chapp depends on the tempo of the music: the faster the smaller, and vice-versa. No
162 Technical Manual, s.v. Relev.
163 Schorer, 250.
164 Warren, 350.

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matter how fast or slow the combination is, music for relev and chapp combinations
should not be heavy and should convey a vitality of attack and a forthright feeling at the
moment when dancers are en pointe. Notice in Examples 3-20a and b below: the change
in note values (from either sixteenth notes to eighth notes, or vice-versa) within a
measure creates a moment of suspension for dancers to suspend en pointe. Keep in mind,
too, that music for battement tendu combinations might also work for relev and chapp
combinations because an chapp is very similar to a battement tendu en pointe.
Musical selections 82 to 86 in Appendix A are appropriate for this combination.

Example 3-20a The change in note values within a measure.

Example 3-20b Another example of changes in note values within a measure.

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Grand Battement Fouett Relev


Grand battement fouett relev is very often practiced in pointe class at the barre.
The gesture leg brushes through pli in the first position to either grand battement front or
back; then, while holding the gesture leg in the air, the dancer makes a half-turn towards
or away from the barre through second position, finishing with the other hand on the
barre. As Warren points out, this movement should be executed as a continuous action
without pause until the completion of the fouett.165
Since this movement begins with a grand battement, I recommend music
(especially marches) that suits the qualities and dynamics of grand battement
combinations (see Combinations at the Barre) in a regular ballet technique class. Here,
I have selected another march from J. Strausss operetta Die Fledermaus166 (see
Appendix A: Musical Selection 87) for its lively and energetic qualities.

chapp with Pirouettes from Fifth or Fourth Position


chapp with pirouette from fifth or fourth position is one of the most common
combinations in the center in pointe class. My musical selection from the Royal Academy
of Dance is well suited for this combination because of its continuous sixteenth-note
motion in the right hand (see Example 3-21)creating the sensation of lightness
necessary for the chapps and the speed necessary for the pirouettes.
Musical selections 88 and 89 in Appendix A are appropriate for this combination.

165 Ibid., 136.


166 IMSLP/Petrucci Music Library, Project Petrucci LLC, http://www.imslp.org
(accessed March 22, 2011).

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Example 3-21 The continuous sixteenth-note motion in the melody.

Piqu and/or Soutenu en Tournant with Pas de Bourre


Piqu means stepping onto pointe or demi-pointe with the standing leg extremely
straight and the other leg raised in the air in any position. Soutenu en tournant is a
movement that is commonly executed when the dancers switch sides at the barre
changing feet and landing on the sous-sus167which is also very often used in center
combinations in pointe class to change directions. Pas de bourre is generally a linking
step which is executed in the pattern step-step-down.
Music for the piqu has to have a sense of attack and must compel the dancers to
go up and balance. All three of my musical selections here (see Appendix A: Musical
Selections 90 to 92) have a very clear downbeat for the attack of the piqu. In addition,
all three pieces have a relatively longer note-value on the downbeat (see Example 3-22)
for the sustaining feeling that is needed for balance in the piqu.
Two of the three examples above contain an ascending pick-up leading to the
downbeat, which draws the dancers attention and leads them to step onto their
supporting leg for piqu.

167 Sous-sus is a relev in the fifth position performed sur place or traveled forward,
backward and or to the side. The dancer springs onto the points or demi-pointes, drawing the feet
and legs tightly together. Technical Manual, s.v. Sous-sus.

75
Example 3-22 Relatively longer note-value on the downbeat.

Pas de bourre can be executed in different tempi. As Cavalli notes, pas de


bourre is done as a three- or four- count step for beginners in a medium-to-slow tempo,
but is often a crisp one-count step for more advanced dancers.168 All three of my
musical selections are for combinations with the crisp and more advanced pas de bourre.

Hopping on Pointe
Hopping on pointe consists of consecutive jumps on one foot or two feet. Dancers
jump with bent knees and land on the box of the pointe shoes, that is, the flat surface in
the front of the shoe. Hopping on pointe is like a petit allegro combination in a regular
ballet technique class, which means music for these two combinations should have
similar qualities.
Musical selection 93 in Appendix A is appropriate for this combination.

Pas Couru and Bourre


These two movements require dancers to move their feet fast. Pas couru is
running on pointe; as Schorer notes, [t]he dancer moves forward or backward by passing
her feet, one at a time, in a tiny step through first position, with the heels and knees

168 Cavalli, 101.

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almost touching. She has to move her legs as quickly as possible, keeping them stretched
but not stiff. This gives the movement a light, skimming effect.169 Bourre, on the other
hand, has more of a gliding motion; it is usually executed across the floor with the feet in
fifth position, moving towards the direction of the front leg. Despite this gliding motion,
bourre should have a fluid and shimmering effect.
Music for these two movements has to be legato, light, and with lots of fast notes.
Music that is too heavy will make dancers feel heavy, too; as a result, they will not be
able to move their feet as fast as they otherwise might. All three of my musical selections
(see Appendix A: Musical Selections 94 to 96)from Mozarts Piano Sonata in A Major
K.331,170 Czernys Twenty-five Finishing Studies for the Piano Op. 755,171 and
Chopins Waltz Op. 64 No. 1172 have lots of fast notes in either one hand or both
hands, perfectly imitating and supporting the fast motion of the dancers feet. The Czerny
example is particularly good for these two movements because the continuous sixteenthnote arpeggio in the left hand (see Example 3-23) provides a sweeping feeling which
keeps the dancers moving.

169 Schorer, 281.


170 Wolfgang A. Mozart, Sonatas and Fantasies for the Piano (Bryn Mawr, PA: T.
Presser Co., 1960), 155.
171 Carl Czerny, Perfection in Style Op. 755 (New York: G. Schirmer, 1939), 76-77.
172 Chopin, 47-48.

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Example 3-23 The continuous sixteenth note arpeggio in the left hand.

Turning en Mange and


Fouetts Ronds de Jambe en Tournant
Turning en mange and fouetts ronds de jambe en tournant (Fouetts en
tournant or Fouett turns) are combinations typically found at the end of the virtuoso
variations (codas) from the standard ballet repertoire, where both male and female
dancers individually perform either a series of turns in a circle around the periphery of
the stageTurning en mange, or right in the middle of the stageFouetts ronds de
jambe en tournant.
Turning en mange consists of combinations like piqu turns and chans, etc.,
while for fouetts ronds de jambe en tournant the dancer executes a series of turns in
place on one foot, with the gesture leg whipping sharply into second en lair position at
each turn. These combinations can be practiced towards the end of a regular ballet
technique class on demi-pointe as well.
Music for these combinations should be snappy, buoyant, and cheerful. Since
these are combinations typically found in the codas from the standard ballet repertoire,
piano reductions of those codas are very suitable for the combinations in class. The two
musical selections that I have included (see Appendix A: Musical Selections 97 and 98)
are codas from the ballets Don Quixote and Swan Lake. Codas have very static melodies
and basses which make dancers feel much more grounded and secure enough to do

78

multiple turns. Also, the simple but consistent rhythmic and harmonic patterns (usually I
and V only) in the bass provide a driving force for the dancers to execute the turns
(Example 3-24).

Example 3-24 The characteristics of a coda.

Piqu Turns and Chans


Earlier in this chapter, I discussed chans (see Combinations in the Center); the
execution, qualities, and dynamics of chans here in pointe class are basically the same.
In pointe class, chans are often combined with piqu turns in a combination. Piqu turns
are pirouettes in which the dancer steps directly onto pointe or demi-pointe while the
other leg pushes up from the floor and comes to a retir position.
The qualities of music for this kind of combination are similar to those discussed
earlier regarding the music for chans. A coda is almost always suitable for piqu turns
and chans because of the impetus of the rhythmic pattern in the left hand and the attack
that a coda provides to support the movements. Piqu turns begin with a pli on the
upbeat, and the accent is almost always up on the beat, meaning dancers arrive en
pointe with the supporting leg perpendicular to the floor on count one. There are three
things that dancers love to hear in music for piqu turns: an attack to push them to step
and stand on their supporting legs, a moment of suspension for the turn itself, and a

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relaxed moment at the end of the turn when dancers are lowering into pli. These three
things happen so quickly that most accompanists do not realize their importance. The
melodic structure of Mozarts Piano Sonata in A Major K.331173 in my musical
selections (see Example 3-25) clearly supports what the dancers need for the piqu turns.

Example 3-25 The melodic characteristics in Mozarts Piano Sonata in A Major K.331.

First, the four- sixteenth-note upbeat provides an impetus for the dancers to push
from pli without sitting in the pli position. Second, the eighth note on the downbeat
provides the suspension moment for the turn. Lastly, the eighth note rest provides a tiny
moment of relaxation before the next turn.
As mentioned earlier in the discussion of music for chans, some waltzes may
also be suitable to support the turning movements. Both waltzes by J. Strauss and
Tchaikovsky in my musical selections here can provide appropriate support for this kind
of combination. The waltz rhythmic pattern in the left hand creates a very steady pulse
and attack for the piqu turns. Also, the melodies in both waltzes have a similar kind of
rhythmic pattern (with longer note-values only) as the Mozart example earlier, which
effectively supports the dancers movements.
Musical selections 99 to 102 in Appendix A are appropriate for this combination.
173 Mozart, 163.

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CHAPTER 4
ADVANCED TECHNIQUE SPECIFIC TO
THE BALLET ACCOMPANIST

Building on the discussion of ballet movements and their appropriate musical


accompaniment in Chapter Three, I will now focus on two important inter related artistic
functions of the ballet accompanist. I will further discuss how a ballet accompanist
should choose appropriate pieces for a particular ballet movement, and I will explore
specific ways in which the accompanist can modify musical passages to better support
the dancers movements.
Before embarking upon an exploration of the ways in which an accompanist can
modify the music to serve the dancers, I would like to discuss several musical aspects
which may be of assistance to the ballet accompanist. I will begin by reviewing several
accompaniment patterns generally found in the left hand, because the left hand is an
important tempo controller for the dancers legs and feet. The bass note or notes in the
left hand generally define the pulse and indicate where the downbeats are.

Waltz Pattern

Example 4-1 Waltz Pattern.

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For musicians, the waltz is defined as a dance with three beats to a bar, usually
with a lilting dum-dah-dah rhythm, and with the bass part often playing the root of the
chord on the strong first beat of each bar.174 In the dance accompanists idiom, it is also
known as um-pah-pah pattern. The waltz pattern gives the dancers a very clear pulse on
each downbeat as well as the subdivisions within each measure (what dancers speak of as
ONE and a TWO and a...). It can be played either strongly or lightly depending on the
character of the movement.

Arpeggiation

Example 4-2 Arpeggiation.

Arpeggiation, or the use of arpeggio patterns, is a standard feature of


accompaniment. In an arpeggio, the accompanist or pianist plays a chord in such a way
that its notes are spread out one after another in harp fashion;175 Cavalli clarifies that
arpeggiation turns a ponderous left hand into a flowing rhythmic structure.176 It
facilitates in dancers a smoothly flowing feeling, as well as a sense of expressiveness.
Arpeggios are commonly used for adage or any combination that requires dancers to
move slowly, smoothly, and elegantly.
174 Music Dictionary (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995), s.v. Waltz.
175 Ibid., s.v. Arpeggio.
176 Cavalli, 153.

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Alberti Bass
In the Alberti bass accompaniment pattern, notes of a broken triad are played in a
specific orderlowest, highest, middle, and highest (see Example 4-3). The Alberti bass
accompaniment177 usually gives dancers a clear pulse along with a smoothly connected
feeling. In ballet accompaniment, the Alberti bass accompaniment figure is common in
music that is in a slow two.

Example 4-3 Alberti Bass.

March Pattern
A march is a musical genre with strong repetitive rhythm, used to accompany
orderly military movements and processions. The ballet accompanist very often hears a
ballet teacher requests a march for a combination, which means he or she is looking for
music that has a simple, straight forward, strongly marked, and evenly played
accompanimentwhich I call the march pattern (see Example 4-4a). The march
pattern almost always is composed in a duple meter (what dancers refer to as being in
2).

177 The ballet accompanist may also choose to use music with accompaniment patterns
similar to the Alberti bass but with a different ordering of the notes:

83
Example 4-4a March pattern.

John Philip Sousa (1854-1932), one of the most famous march composers in
nineteenth-century America, wrote many valuable marches that professional ballet
accompanists love to have in their portfolio for ballet technique classes.
The block-chord accompaniment can be considered a sub category of the march
pattern. This pattern gives a strongly marked and generally very heavy feeling (see
Example 4-4b). Block chords produce an earthbound sensation, while the standard march
pattern creates a sense of forward propulsion.

Example 4-4b Block-chord accompaniment.

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Galop Pattern
Galop was one of the most popular ballroom dances in the nineteenth century; its
name was derived from the galloping movement of horses. Similarly, the galop
accompaniment pattern in ballet has a long-short-long-short rhythmic characteristic that
imitates the steps of the horses (see Example 4-5). The galop accompaniment pattern is
ideal for jumps, and is most often used in music that is in compound timemost
particularly in 6/8. Galop pattern has a lively nature and is full of excitement, making
dancers want to jump or move across the floor.

Example 4-5 Galop pattern.

Melodic Influences
Many people are under the mistaken impression that ballet accompanists simply
have to keep the beat going and need not do more than that. However, dancers are not
mere acrobats; they must do more than just demonstrate perfect technique. They have to
interpret the music and express mood and emotion through their movements. The melody
in the right hand influences the arms and internal expressiveness of the dancers. Thus, the
melody in a piece of music is actually very important. The ballet accompanist should not
underestimate the influence that the melodic material may have upon the dancers, as
Elizabeth Sawyer notes: [t]he music in [ballet technique] class should provide ample
opportunity for the development of dancers rather than acrobats.178
178 Sawyer, 83.

85

Another musical characteristic which a ballet accompanist should be aware of is


something that I am going to describe as the relative melodic activity. Melodies with
many notes, for example, help to maintain the energy and excitement necessary for
dancers when they have to move their feet very quickly. The business of the melody
closely imitates the fast motion of the dancers feet. Melodies with a high relative activity
level can be found in either the right hand or the left hand, but these kinds of melodies are
more commonly found in the higher registers.
The direction of the melody can also be significant: if the dancers are doing
pirouettes or other jumping movements, the accompanist can support the dancers by
using melodies with ascending gestures (see Examples 3-11, 3-13, 3-15, and 3-16a in
Chapter Three).

Tonality
It is important to vary the tonality of the pieces in a ballet technique class, because
playing in the same key from combination to combination sounds boring to the
accompanist as well as to the dancers and teacher. I agree with Harriet Cavallis advice
that it is wise to avoid playing more than two pieces in a row in the same key.179
Another consideration is whether a piece is in the major or the minor mode; pieces for
Adage or any other slow movements are more often in minor than pieces for jumps,
reflecting the appropriate mood and quality of these movements, since the mood and
quality usually change from combination to combination during class.
The ability to transpose a piece from one key to another right on the spot is a
valuable skill in accompanying dancers; the accompanist need not limit his or her choices
for a combination simply out of concern for playing too many pieces with the same

179 Cavalli, 9.

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tonality. Later in this chapter, I will discuss other ways in which the ballet accompanist
may modify pieces to serve the dancers.

Awareness of and Response to the


Physical Accents of the Ballet Movements
Before discussing the various musical accentuations that may be used by the
ballet accompanist, I will give a brief overview of the accentuation in ballet movements.
The meaning of an accent in ballet movement is similar to that of an accent in music.
When you see an accent (>) marked on a musical score, you give a little stress or
emphasis to that particular note. Similarly in ballet, the accents of the movements
remind you to brush out [your leg] forcefully or close quickly.180 Cavalli says,
[a]ccents occur in every type of movement, from the most sustained adagio to the most
soaring grand allegro.181
There are basically three types of movements accents: the one that Cavalli calls a
normal accent, in addition to an accent in and an accent out. Some movements
inherit a physical accent, as in battements frapps, where the action going out is always
more accented than the action coming in: we call this kind of accent the normal accent.
Some movements, especially battements tendus and battements dgags, might have
unexpected accentsaccent in and accent outdetermined by the teacher when he
or she is making up the combinations. Ballet teachers usually indicate accent in and
accent out by using the word and when they count. As Harriet Cavalli says, And is
a convenient label to describe certain combinations in which steps go out on and and in
on the count.182
180 Minden, 183.
181 Cavalli, 143.
182 Ibid., 196.

87
Example 4-6 An example of accent out.

A good ballet accompanist must understand the physical accents of the


movements and respond to them musically in order to provide a firm support to the
dancers. Many authors in my reference list mention the importance of looking for the
accents in a combination and matching them musically, but they do not offer much
instruction on what exactly the accompanist should do to match those accents. The easiest
way to match accents is when the combination is to be accent inthat is, it begins on
the upbeat: the accompanist should play music with upbeats on each phrase. When the
dancers move their legs out on the upbeat, for example, they will reach the in position
on the downbeat of the music. In other words, if you see a combination in which the first
movement is executed on and before the downbeat, or right at the end of the musical
introduction, I would suggest choosing music that begins with an upbeat (Example 4-7).

Example 4-7 Music that begins with an upbeat.

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Choosing and Modifying Pieces


There are many different factors, some of which I have discussed above, that an
accompanist may consider when choosing a piece of music to play for a combination in
class. In fact, the musical characteristics a ballet accompanist considers most important
vary from person to person.183
Choosing an appropriate piece is a highly valuable skill for the ballet accompanist,
but it is also possible to modify a given piece to suit the quality and dynamics of the
ballet movement. There is a continuum of possibilities open to the ballet accompanist: the
accompanist may select a piece and play it almost exactly as indicated in the score; the
accompanist may select a piece and vary the secondary parameters of the piece, such as
articulation and dynamics; the accompanist may modify the piece by adding
embellishments, changing the accompaniment figures, adding voices, etc.; or the
accompanist may improvise the accompaniment extemporaneously.
In my essay, I will not be discussing the improvisation of complete pieces for
ballet accompaniment. However, I will now explore several ways in which the ballet
accompanist may modify the music to better support the dancers. This requires a different
approach to the score than piano soloists and vocal/instrumental accompanists are used to.
As Cavalli advises, rule number one in a dance class is to provide music that helps
dancers. So there are instances when you must alter what the composer has written to
make it suitable for the needs of dancers.184

183 Laurence Galian in The Ballet Accompanists Handbook asserts that [t]he prime
consideration in choosing music for ballet is whether or not it is phrased evenly (Galian, 1). I
disagree because the accompanist can always edit the music and adjust the musical phrasing
before class. Most of the authors in my reference list believe meter and tempo are two of the most
important factors to consider when choosing music.
184 Cavalli, 134.

89

Aspects of Pianist Execution


Staccato and Legato
The articulation of a melody, which is relatively easy to modify, influences the
dancers more than one would expect. If the accompanist is willing and able to experiment
with different articulations, a single piece of music can actually work for many different
combinations.
Staccato gives dancers a feeling of lightness and lends itself to movements which
involve lifting one leg into the air or jumping into the air. Therefore, staccato is ideal for
petit allegro combinations and battements dgags. Because the physical movements for
battements tendus and battements dgags are similar, we can often use the same piece of
music for both movements by modifying the articulation. As described in Chapter Three,
the movements for the two combinations are very similar, but in battements dgags the
foot is lifted in the air instead of remaining on the floor. Adding staccato to the music
gives the uplifted effect that is necessary for battement dgag combinations. Conversely,
playing the same piece in a legato manner will provide the smoothness necessary for
battement tendu combinations.
For jumps like petit allegro, the shorter the staccato, the better for the dancers,
because they will feel lighter and will be able to jump higher. Moreover, a stronger
staccato, such as a marcato articulationis appropriate for the extending action of the leg
in the battement frapp combination so as to closely imitate the striking quality of
movement.
On the contrary, legato music gives dancers a smooth, fluid feeling, making them
want to stay on the ground and imitate the elongated lines in the music with their bodies.
Legato music is used in combinations that require dancers to move continuously,
particularly for pli and adage combinations.

90

The Use of Dynamics


Changing the dynamics of a piece of music is one of the easiest and most useful
tools a ballet accompanist has. Ballet accompanists do not need to follow the dynamics
indicated in the score; instead, they should use dynamics to match their understanding of
the dynamics of the ballet movements.
In general, if the dancers need to move with speed and agility, it is better to play
more lightly so as not to weigh the dancers down. But if the dancers are sweeping across
the floor (what dancers refer to as dancing or travelling across the floor), it is ideal to
play with a more projected sound. Similarly, if the dancers are executing big movements
as in a grand allegro combination, it is recommended to play in an even more projected
way. Crescendos can be used within a combination to provide dancers with renewed
impetus for certain movements. Many combinations might include port de bras, most
commonly in plis and adage combinations. For example, a crescendo is often effective
as the dancers execute a circular port de bras at certain points in adage combinations. The
crescendo should be tied to the natural breathing pattern dancers have while they are
executing circular port de bras movements. Moreover, a crescendo can also be used
effectively right before a big jump, propelling the dancers into the air (see Example 4-8).
Finally, a slight crescendo can also be used effectively right before a pirouette, leading
dancers from the pli preparation into the turning motion of the pirouette.

Example 4-8 Use of crescendo to propel the dancers into the air.

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The Ballet Accompanists Touch


The ballet accompanists touch can have a strong effect on dancers movements.
Most classical ballet movements call for a lightness in the music. In classical ballet, a
sense of physical uplift is inherent in the posture of the dancers and in most of their
movements. However, some ballet movements, for example, big jumps in a mens class,
require heavier, more robust music.
In general, music that is lighter will make it easier for the dancers to jump. The
accompanist can make the music sound lighter by shifting some or all of the voices to a
higher register. The accompanist may also choose to omit one or more voices in the
texture.
If the ballet movement calls for a heavier music, the accompanist can add notes to
the harmonies and can double lines at the octave.
Ballet teachers and dancers may not always be aware of the particular
characteristics of a musical selection or of the terms musicians use to describe particular
musical characteristics. For example, ballet teachers may use the term heavier when
they mean, from the point of view of a professional musician, louder or marcato.
Conversely, sometimes when a ballet teacher asks for slower music he or she does not
mean slower in a literal way, but rather is seeking a heavier feeling for the movement.
Ballet teachers sometimes ask for the music accompanying jumps to be more up; the
ballet accompanist should understand that music needs to be lighter for the dancers when
they jump. The sensitive ballet accompanist pays attention to the terms used by the ballet
teacher and, when necessary, learns to translate those terms into specific musical
characteristics.
When a ballet teacher asks an accompanist to play louder, there is a temptation to
play all the parts of the musical texture with more volume. However, this can produce an
undesirable heaviness which can bog down the dancers. In my experience, it is often
preferable to play the melody in a more projected manner, while keeping the

92

accompaniment relatively quiet. This voicing technique provides a more open, expansive
mood for the dancers, without weighing them down.

The Use of Pedaling


Good pedaling is very important in accompanying for ballet technique classes;
you will be surprised by how great the effect of pedaling is on the dancers. To pedal
effectively, an advanced ballet accompanist must truly understand the qualities and
dynamics of each ballet movement. Sometimes the pedaling for ballet accompaniment is
the same or very similar to that which a solo pianist would choose. However, it is worth
noting that in order to better support the movements of the dancers, sometimes the pianist
may choose to pedal in a way specific to ballet accompaniment. Among the authors in my
reference list, only Cavalli discusses the use of pedaling in accompanying ballet
technique classes, and I have found her descriptions and explanations to be generally
helpful.
Cavalli introduces a pedaling technique which I have found to be useful, but
which differs from traditional pedaling. She refers to the technique as reverse pedaling.
As Cavalli explains, [i]n reverse pedaling, the pedal is released on each dancers count,
having been depressed on the preceding and. This concept eliminates the heaviness that
can creep (or lumber) into music for dance, especially loud, robust music . . . Reverse
pedaling will often help to give the piece the necessary lightness without reducing its
fullness or volume.185 Thus in a waltz, for example, the pedal will be lifted on beat one
in selected measures so as to give a lift to the dancers (see Examples 4-9a and b).

185 Ibid.

93
Example 4-9a Traditional pedaling in Chopins Grande Valse Brillante.

Example 4-9b Reverse pedaling in Chopins Grande Valse Brillante.

This kind of pedaling may be challenging for even well-trained pianists because,
as described by Cavalli, [reverse pedaling] is in direct opposition not only to what
pianists are taught in their classical training, but also to what is written on the printed
page.186 Nonetheless, I frequently employ reverse pedaling when I want to give extra
propulsive momentum to the dancers.
Though reverse pedaling is useful and necessary in accompanying for ballet
technique classes, ballet accompanists still should use legato pedaling (sometimes
referred to as syncopated pedaling187)changing the pedal on the first note of each

186 Ibid., 46.


187 For more information about legato pedaling, I recommend Joseph Banowetzs The
Pianists Guide to Pedaling.

94

measurewhen playing for combinations that need legato quality, such as plis, ronds de
jambes par terre, and adage combinations. The following example from Chopins Waltz
Op. 64 No. 1188 shows the use of legato pedaling. The pedaling in this example for ballet
accompanying is basically the same as Chopins original intention for solo piano. It is a
selection for the rond de jambe par terre or rond de jambe en lair combination.

Example 4-10 Legato pedaling.

With sensitive use of the pedal, ballet accompanists can make the music closely
imitate the qualities and dynamics of the ballet movements, thus providing dancers the
greatest support in class. For example, in one of my musical selections for battements
fondus at the barreBizets Carmen Habanera189an accompanist might try
depressing the damper pedal on the first beat, where the dancers bend their knees in the
battement fondu, and then release the pedal slowly on the second beat as the dancers
straighten the supporting leg and extend the working leg out (see Example 4-11). Such
pedaling is very effective in creating the sense of melting needed for the movement:
slow release of the pedal on the second beat provides the dancers with the impulse to
move out of melting.
188 Chopin, 48.
189 Albert H. Stanley, Favorite Opera Highlights (Mineola, NY: Dover
Publications, 2005), 30.

95
Example 4-11 Pedaling in Bizets Carmen Habanera.

Another example of sensitive use of pedaling to imitate closely the qualities and
dynamics of the ballet movements can be found in travelling pirouettes combinations. A
very popular travelling pirouettes combination among ballet teachers is waltz steps
(balanc in ballet terminology) with pirouettes from fourth position across the floor. A
waltz has a flowing, legato feeling in it, while pirouettes are more energetic and need
more momentum. Therefore, in a combination like this, it is helpful to the dancers if the
accompanist pedals differently for the two movements. Example 4-12 is an excerpt from
J. Strausss Walzer nach Motiven der Operette Die Fledermaus Op. 367,190 one of my
musical selections for travelling pirouette combinations. After pedaling each measure of
the waltz steps, the accompanist should lift the damper pedal precisely when the dancers
start turning; changing to less pedal or even no pedal for the pirouettes provides different
and more sparkling qualities for the dancer. It is very difficult for the dancers to do many
turns when the music is too legato or has a lazy quality.

190 Strauss, 68.

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Example 4-12 Pedaling in J. Strausss Walzer Op. 367.

Interchangeable Music for Different Combinations


In CDs designed for ballet technique classes, the accompanists often use the same
piece of music for different combinations; they simply modify their execution of the
piece to suit the quality of the intended ballet movements. As dance accompanist Jeffrey
Wagner says, there is no reason not to use the grand battement music for petit battement
or the rond de jambes music for a floor waltz.191 Appendix B offers suggestions for
using the musical selections in this essay for a variety of combinations in class.

Changing the Qualities of Music within a Combination


In advanced ballet technique classes, it is common for a ballet teacher to request a
change in the quality and dynamics of the movements within a combination. Mastering

191 Jeffrey Wagner, The Pianist at the Ballet Class, Clavier 17 (1978): 14.

97

all the advanced skills discussed so far will help an accompanist to change the qualities of
the music to reflect the changes of the movements within a combination.
Some ballet teachers have the dancers do battements tendus and battements
dgags in the same combination. The ballet accompanist can use the advanced
techniques that have been discussed in this chapter to reflect the rapid changes in the
qualities and dynamics between these two ballet movements.
Another example is port de bras, one of the smoothest movements in ballet. Thus,
combinations with port de bras phrases attached at the end, or even in the middle of a
combination, may need a change in the quality of the music. Knowing the harmonies of
the music also helps the ballet accompanist easily change the character of the music; for
example, changing a solid chord to an arpeggiated one creates a more flowing
atmosphere for the execution of the port de bras. Examples 4-13a and b, from Chopins
Waltz Op. 64 No. 1,192 work well for rond de jambe par terre or rond de jambe en lair
combinations. Example 4-13b is an illustration of how the qualities of the music can be
changed within a piece. Bear in mind that occasionally this change in the qualities of
music within a combination sometimes involves a change in the tempo, too.

Example 4-13a An excerpt from Chopins Waltz Op. 64 No. 1.

192 Chopin, 48.

98
Example 4-13b Modifying the qualities of the piece.

It is rewarding to see how dancers respond to the music in ballet technique class;
both the choice of music and the manner in which the selection is performed allow the
ballet accompanist to enhance the artistry of the dancers. The best way for the ballet
accompanist to develop these critical skills is to observe ballet technique classes and
develop his or her own ability to relate the music to the dance movements.

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CHAPTER 5 SUMMARY AND FUTURE

Accompanying ballet technique classes professionally is more demanding than


most people would expect: it calls upon many skills of playing the piano, playing
repertoire, working quickly within time limits, and also upon a clear understanding of the
qualities and dynamics of the ballet movements. Many pianists would be able to provide
adequate accompaniment for childrens pre-ballet or lower-level ballet technique classes
with the help of the Royal Academy of Dance syllabus music anthologies or similar
anthologies; however, to accompany ballet technique classes in a way which supports the
dancers movements, a pianist needs to be a lot more involved and have more diverse
accompanying skills and ballet knowledge. A good ballet technique class accompanist
should be able to bring excitement and inspiration to the class through his or her music
not simply keeping the beat but rather making the dancers want to dance.
This essay should have cleared up both questions and misconceptions among
novice and even experienced accompanists. Beginning accompanists, as well as pianists
who have never had experience in accompanying for ballet technique classes, should
understand more about this special art form, especially about the importance of music in
helping teachers to teach and dancers to learn and execute their movements. Beginning
accompanists should begin by using the music provided in this essay while, at the same
time, continuing to develop their own understanding of the nature of the relationship
between music and dance (as explored in Chapters Three and Four). It is my hope that the
information presented in this essay will help ballet accompanists create their own music
folders to use in class.
Ballet accompanists should not be afraid to experiment. As dance accompanist
Jeffery Wagner advises, trial and error often is best for learning what works. If you have

100

made a poor choice, you will usually be corrected on the spot.193 I have learned so
much from observing ballet technique classes, and I heartily recommend that ballet
accompanists of all levels take advantage of opportunities to observe ballet masters and
other ballet accompanists.
I would encourage dedicated professional accompanists to consider writing a
similar handbook on accompanying ballet technique classes. The creation of anthologies
with collected melodies from famous ballet repertoire would also be beneficial for the
ballet world; accompanists can use these anthologies as references, and ballet teachers
and dancers will become familiar with those melodies from famous ballet repertoire that
give the greatest support to the qualities and dynamics of the ballet movements.
I also hope that ballet teachers reading this essay may have a better understanding
of the music which serves their art form as well as new ideas to help them communicate
their musical desires for particular ballet movements. The ballet teacher can even use the
actual musical examples in this essay to show the accompanist what he or she is looking
for musically. Musicians and dancers hear and interpret music in a slightly different way.
The better a ballet teacher communicates with the accompanist, the better the choice of
music will be.
I have been passionate about ballet since I was a young girl and even now,
attending ballet classes remains the highlight of my week. Having the opportunity to
accompany ballet technique classes enables me to use my expertise in music to serve the
art form I love, and it was my experience accompanying for ballet technique classes
which first created the motivation to write this essay. The process of writing this essay
has reinforced my desire to be a ballet accompanist.
My goal for the near future is to record all the musical examples in this essay so
that both accompanists and ballet teachers will be able to follow my ideas more easily.
193 Wagner, 13.

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International ballet mistress and choreographer Deanna Carter has expressed an interest
in using recordings of the musical examples. I would then like to take the musical
examples in this essay and compile an anthology categorizing pieces according to
different meters. Although, for the purposes of this essay, it was preferable to organize
the musical selections according to ballet movements, the organization of musical
selections by meter is the common procedure in the field.
Accompanying ballet technique classes is an interesting and challenging field. I
would encourage pianists to investigate this wonderful career option by observing ballet
technique classes, attending ballet performances, and talking with professional ballet
accompanists to find out more about the field. Through ballet accompanying one gains
appreciation for another art form, especially when one sees the dancers respond to the
music. I also hope that even experienced ballet accompanists have been inspired by the
ideas and suggestions in this essay as well. Keep in mind what Harriet Cavalli says: our
development as an accompanist is a never-ending processa continuing period of
growth in which we question whether a particular concept was better today than
yesterday, and in which we search for new ways to motivate dancers, thereby motivating
ourselves and contributing to our own personal and musical growth.194

194 Cavalli, 217.

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APPENDIX A MUSICAL SELECTIONS


Musical Selection 1195

195 Evelyne Hubler, Rythmes de danse: Classique-Jazz (Paris: G. Billaudot, 1976), 34.

103

104

Musical Selection 2196

196 Robert Schultz, ed., 24 Piano Transcriptions of Classical Masterpieces, 2nd ed. (Van
Nuys, CA: Alfred Publishing, 2008), 104-5.

105

106

107

108

Musical Selection 3

109

110

Musical Selection 4197

197 Hubler, Rythmes de danse, 6.

111

Musical Selection 5198

198 Peter I. Tchaikovsky, Swan Lake Opus 20 (Van Nuys, CA: Alfred Publishing Co.,
2000), 43.

112

Musical Selection 6199

199 Ludwig Minkus, La Source (Melville, NY: Belwin Mills Pub. Corp., 1980), 28.

113

Musical Selection 7200

200 Aleksandr K. Glazunov, Raymonda (New York: Boosey & Hawkes, 1898.), 110-11.

114

115

Musical Selection 8201

201 Johann Strauss, Waltzer (Hungary: Konemann Music Budapest, 1995), 16-17.

116

Musical Selection 9202

202 Tchaikovsky, Swan Lake, 18.

117

118

Musical Selection 10203

203 Maxwell Eckstein, ed., Everybodys Favorite Series, No. 3: Piano Pieces for
Children (Amsco Music Publishing Co. Inc., 1992), 40-41.

119

120

Musical Selection 11204

204 Albert E. Wier, ed., The Scribner Radio Music Library (New York: C. Scribners
Sons, 1931), 5:168-69.

121

122

Musical Selection 12205

205 Royal Academy of Dance, Vocational Graded Examinations in Dance: Intermediate


Foundation (London: Royal Academy of Dance Enterprises Ltd., 2003), 41.

123

Musical Selection 13206

206 Royal Academy of Dance, Vocational Graded Examinations in Dance: Intermediate,


3rd ed. (London: Royal Academy of Dance Enterprises Ltd., 2008), 38.

124

Musical Selection 14207

207 IMSLP/Petrucci Music Library, Project Petrucci LLC, http://www.imslp.org


(accessed March 22, 2011).

125

Musical Selection 15208

208 Royal Academy of Dance, Intermediate Foundation (2003), 44.

126

Musical Selection 16209

209 Frdric Chopin, Waltzes for Piano (Warsaw: Institut Fryderyka Chopina, 1975), 48.

127

128

Musical Selection 17210

210 Wier, 6:134-35.

129

130

Musical Selection 18211

211 Chopin, 75.

131

132

Musical Selection 19

133

Musical Selection 20212

212 Chopin, 63-64.

134

135

Musical Selection 21213

213 Albert H. Stanley, Favorite Opera Highlights (Mineola, NY: Dover


Publications, 2005), 30.

136

Musical Selection 22214

214 IMSLP/Petrucci Music Library, http://www.imslp.org (accessed March 22, 2011).

137

138

Musical Selection 23215

215 Ibid.

139

140

Musical Selection 24216

216 Hubler, Rythmes de danse, 7.

141

142

Musical Selection 25217

217 Minkus, La Source, 130.

143

144

Musical Selection 26218

218 Ludwig Minkus, La Bayadre (New York: Lyrebird Music Press, 1975), 4.

145

146

Musical Selection 27

147

148

Musical Selection 28219

219 IMSLP/Petrucci Music Library, http:// www.imslp.org (accessed March 22, 2011).

149

150

Musical Selection 29220

220 Eckstein, 50.

151

Musical Selection 30221

221 Royal Academy of Dancing and Leighton Lucas, Elementary Examination: Girls
Syllabus (London: The Royal Academy by Dancing, 1960), 26-27.

152

Musical Selection 31222

222 Robert Schultz, ed., 61-63.

153

154

155

156

Musical Selection 32223

223 Royal Academy of Dancing and Leighton Lucas, Elementary Examination: Male
Examinations (London: The Royal Academy by Dancing, 1985), 8.

157

158

Musical Selection 33

159

160

Musical Selection 34224

224 IMSLP/Petrucci Music Library, http:// www.imslp.org (accessed March 22, 2011).

161

162

163

Musical Selection 35225

225 Ibid.

164

Musical Selection 36226

226 Tchaikovsky, Swan Lake, 55.

165

166

Musical Selection 37227

227 Royal Academy of Dance, Intermediate Foundation (2003), 13.

167

Musical Selection 38228

228 Sergey Prokofiev, Romeo and Juliet, ed. L. T. Atovmian (New York: MCA
Music, 1967), 53-54.

168

169

Musical Selection 39229

229 Norman Higgins, Childrens Examinations: Music (London: The Royal Academy of
Dancing, 1968), 52.

170

Musical Selection 40230

230 Eckstein, 70-71.

171

172

173

Musical Selection 41231

231 Schultz, 82-83.

174

175

Musical Selection 42232

232 Wier, 4:62-63.

176

177

178

179

Musical Selection 43233

233 Evelyne Hubler, Jaccompagne la danse (Paris: M. R. Braun, 1968), 14.

180

Musical Selection 44

181

Musical Selection 45234

234 Scott Joplin, Complete Piano Rags, ed. David A. Jasen (New York: Dover
Publications, 1988), 46-47.

182

183

Musical Selection 46235

235 Royal Academy of Dance, Intermediate Foundation (2003), 6.

184

185

Musical Selection 47236

236 Minkus, La Bayadre, 1-2.

186

187

Musical Selection 48237

237 Aleksandr K. Glazunov, Vremena Goda: Balet v odnom destvii, chetyrkh kartinakh
(Leningrad: Muzyka, 1984), 45-48.

188

189

190

191

Musical Selection 49238

238 Hubler, Jaccompagne la danse, 19.

192

193

Musical Selection 50239

239 Andrew L. Webber, Now and Forever: Piano, Vocal, Guitar (Milwaukee: Hal
Leonard Corp., 2003), 69-70.

194

195

Musical Selection 51240

240 Frederick Loewe, My Fair Lady & Gigi (Miami, FL: Warner Bros., 2001), 25-26.

196

Musical Selection 52241

241 Strauss, 68-69.

197

198

Musical Selection 53242

242 Peter I. Tchaikovsky, Sleeping Beauty Opus 66 (Van Nuys, CA: Alfred Publishing
Co., 1985), 75.

199

200

Musical Selection 54

201

202

Musical Selection 55243

243 Hubler, Rythmes de danse, 36.

203

204

Musical Selection 56244

244 Minkus, La Bayadre, 20.

205

Musical Selection 57245

245 Royal Academy of Dance, Intermediate Foundation (2003), 42.

206

207

Musical Selection 58246

246 Joplin, 31-32.

208

Musical Selection 59247

247 Friedrich Burgmller, Twenty-five Easy and Progressive Studies for the Piano, ed.
Louis Oesterle (New York: G. Schirmer, 1931), 24.

209

Musical Selection 60248

248 Wier, 4:194-95.

210

211

Musical Selection 61249

249 Ibid., 6:166-67.

212

213

Musical Selection 62250

250 IMSLP/Petrucci Music Library, http:// www.imslp.org (accessed March 22, 2011).

214

Musical Selection 63251

251 Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov, Scheherazade (New York: Shattinger International


Music, 1946), 38.

215

Musical Selection 64252

252 Peter I. Tchaikovsky, The Nutcracker, Op. 71: Complete Ballet for Solo Piano
(Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 2005), 19-20.

216

217

218

219

Musical Selection 65253

253 Minkus, La Bayadre, 25.

220

221

Musical Selection 66254

254 Royal Academy of Dance, A Dance Class Anthology (London: Royal Academy of
Dance Enterprises Ltd., 2005), 104-5.

222

223

Musical Selection 67255

255 Tchaikovsky, The Nutcracker, 132-33.

224

225

226

227

Musical Selection 68256

256 Lo Delibes, Copplia (Melville, NY: Belwin Mills Pub. Corp.,1980), 18.

228

Musical Selection 69257

257 Chopin, 7.

229

Musical Selection 70258

258 Franz Schubert, Dances for Solo Piano, eds. Julius Epstein and Eusebius
Mandyczewski (New York: Dover, 1989), 38.

230

231

Musical Selection 71259

259 Royal Academy of Dance, Intermediate Foundation (2003), 23.

232

233

Musical Selection 72260

260 Stanley, 32-33.

234

235

Musical Selection 73261

261 IMSLP/Petrucci Music Library, http:// www.imslp.org (accessed March 22, 2011).

236

237

Musical Selection 74262

262 Chopin, 54-55.

238

239

Musical Selection 75263

263 Wier, 6:90-91.

240

241

Musical Selection 76264

264 Royal Academy of Dance, Intermediate Foundation (2003), 22.

242

Musical Selection 77

243

244

Musical Selection 78265

265 Webber, 69-70.

245

246

Musical Selection 79266

266 Ludwig van Beethoven, Klaviersonate Op. 13: Grande Sonate Pathtique
(Wien: Universal Edition, 2001), 11-12.

247

248

Musical Selection 80267

267 Hubler, Rythmes de danse, 17.

249

Musical Selection 81268

268 Glazunov, Raymonda, 110-11.

250

Musical Selection 82269

269 Nancy E. MacLachlan, A Ballet Pianists Handbook (MA thesis, Hampshire


College, 2003), 223.

251

252

Musical Selection 83270

270 Tchaikovsky, The Nutcracker, 19-21.

253

Musical Selection 84271

271 Stanley, 28.

254

Musical Selection 85272

272 Hubler, Jaccompagne la danse, 27.

255

256

Musical Selection 86273

273 IMSLP/Petrucci Music Library, http:// www.imslp.org (accessed March 22, 2011).

257

258

Musical Selection 87274

274 Ibid.

259

260

Musical Selection 88275

275 Royal Academy of Dance, Intermediate Foundation (2003), 23.

261

Musical Selection 89

262

Musical Selection 90

263

Musical Selection 91276

276 Hubler, Rythmes de danse, 29.

264

Musical Selection 92277

277 Royal Academy of Dance, Senior Grade Examination (London: Royal Academy of
Dancing, 1978), 4.

265

Musical Selection 93278

278 Dmitry B. Kabalevsky, Detskie pesy dli a fortepiano (Moskva: Muzyka, 1984), 14.

266

Musical Selection 94279

279 Wolfgang A. Mozart, Sonatas and Fantasies for the Piano (Bryn Mawr, PA: T.
Presser Co., 1960), 155.

267

268

Musical Selection 95280

280 Chopin, 47-48.

269

270

Musical Selection 96281

281 Carl Czerny, Perfection in Style Op. 755 (New York: G. Schirmer, 1939), 76-77.

271

272

Musical Selection 97282

282 Royal Academy of Dance, Dance Class Anthology, 74-75.

273

274

Musical Selection 98283

283 Tchaikovsky, Swan Lake, 67.

275

276

Musical Selection 99284

284 Mozart, 163.

277

278

Musical Selection 100

279

280

Musical Selection 101285

285 Strauss, 114.

281

282

Musical Selection 102286

286 Wier, 4:87.

283

284

APPENDIX B ALTERNATIVE MUSICAL SUGGESTIONS

Ballet Movement(s)

Musical Selection
1

Alternative Ballet
Movement(s)

Plis

Battement Tendu with Plis or


Temp Li

Pas de Cheval

4
5

Battements Tendus from First or


Fifth Position

6
7

- Battements Dgags
- Relevs (Pointe)
Battement Tendu with Pli

- Battement Tendu with Temps


Li
- Low Dvelopps and Fondus
- Travelling Pirouettes
- Pointe Variations

8
9

Battement Tendu with Temps Li

10
11

Fast Tendus

12
13

- Piqu Turns
- chapps with Pirouettes from
Fifth or Forth Position
Relevs and chapps

Battements Dgags

Petit Allegro

14

Piqu (Barre)

15

- Tendus in the Center


- Petit Allegro

16

Ronds de Jambe par Terre

Ronds de Jambe en lAir

17
18
19
20
21

- Plis
- Adage
Battements Fondus
- Battements Tendus with Small
Pirouettes (Center)

285
22

Battements Fondus

Adage

23

Dgag with Fondu and Ronds de


Jambe par Terre

Enveloppes and Ronds de


Jambe en lAir

24

Envelopps and Ronds de Jambe en


lAir

Ronds de Jambe par Terre

25

Soutenu en Tournant (Pointe)

26

Adage

27

- Travelling Pirouettes

28

Battements Frapps

Petit Allegro

29

Battements Dgags

30

- Relevs
- Jump with Beats

31

Adage (Barre)

- Battement Dgag with


Battement Fondu

32

- Battements Fondus
- Ronds de Jambe en lAir

33

- Big Port de Bras


- Dvelopps or FondusRelevs (Fast)

34

Petits Battements

Turning en Mange

Balanoire / En Cloche

Travelling Pirouettes

35
36
37

38

- Travelling Pirouettes
- Medium Allegro
- Big Jumps for Men
Grands Battements

39
40

Stretches

- Adage (Center)
- Bourre

41

Adage (Center)

42

- Adage (Center)
- Piqu (Pointe)

43

Tendus in the Center

44

45

- Battement Dgag with


Battement Fondu
- Adage
Tendus in the Center

- Battements Tendus and


Grands Battements
- Travelling Pirouettes

286
45
(Continue)

- Petit Allegro

46

Tendus in the Center

47

Port de Bras and Adage

- Big Jumps for Men


- Battements Tendus with Pas
de Bourre

48
49
50
51

Pirouettes from Fifth Position

52

Travelling Pirouettes

53

- Relevs and chapps


- Battements Dgags
- Tendus in the Center
- Medium Allegro
- Piqu Turns
Battement Tendu with Temps
Li

54
55
56

Grand Pirouettes
Petit Allegro

57
58
59
60

Medium Allegro

Travelling Pirouettes

61
62
63

Grand Allegro

64
65

Grand Allegro

66

Big Jumps with Beats

67

- Big Jumps for Men


- Turning en Mange

68
69

Medium Allegro

70

Big Jumps with Beats

71
72

Big Jumps with Beats

Petits Battements

287
73

Big Jumps with Beats

74

Turns en Diagonale (Chans)

75

Piqu with Pas de Bourre

76

Grand Pirouettes

77

Reverence

Travelling Pirouettes

78
79

Slow Prances and Warm Up

80

- Battements Fondus and


Dvelopps
- Ronds de Jambe par Terre
- Battements Fondus
- Ronds de Jambe en lAir
- Pas de Bourre
- Grand Battement Fouett
Relev

81

Pas de Cheval

- Battements Frapps
- Petits Battements

82

Relevs and chapps

- Petit Allegro
- Pas de Bourre

83

- Battements Fondus
- Hopping on Pointe

84
85

Petit Allegro

86

Ronds de Jambe en lAir

87

Grand Battement Fouette Relev

- Grands Battements
- Big Jumps for Men

88

chapps with Pirouettes from Fifth


or Forth Position

- Relevs and chapps


- Piqu Turns
- Pas de Bourre en Tournant
- Pirouettes from Fifth Position

89

90

- Battements Frapps
- Petits Battements
- Piqu- Chans - Chasse- Pas
de Bourre
Piqu and/or Soutenu en Tournant
with Pas de Bourre

- Battement Dgags (MediumHigh)


- Tendus in the Center

Hopping on Pointe

Relevs and chapps

91
92
93

288
94

Pas Couru and Bourre

Turning en Mange

95
96
97
98
99
100
101
102

- Plis
- Ronds de Jambe par Terre
Turning en Mange and Fouetts
Ronds de Jambe en Tournant
Piqu Turns and Chans

Big Jumps for Men


Fouetts Ronds de Jambe en
Tournant
Grand Allegro

289

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