May 6, 2020: Extra Fun for Legend of Love

I’m so happy to see my dancers online! I wanted to provide some at home learning for you, all inspired by our ballet of the month: Legend of Love!

The story takes place in ancient Azerbaijan!

Azerbaijan is not often represented in western culture and that gives us a special opportunity to learn with this story!

Click the flag to download an Azerbaijan Flag coloring sheet.

You can also use this one by Crayola.

The story of the ballet is inspired by a 12th Century poem–that’s more than 800 years old! The Poet who wrote this romantic poem was Nizami Ganjavi and he came from Persia. Persia is what we used to call Iran. Can you see on the map how close Iran is to Azerbaijan? How might a person get from one country to the other?

Do you also see Turkey on the map? The songwriter who turned the poem into a ballet story was from Turkey. His name was Nâzım Hikmet and he was quite important, but we don’t have a lot of his work in America because it hasn’t all been translated into English from Turkish. Just like Maria Montessori, Hikmet is famous for speaking out for peace!

Do you know what interests me? The water. In the ballet story, there’s a spring that gets clogged or stopped up by a rock. I’ll bet it would be be an interesting science experiment to work that out with rocks and water. I might see about that.

The Ballet and the Music are Modern

See the whole ballet online by clicking on the image.

The Music was written by Arif Melikov; this is the name we practice after the puppet story. When you hear the music, you can tell it’s not melodious or gentle: it’s got a lot of hard sounds and it goes from loud to quiet and back quickly. You can also see, when you watch the ballet online, that the dancers are using their arms and legs in a way that looks like the loud and quiet changes in the music. See how they make their hands stick out? And see how they bend their knees where we’d usually stretch them straight?

This Month’s Step in Pieces: Pique Turn

This is the time of year when we try new things, because all of my students are older and bolder, so I thought we could try to learn Pique Turns! We’ll learn this in four parts. We start with 1. passe, then we 2. change weight from two feet to one, then 3. change feet and 4. pivot on demi-pointe.

The aspect of the step we’ll spend the most on is doing pique without the turn. It looks like this:

Adding a turn (pivot) is a big step. This is the first traveling turn we learn in ballet!

Here is a tutorial on the step in action. Notice how she travels across the floor.

Click on video or link to it here.

Below is a simple coloring sheet. The arms are different on this dancer.

I mentioned this is a traveling turn, which means we do the step to get from one end of the room to the other. Often, when we do many pique turns across the floor, we change arms for our last turn. Here, the arms seem to say “tada.”

Below is another coloring sheet–you can see this dancer is shifting weights from one foot to the other. Notice she is on demi-pointe.

Making this resource page has been so much fun, I want to make them for all the ballets I’m sharing (only with my students) via youtube. I’ll make one for Coppelia and update you as it’s done.

Let’s make this as fun as we can!

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