In this episode, David teaches the listener how dancers begin to jump in ballet class, and he explains in great detail how dancers prepare to jump through the use of the plié exercise, and some plié relevé exercises.
David also tells the listener the different positions that dancers jump in, the basic positions of 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 5th, and he quickly gives an example of the type of exercise he would set for a first jump, or warm up jump.
The listener learns from David the multitude of steps that can be included in small jumps and medium jumps, Changement, Jeté ordinaire, Soubresaut, Assemblé, Sissone, Echappé Suaté and many many more.
The pianists then begin to discuss all the possible music that can be played for jumps, of which there are many different time signatures and styles of music that can be used. But ultimately, the team agree that at this point in the class when the dancers are fully warm and stretched and pushing their bodies, that there is a lot of fun to be had with the music.
The listener also learns in this episode what the pianists like to play for jumps, which reveals things about their character and personality that they’re able to bring to class.
Matthew mentions quite importantly the technical element of being able to play a secure stride in the left hand, which gives the dancer the tempo and mitre to dance against, and an inventive melody in the right for decoration.
The team discuss the different tempi that are associated with different steps, as some steps go hand in hand with different tempo, and listen out for David’s “preparing the undercarriage to land”!