Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles I have with us today Yasmine Naghdi and Donald Thom. They look like the typical ballet dancers of today at the beginning of the day, they come in wrapped up in warm gear, they've got all sorts of torture instruments with them. They use all these gadgets to warm up their muscles and get themselves ready to start the ballet class. Then we have the classical era when all those lovely tutu ballets came into being. We have with us Fumi Kaneko and Tomas Mock. So as you can see we didn't have any torture instruments at that time, they just brought themselves, they kept themselves nice and warm because in those days they didn't have lycra or really stretching garments so sometimes they even wore underwear, they'd use a petticoat and just tuck it into their pants so that we could see the legs better and they would start warming up by stretching themselves in a more gentle way. As you can see Yasmine's got going there. What you doing they are you doing there Yasmin? Why are you doing that? I'm rolling out my muscles to get the blood circulation going in my legs. Can you see these? I wish they'd had those in my day, keep your feet nice and warm. And then we have, from the era of Blasis, to represent that era we've got Gemma Pitchley-Gale and Marcelino Sambé Did you notice they came in and they curtseyed to me? Isn't it lovely? And that's what they used to do, they used to come in and they used to acknowledge the teacher before they went to their barre. Can you show me first position? Second position. Third, fourth, fifth and sixth. So what changed from here is that the turnout has increased from 45 degrees to 90 degrees, which is actually a very difficult thing to do because we have to do that by holding onto the muscles at the top of the leg. However when all this turnout started it wasn't quite as well thought out so they had a vice to turn out the feet, which of course must have been excruciatingly painful but nowadays we've worked on things and they are able to rotate from the top of the leg. We're going to start now by showing you the first exercise to be done which is the plie, the knee bend, most important and we're going to see side by side how they've got much more subtle and movement has got bigger, let's have a look: So you can see these poor guys here, they just did two plies lasting sixteen counts each and they would have continued with that in all the positions of course and then turned round and done it on the other side. So exercises have got shorter. So now we're going to do on to battements. Battements are movements of one leg whilst standing on the other. We have grand battement, we have petit battement, we have all sorts of different battements, They're nearly finished but the exercise really was much longer. Now they're going to do them really fast, one in each position. Thank you. how did that feel? Long! Long? But does it feel good? It feels like you get warm really fast, yeah it's good. It's nice and lengthening because you have the time to think about... ...where everything is placed. And what's really interesting is you say it makes you warm really quickly, well the barre used to just last fifteen minutes because they just did two or three exercises and that was it while all this lot went a lot faster. They're doing more exercises but of a shorter duration. So now let's move on to grand battement and see what happens. They're already finished, look! Now they've gone up onto their demi-pointe, they've gone really high. And they're only going to the side now. They would go on now to the back. We've got the petit battement sur le cou-de-pied. That's a really little beat round the ankle of the foot. Now that's changed quite a lot too, can we see? So this is really low round the ankle and by the way it was all very decent in those days because as the legs went up we've come from the Baroque era where we had the floor length skirt suddenly we have this, well if the leg goes up, we can't possibly be seeing the legs, so we had the bloomers. So now this opens just from the knee, sideways, and it helps for all sorts of little steps that we shall see later. As time goes on they start doing it on demi-pointe and they wrap the foot around the ankle and then as we do it now we have a fully pointed foot and we can even have them to the front, petit battement du vent, that's it. So now we can go on to the stretching. They would do stretching with the leg on the barre. In the day of Blasis they didn't do any stretches because they did something called plastique poses. What are plastique poses? Well we've got a picture of plastique poses. Gemma could you just take that lady's pose for me? Yes, and Marcelino. They would do that for three to four minutes and then having practiced various poses they would put little mime sequences together, so I'm just going to say Marcelino could you please say to Gemma, 'I, you, love'? And Gemma, you can react. And then I'll leave it up to Marcelino what you can do, ok? Here we go, let's have a little practise.