Step-by-Step: The Jump

Opus Osm Ballet JumpStep-by-Step: What to Look For in Basic Ballet or Contemporary Dance

National Theatre Ballet Choreographer / Teacher Jan Kodet Explains the Jump

Ballet is famous for the breath-taking grand allegro jumps that make the audience gasp: How can he jump so high? How can she look so graceful as she flies through the air? And perhaps most important: Is he going to catch her?

In this video interview with Opus Osm, Jan Kodet kindly explains a bit about what you can look for in the jumps you see as part of a ballet or contemporary dance performance. Here are some considerations you might never have thought about before. But they can help you appreciate the artistry in a performance.

Mr Kodet spoke with us right after he led a 90-minute workshop on contemporary dance, at the International Contemporary Dance Workshop in Prague last week. (That’s why his “costume” in the video is designed to help him cool down yet stay warm enough. And why his “stage” is a tiny room behind one of the National Theatre ballet studios.)

In the video, Mr Kodet speaks in English and a transcript in English is below the video. — oo

– Mary Matz

Because you know the jump is, for me, methodologically, the jump is the higher level, the higher peak of the class. Because, you know, if you’re on the floor, the partner is the floor. You can use it.

If you have a barre, it’s the barre who helps you. Sometimes they are hanging like that and so on. They should only be controlling, right? the weight should really only be on your own leg. But still, it’s there.

If you’re dancing with another person, of course, this is the help, you know, sometimes the partner can save [you] really.

But once you’re in the air, and you are alone, it means there is no support. And all the methodological techniques you collect during the class and during the years of work certainly will be shown in the air.

So it means like if you’re not really centered, controlled, maybe released — all these different, kind of like, feelings, and principles — you are not jumping the way you should. You don’t look, or you don’t function, the way you should. — oo

Photo Credits: Photo and video: Miroslav Setnička

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