This exercise is a perfect opportunity to show off performance skills and high extensions – just make sure they’re consistent with what you can do in the centre!
The Nocturne from A Midsummer Night’s Dream was composed by Felix Mendelssohn in 1842 as a commission for King Frederick Willian IV of Prussia. This piece accompanies the sleeping lovers between acts 3 and 4. In the original play, act 3 finishes with Robin sprinkling the juice into the lovers’ eyes so that when they awake they see the wrong person. The piece feels both calming and restful, but also mischievous and playful.
I actually really love this music, and I feel like the choreography of the exercise as well really lends itself well to the original intention of the music. This adage shows off many advanced steps, like ballottés and tombés away from the barre. The piece should be danced with a bit of a serene tone (as if you’re saying goodnight to your friends or significant other), but also with a bit of a mischievous twist. The ballottés and tombé away from the barre are a bit of a surprise step in the middle of the adage, and it’s really a time to show off your expression and use of breath.
The focal steps in this adage are the ballottés and the grand rond de jambe en dedans, however the tombé away from the barre is also a bit of a new one too.
- Stay square in the tombé – don’t let your body collapse
- Hold your core
- Stay square in the arabesque and penche – think opposite shoulder to the leg that’s extended