Magazine article Dance Spirit

Sweet Lift

Magazine article Dance Spirit

Sweet Lift

Article excerpt


The steps done by the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier vary by production, choreographer-and even dancer. But if you attend the Jeffrey Ballet's performance of The Nutcracker this season, you'll most likely see this lift along with Robert Jeffrey's other classic steps. Company members Jennifer Goodman and Michael Levine take you through the move, step by step. Read through the description of this press-lift into a fish several times, then practice your footwork and find a spotter before trying the move with a partner. To see the lift in person, attend the Jeffrey Ballet's performance of The Nutcracker. Order tickets at

Jennifer starts downstage right, at the quarter mark. Michael stands upstage diagonally from her on the center line, facing the downstage right corner.

Jennifer runs upstage left toward Michael's right shoulder. She uses the same number of steps each night so that Michael knows exactly when she will reach him by watching her feet.

When she is about one step away from Michael, Jennifer, who is still facing upstage left, steps or chassés into a plié on the left leg, raising the right leg to attitude.

Michael quickly places his right hand on Jennifer's left hip or rib (whichever feels more secure) and puts his left hand under her right thigh, which is in attitude. At the same time, he slides his feet into fourth position, left foot front, and demi-plies (photo 1).

When Jennifer feels Michael begin to lift her she jumps a little, straightening her left leg. …

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