Jumping Jacks Online with Jane Tucker
|Powerhouse Ballet's Anniversary Class with Jane Tucker and Davis Plumpton|
(c) 2019 Powerhouse Nallet: All rights reserved
Although I had attended two of her special vacation classes at Northern Ballet in 2018 the first time I got to work with Jane Tucker properly was when I attended her intensive choreographic workshop on Swan Lake at KNT. I had seen many performances of that ballet over a lifetime of ballet going but I learned more from attempting cygnets, the prince's solo, the Hungarian dance and the entry of the swans than I had gleaned from all the performances I had ever seen or books, articles and programme notes on Swan Lake I had ever read. The same is true of the other ballets that we studied in those workshops.
Jane has a very distinctive style of teaching which I first described in KNT's Beginners' Adult Ballet Intensive - Swan Lake: Day 1 18 Aug 2015 Terpsichore. First, there is the warmup which is similar to those of the other teachers at Northern Ballet Academy except for the sudden command "other way" when we have to turn on a sixpence and the skipping facing in and facing out and Jumping Jacks. Then there is the barre which usually has a few refinements that keep our minds as alert as our bodies. The really challenging stuff is the centre work with a lovely adagio, a chassé, pas de bourré followed by pirouettes "single or double" and "as many as you like" and, finally, glorious zig-zags, grands jetés or some similar exercise. Somehow the 90 minutes flash by. Jane's classes are the nearest thing I know to a time machine,
It was for all those reasons that I invited her to give us our first company class in 2018, She gave us our first anniversary class in 2019 with David Plumpton at the piano. She gave us our last studio class in the Dancehouse just before lockdown. And the first Saturday after studios reopen she and David will give us the class of our lives.
Now as I said in Classes in Lockdown 10 May 2020 I feared that I would have to forget about ballet for a long time after I had to cancel the Snowflakes workshop with Mark Hindle on 14 March 2020. It was Maria Chugai's offer of an online class that made me reconsider. Immediately after class was over I texted Jane to tell her about the success of the class and to invite her to give an extra class as well as our second anniversary class online. Jane agreed and that class took place yesterday between 11:00 and 12:30.
It was a great success. Here is some of the feedback:
Christie Louise Barnes 🤗 loved it!!
Sarah Lambert Thank you so much for organising it and to Jane Tucker for leading it. I watched her RAD videos, and a lot of the techniques in there she was using with us. Wonderful!
Sarah Stewart Thanks so much for organising this. It was my first time and I really enjoyed it. Absolutely loved the adage ❤️ Thanks again. Look forward to next time x
Actually, we had several new faces yesterday. We had a full house despite two last-minute cancellations.
Obviously, Jane could not do everything that she would have done in the Dancehouse or some other studio but she incorporated the floor exercises that started every day of her intensive workshops into today's class. We might not have been able to run around the studio but we did manage some running on the spot and even a few Jumping Jacks.
The barre was almost exactly like the studio. We did our tendus in the centre, a very similar adagio and even a few jumps at the very end. It really was the very next best thing to a class in the studio.
Those who missed today's class will get a second chance on 30 May. I shall make the Eventbrite card shortly. Sophie Richardson has also offered us a class on 13 June. I shall arrange another for 27. A suggestion has been made for a Bharatanatyam class and that has aroused a lot of interest. I will see whether that can be done.