Simulation of the airborne phase of the grand jet in ballet
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SIMULATION OF THE AIRBORNE PHASE OF THE GRAND JETÉ IN BALLET. D. Gordon E. Robertson, PhD, FCSB Pamela Galler, BSc Lisa Stanley, BSc Biomechanics Laboratory, School of Human Kinetics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, CANADA. Introduction. Grand jet é is one of the strongest jumps in ballet

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Simulation of the airborne phase of the grand jet in ballet l.jpg
SIMULATION OF THE AIRBORNE PHASE OF THE GRAND JETÉ IN BALLET

D. Gordon E. Robertson, PhD, FCSB

Pamela Galler, BSc

Lisa Stanley, BSc

Biomechanics Laboratory,

School of Human Kinetics,

University of Ottawa, Ottawa, CANADA


Introduction l.jpg
Introduction BALLET

  • Grand jetéis one of the strongest jumps in ballet

  • It is characterized by a leap that travels horizontally

  • Laws (2002) proposed that it is possible for the upper body to appear totranslate in flight while the centre of gravity follows its parabolic path


Grand jet l.jpg
Grand Jeté BALLET


Methods l.jpg
Methods BALLET

  • Two experienced ballet dancers/instructors

  • Performed several grand jetés in sequence with a step in between jumps

  • Some trials were done landing on a force platform

  • Video taped at 60 fps

  • 10-segment model of body (i.e., hands and feet ignored)

  • Planar motion analysis


Methods5 l.jpg
Methods BALLET

  • Takeoff velocity determined from data preceding and after takeoff

  • Initialestimate of total body angular momentum taken from average of flight phase momenta

  • Jointdisplacements, initial position at takeoff, initial velocity and angular momentum were then used to iteratively obtain changes in trunk angle during flight (Lemaire & Robertson 1990)

  • Total body angular momentum was adjusted by comparing simulated motion with actual motion


Methods6 l.jpg
Methods BALLET


Methods7 l.jpg
Methods BALLET

  • Once a successful simulation was achieved:

    • Hip joint displacements were modified to elevate lower extremities to produce full “split” in the air prior to reaching peak height

    • Shoulder joint displacements were then modified to raise the upper extremities until a “flat” trajectory of the head and shoulders was achieved


Results l.jpg
Results BALLET

  • Neither dancer had a flat trajectory of the upper body during their jumps

  • Raising the legs to achieve a “split” configuration in the air was insufficient to achieve a flat trajectory

  • Raising the armspast the horizontal was necessary to achieve the linear translation illusion with both dancers



Initial jump l.jpg
Initial Jump BALLET





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Discussion BALLET

  • The illusion of “floating” through the air or linear translating while airborne could be achieved but required that the arms elevate above horizontal

  • In some dance traditions this is not a permissible motion

  • The illusion could be extended further by lowering the arms and legs after the jump apex, however, this may result in a hazardous landing


References l.jpg
References BALLET

  • Lemaire, E.D. & Robertson, D.G.E. (1990) Validation of a computer simulation for planar airborne human motions. Journal of Human Movement Studies, 18:213-28.

  • Laws, K. (2002) Physics and the Art of Dance. New York: Oxford Press.



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