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Watch: Dancers demonstrating the evolution of ballet

Royal Ballet Soloist Marcelino Sambé performs a selection of terre-à-terre steps as part of a Ballet Evolved Insights session.

By Lottie Butler (Former Assistant Content Producer (News and Social Media))

12 August 2015 at 4.01pm | 4 Comments

As part of a recent Ballet Evolved Insight event, members of The Royal Ballet demonstrated steps from the early days of ballet warm-up, directed by former Ballet Mistress Ursula Hageli.

Dancers Fumi Kaneko, Tomas MockYasmine NaghdiGemma Pitchley-GaleMarcelino Sambé and Donald Thom demonstrated a number of terre-à-terre steps favoured by early ballet innovator Carlo Blasis in his daily ballet classes. Steps demonstrated include the Fred Step, one of the favourite steps of Royal Ballet Founder Choreographer Frederick Ashton and performed by dancers from Blasis onwards.

Our Ballet Evolved YouTube playlist traces the history of ballet through the centuries from its origins at the French court:

Watch more films like this by subscribing to the Royal Opera House YouTube channel:


Find out about other ROH Insights events.

ROH Insights are generously supported by The Paul Hamlyn Education Fund.

By Lottie Butler (Former Assistant Content Producer (News and Social Media))

12 August 2015 at 4.01pm

This article has been categorised Ballet and tagged Ballet Evolved, demonstration, Donald Thom, Film, fred step, Fumi Kaneko, Gemma Pitchley-Gale, insight, Marcelino Sambé, Ronds de jambe en tournant, Tomas Mock, watch, Yasmine Naghdi, YouTube

This article has 4 comments

  1. alex responded on 12 August 2015 at 9:05pm Reply

    Thank you for posting this video. Fascinating! ....but "dancerS"? There is really is only one (Sambe Marcelino) who demonstrates steps. How do these terre a terre exercises demonstrate the EVOLUTION of ballet??

    • Anne responded on 25 May 2017 at 7:35am

      I think there are several videos in the series and given the audience it was originally some kind of presentation/lecture. I've not spotted a recording of the whole thing but whilt Marce does almost everything here, I've seen most of them in other vidoes though dancing alone, mostly Fumi and Gemma, so far.

      There is one with the three pair along side each other at the barre demonstrating various exercises, at the same time but three different eras, Marce and Gemma may have drawn the short straw there, it's a while since I've seen it as I stumbled across it on youtube rather than via another page here, I can't remember whether it was tendus or plies or both that they had to do so slowly that my muscles hurt watching them.

    • Rachel Beaumont (Product Manager) responded on 25 May 2017 at 10:28am

      Hi Anne,

      You're right, this video is from the Ballet Evolved series, presented by Ursula Hageli as part of our Insights programme. You can find the complete playlist here.

      All best,

  2. Jakegee responded on 13 August 2015 at 4:12pm Reply

    This series of video clips is amazingly informative! Wonderful performances particularly by Marcelino Sambe, Nicol Edmonds and Valentino Zucchetti. I hope we see "La Bayadere" in season 2016 - 2017, even if only to see Marcelino in the role of 'the Bronze Idol'!! I think Alex's comment above may have referred only to the first clip, but the second clip leads on to a series of 13 Insights from Royal Ballet. They really are 'not to be missed' !!

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