Monthly Archives: February 2010

Ballet Lessons: Ailes de Pigeon

The Bluebird of Sleeping Beauty

by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move


Ailes de pigeon (Fr., pigeon wings),  also known as Pistolet and Brisè Volèt.  This was a tough one.  After a lot of searching online for videos that I might use, I decided to enlist the help of my creative producing partner,  Los Angeles Choreographer and dance teacher, Michael Cornell of Private Ballet LA (now known as Align Ballet Method).  He was a bit reluctant – “…Only the toughest movement in ballet!”

But I knew he could do it as he had danced the role of the Blue Bird from Sleeping Beauty, during his career with BalletMet.  So over morning coffee and and the biggest brownie I could find (his favorite guilty pleasure), he relinquished.  Below is a video of Michael demonstrating this very powerful movement.

Formal definition for Ailes de Pigeon:

A particularly demanding ballet step which most famously occurs in the Blue Bird variation in Sleeping Beauty. The dancer throws the left leg up, springing off the right which rises to beat beneath the left calf. He changes legs and beats, then changes again in order to land on the right foot, with the left leg stretched out into the air. It is performed en avant and en arrière.

Contributed and video produced by Tracey Paleo, Gia On the Move with the help of her creative partner, dance instructor Michael Cornell.

Ballet Lessons: Adage, Adagio, part 2

(2) The opening section of the classical pas de deux, in which the ballerina, assisted by her male partner, performs the slow movements and enlévements in which the supported exhibits her grace, line and perfect balance while executing développés, pirouettes, arabesques and so on, and achieves combinations of steps and poses which would be impossible without the aid of her partner.