Precision in Small Jumps
Patrick Armand- Associate Director, San Francisco Ballet School

Precision in Small Jumps

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Patrick Armand, Associate Director of San Francisco Ballet School, discusses the importance of taking off from a proper 5th position plié in small jumps.

"When jumping, 5th position is more than important, it's essential"
Born in Marseille, France, Armand studied with Rudy Bryans, his mother Colette Armand, and at the Ecole de Danse de Marseille. He won the Prix de Lausanne in 1980 and continued his studies at the School of American Ballet and at the Centre de Danse International in Cannes. In 1981, he joined the Ballet Theatre Français and was promoted to principal dancer in 1983. That same year, Armand was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award for his performance in Béjart’s Song of a Wayfarer with Rudolf Nureyev. Over the course of Armand's career, he danced as a Principal Dancer with Ballet Theatre Français de Nancy, London Festival Ballet/English National Ballet & Boston Ballet. Armand’s repertoire includes many leading roles in works by Ashton, Balanchine, Cranko, MacMillan, Petit, Tetley, and van Manen. Notably, in 1988, Armand performed Siegfried in the world premiere of Natalia Makarova’s Swan Lake at London Festival Ballet. That same year, he was voted best dancer of the year by the British magazine, Dance and Dancers. In addition, he has had work created on him by such choreographers as Bohbot, Bruce, Tharp, and Wheeldon, among others. As a guest artist, Armand performed with the Australian Ballet, the Bayerische Staatsballet, the Deutsche Oper Ballet (Berlin), the Kirov Ballet, and the Noriko Kobayashi Ballet Theatre. Since 2002, he has been the director of the Studio Ballet Colette Armand in Marseille. He has also been a frequent guest teacher for schools and companies in Amsterdam, Florence, London, Naples, Tokyo, and Toronto. In 2003, Armand co-produced Act III of Raymonda for the Noriko Kobayashi Ballet Theatre at Tokyo’s New National Theater. In 2006, he was appointed teacher and ballet master of the Teatro alla Scala in Milan. Recently, he choreographed a production of Don Quixote for the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb, which premiered in June 2010. In 1998 and 2009, Armand served as a jury member of the Prix de Lausanne and since 2010, he has been the competition’s official male coach and teacher. In 2010, he was appointed principal of the SF Ballet School Trainee Program and in September 2012, he assumed the position of SF Ballet School associate director.

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