Center work usually begins with an adagio combination. Adagio combinations help the dancer to get stronger, and it makes them work on holding leg extensions properly, while standing and not holding onto the barre. An adagio is also a very beautiful exercise if done correctly. One of the most famous adagios is the Rose Adagio from The Sleeping Beauty in which the Princess Aurora stands on one foot, in full pointe for several minutes while being turned by several partners and working through several positions with her working leg.
Adagio combinations will consist of slow sustained movements that continuously unfold and flow through posed, extensions and circular movements. These movements connect with a smooth transfer of weight, and balance on one foot in various positions. Performing adagio requires excellent control of many basic things happening consecutively or at the same time.
Adagio combinations demand a great deal of technique from you, the dancer. In an adagio combination, time is stretched to make the movements fluid. Often you will have to strive to create the longest possible body lines in space, the longest and fullest movement within a given time frame. Performing an adagio combination, presents a personal challenge for any dancer.
Set adagio combinations may can contain learning the classical body positions, or arabesques and developpes. This type of adagio combination is very useful in learning these fundamentals. Set adagios can also give you time to learn and memorize and refine important poses that are used throughout your ballet training. These types of adagio combinations teach the contrast of the body facing crosie, efface and en face and provide a structure for leaning to connect these movements.