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Comparing two arabesque stretches -- Pros and Cons


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#1 Ballet Bunnie

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 09:35 PM

I hope that it is ok to post this topic as it involves me describing a stretch, but I this is something that has been bothering me for a long time. I have never liked any of arabesque stretches at the barre... I have seen two versions of arabesque stretches, but both with some concerns that I have always been trying to get away with them when teachers give them in class. (I've also had this discussion with a teacher, and she said she personally liked the first way better, but she did agree that it was not perfect.)

The first way / the more common way is having the inside leg up on the barre. But a very obvious con is that the arabesque leg is very easily to become uncrossed, and it is harder to hold on to the barre compared to the second method. Also, the ankle might be sicked in attempt to hold on to the barre.
The second way is not as common, with outside leg up at the barre in arabesque. Cons are: Hips might become more open than necessary, knees are more easily become soften. But it is easier to hold on to the barre and it guarantee a crossed leg...

I am just wondering what teachers here at BT4D thinks about this. Or am I overthinking again?
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#2 Victoria Leigh

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 09:38 PM

I don't like either of them. I don't use arabesque stretches with the leg on the barre.

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#3 Ballet Bunnie

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 10:06 PM

Thanks, Ms. Leigh. I have been dragging not to do them, or fake them (I know, it sounds like I am a horrible student), but I occasionally get caught. I don't know what to do.
What about split + cambre back on the floor. I feel a much better stretch that way. Is there anything bad that I should be aware of for that one as well?
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#4 Victoria Leigh

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 10:10 PM

Not as bad, since gravity is not involved. The problem with the leg on the barre in arabesque is that it is usually done on a diagonal, and the leg is not behind you where it needs to be in the center.

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#5 Ballet Bunnie

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 10:19 PM

That's what I thought too! Thank you, Ms. Leigh!
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#6 tinyzinnia

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 02:04 PM

I don't know if it's okay for me to post this, but I'd like to describe my teacher's preferred arabesque stretch. You need a portable barre, which you place parallel to another barre so that both barres are parallel to the mirror. There should be a distance of about 3 feet or so between the barres, enough room for you to stretch out your leg. While holding on to the front barre, you place one leg behind you in arabesque so that the inside of your ankle is resting on the back barre. You can look in the mirror to correct your placement, concentrating on the turnout in both legs and checking whether your working leg is behind you. Since it's not on a diagonal, you can actually practice with correct placement.

#7 Victoria Leigh

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 05:58 PM

I suppose it's better than the diagonal, but I would prefer to just work facing the one parallel to the mirror barre. Work on a correct arabesque and also penché that way. A very good stretch for your arabesque is to do a penché and try to keep your leg up while you bring your body up. Doing it facing the mirror will help in keeping it behind you correctly.

Victoria Leigh
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#8 Ballet Bunnie

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 10:11 PM

Thanks, Tinyzinnia! Somehow I missed your response.
What about attitude back? My teacher liked us to start facing away the barre, and put our attitude leg on the barre, and with both arms holding the barre and then do plies. Is this a good one? Or is there something better to replace it?
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#9 Victoria Leigh

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 10:22 PM

It can be, but if the barre is too high there are some dancers who will not be able to do this. If there is a lower level barre, that would be helpful.

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#10 Ballet Bunnie

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 10:50 PM

Thank you, Ms. Leigh!
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