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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Port de bras/squared hips


Guest NSBDancer

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Guest NSBDancer

Any tips or exercises on how to improve? I am constantly nagged because, when I started ballet (at a stupid studio) they didn't tell us to relax our necks for por de bras,,, and I made a bad habit. Now I'm constantly being told to relax, relax, relax! :) Also, I have a hard time squaring my hips when I battement and attitude to the side. I've heard that bringing the leg a little more to the front helps, but then I can't get as much elevation as I'm capable of. Any help??

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OK, you've been repeatedly told, now it's time for you to start telling yourself. You have to set up your mind to think, for the time being, port de bras = relax neck.:)

 

Now as to the hips being squared, I suppose that by "attitude to the side" or attitude de côté, you mean a position where the thigh is in à la seconde and the knee is bent so that the toe points toward the floor, right? Keeping the hips square in that position and in grands battements ought not to be a great difficulty unless you have unusually tightness through the hipjoint and your rotation from the hip could be better. Ordinarily, inching the position forward from absolutely side should help. I can't quite be sure of what you mean by "elevation" here, as these are not normally temps d'élévation in a class environment. Do you mean extension?

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Mel Johnson, im sure she means extension;) at our school (NSB) our director insists on having teh leg a la second in front of our hips. all of teh students from other schools i have seen have learned a la second as being straight to the side, which i dont particularly like because of the effect it has on teh hips and torso. but maybe thats just me! and NSBDancer, hun, i know what you mean about squaring the hips. i can definitely relate. youve probably got tight hips like mine. ill talk to you on friday and show you some stretches and things that have helped mine.

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Your teacher is wise in not insisting on absolute side à la secondes unless you're working in class every day toward that goal. Very few people have the proper amount of rotation to get it completely to the side, and trying will really skew your alignment badly out of whack. Good idea to share ideas in class!:)

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Guest NSBDancer

gracias, tazi. :) and mel. Yeah, its funny. Normy gets on me about relaxing (something I just gotta change) and sue is the hips. neither one get on me for both! :P I'll try to get to dance early to talk with you... and yeah, my thighs are mighty tight too!!! Hail to the Tzz and the Tffs! :P

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Guest Nadezhda

I can give you some hints about port de bras. Mine really come naturally, since I had a teacher that really emphasized them (how lucky I was!). I say this because lately I see more and more dancers that have overall good technique, legs like I'll never have, but their port de bras look like they have severely broken their arms.

 

Put some nice music on (I like piano soundtrack music - try Legends of the Fall Soundtrack; Piano theme).something that you find really inspirational, then position yourself in front of a mirror and start doing port de bras. You can do very simple like - first - third - second and preparatory position and repeat that several times. Just feel the music in your arms, let your arms flow (they can't when you're all stiff!).

 

I hope that helps. :) And I hope you improve.

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i love doing port de bras around the house and just whenever my arms feel like moving. i dont have naturally good arms, theyre short and weird, but just moving them and feeling the relaxation and articulation in them has helped me tremendously. miss sue used to tell me that i had it in my feet, i needed to do something with my upper body. now ive freed my arms up a lot(not enough, im still working on it) and im trying to use my head and neck more and loosen up a bit. ascending teh stairs with arms in an expectant third arabesque, eyes gazing towards teh heavens, reaching for something magnificent seated atop a silver cloud...

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