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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Pirouette in arabesque


sylphide

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Ok, we are now learning tour in arabesque... and I can't turn!. I must say that I have decent turns in fifth position both en dedans and en dehors as well as in fourth position. so here I am trying to decompose tour in arabesque en dedans(starting in fourth). I know your preparation is similar as a regular pirouette, but I can't seem to "bring" my extended leg with me when I turn :wink:.Any tips?

thanks!

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Sylphide, all turns in open positions are more difficult, because your leg is away from your center, which slows you down. You need extra impetus to begin with, and then you need to get very high on the supporting leg and make sure it turns. The back leg actually should not "come around", or it will not be behind you! Try practicing with turns in attitude first, since that open position turn is not as far open and it's easier to turn. Once you can do that, then try the arabesque again. Be sure you take your head with you and do not leave it behind at all, and bring your working side around with a lot of force from the back muscles!

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Thanks For your precious advice Ms. Leigh. I will be sure to try it tonight at home. I have class tomorrow and will let you know how it went. Quick question to you again since you are a teacher. Do you think it is pedagogically wrong to introduce tour in arabesque before tour in attitude since the latter is less difficult?

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Well, since those turns are in the more advanced levels, it's really not crucial, however I would definitely do attitude before arabesque. But it can be done either way I'm sure :wub:

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:wacko: Miss Leigh, we did not practice our pirouettes in arabesque since last Wednesday, but we did do some tours in attitude derriere...and thanks to your advice, every thing worked fine! Thank you agai for being there for us students!
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Very nice to hear, sylphide! Thank you for telling us :wacko:

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  • 3 weeks later...

This turn was in some choreography I was teaching to an advanced student in a university concert last year, and even she was having a devil of a time with it. With nerves, it was disintegrating even more. Finally, to save the turn, I had her bring her arms together, rounded in front as she turned and then extended back to arabesque as she completed the turn. It was the only way I could get her to feel forward on her turn, and to bring that back shoulder forward so she was truly square. When I do these myself, I come a little more forward than I think I need to, so even if I lose the turn, I'm falling forward, and can save the ending.

 

Miss V, do you think it's harder for dancers to get squared in arabesque than in attitude? Maybe I'm an odd duck, but I am more comfortable turning in arabesque than in attitude.

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The beastly thing about turning in a position with the leg extended, whether in arabesque or attitude, and whether you spot or not, is that the whole body has to go into the turn as a unit. This means that there's no dragging leg, or spiraling upper body, and attitude is really one of the most difficult things to get right. I see so many dancers and photos of people who should really know better with a shoulder pulled back out of alignment in attitude.

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