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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Upper Body Line in 1st Arabesque


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Last night I was given a correction when doing first arabesque. It seems that my elbows are double jointed and hyperextended, so the inside of my elbow was touching the sky even though my palm was facing downward, and my arm actually bowed downward because of the hyperextension. He said that it is just as important to keep your elbows rotated and slightly curved in arabesque as in any other arm position. While that definitely seemed to make the line of my arabesque more attractive, it seemed like it resulted in my wrist looking "broken." His wrist also appeared that way to me. It seems like if I try to extend too much through my fingers, it accentuates that broken appearance. It seems to look less broken if I slightly extend my fingers upward. What is the proper relation of the hand to the elbow to the shoulder to the upper body for both arms in first arabesque? (By the way, I think we are being taught arabesques according to the Vaganova school at my main school; this teacher is not my main teacher).

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The elbows must never be hyperextended! Just slightly relax them, and the wrist too, but don't totally drop the wrist. It should be a line, but not a flat line. There should be some gentleness to it :P

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