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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Extension


ConstanzaElisabeth

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I am sorry if this has been asked before but i do not remember having read it...I have a good ninety degree arabesque with good placement and a clean line, but i cant seem to get it any higher than that. i have a very strong back and stomach and can battement very high, even almost folding in half, but i dont know how to get my leg higher than 90 in arabesque without going into a slight penchee. I personally prefer 90 degrees, but teachers and choreography often call for high arabesques. Any advice/exercises?

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The "slight penchée" that you describe is entirely necessary for extension to the back above a right angle. Be aware that in order to get the working leg above hip level, you have to move diagonally forward and upward through the torso and into the arms, head, and hands. As the pull diagonally forward and up continues, that's what makes the penchée happen - go up in order to go down.

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ConstanzaElisabeth, without seeing you, it is quite difficult to give advice on this one. My guess is that your idea of a slight "penchee", is just what you should be doing. In order to lift your leg higher you must use your back more elastically. Your body must move upward and forward in order to get your leg up higher. Also look to see if the working hip is open (please, only slightly). The higher the leg the more open the hip will be. Also keep the supporting side of your body pulled up, with even shoulders.

 

Look at photographs in books of arabesques you find attractive. See how far forward the chest is. Can you look like this?

 

Last suggestion, ask your teacher for a bit of extra help with this. It is always helpful to have an educated eye as you explore new possibilities. :thumbsup:

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Ms. Schneider, we agree like lambs on this one. Thank you for your support. :thumbsup:

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Well, I was looking through arabesque photos that I took for applications the other day and it seems that I do keep my back a little too rigidly straight up, but the only photo that had a significantly higher leg looked just like a titled version of my ninety degree...I think that thinking 'forward and up' will probably help me a lot on this one. Our teacher insists on flat hip placement, almost imposibly so, but it helps to realize that the hip must open slightly for a higher leg. Thank you very much!

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