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Books: Classical Ballet Technique

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Guest RozeToze

I've pretty much kept up with the other topics, and I'd like to bring this one up. I have a really wonderful book at home called "Classical Ballet Tecnique" that has really awesome pictures and explinations of each step of ballet...but in the front portions of the book, it demonstrates that it can be dangerous for a person with very limited NATURAL turnout (meaning, turnout before training) to be involved in ballet. I feel that that isn't necessarily true! I know that body type can sometimes be an important factor in determining how far you can go in the professional world of ballet, but turnout seems to be something you can work on! I'd like to hear some opinions on this one!

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  • Administrators

RozeToze, the keyword in your post is "can". That is, what Gretchen Ward Warren is saying in her (most excellent) book is not that it IS dangerous, but that it CAN be if a dancer without much natural rotation works incorrectly or forces the rotation beyond her physical limit. As the book says, one can increase their rotation when properly taught at a young enough age, but not much actual increase will take place later. What happens later is that dancers learn to "know their limitations and to work within them". They learn to use what they have in such a way that they can "camouflage a less-than-perfect degree of natural turn-out".


So, the danger comes from over-rotation, or turning out from the knees or feet instead of the hips, and improper placement which prevents the correct muscle usage for turn-out.

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Guest yodaballerina

Dear RozeToze,


I know the book you are talking about because I have it too. I started out having very little natural turnout. I changed it by strching a lot. This might damage your hip flexers if you do this. If you do what I did be sure not to push yourself too much. I succeeded because I did this little by little. I think what Suki Schorer was saying when she wrote this book is that if you push yourself too much you can hurt yourself. But I don't think that if you don't have that much turnout ballet is dangerous. That is just what I think though. You should ask your dance teacher about it.



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  • 11 months later...
Guest Jeanie Powell

Hi! I have been looking for a ballet technique book and i just don't know what to look for. So if you know of a good book tell me please, or can you at least tell me what to look for, or what not to look for?




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Guest PencheAriBesque

Oh I'm so glad you asked this question! I have what I believe is the most versitile and informative technique book on the market. It doesn't just discuss either Balanchine, Vaganova, or Ceccetti. It goes step by step with pictures of every movement in classical ballet and explains what sensations to feel in the body, what is right, what is wrong, and who (which technique) does what variation. It's called Classical Ballet Technique and is available at Amazon.com. It is written by Gretchen Ward Warren and I feel it's totally worth the money, it's every thing you'll ever need to know about classical ballet and more.

Ciao, I hope I was helpful.


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Definitely the best one I have ever seen is Classical Ballet Technique by Gretchen Ward Warren. It is pricey-usually about $40, but it is well worth the price. The book covers everything about ballet technique you could possibly want to know. Also, if it's Balanchine technique you want to see, Suki Schorer's book (I think it's called Balanchine Technique) is the best. The only thing is, it doesn't cover all of ballet, it just covers things that set Balanchine apart from Vaganova, RAD, etc. HTH

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Guest RozeToze

Make that three...I got mine a few years ago for Christmas and LOVE IT! (Anyone else think those Vaganova pictures from studios are REALLY cool? I like to flip through and just look at them, lol)

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  • Administrators

Count me in on that one! It's at the top of the list of books that I posted in The Studio section of Ballet Alert!

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  • 8 months later...

Wonderful to read this - guess it pays to look around here! I was just about to ask about this particular book.


Looks like it will be very helpful for the uninitiated as well as for those who actually dance.


Thanks for the topic.

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  • 5 months later...
Guest DaNzMaNiAc123

I have this one book. I think it was published by the RAF association in england. It shows all the positions and general stances. MOstly of children working their way through the levels. I kknow i found it to be helpful.

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  • 5 years later...

I have it too and I think it is just lovely. It has some parts where common mistakes are shown and how it should look like when doing it correctly.


About the turnout: Couldn't it be that this is in the book because Gretchen Ward Warren has made the book based on professional ballet?


At the end you will find all the steps/movements/positions in alphabetical order and it works very well as a dictionary when you are looking for the name of a step!

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  • 8 months later...

I have this book and I really love it! I had to save up for it for a while, it really is pretty expensive, but that's because it's such a big book with so much information and so many pictures. It's useful for looking up how to do a certain move, and it's also just fun to look at. The pictures are really good. I think that it's a really good book for dancers of any level.


I've actually seen it in several different bookstores, and even at the library, so I think it's probably pretty easy to find.

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  • 4 weeks later...

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