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What is a good height?

Guest lovinballet14

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I think most of us who are teachers do not deal in numbers. We deal in "line". When the line of the arabesque is right for that dancer, then we say, "yes, there it is!" With young students, or students who have not had a lot of training, it's totally about the placement of the body, the leg, the rotation, the foot shape, which all create the line. When the line is right, then work for more extension. Ninety degrees makes a very good line if everything else is right. Above ninety is great, but also depends on everything else being right. Too much above becomes acrobatic. It loses the line. So, it depends on the dancer, the training, the rotation, the foot, the alignment, the back flexibility, and many things all put together.

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Well, looks like she is having a good time with the Esmeralda variation, :) however, the arabesque is not one that I would be totally happy about. The supporting leg is turned in, the left arm bent and wrist too droopy, and the hip is up there pretty high. Not a classical line, technically.

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Now, that's what I would call a "situational arabesque". The arabesque is somewhat allongé, and also a little bit out to the side, but not so far as the offensive "alabesque" position, which can't make up its mind whether it's an arabesque or à la seconde. Know what's going to happen next? Well, you see that guy a little behind her, on the floor? He's going to hold her by the supporting thigh, and promenade her in that position, with her leg passing over his head. So it's a choreographic use of an arabesque, which doesn't particularly go a long way to explain a technically perfect arabesque!

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100° is usually nice. 120° is about the max anybody can do without going into contortionist mode. Extensions devant are really the most difficult.

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And another related question: At what angle should a pencheé be? I am lucky to be flexible, so I can get my leg well past 180* without sacrificing placement, but I'm not sure if that is really properly balletic or not. I have always loved Caroline Duprot's pencheé from the 'Wear moi" website, which is exactly 180*. So could someone give me a good range, in degrees, for placement of a penché in various styles of ballet? Also, if anyone has pointers on how much the back should be bent in a pencheé I would appreciate that too, since I think mine goes a bit farther than it should, and I don't want to stick out my ribcage.

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Oh my gosh, I don't really have an answer for you puppies fly, but that picture of Miss Duprot is really really stunning. Holy cow, wish I was her.

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Read further up this thread.


Remember, quantification is all very well for the sciences, or in a description, but in art itself, not terribly useful, in fact sometimes downright stultifying! (Try to imagine Mona Lisa if it had been created in terms of mechanical drawing! :flowers: ) It's a look, not a number. The arabesque line is a spiral. Imagine the head as being the centerpoint of an ever-widening spiral, like the shell of a chambered nautilus. Anything which strays too far from that line is not arabesque anymore. :wink: Everything will depend on how something looks on YOUR body, and individually, on everyone else's body. Everybody's different, and every ballet has its own demands. The arabesque which will be perfect for Giselle will be too flat and low for Swan Lake. A six o'clock penché is fun to have, but when it comes right down to fact, not terribly useful. And an oversplit is just painful to watch! (Furthermore, an oversplit (as in a grand jeté) by a dancer with hyperextended legs is just bizarre!) :speechless:


(Edited to add: IN REM: your sig line - don't you mean "numinium"? And the ° character can be made by pressing ALT + 248. :sweating: )

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knock knock...i'm 18, but on the topic of extension, what height is acceptable for an extension side?


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