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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Attitude Derrier

Guest dancerlover

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Guest dancerlover

Does anyone know what would be a good way to start practising how to obtain a clean attitude derrier starting from 5th position like those prima ballerinas where their lines is clean and smooth and neat?


I am able to do so with barre support but I realise following:


1) Thighs are weak without barre thus lift won't be as high

2) My shoulders sinks onto one side after full lift

3) My either side gets smashed up causing body to be imbalance


Further questions:


1) As you are lifting your feet tracing lines from 5th up to knees do you engage weight totally(fullly) at this point to your supporting leg or later


2) How do you maintain a nice attitude leg up in air as I feel my feet sinking after teacher lets go of support


3) When do you gain full body/shoulder balance- is it when enggaing working leg out as your supporting leg supports or is it after all foot placement is done?


Hope my email is not confusing

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dancerlover, attitude derrière is not an easy position, and takes a long time to accomplish. It requires a lot of rotation to make the line look good, and very good control of alignment and balance point to hold it in the center.


The weight transfers totally to the supporting leg the moment the working foot leaves the 5th position. Then the weight moves forward and upward, with the shoulders square, the moment the working leg leaves the retiré position and moves to the attitude. The adjustment in the body weight is the same as for arabesque.


To find the correct line of the leg, start with your tendu derrière, lift it to arabesque, maintaining the same line you have in the tendu, then bend the knee, maintaining the lift of the thigh. The working hip will open slightly in order to rotate the back leg, and the body moves forward and upward as the leg lifts. Be sure to move your arms well into your control zone and don't arch back.

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I found out, that I always had my attitude to high (at the beginning) I had it high but the placement was wrong so that it did not look nice. I took it lower, got the placement right and now I don't need to look in the mirror anymore to know that the attitude is right, it just feels right. You could ask your teacher to place your leg in a low attitude the right way, but so that your leg won't go down when she lets it go. Then you will get the feeling for the right position (which was very helpful for me when increasing height)

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I had been keeping the thigh in a straight line back, with the lower leg "crossing". The AD I'm working for now wants me to keep the foot at midline and the thigh opened a bit. It makes a nicer line, actually, and is easier on my lower back. He thinks it makes an extension into arabesque look better. The foot goes in a straight line that way.

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Guest dancerlover

I have been practising over 3 days now;


Below is what I did;


1) I went back to basics of having my feet in arabesque derrier- realised that my foot is overcrossed

2) My shoulders still slips to left/right without mirror assistance

3) My arabesque is not as high and lines is not as clean as it is- causing my thighs not to be able to lift the attitude up

4) Sickle of foot at height of attitude which I can't seem to help...




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