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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Arabesque


Guest pink tights

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Guest pink tights

I recently caught a glimpse of my arabesque--left side is nice, a little above 90 but the right side is pathetic. Now I realize everyone has a good side, but my left arabesque is unacceptable.

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I'm working on a contradiction here. Let's define method/system of technique and what is meant by left and right. I can't answer a question that says in one sentence, "the right side is pathetic", and then says, "my left arabesque is unacceptable".

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OK, that's primarily the right-legged, left-legged phenomenon, like handedness.

 

Remember that arabesque is all about line! The height of the extended leg is a secondary consideration. Make sure that the upper body is lifted upward and forward, and that the arms are correctly extended, but without constraint. The weight must be lifted out of the supporting hip, and the working hip must open somewhat to allow the leg to extend to its highest potential. It would not surprise me if you were to tell me that your developpés to the front and side, left leg working, are not as high as the ones with the right leg. I very often have found that to be an accompanying characteristic with an arabesque that's low to one side or the other.

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Like you stated, everyone has a better side but I'd say we like more working our better side. I have better flexibility on the left side and some time ago, my right side was really unflexible. I just did not like to work the right side so I only worked the left side.

To catch up a little bit of extra work on the bad side was necessary.

 

Have you got backproblems? My arabesque on the right side (right leg working) is also worse than my left side and I know that it comes from a lack of flexibilty there. I have scolisose and therefore I am stuck on a certain height.

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Knock...Knock...parent here. Move if necessary. How does one gain strength to maintain the height of an arabesque? My dd has incredible flexibility when either of her her legs are passively extended into a beautiful arabesque line, well above 90*. She does not, however, have the strength to hold that extension on her own.

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Accumulated time and experience, and the building of strength over a long period of time.

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Guest pink tights

Thank you, Major Mel. I agree it is the right-legged/left-legged phenom., Perhaps I will never get it back; I do loathe ageing. I will work on lifting out of the supporting hip--and rotating out a little more. Yoga is helping strengthen my back/core and I am seeing an increase in flexibility. Pilates would be a better choice, but I can't find a good class that works with my schedule.

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That's good! I hope you will never get them because I don't wish them anyone (they are so annoying) :lol:

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I, too, have mourned the loss of leg height in my arabesques (particularly with the right leg extended--my bad side), and in my case it probably is aging and not being able to take as many classes as I could when I was younger. But I have decided instead to really focus on line, and I have found that when the position is balanced, I am actually quite pleased with how it looks.

 

It's nice to be able to say that I can achieve at least 90 on at least one side, but I think it's even better to look in the mirror, see the entire package and be able say, "hey, that looks pretty!"

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I agree, Blanche. A lower arabesque is one of the concessions to age that I'm starting to make, :) and sometimes I'll catch a glimpse in the mirror and think it looks OK anyway. If you're turned out and pulled up, it's still a nice arabesque. Sometimes people sacrifice that for height, and end up with the dreaded "ironing board" arabesque! :offtopic:

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Guest pink tights

Scoop--please explain "dreaded ironing board arabesque." Sounds fascinating!

 

Today I stayed after class and worked on the bad side. If I can get back a nice line and a couple inches of height--I'll be happy. My teacher told me I'm not lifting up enough and I'm sinking. It's always something...

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Oh, that's when you bend the upper body forward rather than forward and up, so you make a flat, horizontal line from head to toe -- good for ironing on, not so good for arabesque! :yucky:

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Guest drlaurafor

Pink Tights, I have the same problem, and often say that the right side of my body and the left side seem to belong to different people! I have a word about pilates. (I have taken yoga 2X per week since last year, (the last time I posted! - :yes: ) and started reformer work a month ago, to work on my core hoping for more extension. I discovered that with Pilates, you have to be very careful. I do not have any problem with yoga. My pilates trainer gave me a routine she uses for dancers, which seemed to work turnout, knee strength for supporting adagio, and hip flexors. When I transferred to a reformer class, the teacher ran us through the standard pilates routine that one often finds on the mat - lots of jackknifes, teasers, and rolling up and down the spine. It injured my lower back terribly - and I am due to certify soon in yoga, I am strong and flexible. I learned the hard way that some "core work" is appropriate for dancers, and some is not. I'm sticking with yoga!

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