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Developpe a la seconde


balletbum74

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I was reading a book by Lincoln Kirstein (can't remember the title at the moment), but it said for the torso to be very slightly forward in a developpe a la seconde. For some reason that doesn't seem to be correct. Is it?

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It would really help to know which Kirstein writing this is. If it's early, then it's a reaction to the European methods which were devised for use on raked stages. Remember, Kirstein was not a dancer himself, and knew technique, but as an analyst rather than as a practitioner.

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It says that it was copyrighted in 1952 and renewed in 1980 by Lincoln Kirstein. I'm wondering if he missed it? It says the same thing for pirouettes and other turns too.

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Sounds like the principal text of The Classic Ballet. I think you had to see what was being taught in those days to understand what Kirstein was talking about. Balanchine, Kirstein and Muriel Stuart, who wrote the technical part of the book, were fighting a kind of training devised for the raked stage, that on a flat surface produced a posture which threw the weight onto the heels and pushed the shoulders far back. Miss Stuart used to refer to it as the "Pouter Pigeon" look. They were trying to correct for the environment in which they found themselves, and today, that sort of teaching is not found so frequently. Kirstein chose that description to help create the idea of a "control zone" that Ms. Leigh and I so often write of. We would choose different language today.

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Thank you for clearing that up. The funny thing is, I brought my torso slightly forward in a pirouette and they were much cleaner. I had been leaning back before.

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As long as it works! :) I guess old Linc's analysis is still doing good for people. That's what makes The Classic Ballet such a useful book to have.

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The main thing is that the WEIGHT of the body must be forward, not specifically the torso. You don't move a section of the body to find your control zone. You move into the balance point, which is where the weight needs to be for the move or position.

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