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Ballet Talk for Dancers

First Arabesque Photos


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To any of the moderators that have experience with this, what couple things do you think auditioneers look for in your first arabesque photo? I know placement is the most important, but specifically what parts of your placement?




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Well, I think the best possible arabesque you are capable of to start with. Have someone, preferably a teacher, work with you. Stay in the center of the floor, away from the barre. Practice piqué arabesque a few times, and analyze what you need to do to get the best look. Then start taking pictures!! It is very helpful to have a digital camera so you can immediately see what you need to fix.


I hope that helps and I would like to add that while the technique does need to be there, to the best of your current ability, it is also important that there is an energy coming off of you that captures a bit about how you feel when dancing. Those photos tend to stand out :shrug:

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Sorry if this has already been mentioned in a different thread but...

How necessary is it to be on pointe or 3/4 pointe? At what age should a student stop posing on flat?



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If you are old enough to be a member of this board, then you should be on pointe and have your photos on pointe, unless you were a really late starter.

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Stay in the center of the floor, away from the barre.


How come it isn't good to stand next to the barre? I was just going to do that for my first arabesque pictures... :)


ALSO!!!! Is it required for auditions that you take the first arabesque on pointe? Should I do both and see which is better? Or should I just do pointe? i've been on pointe for three years, so it's not like I'm unexperienced on pointe.....but my foot looks better in ballet shoes than it does in pointes.

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If you have been on pointe for 3 years, then yes, you should take your first arabesque on pointe and away from the barre.

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I think (mods, correct me if I'm wrong) that they would like the arabesque to be away from the barre, so the judges know that you weren't using the barre, cranking your leg up there, and hoping for a good balance. they want to see the real pique.

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The photo can be done with either a piqué or a relevé. Sometimes the relevé is more solid, and also easier for the photographer (if the photographer is someone who knows ballet at all) to get the timing.


Warning about digital cameras...if they have a delay it's almost impossible to catch the right moment in a piqué or a relevé. Find a digital camera without a delay, or go to a non-digital camera.

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Knock knock--


About the cameras: with digital, you can minimize the delay ("shutter lag") by pre-focusing. On most cameras, this is done by pointing at the subject and pushing the button down halfway. I prefocus even with my SLR. Still, the older the camera, the more delay there will be, and a point-and-shoot almost always has more shutter lag than an SLR.


A lot more people have digital SLRs now--it might save a lot of frustration if you can borrow one.

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Thank you for that information, koshka! :blink: I did not know about that pre-focusing thing. My digital does not have a delay, however, the parents sometimes come to photograph the students and their cameras do have that problem.

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KNock Knock - We suffered from delay with one camera our family had, but the current one has a feature where you can ask it to take three shots practically simultaneously which helps catch the best moment. Another tip - on photoshop which we use on our computer there is a facility for "brightening". This means you can take photos without a flash - so no "red eye". Then if the light level looks a bit dim you brighten it.

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I would just like to add that on some digital cameras there is a "sports" mode that takes nearly-instantaneous pictures - and it helps a lot!

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I agree that the "sports" setting is wonderful for taking arabesque pictures. I also brought my laptop with me and downloaded the pictures right away to be sure we had the best shot. It was a tremendous help to have teachers there to help critique the photos.



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I was wondering how you know whether to take first arabesque photos? Because I don't want to show up without them if I in fact need them.

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