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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Classical line ideal?


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I was watching a girl take class the other day with BEAUTIFUL extension--leg to ear? No problem! I've always been very flexible, but in developpés and arabesques (really anything except grand battement) didn't push my leg to my ear because I thought it was considered improper. An offense to the classical ideal, if you will. But is this correct? What IS a good general idea of the degree of extension to be used in adagio, while still maintaining classical line and form and not acrobatics? I don't remember where I read it, but I recall reading that shoulder height is perfect as it maintains the line while still giving a portrait of high extension (a la seconde). Is there an average ideal within which to maintain extensions? Or is it more of a free for all now, with everyone developpé-ing to their ears?

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A leg by the ear is acrobatic and not appropriate, IMO, for classical ballet. However, a lot of contemporary works today allow it. A shoulder height leg is quite high enough, I think, unless one is free to let go of all classical alignment.

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