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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Origins of the term "B Plus"

Michael L.

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Barbara Walczak is the creator of the term “B Plus.” Barbara studied with Balanchine from the 1940s to the 1960s, appearing as a soloist with the New York City Ballet. Barbara was one of those dancers who wrote everything down, classes, rehearsals, etc. When Mr. B was creating Symphonie Concertante, Barbara was learning the ballet for the 1947 premiere at City Center and was, as usual, writing all the choreography down. She didn’t have a term for the position we now call B Plus, so she made one up. The “B” stands for Barbara, and the Plus was simply her creation to further define the position since she couldn’t really just call it “B,” it needed something else and Plus was the simplest and most immediate thing that came to her mind. Previous names for the position have surfaced as: Attitude a Terre, Pointe Derriere Croise and even Sur le Coup de Pied. 

Michael Langlois, Ballet Review

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  • 2 months later...

Sur le Coup de Pied a Terre would be fitting.  But this is what I've always been taught regarding "B+"

" The best known and most probable is that the B is for Balanchine because he made such frequent use of the position in his choreography for the New York City Ballet. Another is that in the Labanotation system of dance notation, the notation for this position resembles B+." 


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well, that was the story I heard as well until I researched it. [My post above]  is the correct origin of "B Plus." 

Edited by dancemaven
Removed repetitive posting.
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my source is Barbara Waclzak. I hate to sound snarky, but didn't you read my post? I spoke to her directly. She is the source. The term came from her. Whatever story you heard or heard previously is incorrect. it has nothing to do with Balanchine or Laban or Benesh. Those were just stories someone passed along because no one really ever knew the origins except Barbara and a few of her fellow dancers from NYCB.

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Yes, I did read your post.  It is a series of statements about Barbara Waclzak—but you did not say the source of the actual information. 

Thank you for clarifying the source. 

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