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Ballet Talk for Dancers
Michael L.

Origins of the term "B Plus"

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Michael L.

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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