Step of the week 4arabesque
Posted 26 October 2003 - 12:22 PM
The term itself means "swash" or "curl" - a form of decoration in Arabian art (see, arab - esque). The pose must be done with the leg lifted directly behind the dancer, but that's not the only requirement of an arabesque. The line of the body must conform to and be contained within the bounds of a spiral like the interior of a seashell like a nautilus, or a snail shell. There are so many kinds of arabesque that one post can't hope to recall them all. The example is called first arabesque in the Cecchetti, RAD and Vaganova systems, and arabesque ouverte in the French school.
Try this example:
(Teacher's note - It don't get much better than this!)
Posted 26 October 2003 - 09:08 PM
One other thing -- people do discuss quite a bit the potential problems of hyperextended legs, but then again, they sure can be pretty, no?
Posted 26 October 2003 - 10:11 PM
Here's by way of supplement an example of the kind of EFFECT you can get with an arabesque --
( the fifth picture down the page)....
For me, this picture really casts a spell. It's Alicia Markova in an arabesque ouverte with "romantic" arms and the whole position "allongee," and though it's old-fashioned, I think it's really exquisite.
Posted 27 October 2003 - 07:29 AM
Regarding the picture, it looks to be a type of penche. The standing leg is only slightly turned out, if at all, and the tilt is there, although not the "6 o'clock" penche as most people envision it.
One thing I've noticed in many pictures of earlier ballerinas in arabesque is that Russian dancers appear to have the chest more forward than up. There isn't that sharp perpendicular shape we now see. Could you comment on this, Mel?
Posted 27 October 2003 - 08:41 AM
Posted 27 October 2003 - 09:24 AM
Posted 27 October 2003 - 12:20 PM
Now I bring my weight quite a bit more forward and toward the "supporting side", making sure the opposing shoulder presses down. At first, I felt as though I'd fall forward, but it works brilliantly.
Hyperextended students really need to look in the mirror too, because what feels right can actually be quite off.
Posted 27 October 2003 - 01:12 PM
That's a nice piece of dance history, especially for those who hadn't known about Markova's origins.
There's a sentence missing from it, though - something along the lines of 'Much of this article was written by Jane Simpson and has been copied without permission from the website ballet.co, where you can see the original at http://www.ballet.co...cia_markova.htm .'
The article about Anton Dolin on that site is from the same source. Maybe I should just be flattered!
Posted 27 October 2003 - 02:10 PM
Posted 27 October 2003 - 07:17 PM
Posted 27 October 2003 - 10:29 PM
Watch out, they won't let you leave the country.
Re Jaffe's arabesque, with respect to all of y'all, I admire it, but I don't think it's beautiful.
Posted 28 October 2003 - 04:42 AM
Posted 03 December 2003 - 06:05 AM
Posted 03 December 2003 - 06:14 AM
Posted 03 December 2003 - 02:36 PM
The big difference between the two is that the arabesque has a spiral associated with it when viewed from the side. It starts looping at the back of the head and carries out to the front of the dancer slightly and then swirls around to the back. The visual center of an arabesque is somewhat in front of the dancer's torso in an arabesque. Arms move the visual center of the dancer from simply a torso with a leg lifted behind it. A quatrième derrière has a visual center, when viewed from the side, within the dancer's torso, or even behind it! There are no arms to balance the picture, as they are held in second, and so visually negligible from the side. Choreographically, there are variants, where various swans take a backbend in an arabesque with both arms in Vaganova/Legat 5th derrière, but then the arching torso provides a difference in visual balance. But then, too, that's choreography, when we're talking about strict academics.
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