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Step of the Week 6abody positions

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#31 Mel Johnson

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Posted 04 December 2003 - 07:00 PM

You're on! Let's the two of us sit down and write the New Universal Lexicon and Curriculum of Ballet! Should take us only fifty or sixty years, and then another fifty to convince somebody to use it! :unsure:

#32 Amy Reusch

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Posted 04 December 2003 - 08:19 PM

Well, I guess too many decades have passed since I had the 8 drilled into me, after all... seeing as I blanked on Quatrième ... perhaps because the only time I ever heard it used was during the 8 position drill... whereas one encounters the others (with the exception of epaule) quite regularly... it's been so long that got me to thinking...

What is the translation of "Quatrième"? Fourth? I'd always assumed it referred to the front & back "corner" but that obviously doesn't make any sense... the corners aren't in front and back, normally, are they? at least not in a room, if one is facing
the mirror in the Quatrième positions... unless one is considering the en crois positions to define corners of a square?

Mel, have you spent much time studying fencing? I swear I'd read that many ballet positions have their roots in fencing positions, but I've not seen that ever laid out neatly.

#33 Mel Johnson

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Posted 04 December 2003 - 08:39 PM

Yes, quatrième is fourth. It's as much fourth position extended as à la seconde is a second position extended.

Now as to the fencing, back in the days of the ballet de cour, which just might have a stylised battle or two in it, the dancing steps supplemented and improved upon the Spanish/Italian style of fencing with smallsword, as the heavier weapons had gone out of fashion. Kendo wouldn't even prepare a dancer for medieval two-handed sword combat!

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