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Tamara Toumanova

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another example of the way in which the ballet got publicized mid-20th century.

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You have to wonder what story this picture tells without the prepared caption. She's either letting her nails dry, or she's telling a war story: "Well, there we was, 20,000 feet, and all of a sudden this Luftwaffe machine comes up from below, and must not have seen me, so I slips my bird over so I'm above and behind him...."

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Ah...Toumanova's hands reminds me of something. When I was a kid I remember other kids that were able to project those ondulations from their wrists to the fingertips. I was never able to...my fingers were-(are)-always very straight...I wonder if that ability also comes from port de bras ballet training...

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It's just hyperextension of the carpals and metacarpals. Any joint can be hyperextended, and it can be somewhat cultivated, but it's mostly inborn.

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That position of the hands is often used in Balinese and Javanese dance -- possibly other forms of Indonesian dance. Often with extended artificial metal fingernails.

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