First off, a quick "good to see you again" to leibling -- we missed you smile.gif I noticed a few posts by you last week but didn't have much board time and so didn't comment then.
I agree with what Leibling wrote, "Then, the cranked arabesque with the leg over the head but the upper body contorted and uncomfortable to look at- what is the point?" I'd say that goes for any ballet -- if you can't do it easily, don't do it. The same thing happened, one reads, when Fonteyn added the balances (with arms en couronne). Everybody tried to do them, most wobbled -- defeating the point. I read Fonteyn quoted as saying, "It must look as easy as stepping off a bus, or don't do them," and I think that goes for any "trick."
But specifically, for me, the 90 degree arabesque in "Sleeping Beauty" is part of the choreography. (I don't mind a higher arabesque in other ballets and Balanchine is a different matter.) I just got some beautiful pictures to run in DanceView (next issue, out in April) of Zakharova in Sleeping Beauty and I would not know, without a caption, that it was from "Sleeping Beauty." I can't fault the extension; it's beautiful, there's no strain, it suits her. But it's not Aurora. It's someone else up there, kicking to the heavens. (I feel the same about the 90-degree arabesque in Shades, but I freely admit that's because that's the way the Royal did it when I first saw Shades. The Kirov, for a long time, judging by photos, does a 110-degree arabesque. To me, it looks sloppy, because it causes the hip to be raised slightly and breaks the plane of the body. But I won't go to the mat on that one smile.gif )
90 degree arabesque
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