2 3 Port de Bras and Inflatable Suits | Ballet Webb

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Port de Bras and Inflatable Suits

A beautiful port de bras is the hallmark of a mesmerizing dancer (see yesterday’s Link of the Day).  Yet the patterns of the arms are simple, geometrically speaking.  The arms always move along prescribed “highways”, and seldom come close to the body, except in fifth en bas or when playing a specific character (White Swan, etc.).These” highways” are circular, with the exception of moving to an arabesque position of the arms.  I call those movements “dead end streets”.
 I tell my students to imagine wearing an inflatable suit, similar to the diving suit in the above photograph.  In a diving suit, the arms cannot come close to the body and one is forced to move the arms in the more correct circular pathway. 
Those pathways are:  one that goes from the front of the thighs in almost a complete circle over the head (like a long rainbow); one that runs in a half circle, level with the floor, at the height of the lower rib cage (like a half hula hoop); another that forms a half circle from the top of the " rainbow" in front of the body and finishing in front of the thighs; and the aforementioned “dead end streets” as the arms move from first or fifth to an arabesque line.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets:
Secret # 6a:  “The arms move in specific highways.”

                Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
“If you can’t make a mistake, you can’t make anything.”
-          Marva N. Collins

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