2 3 Happy New Year and the Art of Illusion | Ballet Webb

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year and the Art of Illusion

Happy New Year and the Art of Illusion

Here we are, starting a whole new year with no mistakes in it yet.  Today I thought I’d talk about how ballet is similar to what a magician does.  That is, much of ballet is based on illusion:  what it looks like to the average observer is usually not what is actually happening.

For example, if one imitates the arm patterns of a ballet dancer, the imitator often makes lots of flowery movements when in reality; the arm pathways are simple and prescribed.  Watch any video of a dancer and concentrate solely on what and where the arms go – you’ll be surprised.

Balancé is one step that appears very different than it is.  The arms never actually cross the center of the body, and never dip back and forth (gorilla-like) across the torso.  Instead, the arms follow the prescribed pathway of a first port de bras, and it is the torso that turns back and forth with the step, creating the beautiful flow of movement. 

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets:

Secret #7e:
“Ballet technique involves a great deal of illusion.”
               Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
“Illusions are art, for the feeling person, and it is by art that we live, if we do.”
-Elizabeth Bowen

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