2 3 Technical Tuesday Body Positioning | Ballet Webb

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Technical Tuesday Body Positioning

Technical Tuesday Body Positioning

Classical ballet’s specific body positions, such as croisé, ecarté, en face and éffacé, grew out of the very early days of ballet when dancers performed for nobility and royalty. During this time it was critical that dancers abide by the prevailing rules of etiquette, the most important of which (for dancers, anyway) was that performers were never allowed to turn their back to the audience.

Thus, the system of diagonals we recognize today was employed. Today, we know this angling of the body also exhibits the most pleasing, aesthetic line of the body. Look at any advertisement for a weight-loss scheme and notice that the “Before” pictures are almost always taken with the person facing directly front (en face), and the “After” photographs are shot with the person standing on an slight diagonal.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets:

Secret #22s:  
A dancer’s positioning evolved from ballet being presented before an audience of royalty.”

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Quote of the Day:
Art is the imposing of a pattern on experience, and our aesthetic enjoyment is recognition of the pattern.” 
Alfred North Whitehead

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