2 3 Terminology Tuesday Etirée | Ballet Webb

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Terminology Tuesday Etirée

Terminology Tuesday Etirée

According to Gail Grant’s book Technical Manual and Dictionary of Classical Ballet, an arabesque étirée (a-ra-BESK ay-tee-RAY) is: “Arabesque stretched or drawn out. A term of the French School. This is a neoclassical arabesque in which the ballerina, on point and supported by her partner, shifts her axis backward so that her supporting leg is oblique and her free leg held very high (as in a split).

The French word étirée means “to stretch out” according to the Collins French-English Dictionary.

The word oblique means: “neither parallel nor at a right angle to a specified or implied line; slanting.”

Confused yet? At first glance I thought this definition must mean a six-o’clock penchee. But if the ballerina’s supporting leg is “oblique” it is slanting. Generally not where I’d want my supporting leg to be for very long in a six o’clock penchee, even if supported by a partner.  Hmmmm.  

Therefore, this arabesque must be done when the male dancers pulls his ballerina back off her supporting leg (shifts her axis backward) into  a split - as is often seen in a backward traveling movement when he pulls her a few steps across the stage in this position, or in preparation for moving into a “fish”.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets
Secret #30n:
"Arabesque étirée is an arabesque that is stretched or drawn out."

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― George Saunders, The Braindead Megaphone

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing the word oblique means: “neither parallel nor at a right angle to a specified or implied line; slanting.

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