2 3 Saturday Statute Following | Ballet Webb

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Saturday Statute Following

Saturday Statute Following

Dancers learn early that the “the eyes look at (or follow) the hands”, and this is sometimes true. However, it isn’t literally and completely true.

The eyes follow the general pattern of movement that the arms take. Literally looking at the hand when it is overhead looks strange, to say the least. But the head and eyes do reflect the movement pattern of the arms – as per Ballet Statute #1If the arms are moving, the head is moving. But this does not mean that the dancer is focusing directly on the hands every moment.

The eyes do focus on the hands (most of the time) when they are in first (fifth en avant), but focus over and past the arm in front in arabesque. There are many examples of how the eye focus should be directed, and it varies from position to position. That’s why the single directive of “eyes look the hands” is so often misinterpreted.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets:

Ballet Statute #59:  
“The eyes seldom focus directly on the hands.”

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J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

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