2 3 Terminology Tuesday Tour-Hanche | Ballet Webb

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Terminology Tuesday Tour-Hanche

Terminology Tuesday Tour-Hanche

In the area of Strange but True Things in Ballet comes tour-hanche [toor-AHNSH]. It means “hip turn” and it was a mechanical device from the eighteenth century. Seriously.

This piece of equipment was a vise-like thing that allowed the dancer’s feet to be secured in a turned-out position. Of course it did nothing to achieve rotation in the hip joints (despite the name), but instead forced turn-out only from the ankles. Scary stuff.

But it gets better. Dancers were strapped into this device at night so they could improve their turn-out while they slept.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets
Terminology Secret #65:
“Tour-hanche was a mechanical device.

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Quote of the Day:
“Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent.”
― Arthur Conan Doyle, A Case of Identity

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