Tuesday, April 27, 2010

the inevitable arabesque issue...

one of the most challenging and coveted accomplishments in ballet is achieving the perfect arabesque. when executed properly, arabesque is the prettiest position. that being said, it can just as easily look awkward and wrong.  after yet another day of disappointing arabesques from barre to center, i decided to look up some tips to see what exactly it is i need to work on.

the ballet arabesque is the perfect combination of strength and flexibility, in the leg and the back.  here are some tips on improving your overall arabesque:
1.  remember your position: always keep your turn out activated and your hips in line.  positioning isn't just there to look pretty; by lining everything up properly, you increase your stability which is crucial when trying to lift that leg even higher.  
*keep in mind that a properly placed arabesque should allow you to rise up onto pointe or demi pointe effortlessly; you shouldn't have to shift your weight around...which i understand is seemingly impossible, but it will come!!!
2.  stretch your legs and your back too: a lot of pilates and yoga stretches will solve an inflexible back quickly; things like bridges and what is known in the pilates world as "swimming" or "supermans" will do wonders for helping you work your lower back effectively and carefully.  you will definitely see the benefits of working your back as time goes on.  not only will it help you in your regular arabesuqe, it will also help with your penchées
3.  keep your arms and head in check: while high arms sometimes can compliment the position, while you're learning the basics of ballet, you should keep both your arms and chin/head lifted, but not too high.  once again, concentrate on keeping everything in line with good positioning.  
4.  think of pulling up and out: this one isn't so scientific as the others, but it really helps me.  when im doing an arabesque, and definitely when im doing a penchée, pulling up and out is one of the tools i use to make my position look long and never ending.  it helps you stretch out and gives energy to the entire position, so you look alive and vibrant, and not like a wilting flower.
5.  always warm up: never attempt event the simplest movement without properly warming up.  i know it sounds rudimentary and obvious, but a lot of people jump right into class without properly preparing. 

hope these help!

1 comment:

  1. how funny! StuffDancersLike just posted a blog about how to work on your arabesques! great minds think alike?;] loooove your blog btw!