How to Arabesque - Ballet Training Series with Ballet Co. Laboratorys Zoe Henrot
Date Published: 08-27 - 2021
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Ballet Co. Laboratory founder Zoe Emilie Henrot teaches how to practice arabesque at her St. Paul, Minnesota, dance studio in the 12th video tutorial of a 12-part ballet training series presented by Greatmats. The techniques are being performed on Reversible Rosco marley flooring available from Greatmats and installed in the Ballet Co. Laboratory studios.
In this tip we'll cover arabesque. You've probably seen arabesque in a dance poster, or on a dance bag, or dance marketing.
It's a pose that is iconic to ballet. There are many different types of arabesques.
However, the idea of arabesque comes from the arabesque pattern, which is really ornate and has a really nice crescent shape to it. That gives the arabesque its name. There are four different types of arabesques.
Ella and Katherine are going to show all four in an a terre grounded form. The first one is first arabesque, taking a preparation, and chasse, first arabesque.
Notice that in first arabesque, they're looking over their front arm and their side arm is extending out from them. Moving into second arabesque, they shift their arms and shift their head.
This is a position that's used in a lot of romantic ballets. Next one is third, taking inhale, exhale, coming through to third arabesque.
So third arabesque might look like first arabesque, but your legs are different you have a different leg that's extending to the back. And finally fourth, stretching through, bringing the other arm forward and shifting the head. Fourth arabesque is known for its really long line from
fingertip to fingertip.
Mastering your arabesque is important because it's used in so many different ways in the ballet vocabulary.
Ella and Katherine will show us a couple of those ways. The first that you've probably seen a lot in dance is a pique to arabesque.
Another way to use your arabesque is in a turn. Katherine will show us an arabesque turning.
One of the most challenging ways to use your arabesque is to shift it into a penche. A penche, meaning to tilt, brings your legs to 180 degrees into a split but you're standing on one leg.
Ella will show us going from tendu, into her arabesque, into her penche.
As with everything in ballet, alignment is key. Getting your arabesque well aligned behind your spine will help you in future arabesque-type of positions so that you can turn and jump and transition through your arabesque effortlessly.
Katherine will help us demonstrate arabesque alignment. She's going to start in her fifth position and take her tendu back.
Already from your tendu you're starting your arabesque alignment. So if your leg isn't behind you, but out to the side, that's going to affect your arabesque alignment later on.
So now she's going to bring her leg back behind her and start to lift into her arabesque. This is a beautifully-aligned arabesque. Her leg is going directly behind her spine. Notice that if her leg isn't behind her spine, she has to compensate by shifting her spine away from her leg, which makes it harder to maintain the position.
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