Technique & French Demystified

13 MARCH 2012

When dancers are physicists

Fouettés rond de jambe en tournant, en dehors.*

*Series of turns propelled by a whipping action of the working leg, turning away from the supporting leg.

See Gail Grant, Technical Manual and Dictionary of Classical Ballet, p. 57, for step-by-step instructions. (Illustration courtesy of the brilliant…

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30 JANUARY 2012

Trust, or How I Met My Husband

New York Theatre Ballet dancers demonstrate one form of trust in Merce Cunningham’s ‘Septet’. Photo: Richard Termine.


After watching a video clip that I had posted earlier of the elegant Aurélie Dupont and Manuel Legris, a dance student – who admits to a fear of partnering work – wrote …

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Singing the Body Electric: Dance Encounters in New York

Observing ABT dancers in company class on Wednesday, what struck me the most was not the 180-degree turn-out (ubiquitous), nor the extensions (extravagant), nor the pirouettes (I lost count), nor the men’s hands grazing the ceiling light fixtures every time they launched into an assemblé or grand jeté (we’re talking …

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29 AUGUST 2011

Arabesque à terre in the eye of a storm

It’s called petit allegro – the swift and agile footwork that enables ballerinas to dodge falling debris during a hurricane.

Ignoring Mayor Bloomberg’s order to stay indoors and watch SYTYCD reruns this weekend, Becky, visiting from England, decides not to let a little hurricane spoil her trip to New York. …

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22 AUGUST 2011

Houston, We Have Lift-Off

A ballet dancer is constantly renegotiating her relationship with gravity; we rise on pointe as an expression of our desire to fly. Joie Brown’s beautiful watercolor triptych illustrates two important aspects of a dancer’s technique:

Well-developed arches of the feet, coupled with the ankle mobility needed to position the ankle

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