Saturday, March 12, 2016

Arabesque Means A Line


Arabesque the line in classical ballet.

ar·a·besque
ˌerəˈbesk/
noun
noun: arabesque; plural noun: arabesques
  1. 1.
    an ornamental design consisting of intertwined flowing lines, originally found in Arabic or Moorish decoration.
    "arabesque scrolls"
    • Music
      a passage or composition with fanciful ornamentation of the melody.
  2. 2.
    Ballet
    a posture in which the body is supported on one leg, with the other leg extended horizontally backward.

How did 1. get to 2.?

Many years ago I read in a dance dictionary that arabesque was so called because it was "a line". In art, arabesque - from the Arabic - was a style of lines, because in the practice of Islam artists could not draw images of the human form.

In ballet the leg is behind - and arms have a variety of placements. Yet, they
source.
should continue the line of the leg and the back and the neck.



Ballet has the best of both worlds - the lines, and the human form. 

In grand jete - most often a 180 degree line to the legs (a split), the upper body can be lined in first second or third arabesque, or rounded arm positions.

ballerina jete arms rounded


 https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:From_the_ballet_Coppelia_cropped.jpg

The dancer can arch backwards and bend the back leg with arms arcing back toward the back foot, almost making a circle. It's a beautiful line.



Yet, the back thigh is still in a 180 degree line continuing from the front leg.

Extreme overstretching exercises.

If the front leg can raise upwards breaking that straight line, and the back leg 

does as well, there is now a shallow V shape. Or bow shape.

If the front and back arm are not parallel to the legs, it looks very odd.

In fact if they are parallel to the front and back leg, it still looks very odd!

It doesn't fit in any classical ballet!

Do I just sound like I'm complaining because I don't like it?

Yes, that's what I'm doing.I mean...take a look! 





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