Came across this paragraph in Basic Principles Of Classical Ballet
Yes, I’m reading the famous and important Agrippina Vaganova text for pleasure. I am That Nerd.
With children and beginners the arms always attempt to imitate the movements of the legs, to share the work; for instance, when doing a rond de jambe, the arm unconsciously describes a vague circle. But when the pupil manages to dissociate the movements of the arms and legs; when, with concentrated work of the legs, with sometimes terrific effort to achieve the desired movement, the pupil manages to leave the arm quiet, not participating in the movement – that is already a step forward.
And I thought, yay! I have made a step forward!
It’s been a while since that day when Sazerac pointed and said, “What’s this hand doing?”
And just as I was opening my mouth to proudly cheer, “Second position!” I looked over and saw a Horrible Claw, twisted in a disturbing attempt to help my leg turn-out.
But nowadays the arms stay quiet! Mostly.
And don’t you love ‘quiet’ as a descriptor? I mean, of course it’s quiet, it’s an arm! What noise is an arm gonna make?
Which reminds me: one night a dinner guest picked this book up from the coffee table and said, “Wow, that is like, the worst name ever.” and I was all like, (blank stare) “Agrippina? Why? You don’t like Agrippina?” and she was like, “No. Vaganova. Vag-anova. Doesn’t that translate to ‘New Vag’?”