More second position, with less Claw

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.
Anyway:

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.
Gasp!
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?
Silly Vaganova.
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’?”

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About adultbeginner

Had my first ballet class Ever at the advanced age of thirty-two. Yikes.
This entry was posted in Books!, Technique and Class and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to More second position, with less Claw

  1. David says:

    Are arms linked to voice in Ballet? According to my teacher, to act like a prince you must speak in hushed tones and he said to do this I needed to keep my arms low… I’m still slightly confused by this advice!

  2. wobinob says:

    I’m reading that book too!!! :) I love Russian technique!

    • The illustrations crack me up! The girl in the pictures has such a stoic facial expression, meanwhile the diagrams show all these crazy geometric insanities she’s performing with her feet. So funny.

  3. adultballet says:

    I love your blog! Wow ilyaballet likes it too…and other professionals…gives me hope for us adult beginners!

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