Fifth Position: it ain’t no thing.

Smirnoff says Mr. B aka Blalanchine used to come by Smirnoff’s father’s studio and complain about how no one in America will stand in fifth position.
I’m sure there are nuances to this statement that I do not understand.
But in the meantime, I like to imagine that people in the old country would just strike up a fifth like it weren’t no thing.
‘hey Bro, what are you doing?’
‘oh, you know, just hanging out. In fifth position. Aw yeah!’

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About adultbeginner

Had my first ballet class Ever at the advanced age of thirty-two. Yikes.
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12 Responses to Fifth Position: it ain’t no thing.

  1. The thing about 5th position is that you have to have all of your opposing forces working at once. Opposite rotation of the upper body against the lower, the force pushing against the ground working against gravity, the pelvis working forward and up against the shoulder girdle working back.

    Kinesiologically, that’s why it works so well and gives a dancer such stability. And why it’s lasted for centuries.

  2. Tony says:

    Occasionally you’ll see someone in a store aisle or waiting for bus standing in 5th. I don’t think it’s a very natural position so it’s an instant giveaway they’ve done ballet at some time.

  3. Juliet says:

    Hmmmm, I typically hang out in fourth position, and no one seems to think a thing of it. ;)

  4. Dianne says:

    Yes, fifth position does inspire comments! It is almost impossible to do by many, yet knowing the “opposing forces” will get you close. Even if you have to work for a while in 3rd. Not an option to Mr. B., I’m sure.

    • Well, this is what I learned from my teachers Peter Schabel and David Howard…so a more neo-classical fifth would certainly have a different approach in ways. Even SAB starts out the very young students in 3rd, I believe. I can ask when I go to the open house this Saturday.

      • I like this opposing forces image, going to think about it next time I’m hanging out in fifth, see if it feels better than the old, ‘make my heel touch my toe, rotate hips out’ feeling

  5. Fayet says:

    Conincidentally I’m situated in Europe and in winter always, always, always stand in fifth while waiting for the tramway. Why? Because it keeps my legs nice and warm while the rest of my is freezing in this horrible winter.. How usefull ballet can be!

  6. Pingback: Daniel & Laura » Invisible Knees

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