Ballet Positions

posiciones de ballet

Ballet positions

Body Positions

There are eight body positions in the Cecchetti method and there are eleven in the French and Russian methods (Vaganova). The difference is that in the French and Russian methods. Ecarte Devant and Derrierre, Efface Devant, Borre Derriere, Epaule Devante and Epaule Derriere, considered separate positions where as in the Cecchetti methodod are considered a position in themselves. In this occasion we will take into account the positions of the body in the method of Cecchetti.
These positions are in themselves an online study and the point of view of the public and those correct executions must be applied to all steps in the ballet combinations. All body positions can be taken on the ground (touching the floor) or in the air (getting up).

Croise Devant

The dancer stands in front of corner 1 or corner 2. The leg closest to the audience is pointing in the fourth position in front of a terre or in the air with the arm on the same side as the leg extending inwards at a low second level and the arm on the same side where the support leg is raised high, surrounding above the head. The body and head are slightly tilted toward the lower arm.

Quatrieme Devant

A term implying that the foot must be aimed at the front of the fourth position. The dancer stands in front of the audience. The arms extended to the sides in the second position and either of the legs point to the fourth position, either a terre or in the air.

Efface

The dancer stands in front of corner 1 or 2. The leg farthest from the audience is pointing in front of the fourth position, towards the corner, this is the working leg. The arm on the same side as the support leg is raised high, encircling above the head. The other arm is on the second low and is on the same side as the working leg. The body leans slightly backwards from the waist and the head leans towards the high braco.

A la Seconde

The working leg is extended and pointed to the second position, with the arms in the second position (open) and the head looking at the audience. This position is also known as the seconde en face.

Croise Derriere

The dancer stands in front of corner 1 or corner 2. The leg farthest from the audience points towards the fourth position either towards the ground or in the air with the arm being on the second low on the same side as the leg being extended and the arm on the same side as the support leg being raised high, surrounding above the head. The body and head are slightly tilted toward the lower arm.

Ecarte

The dancer is looking at corner 1 or 2. The leg closest to the audience (wall 5) is the working leg and is aimed at the second position. The arm on the same side as the lower leg and the arm on the same side as the working leg is raised high, surrounding above the head. The head is raised slightly and turned towards the raised arm so that the eyes are seen in the palm of the hand.

Epaule

The dancer is standing in front of corner 1 or 2 and is actually in the second arabesque. The shoulders are held squarely to the corner and the arm closest to the audience is extended forward and the corresponding leg is extended to the fourth lap position on the ground. The head is tilted and turned towards the audience.

Quatrieme Derriere

A term implying that the foot should be placed in the fourth position backwards. The dancer stands in front of the audience, wall 5. Arms extended to the sides in the second position and either leg points to the fourth position either a terre or in the air backwards.

Foot positions in Ballet

The position of the feet in the ballet is a fundamental part of the classical ballet technique that defines the standard placement of the feet on the floor. There are five basic positions in modern ballet, known as first to fifth position. In 1725, dance master Pierre Rameau attributed the coding of these five positions to choreographer Pierre Beauchamp. Two additional positions, known as sixth and seventh positions, were codified by Serge Lifar in the 1930s while he was ballet master at the Opera Ballet in Paris, although their use is limited to Lifar choreographies. The sixth and seventh positions were not Lifar’s inventions, but resurgences of positions that already existed in the 18th century, when there were ten foot positions in classical ballet.

First Position of the feet in Ballet

Heels together, toes out.

Second Position of the feet in Ballet

Feet point in opposite directions, with heels spaced approximately twelve inches apart.

Third Position of the feet in Ballet

One foot is placed in front of the other so that the heel of the front foot is close to the arch.

Fourth Position of the feet in Ballet

There are two types of fourth position: open and closed. In both cases, one foot is placed approximately twelve inches in front of the other. In the fourth open position, the heels are aligned, while in the fourth closed position, the heel of the front foot is aligned with the tip of the back foot.

Fifth Position of the feet in Ballet

The fifth position should form two parallel lines with your feet. The heel of the front foot should be in contact with the other’s big toe, and the heel of the back foot should be in contact with the last toe of the front foot.

Additional Lifar Positions:

Sixth Position of the feet in Ballet

Parallel feet, with the pas couru sur en punta en avant o en arriere.

Seventh Position of the feet in Ballet

Similar to the fourth position, but it was done on tip with the heels in the center between them. There are two seventh positions, determined by whether the left or right foot is placed in front.

Arm positions in Ballet

The arm movements of a dancer are undoubtedly the most fluid characteristic of her dance. Just as there are five standard foot positions, there are also five arm positions in the ballet. Working in conjunction with the rest of the body, the arms play a fundamental role in coordination and expression.

First Position of arms in Ballet

It is the most common position to start an exercise on the bar or combination on the floor. The arms are in an oval, relaxed shape. The elbows are slightly bent, with the fingers curved below the navel. This position can also be adjusted by raising the arms and fingers to sternum level, but not higher. Imagine that you are holding a beach ball, or if you are a mother, that you are rocking your pregnant belly from below.

Second Position of arms in Ballet

It is often used as a transition movement, or when presenting the foot to the public. From the first position, raise your arms to sternum level and open it. The arms should be slightly in front of the shoulders; not directly to the sides and definitely never behind the shoulders. The elbows should also not fall towards the hips. Keep your arms raised and stable.

Third Position of arms in Ballet

It is used in many combinations. From the second position, bend your elbow and bring one hand toward the center. The key to a proper third position comes from maintaining a smooth elbow curve. Bringing the hand too close to the chest will create a too sharp angle. Imagine as if you were hugging a friend from the side; this will provide enough space between the hand and the sternum.

Fourth Position of the arms in Ballet

Create one of the most elegant views of ballet choreography. The opposite placement of the arms requires concentrated coordination and can be confusing for beginners. One arm is rounded above the head, while the other is rounded below the navel; in some cases, it may rise to the breastbone. In arabesque, the arms are extended directly in front of the chest while maintaining their respective location.

Fifth Position of the arms in Ballet

It’s the most recognizable pose in ballet, an icon in itself. Children instinctively raise their arms to this position and the first dancers use it to present their beauty and splendor on stage. Both arms are gently rounded above the head, fingertips separated by hand. The fingertips should never be touched. This position is commonly used as an adagio, where balance and strength are emphasized through movements such as developpé.


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