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The Classic Ballet: Basic Technique & Terminology

Overview

“For soundness, for clarity, for succinctness, this manual of basic ballet is the best there is anywhere.”
–Edwin Denby, The Nation

With a precision unparalleled in any other book of its kind, The Classic Ballet presents a lucid text, and nearly six hundred drawings describe and illustrate in minute detail the proper body position, balance point, movement, and attitude of each position and step in the basic classical repertory.

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Overview

“For soundness, for clarity, for succinctness, this manual of basic ballet is the best there is anywhere.”
–Edwin Denby, The Nation

With a precision unparalleled in any other book of its kind, The Classic Ballet presents a lucid text, and nearly six hundred drawings describe and illustrate in minute detail the proper body position, balance point, movement, and attitude of each position and step in the basic classical repertory.

As George Balanchine wrote in his preface: “There are no shortcuts to great dancing, but what is necessary to remember and unalterable in its instruction may be found in this book . . . An admirable source of reference for the highest standard of practice.” It is an invaluable tool for the student or teacher of ballet–as well as a must-have treasure for the balletomane.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Kirstein, director of the School of American Ballet, here provides a heavily illustrated guide to dance moves. A good step for libraries. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375710773
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/5/2004
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 244
  • Sales rank: 237,388
  • Product dimensions: 10.35 (w) x 7.98 (h) x 0.85 (d)

Meet the Author

Lincoln Kirstein founded the School of American Ballet in 1934 with George Balanchine, and in 1948 the two men established the New York City Ballet, for which Kirstein served as general director until l989. He wrote more than five hundred books, articles, and monographs on the arts, as well as criticism, poetry, novels, and a number of historical and autobiographical works. He died in 1996.

Muriel Stuart, the last protégée of Anna Pavlova, was an instructor at the School of American Ballet for thirty-five years.

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Table of Contents

The Classic Ballet: Historical Development 3
The Classic Ballet: Basic Technique and Terminology 21
Introduction to Basic Technique 21
Correct Posture 24
Correct Turnout for Beginners 26
Centers of Muscular Control 28
Part I Exercises at the Bar 31
Introduction to Bar Technique 31
Five Basic Positions 32
Plies 34
Battements 40
Ronds de Jambe 64
Releves 74
Part II Exercises in the Center 79
Introduction to Center Practice and Adagio 79
Basic Positions in the Center (Epaulement) 80
Basic Positions of the Body 82
Temps Lie 88
Port de Bras 92
Attitudes 102
Arabesques 106
Fouette en face en l'air 110
Grand Fouette en tournant 112
Grand Rond de Jambe en l'air, terminating with Renverse en dehors 114
Pirouettes and turning movements 118
Linking steps and movements 146
Part III Allegro 159
Introduction to Allegro 159
Jumps 160
Beats (Batterie) 216
Part IV Dance on Pointes 233
Introduction to Dance on Pointes 233
Basic Exercises on Pointes 234
Index 241
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