Balanchine was always attempting to produce beautiful gestures, and all of his teaching was directed to that end. The legs must achieve utmost turnout, and jumps must be light and soundless. Probably the two most controversial elements in Balanchine training are the open placement of the hips in all positions of the leg to the back, and jumping so that the heels never touch the ground. To dancers trained in other methods, these two points amount to heresy. Changing what has been learned from one's first ballet lessons requires long indoctrination, as long as learning to dance in the first place. Balanchine had the patience to persist. This chapter discusses turnout, jumping, glissade, turns, arms and feet, signature steps, choreographic devices, changes and versions, and restagings.
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