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Balanchine the TeacherFundamentals That Shaped the First Generation of New York City Ballet Dancers$
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Barbara Walczak and Una Kai

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780813032528

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813032528.001.0001

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Balanchine's Way

Balanchine's Way

(p.230) 2.2 Balanchine's Way
Balanchine the Teacher

Barbara Walczak

Una Kai

University Press of Florida

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.

Keywords:   George Balanchine, ballet, dancing, dance

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