WEEK #2: Wednesday

It’s Wednesday!  The week’s half over and you deserve a break.  Today on Coffee Break With the Ballet we’ve got another “Then & Now,” with photos of ballet arm action from past to present, and a  lesson on the evolution of port de bras from OBT’s staff historian.

Then & Now

As ballet evolved over the centuries, so did the many styles of port de bras.

Mademoiselle de Subligny (early 1700s)

Ronnie Underwood in Apollo at OBT (Photo: Blaine Covert)

Yuka Iino and Ronnie Underwood in Pas de Deux Parisienne at OBT  (Photo: Blaine Covert)

OBT Asks Ballet Historian Linda Besant:

How has port de bras changed from classical to contemporary ballet?”

“In the Renaissance, when the seeds for ballet were sown, royalty performed for each other at court. The way they carried their arms was dictated by their rank and by court etiquette.  Over the centuries from the 1600s to the late 1800s, port de bras evolved to complete the elongated line and symmetrical look of classical ballet. Proper technique with the arms and back also contributes to dancers’ balance and stability.  These days, port de bras remains vital to technique, but contemporary choreographers often branch far afield from classical symmetry.”

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