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Arabesque executed by Natalya Bessmertnova, with Nikolay Fadeychev, of the Bolshoi Ballet; Swan —NovostiSovfoto
Any of the five positions of the feet fundamental to all classical ballet. First codified by Pierre Beauchamp (1636–1705) in 1680, the positions form the base from which a dancer achieves stability or aplomb, the basic law of ballet. Fundamental to all the positions is the turnout, or rotation of the dancer's legs out from the hips, which creates a firm basis for movement in any direction. Various positions of the arms and hands (port de bras) complete the figures.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on ballet position, visit Britannica.com.
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