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Richard Glasstone, Essay Example

Pages: 2

Words: 495

Essay

Richard Glasstone’s intended audience is ballet students and his main purpose for writing this article is to inform ballet students on the correct methods related to the movement of the body and the part that the arms play in any particular exercise. Glasstone’s focus appears to be on the upper body, specifically the head and arms. This factor can be divided into three areas–the bending of the body, the misuse of the arms, and head movement. Glasstone also identifies the problems and mistakes that ballet students make in each area.

The first factor concerns the bending of the body. Obviously, the human body can bend in many directions like forward, backwards, and sideways. Glasstone points out that ballet students often make mistakes when performing cambrés, such as whether the head should be turned. Glasstone also points out that both methods are acceptable; however, there is a high chance of causing a fault, such as when turning the head in a backbend which tends to twist the upper body without even realizing it. Thus, one must keep his/her head straight; it is then eligible to drop backwards so that the bend is effectively in the neck.

The second factor concerns the misuse of the arms which Glasstone refers to as port de bras or “carriage of the arms” in French. In this movement, ballet students tend to move their arms in the direction of the bend of the body while bending sideways when in fact it is the torso that is suppose to be moving.

The third factor concerns head movements. As Glasstone notes, it is appropriate for students to use their heads depending on which direction they are going to bend in the upper body; however, they need to be sure which direction they are bending in order for the head to follow the same direction.

Moreover, Glasstone uses pictures in order to illustrate how it looks when  dancers bend their upper backs in different directions. Glasstone provides a picture with a student performing a sideways body bend accompanied by the opposite arm to where she is bending. Another picture shows a student performing a backbend with her head slightly tilted to the left.

All of these factors can be seen in one particular exercise, being the circular port de bras which involves movement of the upper body (the head) and the arms. In this section, Glasstone provides the correct method in order for students to improve their torso movements via the need to circle the torso without using the arms.

To sum up, Glasstone suggests that ballet students must be allowed to practice bending their bodies to any side they like without using their arms. He also suggests that it is better for students to face the barre with both hands on it and from there, each student can determine how much head and body movement is involved. Basically, Glasstone’s main points in this article are related to the bends of the body and how head movements are properly used.

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