The Balanchine method
Balanchine Method is a ballet technique developed by choreographer George
Balanchine and initially used at the New York City Ballet. It requires
extreme speed, very deep plie, unconventional arms and hands, and emphasis
on lines, especially in decale. En-dehors pirouettes are often taken from
a 4th position (legs) with straightened back leg and extended front arm
(i.e., a lunge, as opposed to a plie). Also notable is the distinctive
arabesque, with the dancer's hip opened towards the audience while the
side arm is pressed back, using a spiral to create the illusion of a longer,
higher arabesque line. The overall illusion of the Balanchine Method is
that dancers are utilizing more space in less time: speed, height, length
and a syncopated musicality are created.
The Balanchine Method is taught at School of American Ballet, the school of the New York City Ballet, and at many schools of Balanchine's disciples, such as Miami City Ballet (Ed Villella), Ballet Chicago Studio Company (Daniel Duell), and the Suzanne Farrell Ballet in Washington D.C.
Characteristics of the Balanchine Method
The Balanchine Method is characterized by intense speed, deep plie, and a strong accent on lines. Balanchine ballet dancers must be very fit and extremely flexible. The method has many distict arm positions, and distinct and dramatic choreography.
The arm positions of the Balanchine Method (often referred to as "Balanchine
Arms") tend to be more open, less curved, and often "broken"
at the wrist. Plies are deep and arabesque positions are usually uneven,
with an open hip facing the audience to achieve the illusion of a higher
arabesque line. Because of the extreme nature of the Balanchine Method,
injuries are common.
George Balanchine developed the ballet training method for which he is known, and co-founded the New York City Ballet. Regarded as the foremost contemporary choreographer in the world of ballet, Balanchine's passion and creativity have resulted in timeless classical ballets. Balanchine is often considered as the pioneer of contemporary ballet. Many of his ballets reflect a contemporary style of dancing. Some of his famous works include Serenade, Jewels, Don Quixote, Firebird, Stars and Stripes, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.