Spiral into a controlled arabesque

by Marianne Salza

Dancer in arabesque. Photo: Gary/Flickr CC

I had a habit of squaring my shoulders when I practiced my arabesques and it made me constrained. Tense patterns of holding interfere with the natural flow of the body, but once I released the rigidity in my trunk, I became more balanced and my position, more organic.

The spiral mechanism is a key concept of the Alexander Technique and involves understanding dynamic alignment (the body is never static, but in constant motion).  It allows the dancer to maintain body connectivity without stiffening, bracing or locking.  The spiral facilitates lengthening and mobility, propelling the dancer into turns, falls or leaps.

Letting your spine lengthen and arch will help facilitate your arabesque. Without interference, you will feel increased strength in your standing leg, and enhanced freedom in the gesturing leg. And by relaxing your shoulders and opening your arm into second position, a relationship will form between opposing hips and shoulders.

Imagine yourself reaching into the world.

To watch gorgeous arabesques, check out  La Bayadere: Kingdom of the Shades.

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