In this episode, David Yow talks us through what dancers experience as they transfer from barre to centre, with this first exercise which is a centre port de bras.
He educates us on the literal translation of port de bras, and how port de bras enhances the footwork to create a complete look for ballet. David teaches verbally how to find the basic arm positions, and talks through some standard port de bras sequences.
The pianists discuss how they adapt their repertoire for this particular exercise and how they sensitively help dancers find coordination, épaulement, and head alignment through music.
The podcast team reference the late Sir Fredrick Ashton, who was famous for port de bras and David uses a ‘tree trunk’ analogy to explain how imperative the back is for aiding port de bras.
Musically, the pianists discuss their different approaches to this exercise, and listen out for some anomalies, such as unusual introductions, and even a Mazuka for port de bras!