Ballet Dictionary: Penché in first arabesque
Photo by Mark Sumaylo • Text by Abigail Oliveiro
Step: Penché in first arabesque. In classical ballet, penché means to lean. Most penchés are typically done in arabesque as demonstrated.
How: To do this, dancers start in their best arabesque then slowly “lean” forward, increasing the height of the leg while keeping the back up as much as they can.
Tip: Start the penché leading with the back leg towards the ceiling, always feeling the connection to the back. The body will naturally incline forward. What creates a classical line of the penché is the correlation between the leg and the body. A common mistake is that dancers start leaning forward with the body first, leaving the leg behind. This creates a large distance between the body and the back leg and hence does not fulfill the classical line. This step requires flexibility, strength (to hold the leg up with both legs rotated) and balance.
Ballet: Sleeping Beauty Act 1, Aurora, Rose Adagio
Dancer: Godwin Merano, Ballet Manila 2
Location: Mall of Asia, Seaside