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10 Most Important Ballet Terms


5
Attitude
This 1998 postage stamp shows a dancer caught in an "attitude derrière" pose.
This 1998 postage stamp shows a dancer caught in an "attitude derrière" pose.
U.S. Postal Service/AP Images

The attitude (a-tee-TEWD) is a dance pose inspired by a statue of Mercury by Giovanni da Bologna, and developed by 19th-century Italian dancer and choreographer Carlo Blasis [source: ABT]. This position is similar to the arabesque in that the dancer stands on one leg, with the working leg in the air. But in the attitude, the raised leg is bent and lifted at a 90-degree angle. The dancer holds the leg so that the knee is higher than the foot. The heel of the supporting leg may be on the floor, or the dancer may stand on the toes or on the balls of the feet.

On the side where the leg is lifted, the dancer's arm is held in a curved position over the head. The other arm is extended to the side.

As with the arabesque, there are many variations on the attitude, mostly determined by the dancer's relative position to the audience.