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Jacklyn Dougherty   Bras, a deux [a duh brah]. With two arms. This is an extended position of the arms with the palms down. Both arms are extended forward with the back arm held higher than the front arm. SeeArabesque a deux bras and Third arabesque in the section “The Cecchetti method” under Arabesque.  Bras, demi- [ duh-mee-BRAH ]. Half arms. A halfway position of the arms. The arms are extended forward at half the height and half the width of the second position, with the hands open and palms slightly forward as if asking for something.  Bras, port de [pawr duh brah]. See Port de bras. Bras, positions des [paw-zee-SYAWN day brah]. Positions of the arms. Although the positions of the feet are standard in all methods, the positions of the arms are not, each method having its own set of arm positions. The Cecchetti method has five standard positions with a derivative of the fourth position and two derivatives of the fifth position. The French School has a preparatory position and five standard positions. These positions are used in some Russian schools. The Russian School (Vaganova) has a preparatory position and three standard positions of the arms.  First position: The arms are curved and held at the sides with the fingertips just touching the thighs.  Second position: The arms are held out to the sides in a sweeping line so that the elbow is slightly lower than the shoulder and the wrist slightly lower than the elbow. The palms of the hands face the audience. There is also a demi-seconde position of the arms. This is a position in which the arms are held out to the sides in a position halfway between the first position and the second position. The palms of the hands are turned inward as in the first position. This position is used in steps of allegro, such as temps de cuisse, contretemps and glissade, in which the arms open from the fifth position en bas to the demi-seconde position and close again in the fifth position en bas.  Third position: The arms are held with one arm curved in front of the body as in the fifth position en bas and the other arm slightly rounded and opened to the side as in the demi-seconde position.  Fourth position: There are two fourth positions of the arms, the fourth position en avant and the fourth position en haut. Fourth position en avant: One arm is opened to the second position and the other is rounded and raised in front of the body opposite the lower ribs, forming half of the fifth position en avant. Fourth position en haut: One arm is opened to the second position while the other is raised above the head, forming half of the fifth position en haut. When the arms are en arabesque, the forward arm is said to be extended in the fourth position front and the backward arm is said to be extended in the fourth position back.  Fifth position: Whenever the arms form a circle they are said to be in the fifth position. There are three fifth positions of the arms: (l) Fifth position en bas (or low), in which the rounded arms rest on the thighs. (2) Fifth position en avant (or forward), in which the rounded arms are raised in front of the body. (3) Fifth position en haut (or high), in which the rounded arms are raised above the head. Fifth position en bas: The arms form a circle, with the fingertips a few inches apart and the back edge of the hands touching the thighs. Fifth position en avant: The arms form a circle in front of the body opposite the lower ribs with the palms of the hands facing the body.   Fifth position en haut: The arms form a circle above and in front of the head so that the fingertips are just within the line of vision. The fifth position en avant is familiarly termed the gate or door, because in passing from a low position to a high one the arms generally pass through this position. In passing from a high position to a low one the arms are generally lowered in a line with the sides.  Preparatory position, or bras au repos: The arms are slightly rounded and held at the sides with the fingertips just touching the thighs. Corresponds to Cecchetti first position. First position: The arms form a circle in front of the body in line with the fork of the ribs. Corresponds to Cecchetti fifth position en avant.  Second position: The arms are held out to the sides as in the Cecchetti second position.  Third position: One arm is curved above the head while the other is held out to the side. Also termed “bras en attitude.” Corresponds to the Cecchetti fourth position en haut. Fourth position: One arm is curved above the head while the other is curved in front of the body in line with the fork of the ribs.  Fifth position: Both arms are curved above the head as in the Cecchetti fifth position en haut. This position is also termed “bras en couronne.”  RUSSIAN SCHOOL (VAGANOVA)  Preparatory position: Arms curved and held low in front of the body. Corresponds to the Cecchetti fifth position en bas.  First position: Arms form a circle in front of the body on a level with the stomach. Corresponds to the Cecchetti fifth position en avant.  Second position: Arms drawn to the sides, elbows slightly rounded, with the lower part of the arm from the elbow to the wrist on a level with the elbow.  Third position: Arms circled above the head. Corresponds to the Cecchetti fifth position en haut.  Bras au repos [ brah zoh ruh-POH]. Arms at ease. A preparatory position of the arms used in the French School. The arms are slightly rounded and held at the sides with the fingertips just touching the thighs. Corresponds to the first position, Cecchetti method.  Bras bas [ brah bah]. Arms low or down. This is the dancer’s “attention.” The arms form a circle with the palms facing each other and the back edge of the hands resting on the thighs. The arms should hang quite loosely but not allowing the elbows to touch the sides. This position corresponds to the fifth position en bas, Cecchetti method.  Bras croise [ brah krwah-ZAY]. This position of the arms corresponds to the fourth position en avant, Cecchetti method. One arm is brought up to the gateway, while the other is taken out to the side. The head is turned so that the dancer looks over the shoulder of the croise arm. Bras en attitude [ brah zah na-tee-TEWD]. Arms held as in attitude. See Bras, positions des (French School).  Bras en couronne [ brah zahn koo-RAWN]. Arms in the shape of a crown. A position in which the arms are rounded above the head. A term of the French School. Corresponds to the fifth position en haut, Cecchetti method.  Bras en lyre [ brah zahn leer]. Arms in the shape of a lyre. A term of the French School. In this modification of the fifth arm position, one hand is held above the other so that the arms resemble the shape of a lyre.
Jacklyn Dougherty

Bras, a deux [a duh brah]. With two arms. This is an extended position of the arms with the palms down. Both arms are extended forward with the back arm held higher than the front arm. SeeArabesque a deux bras and Third arabesque in the section “The Cecchetti method” under Arabesque.


Bras, demi- [ duh-mee-BRAH ]. Half arms. A halfway position of the arms. The arms are extended forward at half the height and half the width of the second position, with the hands open and palms slightly forward as if asking for something.


Bras, port de [pawr duh brah]. See Port de bras.

Bras, positions des [paw-zee-SYAWN day brah]. Positions of the arms. Although the positions of the feet are standard in all methods, the positions of the arms are not, each method having its own set of arm positions. The Cecchetti method has five standard positions with a derivative of the fourth position and two derivatives of the fifth position. The French School has a preparatory position and five standard positions. These positions are used in some Russian schools. The Russian School (Vaganova) has a preparatory position and three standard positions of the arms.


First position: The arms are curved and held at the sides with the fingertips just touching the thighs.


Second position: The arms are held out to the sides in a sweeping line so that the elbow is slightly lower than the shoulder and the wrist slightly lower than the elbow. The palms of the hands face the audience. There is also a demi-seconde position of the arms. This is a position in which the arms are held out to the sides in a position halfway between the first position and the second position. The palms of the hands are turned inward as in the first position. This position is used in steps of allegro, such as temps de cuisse, contretemps and glissade, in which the arms open from the fifth position en bas to the demi-seconde position and close again in the fifth position en bas.


Third position: The arms are held with one arm curved in front of the body as in the fifth position en bas and the other arm slightly rounded and opened to the side as in the demi-seconde position.


Fourth position: There are two fourth positions of the arms, the fourth position en avant and the fourth position en haut. Fourth position en avant: One arm is opened to the second position and the other is rounded and raised in front of the body opposite the lower ribs, forming half of the fifth position en avant. Fourth position en haut: One arm is opened to the second position while the other is raised above the head, forming half of the fifth position en haut.

When the arms are en arabesque, the forward arm is said to be extended in the fourth position front and the backward arm is said to be extended in the fourth position back.


Fifth position: Whenever the arms form a circle they are said to be in the fifth position. There are three fifth positions of the arms: (l) Fifth position en bas (or low), in which the rounded arms rest on the thighs. (2) Fifth position en avant (or forward), in which the rounded arms are raised in front of the body. (3) Fifth position en haut (or high), in which the rounded arms are raised above the head. Fifth position en bas: The arms form a circle, with the fingertips a few inches apart and the back edge of the hands touching the thighs. Fifth position en avant: The arms form a circle in front of the body opposite the lower ribs with the palms of the hands facing the body.


Fifth position en haut: The arms form a circle above and in front of the head so that the fingertips are just within the line of vision.

The fifth position en avant is familiarly termed the gate or door, because in passing from a low position to a high one the arms generally pass through this position. In passing from a high position to a low one the arms are generally lowered in a line with the sides.


Preparatory position, or bras au repos: The arms are slightly rounded and held at the sides with the fingertips just touching the thighs. Corresponds to Cecchetti first position.

First position: The arms form a circle in front of the body in line with the fork of the ribs. Corresponds to Cecchetti fifth position en avant.


Second position: The arms are held out to the sides as in the Cecchetti second position.


Third position: One arm is curved above the head while the other is held out to the side. Also termed “bras en attitude.” Corresponds to the Cecchetti fourth position en haut.

Fourth position: One arm is curved above the head while the other is curved in front of the body in line with the fork of the ribs.


Fifth position: Both arms are curved above the head as in the Cecchetti fifth position en haut. This position is also termed “bras en couronne.”


RUSSIAN SCHOOL (VAGANOVA)

Preparatory position: Arms curved and held low in front of the body. Corresponds to the Cecchetti fifth position en bas.


First position: Arms form a circle in front of the body on a level with the stomach. Corresponds to the Cecchetti fifth position en avant.


Second position: Arms drawn to the sides, elbows slightly rounded, with the lower part of the arm from the elbow to the wrist on a level with the elbow.


Third position: Arms circled above the head. Corresponds to the Cecchetti fifth position en haut.


Bras au repos [ brah zoh ruh-POH]. Arms at ease. A preparatory position of the arms used in the French School. The arms are slightly rounded and held at the sides with the fingertips just touching the thighs. Corresponds to the first position, Cecchetti method.


Bras bas [ brah bah]. Arms low or down. This is the dancer’s “attention.” The arms form a circle with the palms facing each other and the back edge of the hands resting on the thighs. The arms should hang quite loosely but not allowing the elbows to touch the sides. This position corresponds to the fifth position en bas, Cecchetti method.


Bras croise [ brah krwah-ZAY]. This position of the arms corresponds to the fourth position en avant, Cecchetti method. One arm is brought up to the gateway, while the other is taken out to the side. The head is turned so that the dancer looks over the shoulder of the croise arm.

Bras en attitude [ brah zah na-tee-TEWD]. Arms held as in attitude. See Bras, positions des (French School).


Bras en couronne [ brah zahn koo-RAWN]. Arms in the shape of a crown. A position in which the arms are rounded above the head. A term of the French School. Corresponds to the fifth position en haut, Cecchetti method.


Bras en lyre [ brah zahn leer]. Arms in the shape of a lyre. A term of the French School. In this modification of the fifth arm position, one hand is held above the other so that the arms resemble the shape of a lyre.


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