Jumping Like a Toad?

Image Adapted From Wikimedia Commons Creative Commons Image
Image Adapted From Wikimedia Commons Creative Commons Image

It wasn’t always considered bad technique to perform ballet jumps with bent knees! Maria Taglioni, the Romantic Era ballet icon, actually thought it looked better that way:

“But (unlike today’s dancers) she jumped with bent knees […] She disparaged dancers who straightened their knees too stiffly in the air, springing up “like toads”. The idea was to make the jump appear effortless and soft, rounded and feminine—never stiff or strained with effort.”

Apollo’s Angels, Jennifer Homans, p. 140

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