The classic so-called “Giselle arms” crossed in front of the chest with the palms facing up, were in fact first used in La Sylphide by the most famous ballerina of the Romantic era, Marie Taglioni, who adopted this pose because
a) while doing a pirouette with her arms in the classical position in front of her waist at one performance, she quickly had to cross them to avoid whacking her partner, who she realized was standing too close to her, and a reviewer praised it as beautiful choreography
b) crossing her arms in front of her body disguised the fact that they were disproportionately long
c) she felt it best conveyed the ethereal quality of a disembodied spirit
d) it was a secret signal to one of the wealthy patrons of the Paris Opera that she would meet him in her dressing room afterwards
Answer will be posted tomorrow.
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