Both Upper and Lower Limb Movements Contribute to Aesthetics of the Piqué Arabesque in Ballet

Yui Kawano, Cheng Feng Lin, Mayumi Kuno-Mizumura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This study aimed to identify the factor structures—which are the predominant frameworks for describing the basic dimensions of a concept—that contribute to the aesthetics of body position in ballet. This study was composed of three-dimensional movement analysis and subjective evaluation. Fourteen ballet dancers participated in the three-dimensional movement analysis. Thirty-six reflective markers were attached to the dancers’ bodies, after which the dancers performed a piqué arabesque, a position in which the weight transfers from one leg to the other. This movement was captured using eight optical cameras and one video camera. Biomechanical parameters, such as the joint angle and velocity of each body part, were calculated from the coordinates of the markers. Twenty-eight videos recorded in the three-dimensional movement analysis were viewed by 51 observers with ballet experience. The observers subjectively evaluated the videos through four category pairs—“beautiful-ugly,” “like-dislike,” “interesting-not interesting,” and “good-bad”—on a five-point semantic differential scale. Two groups, the top and bottom 30%, were extracted based on the “beautiful-ugly” rating and compared using an independent t-test. In addition, exploratory factor analysis was performed on the biomechanical parameters that showed significant differences. Five factors were identified: “stability of the right distal upper limb and upper body,” “torso displacement speed,” “stability of the left distal upper limb and line of the support leg,” “height of the gesture leg,” and “stability of the support leg around the hip joint and line of the limbs on the gesture leg side.” Tese results indicate that the movements of both upper and lower limbs contributed to the aesthetics of the ballet position of piqué arabesque. Tese findings will be useful for ballet teachers and dancers to understand the intrinsic aesthetics of movements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-25
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of dance medicine & science : official publication of the International Association for Dance Medicine & Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Mar

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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