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ERIC Number: EJ879568
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1529-0824
Improving Postural Control in the Battement Tendu: One Teacher's Reflections and Somatic Exercises
Batson, Glenna
Journal of Dance Education, v10 n1 p6-13 2010
The battement tendu is introduced early in dance training, remaining integral to a dancer's vocabulary. Although appearing relatively simple to execute, the tendu aesthetic takes years to master. One reason might be that efficient performance requires complex coordination of postural balance. Known as postural control, this coordination appears in development first in the trunk as a set of neuromuscular activation patterns that evolve throughout the life span. Trunk control is a prelude to postural organization necessary to support articulation of the limbs. Historical methods for teaching the tendu progression from barre to center floor have emphasized visually-acceptable body placement and limb articulation over postural control fundamentals. Using the battement tendu center floor as an example, the author opens an inquiry into the role of postural control in dance technique. The effect of dance or any other training on postural control and balance is conjectural, and no one method has emerged as the most effective for any age or population. Yet, much can be learned theoretically from the scientific literature on the role of trunk control of balance. From a practical point of view, somatic approaches offer insight into this issue, as well. The author deconstructs the tendu, exploring various movement phases out of their habitual context through a somatic lens. Building an entire class around a somatic focus may not be realistic for many dance educators. Practicing elements of the tendu through somatic awareness, however, can illuminate the role of the trunk as a foundation for support and articulation of the limbs. (Contains 1 figure.)
J. Michael Ryan Publishing. 24 Crescent Drive North, Andover, NJ 07821. Tel: 973-786-7777; Fax: 973-786-7776; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A