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Ballet star/ Contortionist??

Seen in this morning's Boston Globe -

This is Josh Beckett, the Ace pitcher of the RedSox attempting to catch a ball in yesterday's gem that he pitched. How did he get his foot and his gloved hand back in those positions?

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If only MissKinley were here. She'd be able to figure it out.

Getcher leg up!!!!!!

Or so my ballet mistress always screamed at me.

The player has his leg up en attitude arriére, but the supporting leg is far too turned in to allow that we are seeing a classical ballet position and the line of the back leg, (not to mention the foot, which is not classically beveled!) is notsa hotsa (too turned in as well). But the extension is impressive and it was certainly one of those very quick movements of the leg, called a grand battement en arriére, basically a high kick (which, in ballet, would have to conform to very strict parameters of line and position). The arm is in a basic flailing-about position that really has no ballet equivalent, unless one, generously might consider it a form of very radical allongé. That being said, the player is to be commended for being so flexible and having achieved this position, even for a nanosecond.

Since dancers never have to write these words down (we only use them verbally), I had to check the ballet dictionary for proper spelling. Almost every movement in ballet is part of a highly codified French vocabulary, and there usually is a name that can be applied to almost anything the body does. Whether it is classical or beautiful is another story.

My father always said, "Don't ever ask Mike anything. He'll tell you more than you want to know."

Tatiana Youbetchabootskaya (aka MissKinley)

Re: Getcher leg up!!!!!!

I knew you'd have the right answer!

thanks, frank, for getting The Experts to Explain It All To Us.

My guess: it's all in the knee and elbow that you can't see because they're behind his body; and, as I assume the camera would have to be pretty far away and zoomed/cropped a lot, there's much less perspective than you'd instinctively expect — so the foot appears closer than it really is, for example.

I mean, it definitely takes more flexibility than I have, but that's not saying much.

Also, statics vs. dynamics.

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