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AbstractVideo analysis of classical ballet to date has been largely limited to examining the artistic elements of choreography. The aim this study was to employ a method of video analysis to describe the physiological demands of classical ballet performance and to examine differences between artists, soloists, and principal dancers. Forty-eight performances [male = 24, female = 24; artists (corps de ballet) = 16, soloists = 16, principals = 16] were analyzed in four fields: work intensity, body movement, partner work, and number of transitory movements occurring per minute. Statistical analysis revealed significant differences between ranks in two intensity bands: time at rest (p < 0.05) and time performing at moderate intensity (p < 0.05), with soloists and principals resting for 75.2 +/- 15.1% and 53 +/- 24.1% of the total performance, respectively (p < 0.05). Principals also spent a significantly greater percentage of time at moderate intensity than both soloists and artists (p < 0.05). Significant differences between males and females (p < 0.05) were seen in the number of lifting and supporting movements performed. It was concluded that classical ballet is an intermittent form of exercise, utilizing both aerobic and anaerobic energy systems, a finding that supports previous studies. The demands of the performances analyzed varied according to role. Therefore, it was also concluded that video analysis can help provide a basis for rank-specific supplemental training.
CitationJournal of dance medicine & science, 13(4):124-8
PublisherJ. Michael Ryan
JournalJournal of dance medicine & science : official publication of the International Association for Dance Medicine & Science
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