Twentieth century technology has given rise to new and exciting methods for the analysis of human motion. With the aid of the motion picture camera a dancer's kick can be frozen and details invisible in normal viewing can be isolated and analyzed. Electrical detecting devices can uncover secrets about the inner workings of the body, its nerves and muscles. Platforms sensitive to the changing dynamics of a movement can tell us how the body generates force, how it locomotes itself and creates artistic effects and qualities which were previously thought of as “mystical” and “denying natural laws”. Numerous ballet technique manuals offer explanations as to the correct execution of dance movements. Although these descriptions are largely in agreement with one another, they are often in conflict with kinesiological information about the general functioning of the human body. Little research exists in the specific area of kinesiology and dance.
It is therefore the goal of the present research to clinically examine one selected dance movement, the grand battement devant, in order to form a kinesiological model of its skeletal and muscular components. This information may help provide a means of assessing the great heritage of traditional ballet theory based largely on personal experience and trial and error, and form a foundation for new theory based on objective analysis. The problem was to discover skeletal and muscular patterns when the grand battement is performed with both legs parallel (patellae facing anteriorly), and with both legs “turned out” (femurs laterally rotated as much as possible at the hip joints).