One of the most popular ballet positions, in which a dancer supports their weight on one foot and extends the other leg behind them, either à terre (on the ground) or en l'air (in the air). Different styles of arabesques utilize different arm positions or the bending of the supporting leg.

Written with some help from Ballet Basics (4th edition) by Sandra Noll Hammond, © 2000 Mayfield Publishing Company.

Ar`a*besque" (#), n. [F. arabesque, fr. It. arabesco, fr. Arabo Arab.]

A style of ornamentation either painted, inlaid, or carved in low relief. It consists of a pattern in which plants, fruits, foliage, etc., as well as figures of men and animals, real or imaginary, are fantastically interlaced or put together.

⇒ It was employed in Roman imperial ornamentation, and appeared, without the animal figures, in Moorish and Arabic decorative art. (See Moresque.) The arabesques of the Renaissance were founded on Greco-Roman work.


© Webster 1913.

Ar`a*besque", a.





Relating to, or exhibiting, the style of ornament called arabesque; as, arabesque frescoes.


© Webster 1913.

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