Argentine Tango Encyclopedia



Arabesque is a ballet position in which the leg is raised high in the air according to a certain formal shape.

In ballet, both legs are always externally rotated. Tango maintains this tradition for two reasons. It enables the base leg’s muscles to work more strongly. It creates a classic look with the free leg.

The toes are always pointed.

In ballet the base leg’s knee is fully extended. In tango this is an option and depends on the amount of force the dancer must manage.

Front arabesque: Free leg’s hip is flexed, knee may be slightly  flexed or extended. Torso is upright.

Side arabesque: Free leg’s hip is adducted, knee is extended. Torso is upright.

Back arabesque: Free leg’s hip is fully extended, knee may be slightly flexed or extended. torso is tipped slightly forward

In tango we usually don’t take our legs so high.


Variations of Each Element


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