Biomechanical analysis of the classical Grand Plié and two stylistic variations
A biomechanical analysis was conducted to determine how the addition of torso movements affected the grand plie as performed by three subjects. Film data taken from the front and side views were merged and submitted to a computer program to obtain moments of force at the hip, knee, and ankle joints and the excursion of the total body center of gravity. Dominant muscle group action and patterns of types of muscle contraction were also examined. Results of the investigation were that the addition of torso movements increases the force moments at the joints and that the displacement of the torso results in compensatory realignment of the lower extremities. Therefore, such stylistic variations of the grand plie should not be included in the training of the beginning dancer. Conclusions were that the plie is accurately described by the literature, the rationale for adding torso movements to the performance of the plie is mechanically sound, and the addition of torso movements increases the level of difficulty of the plie.