Thursday, August 22, 2013
Mind your ps and qs
Up until 1681 all female roles were danced by young men and many historians believe the reluctance to include female dancers was related to their heavy clothing. Feet were elegantly pointed outwards to show off buckles and coupled with arm gestures careful to avoid brushing the full sleeve became the foundation of classical ballet. The origins of 'minding your p & qs' is thought to originate when dance masters cautioned their pupils to mind their pieds (feet) and queues (tails of their wigs) when they took to the floor. As was the convention dancers greeted each other with a bow. To bow too low resulted in the embarrassment of losing your wig.