“The relations between the limbs were also scrupulously defined.  The body was divided horizontally…”

“The relations between the limbs were also scrupulously defined.  The body was divided horizontally at the waist…but it was also split vertically through the centre as if a plumb line was dropped from the crown of the head down through the spine to the floor.  The dancer had to organize his movement across and through these north-south and east-west divides.  Thus ankles, knees, and hips were thought to correspond to wrists, elbows, and shoulders.  When the knee bent, the elbow would react; if the ankle bent, this had consequences for the wrist.  Moreover, and related to traditions of contrapposto in art, if the right shoulder and arm twisted forward, it had to be opposed and counter-balanced by the left hip and leg.  Skill was largely a matter of coordinating multiple and simultaneous movements through and across the body according to subtle but clearly delineated rules.”

“Apollo’s Angels: A History of Ballet”

– on ballet at Louis XIV’s court in the late 1600′s