along these lines: “lines in time, like melodies”

The New York Times

Dancers also create lines in time, like melodies: a dance phrase has its own shape and flow. The Russians have often applied the Italian word cantilena to dancing. It says — since a cantilena is a smooth, sustained vocal line — that the underlying idea of breath and legato connection carry through into dancing.

“The continuity of his line,” Arlene Croce once wrote of the British choreographer Frederick Ashton, referring to his “Monotones,” “is like that of a master-draftsman whose pen never leaves the paper.” She was applying the temporal aspect of dance to choreography that’s also a classic of line’s visual aspects. In that trio, Ashton asks his two men and one woman to hold the same flowing contour in arabesque (the ways that the arms continue the downward flow of the shoulders, and that the raised leg echoes that, are haunting); he elsewhere asks the men to extend the woman’s line with their own.