The human body is perhaps the most versatile living structure in nature. Homo sapiens is alone among mammals in having adopted a fully upright posture as its customary stance, and has evolved a number of unique physical characteristics as a result.
The head, chest and vital organs are supported on a vertical spine, not hung below a horizontal one. As the front limbs no longer perform a supporting function, the shoulders have evolved to become wider apart, thus offering Man a far greater range of movement of the arms than is possible for the forelegs of, say, a horse or a cow. The suppleness of the spine makes twisting and bending motions possible. The broadened pelvis and modified hip-joint expand the range of uses to which the legs and feet can be applied in such activities as kicking and swimming; indeed, the spine and joints of some individuals - 'double-jointed' people -are so flexible that their bodies can be contorted into almost any conceivable position, with the limbs held at almost any angle relative to one another.
But the tremendous versatility of the human body, while offering artists infinite possibilities in terms of stance and action postures, also presents us with a number of specific difficulties, not least of which is balance.
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