ascballerina

Pas de Chat

29 posts in this topic

Time to revive this thread....

 

Hmmm...I was always taught the same way as ascballerina- always start with the back foot and never change- but then at my SI last year the teacher was giving a combination and told us to do a pas de chat, then proceeded to show it starting with the front foot and changing feet. So I did wonder about that. Thanks for the clarification!

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I'd forgotten about this thread. Wonder what started this business of some people changing it and some people insisting it only comes from the back foot in the first place....but I doubt that's something I'm ever going to find out....it's probably lost to time somewhere....

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It's a matter of taking "textbook technique" and turning it into choreography. :)

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So basically, there was a technique textbook that said "you have to do it from the back foot without changing feet" and some choreographer said, "that's silly" and we went on from there?

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Pas de chat generally speaking begins with the back foot. It may travel forward, travel side ways, staying in place or change feet. All are valid, all must be learned. Begin pas de chat with the front foot of course is possible, but it is less common. It is not difficult, so once the other forms of pas de chat are learned well, why not do it? It may happen in choreography for sure.

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Yes, it makes perfect sense to do the other forms. They just haven't been drilled into me the way the version starting with the back foot has, so I was a little confused the first time I was asked to do one. Are there specific names for the different versions (dessus, dessous, devant, derriere, etc...)?

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In the Vaganova program the various forms of petit pas de chat are simply called traveling forward (legs to the front) and legs to the back (traveling forward, one travels the size of 5th position). There was no traveling side, although perhaps by now it may be done. It is understood that once these two forms of pas de chat are well taught and understood, choreographically whatever the choreographer asked to be done, must be done. As for changing legs, why not?

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I have never done the Vaganova method- is pas de chat something different in that style than it is in others? I cannot figure out how the pas de chat I learned could be done traveling forward or backward.

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I was wondering the same thing, Sarabande!

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Face the corner of the room and instead of jumping diagonally sideways, you jump diagonally forward. Begin croise, right foot back, demi plie. Jump upward, lifting right foot over left, leading with the heel forward.Immediately lift left foot over right, leading with the heel forward. Finish in demi plie left foot front.

 

To do the pas de chat back, traveling forward, begin facing the corner, demi plie right foot back. Jump upward brushing right foot back leading with pinky toe. As the right leg begins to descend, change legs, lifting left leg back. Heels will pass each other toward 1st position. Land on right leg, demi plie, then quickly close left leg front, landing in 5th, demi plie.

 

I hope this is clear. Posting from my phone is difficult.

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....so it travels forward like a brise? And then to the back only one leg lifts to retire?

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Yes, it travels forward like brissé. To the back however, both legs pass through small attitudes to the back, however it is called through softened knees to differentiate between stretched legs and attitude.

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There is a common step as follows: posé temps levé in 1st arabesque, passé lifted leg through 1st to small 4th and pas de chat, continue alternating posé temps levés and pas de chats. This really only works with a pas de chat en avant as vrs describes above. If the pas de chat goes sideways you lose the line of forward travel.

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Hmm, okay. Thanks! I'd never seen or heard of it done that way before.

 

Oh wait- I might have. That's the way it is in Vaganova's "Basic Principles of Classical Ballet", isn't it? I don't remember- it's been such a long time since I read that book. I'm not making any sense here, am I? :bouncing:

 

Thanks anyway!

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