Posted 13 January 2013 - 07:50 PM
It makes this interesting because I need to research in considerable depth, to read explanations and see video of the step if that is something I can find. But that still often does not let me "make sense" of the step.
Contretemps to me "looks" like a saute arabesque w/ a rond de jamb, 'sort of' -- Demi-contretemps to me "looks like" a sort of pas de basque with a low passe......... anyway, my eye sees this (in class).
So, I'd really appreciate breakdowns and a word of explanation for these, as BT experts do so well! I realize that among BT teachers, and members there could be different versions, too -- that's fine.
Again, are these considered only linking steps? Or steps in their own right as well, depending on the choreography, and timing, etc.... The linking steps to me seem more complex and again, elusive or hard to pin down than most ballet steps overall. They go by so fast in class. Some teachers are not able to explain them well. Or there just is not time even after class for an explanation.....
Posted 17 January 2013 - 05:39 PM
Posted 17 January 2013 - 10:59 PM
Contretemps would be classified as a linking step, but I encourage you not to think of them as «only» linking steps. If you give them the same attention you'd give any other step in class, you will find that in the long run you will be able to do them more easily and with cleaner technique.
Posted 18 January 2013 - 03:30 AM
I want to practice this to make it as clean as possible, as you mentioned. is there a series of say three steps you might combine this with that go together well?
Is it mainly used as a preparation? Or could it just as well be in the middle of a combination?
Is there a "secret" to making this look graceful? For a seemingly uncomplicated step, I seem to stumble with it - especially at a fast tempo. Your help is much appreciated!
Posted 18 January 2013 - 09:42 AM
Temps levé arabesque (stepping on the right foot), failli (bringing the left foot front as you land), contretemps (brushing the right leg, then the left so that you're in effacé with the left leg front), and repeat to the other side.
Depending on how comfortable you are with this series of steps, you could also do:
Tombé, pas de bourrée, glissade, contretemps. And repeat to the other side.
Posted 18 January 2013 - 01:00 PM
Full contretemps is a much more complicated move consisting of a rond de jambe en dedans followed by a coupe transfer of weight into a small developpe efface front. I teach it terre-a-terre and a jumping version. Usually a tombe or pique movement following the developpe. In the jumping version, I will also give a variation of a straight leg to efface front instead of the small developpe.
I consider these steps to be linking or preparation steps.
Posted 18 January 2013 - 01:52 PM
Is there some simple difference between a usual pas de basque (ie a rond de jambe par terre from a tendue devant - and fondue of the supporting leg - moving from croise devant to efface devant (to face the opposite downstage corner); feet pass through first, on the ground till the formerly supporting leg moves to tendue forward, into croise devant in the new position), and the demi-contretemps? (Again when I do them they look almost the same.) Is there some very definite distinction between them? (Such as: 'This type of pas de basque is par terre/demi-contretemps is "jumped"'?) Otherwise somehow I hardly can see the difference between them......? (I am not happy to admit finding such a seemingly uncomplicated step so..... elusive.)
Sorry - I am actually rushing to class right now, and with this information from you both, things will go better, I expect! But I do need to work on and think about it more. This has been one of those moves for me that I don't see often enough to really grasp yet. (And can't find any example online, etc -- photos of it don't seem to help...) Thanks again so much for these above, and any other comments. Mr. Hans -- Thank you SO MUCH for the combinations! I will practice these (helps so much to put it in 'context' in a series of steps. Temps de cuisse -- Thank you SO MUCH!
Posted 18 January 2013 - 04:26 PM
Posted 18 January 2013 - 07:55 PM
Posted 18 January 2013 - 09:14 PM
Posted 19 January 2013 - 12:08 AM
Here is a video of contretemps. I believe this is the step as it is executed in the old RAD Elementary syllabus work. RAD teachers- you may be able to check and see if I am remembering correctly ......
Yes and no If you want to get really technical...
What was demonstrated there was an RAD "Full Contretemps" post 2002. Pre-2002 it used to be executed with a ronds de jambe en dedans en fondus at glisse height, but that was changed to the coupe as displayed. The Full Contretemps includes the ronds de jambe/coupe and the pose temps leve. A contretemps would be just the ronds de jambe or coupe part on its own, and "demi-contretemps" would be essentially a 'hop' with the leg in tendu derriere with a 1/4 turn from croise to ouvert (A la Girls Intermediate 1987 Fouette Saute exercise for those that remember!).
Hope that helps!
Posted 19 January 2013 - 12:20 AM
I call the action of a tendu with a plie on the support leg a tendu soutenu. Others call it tendu fondu.
Posted 19 January 2013 - 04:14 AM
And, this doesn't look like the contretemps -- or the demi-contretemps -- I've seen demonstrated in class (at least not entirely....). (I could see, if contretemps is something like pas de basque that has many different versions -- all using the same name....?) .... or maybe I just am not understanding yet, sorry to say.
If the alternating (moving to R then to L...) saute arabesques are the contretemps why don't the definitions in references like Gail Grant's book and others describe it that way.....?
If there is a pre-2002 version, and a post-2002 version that could explain why different instructors use this step differently?
But it may be best if I accept all that is said above because all of it makes sense -- but I can see that in the particular class where this may appear I better be prepared to execute it differently depending on the context. This seems one of those steps that different people or perhaps schools of ballet, may see quite differently.......
Thanks for this discussion because I understand far more about this now than I did before. As I thought, this step has a lot to it -- history -- some evolution perhaps.....
Miss Persistent -- your definitions/explanations especially explaining how a demi-contretemps differs from a full contretemps explain very well. Temps de cuisse - your comments help! I don't know where the tendu fondu comes in to it though..... Did I miss something in the video? At the very beginning as a prep, it does look like that, though but otherwise where was the fondu....?
Or - is "contretemps" a quick, one-word way to describe the "alternating saute arabesques" that I see in the video -- one word that refers to this series of moves consisting of the saute arabesques to R/to L a few times w/ a soutenu turn at the end? (This may be irrelevant, but if that is the case then part of the problem for me is that the name "contretemps" does not sound at all like what the move -- or series of moves -- looks like.) It seems to move w/ a waltz tempo, while the name "sounds" more like something that would be a bit irregular in tempo........"and a 1, and a 2" or something........
Ultimately I need to accept what the move is, and move on -- the name just doesn't to me, sound like what it looks like......(Otherwise in ballet the names to me nearly always sound like what the move looks like.) Come to think of it that is partly -- or largely - why I have such a problem w/ this one. Thank you for the input - I may be making a mountain out of a molehill but it has stumped me for some time...... I'm really glad to hear from all of you in this discussion. -- Ludmilla --