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Guest lucy

Brises

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Guest lucy

I sat in on the class i'll join next week (i thought it was RAD elementary but it's ISTD intermediate- anyone know if this is comparable?)

 

I could follow all the steps apart from brises. It looked like an assemble battu. I looked it up in my ballet dictionary and it said brises are similar to assemble battu but they travel and assembles don't. It also said it is the underneath leg that does the beat, and not the top one.

 

I still don't get it though! How does the underneath leg beat the top one? Can anyone explain it in a basic way for me please? I don't want to get caught out next week. Thank you. :confused:

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Victoria Leigh

Actually Lolly, some assemblés travel too :) It can get confusing, and there is a lot of similarity between assemblé battu and brisé. Assemblés with a beat are going to be either an over or under movement. Brisés do not change feet, ie, they move but they end with the same foot front that started front. As to the underneath leg doing the beat, this is true in both steps. The leg that brushes into the air does not do the beat, it's the leg you are pushing off from that has to push off the ground and get up and do the work! That is how you make the step move :) A basic assemblé porté, without a beat, does the same thing. It travels through the air because the leg you push from moves up and under the other leg to move you from point A to point B in space!

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Guest lucy

Oh no! I think i've been doing my assembles wrong then! I'm sure I beat the top leg rather than the bottom! I've thought about it so much I can't think straight. I think the assemble battu I do is like a holubetz step where the heels click together (with stretched feet), then closing in 5th. Oh dear...

 

So if brises do not change feet, does the beat change feet or do you just beat to the front and close in front, for example? I still can't get my head around the underneath leg doing the beat... :)

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Victoria Leigh

No, Lolly, in a brisé the leg that brushes out from the back gets beaten by the other leg behind it and the leg that beat behind ends in front. In other words, if you are standing in 5th, with the right leg front, and doing a brisé to the left, the left leg brushes out, the right one beats it behind and ends in front, either in 5th (brisé firmé) or in a dégagé or cou de pied position front (brisé ouvert or brisé volé).

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Guest lucy

Thank you Miss Leigh, that makes much more sense. Now I understand what I should be doing, even if I can't figure out how to do the underneath leg beating thing! I'll just have to practise, I suppose! :) I don't think there are any shortcuts in ballet...

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Guest Angelina_the_ballerina

Not sure if it's any help but we were always taught that brise begins with a B and so does beat, so you beat where the direction is! Sorry it's kind of hard to explain! A brise over therefore beats over first then returns to the back! If I'm confusing matters please delete this post! :)

 

I also take bothe elementary RAD and took inter ISTD exam last year so if you need any help just say!

:)

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Guest Lucy

Thank you Angelina. I think the problem I will have with brises is the same problem with all my jumps- lack of elevation. Which would explain why I can't understand the underneath beat- I just don't get off the floor enough to fit the beat in before I land!

 

I'm not sure I will join the intermediate class- I think double pirouettes are a bit beyond me at this stage, as I have trouble doing just one, especially en dedans. I think I would be able to follow the class, but I don't want to dread going. So at least for this term I will stick to pre-elementary - even if it means doing one class on a hard floor. Sorry Miss Leigh... :)

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Guest Amzey

Ms. Leigh, thank you for your explanation of brisé - I just learned it this summer and was having a little bit of trouble, but after reading your explanation and practicing, I'm feeling a little more confident. :)

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Mel Johnson

A little note of historical interest(?) may be of help here: Brisé means "broken" and originally was a "broken" glissade, with a beat as the feet passed. It could be done as a glissade to fourth position, thereby creating either the brisé dessous or dessus, depending on whether you are traveling relatively forward or backward diagonally or it could also be done de côté and either dessous or dessus, if the glissade were to fifth position. Nowadays we pretty much just do the brisé to fifth, but it's usually effacé to croisé as if it were to fourth. You can see an example of the early brisé in the ballerina's variation in the pas de deux from "Flower Festival at Genzano".

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Guest Lucy

So that's how brises differ from assemble battu- because they can go to 4th? It's interesting to know how the steps came about.

 

I said in an earlier post about assembles and holubetz, and which foot does the beat... i've just realised that the underneath foot does the beat in holubetz- because the top one is in the air and the underneath one comes up to join it. Am I right? I hope so... i'm gradually sorting out all these beaten steps in my mind! It's very confusing though. A challenge for my brain as well as my body! :)

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Victoria Leigh

I have no clue about holubetz, Lolly, but the brisé that can go to fourth is only one of the ways that it differs from assemblé :)

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Xena

I don't want to cast any despair over you, but to do intermediate (or elementary as it used to be called, pre-elementary is now Intermediate foundation), RAD you need to be able to excute a perfect double.

Go to this website for a complete RAD syllabus and what the examiners are looking for.. in both the presentation Grades and Vocational Grades (i.e major syllabus)a very interesting article as it is totally up to date.. http://www.rad.org.uk/pdfs/ExamPresClasses.pdf

 

Jeanette

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Mel Johnson

And yes, Lolly, you can do a DOUBLE holubetz where the feet click twice in the air. That way, you KNOW both feet are beating! This sort of little character cabriole occurs in Hungarian dancing, and has another name!

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Guest lucy

Yes, I know that site well! That's why I think it would be better to walk before I run, and stick with pre-elementary for now. Good to have something to work on though!

 

I've just got home from a masterclass on Don Quixote at the Royal Opera House (I will do a write up in the reviews section tomorrow- it's late now!) and the dancers did a fantastic sequence of brises- it was spectacular. I think it will be a while before I am that fleet of foot!

 

Isn't it funny that when you learn something new, it's all you seem to see? (I mean, it's hardly coincidence that there were brises in a ballet, but how the brises were what I noticed from the evening)

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Guest lucy

I've been reading up on beaten steps this week, because I had so much trouble understanding brises. One book was particularly helpful so I though I would summarise what it said in case it might help someone else.

 

There are two types of beaten steps, batterie a croisements and batterie de choc. The first is beats which cross, the second, beats that strike. It's the crossing ones that fascinate me! The book says most beaten steps are sauts simples, complicated by the batterie. So entrechats are soubresauts battus, entrechats voles are sissones battues, entrechats de volee are assemblees battues and brises are glissades battues.

 

That made things a bit clearer in my head if not yet in my feet!

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