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Degage height


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Some of my teachers ask for a 45 degree degage and others ask for "just off the floor".


Does anyone know what the arguments for these two options are? And are they associated with a particular style or era?

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My teachers tell me, that there are several heights for the leg extended off the floor, and that we should be able to execute (and differentiate) each of them as desired. We get exercises for this too, where we have several different heights of the same movement in the same combination.


Our list goes as follows: 15, 30, 45, 60, 90 and 120 degrees, finally followed by "as high as you can" which has been humorously defined by one teacher as 300 degrees. :wub:


According to my teachers, a battement jete (degage) can be asked for at 15, 30 or 45 depending on speed and quality of movement desired by the teacher. Each has a different benefit in the training a dancer. (I tried listing the benefits as taught to me, but finally decided I'm getting into a too deep water.)


Getting anything but a spring-off variant of Vaganova training here in Finland seems pretty much impossible, so I'd guess that is where our heights come from.



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It's very complicated--you might want to search the Teachers forum. I know we've discussed it more than once on there, the various terminologies and what they mean in each method. Basically, just do whatever your teacher wants :wub:

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We work on moving our WORKING FOOT as far away from our STANDING LEG as possible. The direction of energy is OUT, not UP. If you move your foot OUT, you will find it only goes so high.

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But can't one have energy moving through/out the leg at any height? How do you do grand battement? The point about the energy is an important one, but it's applicable to any height, really, up to about 90 degrees. Above 90 degrees, the energy moves out and then the feeling must be that it continues to move out even as the leg rises (moving the hips as little as possible, of course). Also, it depends on what type of dégagé the teacher wants--one that moves continuously or one that is sharp and quick. Both have their place in ballet class, and both masquerade under various names in different syllabi--what is battement dégagé in one may be battement tendu jeté in another, and vice versa, not to mention battement glissé. So there isn't really just one answer, which is exactly the problem koshka is facing. There are a lot of correct ways to do it.

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Thanks all--I'll go surf the teachers' forum.

I've pretty much figured out that "right" is whatever the teacher wants ;-)

but the "why" interests me, and some of my teachers are more clear about that than others...

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The energy is going out in the sense that the top of your arch is trying to move outward, even after the toes have stopped moving. It's a very specific point, but the geometry is subtle.

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RAD makes a distinction - the battement glissé is early in the barre, just after tendus. It's the Cecchetti battement degagé - just off the ground. The battement jeté happens later in the barre and is at 45 degrees. That's part of the theory that the barre warms from the floor up! In many usages the terms are interchangeable, but in Cecchetti and RAD they're not.

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  • 8 years later...

Hmm... May I bump this up? I was trying to find the height of dégagé, because one teacher of mine swears by 18 degrees while another teacher of mine constantly ask us to do higher ones. I just found out that there are many types of dégagé, but couldn't find the other topic that's being referred to in this thread. I am really interested in the story behind it, can any one help me? Thanks!

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I'm afraid that to state something specific might not be helpful because, as mentioned by Mel Johnson, it's also kind of style specific too. I know that for Vaganova dancers, it's not the same as RAD. Perhaps your teachers are either trained in different styles or are working different angles for a particular reason. I laughed when the poster wrote, "Right is whatever the teacher wants."

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Thanks, LaFilleSylphide! But I still wonder if there's any reason behind it that different method has different height(s)...

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I would say that height does not matter that much (different methods - different heights, different teachers - different heights). It is more about control that you generate the energy on a rather short distance and then you fix your leg/foot on a certain position without wobbling or arriving there to late, closing in to early etc. I am mainly Vaganova trained (but I started of with French and RAD) and now I am doing teachertraining which is based on Vaganova (but they have their own syllabus). My teacher goes for 45° but if the quality of the step is really the jeté (or whatever) quality it is okay to go for 20° or 60°. It is all about quality. Height is just a number. Once you figured out how to have control over that leg, you should be able to bring in that quality at any height.

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I have a teacher who jokes around by saying that we should do our ronds en l'air at 45° monday and at 47° tuesday.

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