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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Grand Jete Revisited


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Hey Danseurs,


I did a search on the forum for information on grand jetes but didn't quite get the answer I needed so I'm asking again.


On the ABT website there is clip of Vladimir Malakov doing a grand jete; from my observation it looks like he is leaned back as he goes into a plie with the left leg and battements his right leg. He then appears to rotate forward as his standing leg extends and propels him up and forward. His motion is very arc like.


The women (basically everyone besides me) in my class seem to battement both legs at the same time into a split in the air. Is there difference between male and female grand jetes or are there just variations? I seem to get higher in the middle of the jump if I battement one leg at a time.


Any thoughts? Thanks.



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Unless directed otherwise, one should generally try to jump as high as possible in a grand jeté, and this will usually produce an arc. If the grand jeté is done with a developpé of the front leg, the arc won't be as noticeable, but the body should still go up, not just forward.

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Right, Hans.


Grand jeté is one of those steps that really illustrates the old point: "Everything has a beginning, a middle, and an end." At the beginning of the jump, the leg which is to go front must be brought up high in a grand battement, then seamlessly transition through to a jump up and forward. And so on, through the rest of the step. It's one long arc.

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Battement'ing (is that really a word?) both legs at the same time would give you less force upwards than first sending the front leg. Most ice-skaters and gymnastics sends both foots up at the same time, but in my opinion its better for at dancer to first do a battement with the front foot. as M.mel says - its all one long arc.

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Is one supposed to have a good split before being able to do an excellent grand jete?

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I've read somewhere that Balanchine preferred his grand jetes to split immediately instead of doing the arcing thing --- he wanted to freeze the image of the splits in mid-air. It may be a style/school kind of thing.



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With Balanchine or anyone else, it depends on the role. The big circle of grands jetés at the end of the male variation in "Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux" has no jeté élancé. In Nijinska's "Florestan pas de trois" cobbled together for the Diaghilev Sleeping Princess the two set of grands jetés that cross the stage that the man does to open the coda are most definitely élancé and well-split.

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