Jump to content
Ballet Talk for Dancers
Guest beckster

grands battements

Recommended Posts

Guest beckster

Two questions:

I have been wondering for some time why my grands battements derriere were so appalling, given that my arabesque isn't too bad. Not that I can actually see them, but they feel like I'm hardly getting my foot off the floor at all! I was just looking at the ABT dictionary to see if I could get some clues, and the girl demonstrating them not only leant forward at the hips quite a bit but also moved her hand forward on the barre. Are you really allowed to do that? I thought the body, upper body in particular, was meant to move as little as possible - I am probably misinformed as I am about so many things!

 

Also, while I'm asking stupid questions, here is another. My turnout is ok in first but really quite rubbish in 5th. It feels like I can't engage the right muscles in 5th the way I can in all other positions. I realise its hard without seeing me, but do you have any suggestions as to what I might be doing wrong?

 

Cheers

Becky

Share this post


Link to post
Victoria Leigh

Hi Becky! In order to get your leg up in the back beyond about 30 to 45 degrees, in a turned out position, one MUST move a little bit! While you can remain totally vertical for front and side extensions, there is a slight problem in the back called your gluteus maximus smile.gif It is NOT a tilt forward, but a slight movement of the body weight forward and upward, and ABSOLUTELY you MUST move the hand forward on the barre when you move the weight forward! There is no rule about not moving the placement of the hand on the barre, which should be slightly in front of you anyway. If you move without doing that, you will be unable to keep the proper alignment and get the weight changed. Don't you move it when you do temps lié or tombé or glissade forward or back at the barre? If not, you certainly should.

 

As to the 5th position, it seems a lot of people have this problem, and it is probably just a matter of adjusting your placement and body weight to the right place for your legs to find this position. Some people do not have enough rotation to maintain a good 5th, however, and need to work with slightly less rotation until they develop the strength, rotation, and placement to hold the turnout in 5th.

Share this post


Link to post
Kate B

Grand b to the back is difficult! I totally know what you mean. Our teacher says you should not tilt forward until you feel it naturally happening - I mean don't tilt before you have to. We were also told to move the hand forward on the barre, but naturally - not pulling ourselves forward with it, but just relaxedly sliding in forward as we tilt forwards. I think it must be one of the hardest things, because you do have to keep turned out. I always try too hard and squeeze the turnout muscles too much and so I don't get very good elevation to the back.

Share this post


Link to post
Victoria Leigh

Kate, I'm going to have a slight problem with the use of "tilt", as that is not exactly what you want to happen. There is a movement, as I described above, of the body weight slightly forward and upward, which changes the center of gravity more forward. Tilt is for penché! smile.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Guest beckster

Thanks for your quick replies!

Miss Leigh, I do move my arm forward when I move forward in a glissade or something like that at the barre, but because I haven't been shifting my weight in grands battements, I didn't move my arm either! I will have to try and think about the movement forwards and upwards when I actually have a barre in my hand, as I imagine it is something that I will understand better when I actually do it! As for 5th position, could my turnout be affected by having too much of my weight on my back foot? It is usually the back foot that causes problems, I think, but I also wonder if maybe my front foot is rolling forwards a bit.

 

Cheers

Becky

Share this post


Link to post
Victoria Leigh

Everything can be affected by having too much weight on the back foot eek.gif! When standing on two feet, the weight should be centered, except for the 4th position preparation for pirouettes, where the majority of the weight is clearly in the front leg.

 

If you have not been moving at all for a grand battement back, it's no wonder you can't get your leg up! frown.gif

Share this post


Link to post
kiki

I don't know if I am going to describe this the right way but when doing grande battement to the back I like to think of bringing my hips forward over the supporting leg and the ball of the foot. I find that this naturally brings my torso forward the right amount but helps to keep me upright rather than sinking or tilting forward into a penche position. Hopefully that made sense to you and can help you out!

Share this post


Link to post
Mel Johnson

If you wanted to figure this question out on the basis of axes of movement (yaw, pitch, roll, and so forth) then the grand battement is a sort of relation between thrust (forward motion) and a pitch slightly up, as opposed to the penché which is clearly a pitch-down movement. We won't go into "angles of attack" yet, unless you have a very drafty studio! wink.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Guest beckster

At ballet on Monday, my grand battements definitely felt a lot better - I felt as though I was shifting my weight (only slightly) and pulling up my body as my leg went up - I hope thats what Miss Leigh meant! I felt very uncomfortable before but its a lot better now, so thanks for that advice smile.gif

 

------------------

***The Beckster***

Share this post


Link to post
Victoria Leigh

You're welcome, Beckster, glad it helped! smile.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Guest Colleen

Also, it's helpful to remember to use your foot to propel the leg into the air for all grands battements (actually every time your leg moves your foot should be its guide). So when doing your battement to the back, if your foot brushes hard against the floor the energy should take your leg up and your body weight should naturally shift forward.

You can also use the imagery of stretching your body in opposite directions. If your leg is being stretched to the rear then the torso should be stretching to the front (more helpful for the arabesque line, but the same principle applies). At any rate, if the shifting motion isn't coming naturally, remind yourself that the order of motion is foot/leg then hips/torso and not vice versa.

Share this post


Link to post
vrsfanatic

Regarding moving the supporting arm forward on the barre in movements to the back, According to the Vaganova Syllabus, this is not permitted in children to help to develope the middle and upper back strength. There is definely an arcing movement forward in the upper and middle spine. One must remain pulled up on the supporting leg with the suppoting elbow down and forward of the waistline. This can work with students who begin ballet as adults however it is a very slow process and the goals of the student and teacher must always remain clear. The relationship of the supporting leg to the supporting hip is very dependent upon the flexiblity of the upper and middle back. One must seek to remain natural and filled with life in arabasques after all, we wish to seem lifelike, not statues.

Share this post


Link to post
Mel Johnson

Welcome to the Adult Dancers' Forum on Ballet Talk here at Ballet Alert! Online, vrsfanatic.

 

The Vaganova rule about not moving the hand on the barre is fine in its place, which is in the context of the Vaganova curriculum. I don't know of its existing anywhere outside that milieu, including Legat, which was the link to the Franco-Russo-Italian Petipa era from which both Vaganova and Balanchine sprang.

 

I have a little problem, too, with a description of the back in an "arc", but it may be purely semantic. We may very well be talking about the same things here in different terms.

Share this post


Link to post
Victoria Leigh

When the arm is placed correctly for standing in first or fifth position, with the weight on two feet, or on one foot with the other leg devant or à la seconde, it will not be in the correct place for an extension to the back where the weight of the body should shift sligthly forward, nor even for a 4th position, where the weight must also move forward. If one does not adjust the arm on the barre for this weight shift, then the elbow of that arm will be behind the body, pulling the shoulder blades back and creating an arch that should not be there. This has nothing to do with any syllabus, it's just common sense, at least in my opinion. smile.gif

Share this post


Link to post
vrsfanatic

I would imagine we can go over this issue,as has been done repeatedly in methodology discussions internationally. It is not a new topic. My observation was strictly a factual one. This is a difference from what was discussed in the previous message. Choice of words will also continue to be a constant controversy. I too would imagine we are mostlikely saying the same thing Mr. Johnson. I find your historical background to the pre-Vaganova years to be quite interesting. I have not come upon a thorough analysis from which to draw my information upon this period in teaching. I am well educated in the Vaganova Methodology with its progressions from 1st thru 8th year, and have successfully implimented this usage of the arm on the barre in arabasques. Perhaps it does not make sense to those trying to pick pieces of a methodology like one would pick fruit from a tree, however it does make sense when applied thoroughly and relentlessly from beginning to end.This is not a discussion of syllabus.Yes the syllabus exists, this we all know. For the most part it is written in various books. The syllabus is a list of steps, gives a thorough outline of what is done year by year but the pedegogy is the application of this syllabus. Here in lies the most important aspect of the program.

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...