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Numbering entrechats

Jaana Heino

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We've been learning entrechat quatre now for some time, and I still don't get the numbering of entrechats despite all explanations (which generally say that you move your legs behind and before and all moves are counted twice).


So, quatre is the one in which the legs cross back (2) and fore again (2)? Following this logic six should be back (2), fore (2) and back (2), but I'm under the impression that six is back, fore, back, and fore again, cause the ones that "change legs" should be odd-numberered ones? confused.gif


In any case I have not been able to figure out what entrechat deux is supposed to be... just something resembling basic saute, which would make trois a changement? Is there an entrechat number one?


Am I completely lost? Is there a logic to this? (Not that it matters much, but it's been driving me crazy anyway... tongue.gif )

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the entrechat 2 is the changement de pied in the french school: the one the soubresaut, the 2 the changement , the 3 what you call royale so on and so forth, I repeat,In the French school.

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Jaana, it is confusing, but here's how I learned it. As aubri said, soubresaut is one, changement is two. Your description of quatre was correct, but you have one too many changes in the six. The six is back/fore/back. What you described for that would be a huit, which is like a double entrechat quatre! eek.gif I was taught that this was determined by counting the actual number of moves, counting the opening of the legs, then the beat, the rebound from the beat, then the closing. That would make quatre be jump opening the legs, beat them with a crossing which changes the feet, rebound to open again, and land. Not saying that is how it was intended, but it is one theory. The confusion for me is royale and entrechat trois and entrechat cinq. The only way I can figure that is that maybe there was no opening of the legs intended before the beat in royale, but, if you don't open them a bit the beat is not really visible and it looks like a changement. With trois and cinq perhaps the trois is like a royale but with the movement to bring the foot to the cou de pied position on the landing counting as another count, and the same with cinq, which would be like an entrechat quatre but landing with the foot cou de pied.


There are probably some other explanations out there, and I would be interested to hear them too!

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Guest SugarPlum506

Janna, a simple way to explain entrechat quatre, this from my ballernia daughter, stand in fifth position- right leg front. Do a plié and jump. Imediately switch your legs twice making sure that your knees fully cross each time. Finally, land in fifth position right leg front.

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Guest beckster

It is my understanding that entrechats with odd numbers land on one leg. I think that an entrechat trois is like a changement, but lands on one foot (the back foot?) only with the other foot sur la cou de pied. Entrechat cinq is like an entrechat quatre but lands on one foot only.


Probably you can land on either the front or back foot, maybe they are called entrechat trois devant and entrechat trois derriere.

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Actually they are over or under, like entrechat trois dessus or dessous. smile.gif And the trois is like a royale, not a changement, because it has a beat before the change of the feet. The trois changes in terms of which foot is in front at the beginning and the end, the cinq does not, like a quatre.

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Ah, I see. I was confused with what the odd-numered ones are, then. This explains a lot; thank you for the information.

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Guest Colleen

I learned it the way you explained it Victoria, that if you're doing the beat correctly you count the opening of the legs as well as the beat, and then the closing. So if you're doing an entrechat quatre, you can count your out-front-back-front. And for a trois, it's out-front-back (landing in cou de pied). I think the problem people (myself included) run into is forgetting that a beat must open before it beats. So while an entrechat quatre can be simply described as back-front with the feet, that omits the essential first part of a beat. I use to have problems with my beats because that was my mind set, I was really only 'beating' with one foot. But when I was reminded about the opening out first my beats improved dramatically and became about both legs working. It's fascinating how easy brisés can be once you realize that you have to bring the 'supporting' leg up to meet the 'working' leg, not just beat the 'working' leg around it! wink.gif

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You might like them even more, beckster, if you know that "royale" is named after a King -- Louis XIV, a very fine dancer for his day smile.gif (I skimmed this thread quickly and didn't notice that this had been mentioned; apologies if it has!)

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The entrechat are called according to the number of beats and changes. (entrechat 3 is also called entrechat Royal). All odd numbers of entrechat can be finished on one foot, while even numbers not.


Entrechat one (odd number) is a soubressaut, so can be finished in one foot also, and entrechat deux (entrechat 2) is a changement de pieds, so is always finished on 2 feet, but those 2 are not really called entrechats (they're called soubressaut and changement more often!)


Entrechat trois (or Royal) is entrechat 3 because if you're with your right foot devant, it beats to the front (1), then goes to first position in the air (2), then goes to the back (3).


Entrechat quatre (four) is four because -if you have your right foot at the front- jump to first position (1), then goes to the back in the air (2) then goes back to first position in the air (3) then closes to the front(4).


Entrechat cinq (5) beats front (1) then goes to the 1st position in the air (2), then to the back in the air (3) then to the 1st position (4) then closes front (5).


Entrechat six (6) when you start with your right foot devant, goes to first position in the air (1) then to the back in the air (2) then to first (3) then devant (4) then first (5) then finish derriere (6)...


Entrechat 1, 3 and 5 can -as I said- land on one foot, in which case in the landing, instead of going to 5th position in a plié as for landing a jump, you land with the right foot (if started with right foot devant) in a 'coupé' either derriere (entrechat 3) or devant (entrechat 1 and 5).


If you start with a left foot devant, the same theory applies, except everything is reversed...

In fact, if you learn the 3 and 4 correctly with both feet devant (and learn how to do a soubressaut and a changement!), the rest can be deducted from there, and it's much easier to remember what foot, what beat, where to land..etc..

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I thought I understood beats, but that last post has confused me now! I thought changement battu/royale was the only one to beat first in the same position before changing feet. The odd numbered entrechats change feet immediately and land on one foot, and the even numbered ones change immediately and land on two feet. I'll have to go and check my books, but that was the way I understood it. That's RAD though, maybe there are different rules for different schools! confused.gif

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Lolly, entrechat trois is like royale, in that the beat happens before the feet are changed. So, royale is not the only one smile.gif Trois is like a changement with a beat before changing, like royale, except that it lands on one foot. It can be done over or under.

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Actually the entrechat 3 is called wrongly Royal.

historically it probable that it is the French entrechat 5, since the entrechat 3 et 4 already existed. Louis XIV, young and dance lover use to participate in ballets, it seems that the king wanting to beat an entrechat 4 crossed once before just like for the 3 or royal.That kind of entrechat not practiced in america is called the entrechat 5 in France wink.gif

Any entrechat finished on one leg is called entrechat vole, again I repeat in the French School.


[ February 11, 2002: Message edited by: aubri ]

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Thank you Ms Leigh, I get it now! There's no wonder it is confusing, there isn't a consistent rule to follow! The books I checked all had different definitions. (Some had the odd numbered ones landing on one foot, one didn't - it was French and called them volee) I suppose it's okay if you are only learning one technique. I'm going to stick descriptions on the wall to help me remember. smile.gif

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