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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Numbering entrechats


Jaana Heino

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So, I guess for me entrechat 3 and Royal are the same. I call them 'vole' if they are landing on one foot, as aubri noted.

However, I have learnt that entrechat 5 is indeed finished on 2 feet. How would you call this one then, if you say entrechat 5 finishes on one foot only? (entrechat 5 finished on both feet?? Or something like that?)

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That is my understanding, too, Colleen. I was going to ask the same question! smile.gif

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Guest beckster

I understand balletowoman's explanation - odd numbered entrechats have an extra beat before the first change, so an entrechat 5 beats in front first, like a changement battu, but then continues like an entrechat 4. So it does have an extra beat and in that way makes sense. But it isn't how I was taught it. There seem to be two schools of thought on the subject. The first school has odd-numbered entrechats always landing on one leg and doesn't have a preliminary front beat in any entrechat (if you don't count royale). The second school distinguishes between entrechats with a preliminary beat and entrechats that land on one foot by using the word volee for the latter. I think we are going to have to agree to disagree on this one.

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Beckster, I agree with your explanation. That's probably the difference...

I didn't know that in 'your' entrechat 5, there wasn't any beat to the front (so, in fact, it's 'our' entrechat 4 volé)... Ok, it makes sense...

 

Yes, I think the two techniques are different. We'll have indeed to agree to disagree...

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Just a minor point here. The technique for actually doing the entrechats is the same, just the names are different. That's one of the identifying characteristics of a separate method or school of ballet - a distinctive lexicon. It's why some of us don't consider Balanchine a different method, just a style which uses the "old" names from the Franco/Italian/Russian patois. (I was going to use "argot", but I thought better of it) wink.gif

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Right, so I got it wrong... Again!

You're saying that 'your' entrechat 5 is like a 4 if it lands on 2 feet. To me, even if I was to believe that an entrechat 5 finishes on one foot, and do a 4 finishing on one foot, it would look totally different, as a 4 'beats' because of the number of times it changes from front/back, but a 5 actually has a beat (about like crossing over the foot more than a normal 5th) before changing to back...

Is it clear, is it me? I'm totally lost now...

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I think that in the schools calling a cinq something that ends on one foot, the last instant of the step is considered another opening movement, only the foot doesn't fully extend outward, but is contained in a cou de pied position.

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All right, so the coup de pied is numbered as 5 (4 being first position in the air) if I understand well... Ok, got it... So in France, we call it 5 because, even though it lands on 2 feet, we beat the first at the front, unlike the 4 which doesn't beat to the front...

 

Hmmm... Very slightly different, but important... I see, I see...

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