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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Pas de chat / saut de chat


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I've caved in on grande jete developpe as saut de chat... and jete entrelace as tour jete :) but I do make sure my students know the correct names as well.


I'm with Ms. Leigh on cou-de-pied vs. coupe. One is an action the other a position. The other one that goes hand-in-hand with this is retire vs. passe.

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At the studio I'm currently taking classes, the difference between pas de chat and saut de chat is the directional flow and what foot you start with (back or front). You can do one or many, the name does not change, but if you do a pas de chat, (let's start with your left foot in the back moving to the right), you bring your left foot up the back of the right leg, in the air you change and bring it down the front of the right leg, and you end with your left foot in the back. Then if you change to a saut de chat, moving to the left, you bring your right foot up the front of the left leg, down the back of the left leg and end with the right foot in the front. I'm sure I have this somehow mixed up because I'm trying to do these steps at my desk (in a large law firm) and I'm trying to be inconspicious, :) so if there are corrections, please make them!

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Are you saying that a pas de chat starts with, for example, right leg back and ends with right leg back. A saut de chat starts with, for example, right leg front but ends with right leg back? Is that the difference?


Maybe I vaguely remember that but not sure...


My friends always laugh at me because I forget the names of steps. It's embarrasing to be asked to demonstrate something, and have to ask what exactly the step is. "You know, this thingy..." :)

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A pas de chat is a pas de chat is a pas de chat, whether you do it changé or sans changé. :)

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But if you end it in a retiré, and you're in an old French school, it's a saut de chat.

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Oh, I see. You end in retiré and immediately go the other way. Like you're jumping from one foot to the other?

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Or you can continue on in the same direction with, say, a jeté croisé en avant, or other step that will keep going in the same lateral direction.

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I've only heard saut de chat as a short version of grand jeté développé.


To give you more confusing terminology, my teachers (Finnish, Russian influenced, but not strictly Vaganova) call what I think is also known as grand jeté developpé a "grand pas de chat". I don't think I have ever heard the term saut de chat used in class.


Also, I don't think I've ever heard cou-de-pied called coupé except on this board. :clover: I'm glad I have heard it here, though, because otherwise it would confuse me to no end if I ran into it in class. :)

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Saut de chat is properly limited to the French School. It may even be included in Bournonville, which is Old French, anyway. Legat uses "pas de chat jeté", which I think makes sense, and I've kept using for the grand jeté with a developpé in the front.

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  • 1 month later...
Guest nicoal

Unless I am completely confused (which is possible) - what then is the name of the large jump which is basically a pas de chat but right leg (assuming traveling to the right) extends a la seconde and lands in fifth?

I believe my teacher calls this jump saut de chat. This always made sense to me being that it was jumping/modified version of pas de chat.


To further confuse us students, my teacher has invented a term for grand jete developpe - she calls it saut de jete! :D

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I used to describe the kind of pas de chat you just described as "pas de chat volé". In fact, I still do! :(

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Well, nicoal, I didn't reply to this thread because I was completely lost too!!


What Maj. Mel said here

But if you end it in a retiré, and you're in an old French school, it's a saut de chat.
is not familiar to me (and I know the French school... but maybe it's the very old French school he's talking about?) :dry:


Anyway, what you describe nicoal (with the leg extended) is what I always called a saut de chat. A pas de chat is the very simple step we teach children (tuck in a leg, then tuck the other, then land). Saut de chat to me is virtually the same, but your leg extend in the air. Both can be done with any leg, any direction (although saut de chat is more épaulé and both (as I learnt them) finish in 5th, unless it's a twist in the choreography (but I don't think it would be called another name if finished sur le cou de pied).


The saut de chat is a grand allegro exercise usually, and pas de chat is not necessarily as big (but it can be).


The Italian pas de chat is one like the French version, but you tuck both feet underneath you at the same time (as if toes were touching).

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  Legat uses "pas de chat jeté", which I think makes sense, and I've kept using for the grand jeté with a developpé in the front.


I find this very interesting Major Mel, I went to Legat School and I don't think we ever did pas de chat jete.



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Mme. Tumkovsky at SAB referred to grand jeté developpé as "grand jeté pas de chat," which makes sense if you consider that it probably developed from pas de chat derrière. It is also similar to the Legat term Mel mentioned.

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