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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Pas de chat / saut de chat


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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.




Ana Roje and Oskar Harmos both used the term when I worked with them, so maybe it's a local variation native to Yugoslavia.

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  • 7 months later...
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Guest FireDancer79

Here is what I was taught:



*from fifth to fifth (at least for little ones- later on it can go through a small fourth into the next position/step)

*going forward (not to the side unless specifically demanded by the choreography)

*both heels forward as they go through passe if going forward, both legs in small attitues back in doing pas de chat to the back (still moving forward)

*if going foward to the right, first the right leg goes up to passe (sometimes called retire) front (passing cou-de-pied back) as you push off from the left leg, then the lower part of the left leg comes forward as it lifts to passe front, land on the right leg in plie, left leg closes fifth to the front.

*ideally, the hips should be so far off the ground that both legs can straighten in the air.

*sometimes, choreography can call for both legs to land in fifth at once like in the first soloists' diagonal in Paquita.





*first the preparation has to build the necessary momentum to get the hips high enough in the air to have time and space to split the legs.

*if going to the right, the right leg does grand battement developpe to the front, being careful to set the height of the leg right away in passe as high as possible (note the passe is not turned out in the conventional way- it is turned out but the knee is facing the way you are going) from passe, the leg developpes out, not down.

*as the right leg does this, the left leg pushes off the floor and immediately goes to arabesque position so as to hit the arabesque at the same time as the leg extends to the front.

*the weight is on the right leg as it comes down and the left leg does failli through a clean first position into the next position/step.



Obviously arms can vary in both instances, but, ideally, you want them to help lift you and they continue moving as you land so as to create the illusion of a longer jump.


At least, that's my understanding of it as best as I can describe. :)

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  • 13 years later...

In the Russian, American, Italian, and Danish schools, a pas de chat is a jump in which the dancer springs from coupe or sur Le cou de pie into the air, legs bent, and land in fifth, whereas a saut de chat, also called a grand jeté Developpe, is a grand jeté, but the front leg does a quick Developpe as the dancer takes off. 

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Technically a saute de chat is not a grande jete at all, as a “jete” implies the leg is brushed straight and therefore is distinctly not a develope. Colloquially, sure people call it a develope jete, but it is very much not a jete in any sense of the word.


Edit: Also coupe is an action not a position. 

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