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Gargouillades and Italian Fouettes?


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Hi mods and everyone else,


We've been doing a lot of gargouillades and Italian fouettes in class, and I'm really confused. :wub:


In a gargouillade, are the ronde de jambes supposed to be exactly at the same time, or slightly apart? Also, I know it's not a great traveling step, but you should move about the same distance as you would in a glissade, right? I'm having trouble getting the ronde de jambes quick enough, and I keep getting a not-so-nice landing ... :angry:


On another note, if you're doing an Italian fouette, it's broken down into a grande battement a la seconde, and then it's like a slight promenade into arabesque, brush through first, and fouette to the back attitude? These I've never really learned, and I'm not sure if I observed them right. It looked okay when I did it in class, but I wasn't sure if I was cutting out a step or adding an extra middle one.



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Gargouilliades are an embellished pas de chat. The working leg begins with the rond de jambe and lands and as the step finishes, the following leg goes to retiré of now-supporting leg. There may be a rond de jambe performed by the following leg, in fact, these days, there usually is. So, yes, the two are slightly apart.


If we're going to be agonizingly correct about this, you're adding an additional grand battement à la seconde and a demi-fouetté to arabesque to link the Italian fouettés together. The actual Cecchetti grand fouetté en tournant en dedans doesn't start until you're in arabesque. Then comes a battement through first, and the big fouetté movement, but then it ends in 4th arabesque - that is, if we're being agonizingly correct about terminology.

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  • Administrators

And the first rond de jambe is en dehors and the second leg does rond de jambe en dedans! :angry:


In the Italian fouettés that I am familiar with, there is no arabesque, and the first leg does a développé to écarté devant, brushes through first as you turn the corner into the relevé devant/fouetté to attitude.

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Guest theskysthelimit

is there anyway to gradually practice a gargouillade? When I do them, I get confused. My feet go into many different directions and I usually land on my derriere. Not pretty :blushing: I don't particularly like them as a performance step either.

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Do them very low at first, and don't put the second rond de jambe in until the first one can be landed cleanly. Then bring the following foot to a demi-retiré, and you've got the basic step.

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  • Administrators

From the attitude? Nope, it's really a plié bringing the leg down to a cou de pied back and then unfold it from there to the écarté. It doesn't even have time to go through the retiré position.

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I tried to do the gargouillades that way in class today (thinking of it as just an embellished pas de chat, one en dedans, the other en dehors) and it looked a LOT better, thank you. :wink: My school is going through a bit of a phase where they're really trying to make us just try, and if we fail, to observe others for a while before we start asking questions, and also just like, saying the combinations and then having us do them, and after we've tried explaining them further (to try and simulate intensive or professional auditions, because some of us are almost old enough) and while I feel like I've been gaining a lot of ability to catch on to combinations quickly, sometimes it's not so good for steps. :lol:


If the developpe or grande battement a la seconde doesn't turn into an arabesque, then how are you really supposed to get into position to do the fouette? Are you supposed to just manage to promenade quickly enough that as you brush your leg for a la seconde to en avant, that you stay turned out? I think that is what is being said ... That would be pretty different looking, but I think that'd be a lot cleaner, too.


And also, just on a general fouette note (not Italian) is your leg supposed to go to passe behind the knee before it goes to passe in front of the knee? A few dancers from Houston Ballet come to my school in the summer, and they all did it like that, and so do a lot of the dancers I know in general, but I was wondering if it is correct or if it is just easier. If it is correct, that's fantastic--I can do a lot more fouettes that way because it doesn't seem like such a huge turn, but if it's wrong I guess I just need to work more.


Thanks so much--I didn't respond earlier because I wasn't sure what to say, but these two steps really looked a lot cleaner today. Thank you, Ms. Leigh and Mr. Johnson. :clover:

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Glad we could help, Marenetha.


The working leg in the Italian fouetté lowers from the écarté devant to pass through 1st position. The supporting leg is turning the corner as that leg comes down to meet in the first, then the grand battement devant facing the back corner and the fouetté to attitude croisé.


With regular fouetté pirouettes en dehors the working leg does different things in different methods. In the Vaganova it opens to the second and comes straight in to the front; in the Italian it opens devant and rond de jambe to the side and then in to the front; and there are some people who do it to the back and front. Not sure what method that is, but I find that it generally creates a corkscrew effect and is not as rotated. :)

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