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Ballet Talk for Dancers

I hate that step!

Guest pink tights

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Guest pink tights

OK, I got this idea from the regular Adult Ballet Students Board, from a thread titled "developpe help". One poster has listed several steps that she hates, so I thought it would make an interesting thread. We have the "Champagne Couch" for our accomplishments and the "Support Group" for aches, pains, and general low moments, so it is only natural that we have a place to post about steps we hate!


So here is mine: Chugs! A step so foul, that it is not even listed in my Gail Grant or my Basic Principles of Classical Ballet.

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You'll have to describe a chug for me... I've never heard the term!


I always know class is going downhill when a petite allegro combination calls for pas Ballonne or (don't know the spelling) taunt levay. But it comes down to the same problem- I can't jump high enough :o to point my foot when I jump off of one leg. So I just feel so stupid. I am getting better about holding the coupe* while doing the taunt levays though.


* Yes I know coupe is a movement not a position. How do you spell the position cou de pie looked wrong. Edit to add: it's pied, isn't it. That makes more sense.

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Thanks Jans. temps makes sense. I had always heard her say it as taunt.


Still don't like it, but at least now I know how to write it correctly :o

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Chugs - used in Giselle. Girls cross the stage in an arabesque (90 degrees) and basically shuffle or chug along with their supporting leg. I guess its kind of more of an elongee arabesque as they usually have their head on the same line as the arabesque leg. they do this all the way across the stage and the arabesque leg never drops even when chugging. It's a difficult step and hence not well liked. If you can do it, then maybe they are still not liked. They look kind of weird in the classroom, but when you have 30 nymphs in their beautiful romantic tutus going across the stage, usually x number of girls from one side and x number from the other side, so they cross in between eachother, you understand the point of the step, or the chug ;)

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Ah, thank you Xena, I have seen that one and it is beautiful- just never heard its name.


I'd be interested in knowing if there is a more official name. Perhaps someone will wonder upon this thread who will know it.


*sorry pink tights, I didn't mean to overtake your thread with questions.



Edit to add: Googling brought me references to "voyagé" and "temps levés en arabesque"

Edited by Skittl1321
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I've heard the 'chug' also called a 'voyage' (sorry for no accents).


For me, the two different names are for the same step but with different qualities (but this is because of my own connotations and probably only makes sense in Ami-land).


The voyage is what we see in Giselle. I think of the chug as what happens in some codas (Gelsey Kirkland does this in the Baryshnikov at the Wolf Trap dvd, and also it's often done in La Corsaire and others) - where there are four chugs backwards (in arabesque) into a long arabesque releve. And one of my favourites from Flower Festival - in arabesqu - four chugs turning into double pirouette en dedans - when you are on, that's SO FUN.


Skittl - besides the temps leve how do you feel about petite allegro in general? I found that I had a much easier time with it when I realised that it's not just about strength to get up on those temp leves etc., but that the rhythm is so so so important. Now petite allegro is my favourite thing ever.


pinktights - was I the inspiration? :o Adage and extension have always been my weak points, and the things that I have to work the hardest on. My arabesque and seconde are getting better - only just. I'm talking one or two degrees, and no one else probably notices. Devant is my nemesis.

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emboites. Specifically, doing them to the front going across the floor with the arms in croise.


It makes me feel like that dancing frog from the looney toons cartoons

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Brisés and pirouettes en attitude. Whenever there's one of either in the combination my heart just sinks before I even try it, and then everything goes to hell.

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ami1436- You might have caught me- I HATE petite allegro. I don't jump well at all, but I feel SO sloppy on the little jumps. (It's only the one legged one where the height comes in as an issue, with 2 legs I can get high enough to pointe- but still VERY close to the ground)


I know it's more rhythm than strength, and I think I need to work on both. Although during other parts of class I'm complimented on my musicality, so it might just be a condition of petite allegro aversion :o


I'm terrible at adagio too, but I enjoy it much more. Even when I'm wobbly and have a 30 degree developpe I feel as though I COULD do this.


Give me turns any day- but that's the subject of another thread.

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emboites. Specifically, doing them to the front going across the floor with the arms in croise.


It makes me feel like that dancing frog from the looney toons cartoons


I couldn't agree with you more! We did emboites in Cinderella last year and I, having never seen them before, decided they were the weirdest looking traveling step you could come up with.


I just saw a ballet (Le Corsaire, I believe) that uses them, and they are beautiful.


I guess it's not the step that looks like a dancing frog, but me!

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Oooh we did emboites (4) with saut de basque last night and it was quite fun.


I would be perfectly happy to never do a mazurka again. I'm not so fond of gargouillade either.

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