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What is this position called?


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What is the position called where your leg is lifted to the front 90 degrees? I have seen pose (with an accent over the e). My teachers just say "devant" or developpe devant or releve lent devant. I don't think it is arabesque devant...

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Each method of ballet may call it something different actually, but I also have never heard "arabesque devant". In Vaganova it is big pose croise or efface front. When a movement is done to the front the movement is described and then the direction, for example: battement developpe is done in the direction front (in whatever language one is teaching, although have heard some Russians use the word devant, meaning front).

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My understanding is that an arabesque is strictly a back position. Extensions to the front are called devant, with a description depending on whether it is quatrième, croisé, écarté, or effacé devant. Arabesque is a position where the leg is straight back, behind the shoulder of the working leg. Attitude can be either devant or derrière.

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Hey (that's Memphian for hi) Mel: quatrième devant: I had to look that one up!


I think Ms. Leigh is right about the attitude. The first thing I thought when I read this post was my previous teacher saying:


  • coupè
  • up to passè
  • front attitude
  • stretch to developpè
  • hold, hold, hold, hold

  • down
  • close

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[Removed by poster - unconstructive comment, I do apologise.]

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Yes, tcritte, your teacher was right about the quatrième devant, but the foot passes through sur le cou de pied to retiré and then begins the développé. :)

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Actually Ms. Leigh, I looked up and "struggled" before submitting that post and almost didn't because of the "cringe" factor. :angry::blushing::blink:

However the teacher I had made a distinction between:


  • the working foot low and pointed in front of the supporting ankle (the coupé I specified)


  • the working foot having arch and heel wrapped around the supporting ankle (sur le cou-de-pied)

So I still have no idea what the first one is supposed to be called.



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The first cou-de-pied position you describe has different names depending upon which teaching method one uses. I call it "cou-de-pied devant," but the Vaganova method calls it "conditional cou-de-pied."


"Coupé" is the past participle of the verb "couper" (to cut), and it refers to a movement in which the working leg swiftly replaces the supporting leg; thus, it would be confusing to use it to refer to a position. :blink:

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I do apologise if I sounded sarcastic, that was not intended.


I was sneaking onto the board at work for my ballet fix and that was my first reaction. The always watchful eyes around me made me want to hop back off as soon as possible. As there are teachers on this board I did not feel it was appropriate for me to correct anyone.


I suppose sneaking on here while at work is a bad idea :blink:


Once again I apologise.


*bows and exits*




(Mods - please remove my previous post? I did not realise what I posted would have this effect.....)

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Thanks Chinafish for apologizing and thanks Mods for removing my comments too. :thumbsup: I apologize undertutu for :offtopic: additions to your post.


Thanks everyone else for the definitions. I "think" I know what I should have written. However, I'm not trying to start another off-topic discussion should I still need some help :deal::wink::shrug: .



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Tracey and Chinafish, no problem at all in any of the posts!


Tracey, Hans explained it correctly. Coupé is an action, not a position. Unfortunately, way too many teachers still call that position coupé, which is very confusing, because then when you do ask for a real coupé, the students stand there in a position! :offtopic::shrug:

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Royal Academy of Dance gives the position a terminology of "4th devant en l'air".

There's a set exercise for that in Advanced 2 exam syllabus where we have to travel en avant in ouvert position, doing the "releves in 4th devant en l'air" and then travelling en arriere (still in ouvert), doing releves in arabesque.


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I made some sense out of it, Mel.

I thought quatrieme was the same as enface. I don't know why it didn't occur to me to be 4th!!! Duh.


But Victoria mentioned quatrieme, croise, and efface in the same sentance. So is quatrieme at the same time "4th enface"? Can quatrieme be paired with other facings? Such as "quatrieme croise" or is it only proper to state "devant croise"?


Thanks, dancing dentist as well for the reference to en l'air.


http://www.dancestation.biz/exam.html is a site I found when researching Mel's answer...It's interesting.

And this one is easy to use...http://www.theatredance.com/balletterm1.html

Edited by undertutu
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