Jump to content
Ballet Talk for Dancers

dance steps eliminated from lexicon


Recommended Posts

  • Replies 53
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • Mel Johnson


  • Victoria Leigh


  • Hans


  • Nova Ganova


Hops on pointe? Could we eliminate a great many of them? Frankly, can we get in the time machine and eliminate all of them wherever they cropped up?

Link to comment

And some of us love doing them! :)


However, it raises to mind a question... how did these become part of the lexicon???

Link to comment

I suspect in the usual way. Somebody was diddy-bopping around and found out that she could do them, and was seen by a choreographer who put them into her next role. This all happens circa 1870, when pointe shoes became stouter tools than they were in the Taglioni era.

Link to comment

I love hops on pointe. I could never do them well I have really high arches. I make sure that I include them in advanced pointe and now everyone seems to be able to do them. The hops in Giselle are classic and so pretty when done well. :jawdrop:

Link to comment

At least, THOSE we know who to blame and when. Olga Spessivtzeva did them in a 1912 revival of the ballet, and they've stuck.

Link to comment

Well, they do make the tutus flounce nicely but if there was ever a step to turn student toenails black, I'd say it was hops on pointe... I suppose with lots of practice it's possible to completely absorb the landing impact with plie but... let's just leave it that it's not the jumping up that's the problem.

Link to comment
I once had a classmate who could do entrechat-six en pointe.


Sheesh! I've tried entrechat quatre but that was a long time ago. I can do a small Checetti assemble, which is fun... but.... entrechat six? dang.


Right... back to topic....

Link to comment
  • 6 months later...

I've read some of the replies with a smile on my face. :) Some of the steps are antiquated to current classical ballet, but not to the repertoire of classical ballet. In some the steps are still around, but the reference is virtually dead. IE: In some schools, the double assemble' en deux passe' de jambe. (I -think- this is the Vaganova reference, ;@). In others, it is often called double' gargouillade, but who knows: from week to week, balletic referencing evolves as it is an orally transmitted tradition. Further, in contemporary ballet, anything goes. So let's bring back all those "ailes de pigeon"* steps we forgot about so long ago...but do them with a contraction in mid-air! :angry:


My favorite dislike below is to the replier who decries frappe'. Maybe you'd like them better in the Vaganova system where frappe' is a simple striking out then in from cou de pied, without touching the floor or releasing the toes or ankle. (my preference entirely!)


My favorite question from improperly taught students is "where do I hold my foot in coupe' ?". "Coupe'" is an action to quickly exchange weight between feet from the position "sur le cou de pied" or an extended leg (battement) position or movement. Americans, from dancers to teachers to professional artistic staff, confuse these to the point of epidemic proportions.


The other is "Do I sashay to the left or right?". Sashay is an American corruption of the French "chasse'" (to chase), that was likely born in the VA/WV/TN/KY areas of the Appalachians (where I live), and incorporated into the legitimate lexicon and codifications of Classical American Square Dance. For some reason, the word "Chasse'" does not simply roll of the American accented tongue, regardless of whether or not you have a southern accent and dialect (like my very light one).


See y'all latuh, n' dun fergit tah sashay home wid some ah dat gud frahd cheekuhn, ya heeauh! - Feelyp :thumbsup:


*This step is is a variation on a cabriolle battu for men and is still performed. It is also referenced as "pistole'". However, few call it this anymore, so the reference is antiquated in most parts of the ballet world.

Link to comment
  • Administrators

We have had a number of discussions on the use of coupé for coup de pied, and I have fussed about this for many years....to no avail whatsoever! :) It is so commonly used incorrectly in this country that it is almost impossible to correct, because teachers and directors still use it. It makes no sense to me at all to use the term for an action as a term for a position. :angry:

Link to comment
  • 1 year later...

This is :thumbsup: but after what Philip said about chasse in America, I had to mention another mispronunciation in my country that drives me crazy! (Please excuse the lack of accents on the 'e's in the following...my computer has an allergy to them!). So often people in my country pronounce "manege" as "mEnAHge" (menage). SO annoying!

Link to comment
  • 3 weeks later...

Perhaps the gargouillade in Giselle that Memo was referring to is the one that comes to degage on a fondu. It's another rather nicer version of the dreaded gargouillade a la Sugar Plum Fairy variation!!


I can't stand the entrance in the Aurora 1st act variation which is supposed to be a double rond de jambe saute but is usually performed as something that looks like a leg waggle followed by splits in 2nd en l'air.


I'm still trying to qualify the merits of the corps' shunts in arabesque in crossing lines of dancers in the Giselle Willis. However as it always seems to get applause from the audience, I suppose we shouldn't throw it out!


PS. My pet hate is when releve is used as a position rather than a movement, rather like coupe and cou de pied.

Link to comment
  • 9 months later...
They are in a LOT of Balanchine ballets, but I don't think they were used in the Romantic period :nixweiss:


L.Dupre (1697-1774) was performing that step just before the Preromantic time in Ballet. It would not have survived if not used in the Romantic period, I guess.

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...