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My brain just can't seem to process frappes. I did them for the first time last spring and after practicing all summer I STILL can only do them in slow-motion or my foot gets confused -- just stops in mid-air as if to ask, "Now, where was it you wanted me to go???" :wink:


Sometimes I actually have to tell it aloud, "Back, front, front; front, back, side; front, back, back" etc. or it gets lost. This is especially true of the right foot.


Is this common? Am I stupid? Have the blonde streaks gone to my brain? :blink: The only thing that keeps me from getting really discouraged is that my overall coordination continues to improve.

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  • vrsfanatic


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Hahahahah, Kasaba! I do the same thing. Actually the regular and double frappes I can do. The triples always throw me. I can do the petit battement, soutenu down, then releve up and continue. But when we get to that cirre (sp?) thing.............the faster my foot is SUPPOSED to go, the SLOWER it actually goes.


So, in answer to your question, no, you are not alone!




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Think of them as much a brush as a strike. The accent IS out, but there is a reverse sort of beat you can practice to help you with the coming-in part. It's the battement fouetté. Start from any position degagé, and bring the foot back in to cou-de-pied smartly. The accent is in! You don't have to strike the floor doing this little battement.

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Wendy, battement serré is one of those weird things where you have to allow the foot to just "vibrate" against the other foot! Seriously, it's not controlled, except to maintain the foot shape and the rotation. It has to react to the knee action like a little vibrator! :wub:

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kasaba, I've had trouble with the double frappes as well :wub: though it's my left leg which is more uncooperative.


How are your single frappes? if the singles are not yet solid but light and fast and natural-feeling, it's probably inevitable that the doubles will get messy at times. I've found it helpful to think of the beating action and the frappe kind of separate. In fast combinations, maybe only do the first one or two of the doubles as doubles, and the rest as singles. My teachers also give combinations where there are doubles en cloche (like singles en croix, then doubles front, back, front and hold, repeat en dedans) or doubles front and side after the singles, or doubles to the side only -- for me, this has helped to break the movement into smaller pieces and helped the body and leg to learn how to do the beating action in the correct order without tensing up or hesitating, which messes up the rhythm.

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Knock, Knock


I can remember being a beginner way back when and the frappes were very difficult! Like everything in ballet, if you find something difficult, keep practicing. "Persistance overcomes resistance".

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Personally, I think double frappes are best learned and developed from the side almost exclusively until you feel comfortable with the beating aspect.


When we are asked to do something faster than our body wants to do it, the tendency is to tense up, which just makes us slower. Once we relax and use the minimum of muscular effort, we seem to be able to speed up. Easier said than done, of course as just trying to relax often makes us more tense. At least that is how my body works. The only thing that has ever worked for me in ballet has been repetition, so much repetition that essentially I stopped caring. Then I began to relax.


Serra. I always thought that was the weirdest thing in a ballet class and to this day I don’t feel entirely comfortable doing it. But then I never cared much about it either.

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battement serré


Ms. Leigh (or Major Johnson),


I've never heard of battement serré, I dont' think any of my teachers has used that term, but after googleing I thought to ask if it is a synonyme for battement battu? That one I do know and battu front goes about ok, but battu back... :yes::angry:

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The full name is "petit battement serré." I've never heard of "battement battu"--is that an RAD term?


Hmmm, I don't think so as I don't follow RAD and I dont' have any RAD teacher.


My teachers are, as far as I know, mainly teaching and they have studied Vaganova, we are not following any strict syllabus, but mainly terms, hands, heads and emphasis are Vaganova-ish. :innocent: Especially one of my Russian (def. Vaganova) teacher likes battus. And she calls them battus. :wink:

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Guest pink tights

Hans, I just re-read my earlier post. It sounds rather rude...didn't mean for it to come off that way! I was in a big rush to pick-up my dd and take her to ballet.


To continue: Warren doesn't list battement battu. I left off the "petite" w/ regard to battement serré because I assume most know that such a quick action must be small! However, I see why you would always use the full name in a classroom setting. One of the reasons I love BT4D is to discuss such things as terminolgy....sadly few in my class share this appreciation!

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Whoa...........so the serre is one part of class where I can turn the brain off for a few seconds and just let the leg go? But wait.....I have to think about the arm going around to fifth en haut! I'm seeing a problem here already. How do I think about one thing but shut the brain off to let something else happen?




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Battement battu seems to be a formation common to the dancers who passed through Paris in the 1920s or 30s. As they used it, it was an exact synonym for petit battement serré. As to serrés derriere, I don't think they can be done exactly as in the front. Too often they look like you have an annoying itch on the back of your leg. I remember one teacher who'd studied with Nicolai Legat finally say "Right!" when I did a sort of serré to the back that didn't contact the achilles tendon and stopped short of batting the top of my metatarsal against my heel. It's not an exact cognate of a serré devant, but it's close, and I see what she was getting at. Legs and feet just don't bend in that direction!


As to forgetting and letting go of the leg to concentrate on the port de bras - excellent idea! I wish we all had an "auto-serré" switch where we just turn on the little beat and not even have to think about it while we work on something else important!


BTW, RAD does use "battu" but only as an adjective to describe another step as, jeté battu, sissonne battu, assemblé battu, and so on.

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