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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Imagery for battement ronde de jambe?


Redbookish

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Well, tomorrow I hope to get back to the first class I'll have done for almost a fortnight (work & a bad bronchial infection stopping me lately). Saturday morning class is usually a tough one: our teacher says it's what he'd give as an open class for professionals - he just doesn't expect us to have the same height of extension or multiple turns.

 

And before I got side-tracked with the rest of life we were working on a variations of grande battement where you start with a petit attitude devant, ronde the leg en de hors, with higehest point a la seconde, and then bring to point tendu derriere, ready to brush through to the petit attitude again. En dedans reverses the process.

 

I've found these really helpful for doing the full rotation and renversé battement turns (sorry don't know proper full terminology there :blushing: ) in the centre.

 

So, I have reasonable grande battements extension & placement in all positions, over say around 100 degrees (certainly above waist height). And I'm apparently pretty turned out in the hips. But I'm finding that getting the swing of the ronde de jambe without letting my whole pelvic girdle go is a challenge. I feel like I'm belly-dancing :D I've been thinking technically of pulling up and keeping the pelvis connected to spine and engaging the inner thigh of the supporting leg - indeed the whole supporting side, especially trying to keep my shoulders squarely forward.

 

But I wondered if anyone had any images or ideas about getting freedom in the feeling of the ronde without turning it into a jazz fan kick with hips?? And then of course, there's working on the extension - getting the position in second to the height of my normal grande battement where my toes reach just below shoulder height. It's much much lower when I'm doing it with this ronde de jambe action - barely hip height.

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Redbookish the movement you are describing does exist in Vaganova training and is known as grand ronde de jambe fouette from efface to efface. It is studied from the front to the back and then the reverse. It is a bit different in that it does not start in an small attitude front (or back). It actually begins in a small open position similar to attititude, that actually begins between front and side. The body, arms and head plays a very important role in the coordination of the movement.

 

Without going into too much detail, a few suggestions, as you deepen your demi plie (the count of 1), begin to open the lower leg and supporting arm (this should be the opposite arm from the leg, if this is the same movement) forward from the fore arm. The arm that is in 2nd position (working arm) will simultaneously extend forward as the body straightens from the inclination toward the working shoulder. On the upbeat or /1/2 beat, the working leg, arms, head and supporting heel all must be thrust to enface leg to the side strongly turning and lifting the shoulders and hips enface. naturally breath. You may eventually notice you are inhalling on the demi plie (1) and exhaling on the upbeat (1/2). The breath is an extremely important aspect of the turn of the torso, as is the lightness of the arms. Remember you are going to demi pointe from a demi plie so even the arms, neck and head must raise.

 

Remember to feel like you are tossing confetti into the air!

 

The 2nd half of the fouette takes great strength and perhaps more coordination. :D

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You're describing a grand rond de jambe jeté en l'air (in Cecchetti-based terminology), and you're working on the right things by pulling up. At the same time the working leg is doing the rond de jambe, an equally strong feeling of having the supporting leg as fully rotated from the hip should by there. It's sort of like an isometric exercise - muscles against muscles. And of course, in order to get the body to pull up, the supporting leg must also feel pressed down, into the floor, thus giving you a firm foundation for the movement.

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Thanks Major Mel & VRS - I think for me tomorrow, I'll put some extra thought into maintaining the rotation on the supporting leg. This is all at the barre, by the way. However, I have noticed a v. naughty habit in adage in the centre, which is that as soon as I go into arabesque, I tend to turn in the supporting leg. So there's obviously much more thinking & work to do on maintaining my supporting leg turn out generally.

 

Thanks also for correcting terminology - I think I've heard it called a number of things here, and only one of my teachers is Cechhetti trained, but he doesn't usually set this exercise (I do do classes with about 4 or 5 different teachers over the course of each fortnight!) And another teachers sets it as part of the ronde de jambe exercise at the barre, rather than the grande battement. It's one that makes me feel particularly unco-ordinated.

 

And vrs, the confetti image is a lovely (and useful) one, especially for rotation movements & renversé in centre practice. I shall enjoy that!

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I've heard this called a variety of things - apart from trying to remember about being up on the supporting leg & turning out, the biggest help for me was once seeing a dancer performing this step on the local tv news, in the arts slot. I can't remember at all who it was but it looked completely spectacular and gave me a good impression of that lightness, confettiness, of the movement. Not much help to you Redbookish! Have fun with it...

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