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Ballet Talk for Dancers

A Homework question


Laschwen

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We were doing grand battement last night in class and there was a question.

Does the leg go in front of the arm or in back when doing grand battement to the side?

The teacher thought in front, despite her own tendency to go behind, but wasn't totally sure. Now inquiring minds want to know.

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Victoria Leigh

In ballet the arm is always in front of the leg when the leg is side.

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Guest ingve

Hi,

if your teacher does not know if the grand battement a la seconde goes in the front or in the back of the arm!!!???? I would look for another teacher.

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Victoria Leigh

Totally agree with that, ingve! :thumbsup:

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Thank You.

For now I will be giving her the benefit of the doubt. I think it was just a big brain cramp and she was mortified at saying she wasn't sure, but I will pay attention. I just have her one night a week for beginner level to get 3 per week classes. The other nights I go to a different school.

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Ms Leigh:

 

Would that be assuming that the dancer has 180 degree turnout?

 

I've just tried, and found that if I do grande battement to the side with my leg behind the arm, I either have to bring the arm pretty much halfway to 1st, or my hip does a very funky thing....

 

:thumbsup::blushing:

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Victoria Leigh

No, it is not just for people with perfect rotation! Very few of those even exist :thumbsup: If you have to move the arm a bit forward, so be it.

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*light bulb* (is there a light bulb smiley or did I just completely miss it?)

 

I've never really been told that before! Thanks Ms Leigh!

 

:thumbsup:

 

Fish

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I need that lightbulb smiley too, because I still am unsure.

 

Ms. Leigh, when you say move the arm "a bit" forward, does that mean move it forward as much as you need to to clear the leg? For me, that is very close to first.

 

Should one do this even if the instructor has not said anything about arm position in relation to the leg?

 

Last question: should the arm be forward of the leg even if extension is very low (waist-high or lower)?

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Victoria Leigh

Not when it is very low, but when it reaches 90º, yes. Take a look at the position in the mirror from a front and a side view with the arm behind the leg. You will see.

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Now I've a question too.. when I do grande battement, I kick above 90 degrees, but it's along the path of my idealized second position. Should I be following the path of my actual turnout as the leg goes up?

 

I think a teacher once said in reference to the how high that it doesn't matter if you're not following actual turnout since it's not a weight-bearing exercise and won't harm your knee.

 

Thoughts?

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Victoria Leigh

And the purpose of having it beyond your rotational control zone is??? If it is not turned out, why do it?

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I do it because it's fun and it doesn't hurt. And I push down, then up, when I do grande battements.. so it's kinda fun to let that force go somewhere.

 

But seriously, I also notice a lot of other more advanced dancers doing grande battements in second along their idealized (perfect 180 degree turnout) angle. I'll ask my teacher to clarify her statement too.

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Victoria Leigh

If they can do that with it turned out and the hips in place, fine. Otherwise, they are jut training in bad habits. There is no point in doing that. A turned in à la second is not very pretty, IMO.

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I'll watch it in the mirror and be more aware of my hips when I do the exercise at class tonight. It could be I was over-turning out and not being controlled enough... this is good topic discussion.

 

Thanks for the feedback!!

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