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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Increasing height of grands battements


swantobe

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I am trying to increase the height of my grands battements, but I tend to lose some my turnout in the process. I also seem to be hitting a "wall" in my grands battements to the back - I feel like I need to stretch my upper bum muscle in order to be able to go higher than 90 degrees, if that makes sense? Please help.

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Lau, increasing front and side must be done within correct alignment AND rotation! Do not sacrifice rotation for extension. It takes a long time to gain more extension and do it correctly. As for back grand battement, don't forget that the torso must move slightly forward and upward in order to compensate for the fact that the gluteus maximus is in the way! :innocent: You do not need more stretch in that muscle, you only need to learn how to move properly, and that includes being very sure that the arm on the barre moves when you do. :thumbsup:

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Thank you for your reply. I was thinking that something that might help would be to practice lying on my back - do you think that would help for the front ones? Then I can work carefully on my rotation from the hip - it seems easier that way. I also think that practicing slowly (battements lents - not sure if 'lent' should have an 'e' or not as I've no idea if 'battement' is masculine or feminine! :) and I hope that's the right term) on my own outside of class would help. What do you think?May I ask: what exactly do you mean by "extension"? I think I know but I want to make sure. As for grands battements to the back, my teacher has been working with me on that one, but I an so afraid of "letting my back go" that I struggle to get the right measure of "tilt" forward. My teacher says I have a mental block against grands battements to the back! Do you have any tips for grands battements in the centre, too? I am doing RAD by the way. Sigh. Sometimes I get so discouraged about my technique - there's so much I need to work on.

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Extension is the height of the leg.

 

There is no 'tilt' in a back grand battement. There is a movement of the weight and torso slightly very slightly forward and UPWARD. That is not a tilt! You are moving just enough to allow the hip to open for your rotation of the back leg and to allow the leg to go up without the gluteus maximus in the way.

 

I don't think floor exercises would hurt, and might help, just as long as you know exactly how to do them. As for battement lent, I don't think that will do much to increase the flexibility you are looking for. They are more for strength.

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Thanks for clarifying what extension means - that's what I thought. As for the tilt, I was under the impression that a lift above 90 degrees to the back required a slight, very slight, pelvic tilt. I'll check that with my teachers today but what is your opinion of that? I will work on the upward movement you describe. I have a book by Darcey Bussell Descring how to do a floor barre. I'm not sure if it included grands buttenents or not but it does clearly describe how to position one's spine etc on the floor. I also have some experience of pilates which will help, I think. Well, battements lents can't hurt if they help with strength.

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If you move forward and upward as you lift the leg to the back, the pelvis certainly does not remain where it would be in 5th position. However, thinking tilt puts a different connotation on the movment and will cause the wrong forward movement. The hip of the working leg must open slightly to allow rotation, because if you try to keep the hips square there will be no rotation above about 30-45 degrees. If you are "hitting a wall" when you battement to the back, it's because your derrière is in the way. Either you are not allowing any opening of the hip, or not moving your weight forward and upward, or both. Tilting the pelvis pushes you down and back in the supporting leg and you need to be lifting up and out of the supporting leg.

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Thank you for your reply. I just had ballet now and asked my teacher and she said exactly what you said about lifting up. And she helped me with positioning and I felt the difference. Now I just have to make it a habit. Thanks for your advice.

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