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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Is this pointe step a pas couru?


Serrée

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Hello! I finally signed up! I started ballet as an adult a couple of years ago. I find it extremely challenging but I guess I love it:)

 

Anyway, I chose my name as Serrée because that is one of my favorite ballet movements. So, I looked up the spelling in Gail Grant's "The Technical Manual and Dictionary of Classical Ballet" to make sure I got it right and saw that the standard spelling is serré as in petits battements serré. But the main entry is "Serré, serrée". So, my french is rusty but I think the extra e is for a feminine object- and a battement is masculine, but I am a woman so I will call myself Serrée? :)

 

She also has an entry entitled "Serrer les reins" "To tighten the loins. A term used in ballet teaching to indicate that the body should be erect and the torso well lifted, with the buttocks and abdominal muscles tightened". Which is is one of my major focuses right now. I think that is what is called "to pull up"? I also looked up serré in a french-english dictionary and it said serré= "tightly packed". Well, haha, I wish, but I make that my objective.

 

So in calling myself Serrée, I am calling myself tight loins (wannabe). Haha, would that be the proper way to interpret this?

 

********** Pas Couru Question********************************

 

Anyway, so I went to my Youtube account to dig up one of my favorite all time ballet videos in honour of the Serré to post here and I see that it does not include a serré in it (I was sure it did). That is where my pas couru question arises.

 

This is the video, though it's kindof offtopic because, apart from the dancer, it is not related to my pas couru question- I just want to share it because it is so beautiful!:

 

 

 

 

Now this following video, at 50-56 seconds shows her doing something with her legs. What is THAT called?? Because she is bending at the knee- I thought pas couru was done with straight legs.

 

 

 

 

*****Also, how long would it take for a novice pointe dancer to learn how to do this??? ****

 

I love this move. I love all these very small-amplitude moves.

 

Thank you!

Edited by Serrée
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Welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers, Serrée. :)

 

In the Dying Swan video she is doing bourrées throughout. In bourrées the knees must be flexible and moving. They are not bent like plié, but they do bend a little bit. She could not make it flow and move like that without that flexiblity in the knees.

 

Pas de courru is sort of like a bourré, but the legs are not held in fifth position, they are tightly together but in parallel position. It is literally running on pointe, and can be done with the knees straight, sort of. They still need a little bit of flexibility in order to move.

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This is one of those steps that what it is called depends on what method you study.

 

According to Gail Grant pas de bourree couru (a term of the French School) and pas de bourree suivi (a term of the Russian School) are interchangable.

 

I was taught that there was difference between the two being couru was done foward and backward in an under-turned-out first, and suivi was done in all directions in fifth.

 

I have heard both terms shortened (i.e. pas couru, bourree (for pas de bourree suivi), and just suivi).

 

Edited to add: I was writing this while Ms. Leigh was posting hers.

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You are right, ToThePointe, but it's just that no one seems to use the word suivi anymore! But your description of how most of us seem to make the difference between that (or bourré/pas de bourrée courru) and courru/pas courru is correct. :)

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The last time I heard suivi used, it was about 18 years ago ( :) ) and it was in a drop-in class I took at a R.A.D. school in Menlo Park.

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All she does in that whole variation is bourrées, Serré! There is a pique arabesque, and time on the floor dying, but the rest is all bourrées! :)

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Thank you Ms. Leigh. It's just that the amplitude of the undulations (I don't know how else to describe it) of her shaking legs is so must larger at those points- it's really huge. Maybe it is because she isn't moving. The whole leg, even the ankle seems to be oscillating. It's truely beautiful to me. I was looking for a serré video and compared 2 different dancers doing these bourrées and Uliana's undulations (?) just seem so much larger. But thank you, you have answered my question- they are all bourrées just different in "character" I guess.

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The reason they are like that is because she is portraying a swan, and the swan is dying. :)

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Maybe our French speaking members can verify this.

 

In looking up translations for bourree in the past, it means to cram, or stuff. One dictionary includes to pummel. I always had to laugh at that because that is how your feet feel as they pound against the floor at the end of a pointe class.

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You are right, ToThePointe, but it's just that no one seems to use the word suivi anymore!

 

I just heard it yesterday in China. I was like ..."what? what's that step?" and realized that they call it suivi when we call it bourree!

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Maybe our French speaking members can verify this.

 

In looking up translations for bourree in the past, it means to cram, or stuff. One dictionary includes to pummel. I always had to laugh at that because that is how your feet feel as they pound against the floor at the end of a pointe class.

 

It can also mean, in archaic French, "To buzz". The old French folk dance the Bourrée was done with the accents down and very quickly.

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