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French style fouettes


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this is a question for the teachers, I've been thinking about it since my intensive 3 weeks ago. During a barre exercise we ended up facing the barre, then retiré and then 3 tours fouettés opening straight to the side. But he told us to plié before opening the leg (so that the opening is already 'up') and that this was French (it was a Vaganova class), and that this style of doing it was less 'heavy'.


But I don't quite get at what point in the turn you should do (start/end) the plié. I have looked up French dancers doing fouettés, and came by Aurélie Dupont in Don Quixote, only she opens to the front and then does rond de jambe.


In class at my home studio we always open to the front and do plié and opening simultaneously, but I'm just very curious about this because it seemed so odd to me.


Thanks in advance for your reply :thumbsup:

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Opening only side, closing with a retiré passé is very Russian. Perhaps he meant French as in Petipa is a Frenchman who lived and taught in Russia? ;) That was a joke, btw. Here's an awesome thread that has a lot of break down about the Vaganova fouette, including where the turn "motivation" comes from, but I think you'll still need a teacher or moderator to help you out with the plié mechanics. This is generally about executing fouette en tournant without the rond de jambe from avant to seconde, but rather only from seconde to passé retiré.



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But I can do them opening only side when the plié is simultaneous with the opening, I just don't get at what point exactly to do the plié here.


If you DO open front, would you plié when opening and relevé before the working leg gets to seconde in this French style? That's what it looks like in the video..

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I think we're talking about a species of fouetté from the Old French school, from before the Franco-Prussian War (1871) and the devastation it wrought on the Paris Opera. It's preserved in a somewhat altered form in Denmark, via Bournonville. Robert Joffrey used this sort of turn in the coda to his "Pas des Déesses", but done sautillé (with little hops).

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Dear me, I have no idea.

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