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What is the difference between failli and passé?


My teacher uses both terms interchangeably for the same step in a certain combination (the only place I've ever encountered a failli; I've done other kinds of passés as "cheats" to switch feet in choreography)


The combination, to help with the question, is: Temps levé in arabesque, failli/passé, pas de chat, changement. Then do the other side.


I'm sorry if this is in the wrong spot...but it seemed like a class question to me.


Thank you!

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asc, a passé is a movement that goes from 5th to a retiré position and closes to the opposite 5th. Front foot does retiré and closes back, that is a passé under. If the back foot does it and closes front, that is passé over.


However, passé just means passing, so, your teacher could be referring to the changing of weight onto the failli leg as passing to that leg. That is all I can figure out, unless the combination actually includes a moment in retiré and then that leg passes from back to front and onto the next step. :shrug: It is a strange use of the terminology I think.

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Well, my teacher's first language is French (she learned English when she went to the National Ballet of Canada), so maybe she was using the word passé in an informal sense, the way it might be used in a French ballet class? She usually demonstrates it, in any case, so we know what she's talking about, but I was just curious. Thank you for clarifying!


P.S. Usually, the movement you described is just called a retiré in my studio (even in the Cecchetti exams), and the same movement, but to pirouette position (in front of the leg) and on a rise, is called a passé devant or derriere, depending on where it closes. Is that wrong, or just different?

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What I think is going on here is a sort of shorthand for "chassé passé croisé en avant". A pas failli is a sissone croisé en avant demi en tournant, chassé passé croisé en avant. It's a compound step. Just the chassé alone is what seems to be asked for, not the whole pas failli.


The retiré/passé usage is another whole argument that gets more confusing the more it gets discussed! Let's save that for later, after we get the failli sorted out, shall we?

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Wow. Ok. Thanks. Is this one of those things that everyone has a different way of doing something with the same name? (Mr Jorgen from Ballet Jorgen called what I know as a pas de valse a balancé in a class I took with him once) Just because your answer seems different from Ms Leigh's...Sorry if this reply seems confused, but that's how I feel right now!

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Passe' in Vaganova means to pass the leg from one place to another with the toes on the floor, at 45 and 90 degrees. Passe' also changes from 5th front to 5th back through retire' and the reverse. Failli in Vaganova is a particular movement that involves a sissone at 45 or 90 degreesm the movement passe par terre (on the floor) and pas tombe' traveling forward or backward. Maybe she is using some Vaganova terminology?

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Maybe. She is a Cecchetti teacher, but that is possible! I've only encountered her using the term failli after a posé or a temps levé in arabesque when the lifted leg passes through first position to the front, so I don't really know enough about the step to judge. I think failli means "giving way", but I'm not sure. In the instance you described, that would fit! It sounds like what I am doing... Thank you to everyone who is helping me with this!

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You are right about the meaning and the action of faili, asc. However, the use of the sissone with failli is also very common, especially if beginning the failli from 5th or 4th position. The failli itself is the chassé movement through 1st to 4th, which is what takes place when you are starting it from one leg instead of two. Failli passé I have not heard before.

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Thank you, Ms Leigh! That makes sense.

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