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Question about specific move involving releve in fifth


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I apologize in advance for being unfamiliar with the correct terminology-- this board has been wonderful in filling in lots of blanks for me. The beginner class I took today (which is filled with regulars who are not really beginner, and is a "follow along" class, not a question class) had a specific center move which I was confused on. The entire move was on releve in fifth position, I think starting with arms in high fifth, then moving the one arm in front, the other in back, then switching-- I am sure there is more to it then that, but that is the gist. What I could not figure out though is whether the goal is to stay still and balanced while on releve, or whether you are supposed to make very small shifting movements (or tiny steps in place?) from one leg to another. Watching other experienced dancers in class who seemed to be making small movements, I could not tell if they were doing this to maintain their balance or whether it is part of the movement. If it is part of the movement, then I am clueless about what they are actually doing! I do have a big book now on classical ballet technique where I can look moves up, but the problem arises when I have no idea what something is called. Thank you!

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It sounds like they were possibly doing bourrées, although in place instead of traveling. If not, then the little step were just to keep their balance, but you will need to ask about that. If you hear the word "bourrée", then that is a traveling step, in 5th position, with the back leg leading the movement in order to keep the legs crossed while traveling. That is if you are traveling to the side. If moving forward you would lead with the front leg, but still keep the legs in a very tight 5th. The knees move slightly, not in a plié, but just enough relaxation to allow the joints to move with flexibility instead of stiffness.

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It sounds as if they were doing bouree to me too. It can also be called couru, by the way, and that may be the terminology your teacher uses.

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Thanks so much for the replies! I would have been surprised if the move was not deliberate-- I can't imagine the experienced dancers ever wobbling. Victoria-- your explanation was excellent and very descriptive as always. The class moves so quickly I am unsure of what the instructor may have called anything-- I will pay closer attention next time now that I am more familiar with the move.

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