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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Chasse en tournant - question -


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While visiting a more advanced class recently, I encountered a step in the grand allegro - a chasse en tournant. I ended up doing a sort of saut de basque in place of that for the combo, because on the spur of the moment I didn't clearly see how this step is done. The combo worked out in a way, but I knew I had to research this step. (i usually do that before asking my instructor -- often simple mechanics are explained very well in reference books or a ballet dictionary and are good to become familiar with I've found, before asking the instructor.)


Chasse en tournant is hardly mentioned, it seems. (Even the ABT Video-dictionary of Ballet which is my 'go to' reference for some new or unfamilar steps I want to review or focus on after class does not show it (unless it is there within one of their subchapters) perhaps).


The best reference I found is in Gretchen Ward Warren's book, which has of course wonderful explanation and photos -- but this did not help in this case. In GWW, the step shown and described seems to be two revolutions -- and most confusing is that the explanation/breakdown of the step she describes does not include "chasse" at all!! (I can't say whether GWW's step was the same as this instructor demonstrated for the combo, but in general it didn't appear to be...)


So, either the instructor that gave the step may call chasse en tournant something different from GWW's step; there may be 'different types' or schools for chasse en tournant; or I just may be confused.


In any case, now I am in investigation mode and have tried everywhere that I can, but don't find a video example of this step.


1. Is it a very common step? (True I am a relative beginner as I've said before, but despite the years I have studied, this step had never been in a combination that I've encountered.)

2. What do the BT experts say in terms of a breakdown and mechanics of executing this step?

3. Are there any particular nuances of this step that are significant? (Never used anymore; usually called by another name......................; or is it 'out of fashion' for some reason?)


In my small practice space at home I worked on what I thought a chasse en tournant should look or feel like (I've seen sorts of turns that I'd describe as a 'loose' saut be basque where the gesture foot is in a coup de pied during the turn, which was initiated by a chasse -- and from the name, it sounds like it should be a straightforward, not obscure step...) But of the fleeting glimpse I did see of it in the class, I wonder if it is done as the name would indicate, and where does the gesture foot go during the turn? Anyway I am intrigued w/ this step now and thought I'd see what you think......


I've looked high and low on youtube and found no examples that seem to apply for this chasse en tournant...... Thanks in advance for any help with this question! :nixweiss:

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It is just like a chassé coupé that you would do across the floor, or leading into other steps in grand allegro, except that it turns. You start with a chassé forward, usually moving on a diagonal, into 4th, and jump into a 5th in the air turning. The landing depends on what follows this movement, but usually either directly into another chassé en tournant, or landing on one foot with the front foot moving on to whatever is next.

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Thanks, Ms. Leigh -- That makes good sense! Are the feet in 5th/(soussus) during the turn?


Since I am a bit unfamiliar w/ this type of turn in general (such as assemble en tournant, too for instance), what is the emphasis for the step? (Height? Number of revolutions - if you can "double" it -- just for instance...?) Or is it depending on the choreography and music (how "grand", how emphatic, of course, the length of the timing for the step etc)?


Is there another step this could be compared to for its emphasis within a combination (perhaps one I might be more familiar with) - again I realize an individual combination will have its own particular way of executing it depending on the situation - would it be the same in its function as a regular chasse or assemble for example? ... a linking step? Or a turn to notice in its own right? (such as a pique turn, etc?)

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It is a turning jump in it's own right, but, also used as a linking step. Yes, there is a 5th in the air. :)

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