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Ballet Talk for Dancers

grande battement derriere


moostachiojoe

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Hi,

 

I was wondering if anyone knew of anything that helped with improving grande battement derriere as my devant is quite high - well above 90 degrees but my derriere is only about 45 degrees, making it very unbalanced.

 

Thanks :)

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Are you being taught to keep your hips square and not move your body weight forward and upward?

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Moostachiojoe, that is the problem. You can't keep the hips perfectly square and manage to lift your leg in the back, turned out of course, beyond a very low level. Many years ago arabesque was taught with square hips, and if you look up photos of dancers from the Pavlova era and before, you will note that they have very turned in arabesques. That has not been acceptable for a very, very long time.

 

In order to both rotate and lift the leg to 90 degrees or above one must slightly open the working hip. NOT lift it, just open it. And at the same time the body weight must move a bit forward and upward. Arabesques and grand battement derrière are different from devant or seconde, in that the body moves a bit. You have to get out of the way of the gluteous maximus!

 

So, basically what I'm saying is that the old school way of keeping the hips absolutely square all the time does not work well for what is expected of dancers today. Not to say that many do not take it to extreme and way out of alignment, almost more second than back, however, that is not, IMO, acceptable either! The leg must still be behind your shoulder, but you need to rotate the hip and move up and out of the standing leg just a bit to counter the movement of the back leg.

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If I may ask, what exactly is the difference between opening the hip and lifting it? If anybody knows of pictures that illustrate the difference I would be delighted :) Thank you!

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  • 2 weeks later...

There are tons of "bad arabesque" images, but I'd rather not insult some unknown dancer. Opening the hip is exactly what it sounds like: making way for the gluteus. Lifting the hip means the hip is too high and the dancer is pulled out of her supporting leg. It also makes for a distorted line.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yes! It is!!! When one is thinking about how an arabesque moves- upwards, outwards, forwards, backwards and downward along with the spiraling feeling, it may be less likely to lift the back hip. But then again, there are always more exceptions than there are rules in Ballet!

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