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Ballet Talk for Dancers

RAD Intermediate - free enchainement


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Hi everyone,


Hoping to borrow your wonderful expertise again. One of the free enchainement steps for Intermediate that the examiner might give us on the day is described as "sissonnes fermées and ouvertes, en avant and en arrière."


My question is: what does "ouvertes" mean here? Does it mean a sissonne where the working leg doesn't close and stays in the air? Or does it mean I should be facing ouvert and jumping forwards/backwards in that direction (with the working leg closing in fifth)?


I seem to be getting conflicting info from different teachers so would welcome any clarification!

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Sissionnes ouvertes means "a sissonne where the working leg doesn't close and stays in the air".


"facing ouvert and jumping forwards/backwards in that direction (with the working leg closing in fifth)" would be Sissionnes fermées en ouverte.


Hope this helps?

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Yes, I'd read it as Fish does (waves to Chinafish).

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Ouvert(e) is only used as an alignment/direction for the very first RAD grades. By Intermediate level the term effacé is used to denote alignment, and it is in italics in the written syllabus, as are croisé and écarté. I still have copies of the exam syllabus even though I not longer teach any RAD..

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Just some further clarification for us all. In an RAD exam, the step should be given as 'step-action-direction-alignment' meaning you should hear


1) Step - Sissonne (or glissade, or assemble etc)

2) Action (if applicable) - Fermee or ouverte, (finishing closed or open) or battus for an assemble

3) Direction - en avant, en arriere, de cote under or de cote over etc

4) Alignment - en croise, en ouvert, en face only if needed (If no direction is given then remain where you are already facing)


It does get to be a mouthful sometimes but the good thing is it always gives you all the information you need.


In terms of efface vs ouvert in the new syllabus. If written in italics it is specifying a whole position as in Efface devant, or ecarte derriere etc and indicates that entire picture of the arms, legs, head and body alignment. The term ouverte for alignment is not used in the new syllabus form memory, as it has been replaced by the corner number (eg. Facing 5, or facing 6 etc)

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Guest Pas de Quoi

Thanks for this information, Miss Persistent! It really does help even those of us who are not preparing for exams, or preparing students for exams. The goal of clean, clear, unmannered technique is very evident, in this syllabus.

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  • 2 months later...

Just wanted to follow up to say thanks again for the very helpful (and highly pertinent) advice. I sat my Intermediate exam this week and the free enchainement included a sissone ouverte en avant.


The examiner wanted the sissone to start facing corner 5 and land facing corner 6, so (at the risk of flogging a dead horse) I'll confess I'm still uncertain as to whether "ouverte" here refers to the alignment and open finish position, or just the alignment (and the omission of "fermée" means the legs don't close together). In any event, I'm confident we executed the step the examiner was looking for, so now just a nervous wait for the results!

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