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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Cecchetti Frappé Preparation


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Hi everyone,

I was assisting a class this evening, and the teacher taught frappé to her students (it was new to them). I have always done and seen this prep done with a tendu to the side, and then drawing the lower leg in to rest the heel on the supporting anklebone in "relaxed cou de pied". This teacher showed it with the heel resting on the point where the elastics meet on the supporting foot. Although it is an overcross, she says (I privately asked her about it) that it prevents the students from lifting the gesture foot into a forced arch position which is of course incorrect. She adds that this overcrossed relaxed cou de pied has a basis in Baroque dancing. I've tried it several times myself, and am still trying to figure out if this position preserves the idea of drawing only the lower leg in with no movement of the thigh (sometimes I drop it slightly and sometimes I do not). However during the actual frappé, she showed it in the usual position front and back.


Has anyone ever done or encountered this before?

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I have never seen it that way. I learned Cecchetti frappé preparation placing the heel of the working leg just under the ankle bone, in the space between that and the achilles tendon in the front and the back. The foot is relaxed, not flexed or forced arch.

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Right--it's about the isolation of the lower leg from tendu, and you stay on one side of the centre line of the leg, not overcrossing. It seems strange to me but I'll be curious to see how it develops with her students. Cecchetti-style frappés are a part of the rec curriculum, not PD, and that particular class has all kinds of interesting bodies to deal with, so it should be interesting.

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