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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Arabesque to En Dedans


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A move we've been learning in the adult intermediate class is an arabesque turn directly into an en dedans pirouette. 

I haven't done them many times but my balance is improving.  I generally can get about halfway around in the second turn, without putting my foot (of the working leg) down in the middle.  Note that this is strictly in technique shoes; no one in the class is doing this on pointe.

When we did them a couple days ago, the teacher clarified that there is in fact a beat between the two turns, during which we touch our heel to the floor and pilé, all without breaking our momentum.  I had been doing them all as one turn, without leaving relevé.  While the beat makes it easier to complete the second turn, it also requires a different balance.  So far I'm not doing the move fully, but it's quickly become one of my favorites to work on.

I have some questions:

1. Is there a name for this particular combination turn?

2. Would doing the turns without the beat in the middle be a legitimate move and does it have a name?

3. Any tips on executing the move properly?


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I’m more familiar with the second turn being in attitude then in retire, as in: arabesque turn, fondu/plie in arabesque, attitude turn en de dans. I’ve never seen an en de dans arabesque turn pulled into retire without a plie,  I think it’s common en de hors from second. Im trying to think if I’ve seen it in any repatoire 🤔

I’m curious now as to how this turn works. You’ll have a much smaller moment of inertia in retire so all of the momentum form the first turn will translate into much quicker pirouettes when the leg gets pulled in. I image it will be hard to to keep the leg turned out in retire. I’m going to go try this now though I’m interested. 

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We do this somewhat regularly and they're fun. Definitely use the plie. But I would suggest your primary focus starting out should be on righting your pelvis as you lift up from that plie and bring the working leg in - it's tilted in arabesque and needs to be upright once you bring your leg in. To facilitate that, make sure you know your direction for the end of the arabesque turn/plie - if you don't make it all the way around or your shoulders are askew/angled, it will be very difficult to adjust as quickly as required. 

Edited to add: you say you don't break momentum in the plie, but I don't think that's quite right. Unless you're doing a different sequence from me, you're not turning while you plie - you're still in arabesque and are, as I said, straight to your corner of choice. 

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Thanks Chasse Away, I'd like to hear your thoughts after trying it. 

Thanks gav.  By not breaking momentum I mean there's no prep for the second turn.  Unlike when we do an en dedans pirouette, land it with the working leg in front, in a piled 4th, then immediately go into an en de hors pirouette.  That's more than a beat, it's a landing.

Here the pile is with the leg a la seconde (or at least in transition between arabesque and seconde) and the working leg never touches the ground.  There may be a pause from turning (I'm new enough to the move that I am not certain of that level of detail) but there is definitely not a full stop.  When the more advanced students do it, it looks like they aren't stopping.  Just like one doesn't stop turning during multiple fouettes, even though you are in fondu.

I will work on making sure my pelvis is aligned as I transition, thanks for that tip.

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Oh the plie is in second, I definitely thought it was in arabesque when I read the first post 😂, and I was like that’s very interesting. 

Sometimes I find when practicing turns it’s helpful to do them in cou de pied and not at full height. I know that practicing with bad technique leads to bad habits but I’m also a big believer in practicing lazy turns in the kitchen just to see if you can stay balanced and get around. 

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Whether in transition through second or in arabesque, or in consecutive fouette turns for that matter, you should stop turning for the plie. Check out a video of a professional dancer doing fouettes, and notice how you can distinctly see their face while they're in plie. The snap in from the open position in all of these turns, using arms, legs, core, etc., is what helps you get around after the plie. Have fun! 

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Does your arm close on the turn immediately after plie? I would think that that's what remotivates your momentum. I have done this before, and it's fun! There is an extra lift after plie to re place your hip over your new shift in weight, or recentering if you will. It is common to go from arabesque to attitude too.

The fact that you were able to do this without plie, just staying up is incredible!!

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LaFilleSylphide I will try to be mindful of my arm movement as I begin the second turn thanks.  This also makes me think, maybe I'm not placing my arms correctly during the plie.  Do they go into 3rd? (Which should be only bringing the arm of the standing leg down somewhat, yes?)

I couldn't quite do it without the plie.  My best was getting 1/2 or so the way around in the second turn.  And I make no promises about my form.

When you do this with an arabesque for the first turn and an attitude for the second, what are your arms doing?  Do you put them into 3rd for the plie then lift the arm of the working leg side as one usually does?

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If your working leg is coming through second during the plie, I expect the arms would also come through second then. This will square you to your corner to get into the next turn. (When I plie in arabesque, my arms stay in place from the arabesque turn during the plie, in - in the parlance of my ballet instruction - first arabesque.)

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I just had a though, if the leg is coming through second during the plie of this turn, is it not a fouetté? As in, could we describe this turn as en de dans turn in arabesque, fouetté into en de dans pirouette? I’m sure it doesn’t make the turn any easier to know what to call it but it does help classify it. 

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I have the arms in arabesque for the first press down in plie, then in small pose for the turn, if the next plie is in arabesque, then the arms re press down in arabesque again before the open arm closes into first for the turn. If the second plie is in second position, then the arms would be in second, also with a pressing down type prep in plie.

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I like knowing the names for things.  My teacher just calls it "an arabesque turn into an en de dans turn" or something similar.  I tried searching for fouetté into en de dans pirouette but it's not coming up.  Can a fouetté be en de dans?

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I like knowing names for things too! Especially re-learning names for things now, because I was incorrectly taught them as a child, but they actually make a lot of sense when you use the right names lol. 

A fouette can be en de dans, yes. 

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Tonight was the lower level class that doesn't normally do this move but it's a small class and we're all friends so I asked the teacher if she could work the move in as an alternate.  She did.

I focused on righting my hips and keeping my balance during the plie.  The turn on the right side was not good.  I wasn't able to balance it.  But on the left...I got all the way around!  Don't know what I looked like but my teacher said my form was okay.

Breaking it down here has been really helpful, thanks everyone.  I think it will help me with standard fouettes too.  I've only had the chance to do them twice so far and I can't manage them at all yet.  But these turns are similar enough that I should be able to carry over the technique.

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