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Pirouette en dedans (again!)

Kate B

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Hello! Last night in class we did pirouettes en dedans from fourth. The thing was, it was fourth position with the front leg bent and the back one stretched; I mean the preparation was the same as it usually is for pirouettes en dehors.


I am used to doing en dedans from fourth only in a combination, and then I have enough momentum to get round! I found it so hard to releve with a straight back leg from a static position - en dehors this is OK because you can use your leg to get round.


Basically, has anyone got any tips for this en dedans? I'd like to be able to do it. I found it slightly easier if I kept my fourth position short but it was nearly impossible not to bend my back leg when I went into releve.

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Reading you only makes sense if I exchange en-dedans for en-dehors and en-dehors for en-dedans :confused:


I'm a bit confused, as a fourth position, is usually what you use for an en-dehors position anyway (stretched would be a bit more difficult if you're not used to that one)

En-dedans is rarely done with a bent knee at the back (and you could whip the leg to second before turning, if the choreography allows ;) )


So, is this the case? Should we read en-dehors for en-dedans and vice-versa?

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I too think it's possible that she has confused the direction, balletowoman.


Kate, when you turn en dedans you are turning towards your front leg. The preparation for an en dedans pirouette will have the same arm front as the front leg. En dehors preparation will have the opposite arm front. En dehors preparations may be done with either a bent or a straight back leg, but it is a smaller position than the 4th for an en dedans pirouette.


En dedans pirouette preparation always has a straight back leg. However, the action into the relevé can be done two ways. You can relevé directly to the retiré position at the moment of impetus around the corner, or you can dégagé the back leg to the side and whip it into retiré at the moment of relevé. Both ways are valid and it is a choreographic choice, or the teachers' decision which one to use.


The turning motion starts with the push into the front leg and the body beginning it's turn just slightly before the back leg goes up (or out and up) to the retiré. The power is gathered from the front leg and the back muscles, helped by the arms.

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Ooooops! You're right! Sorry - I do get things like that mixed up (slightly dyslexic!) :)


Yes - basically I found this difficult because I am used to doing en dedans from fourth with a straight leg but last night we were doing en dehors like that with a ronde de jambe as preparation.


Please tell me this makes sense! I am so confused now! :confused:


Thanks for your help.

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Kate, the straight back leg is used by many people for en dehors pirouettes. I do not use it, but when watching those who do there is usually a very slight bend of the back leg just before it leaves the ground. It's almost like an unconscious action though ;) The straight back leg preparation also uses a straight front arm, which, instead of opening to à la seconde is supposed to come straight in to the first position as the opposite side comes around the corner. This turn has a different action concept than the one with a bent leg and a rounded front arm. Both are correct, so again it depends on the teacher and the choreographer.

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Yes, I'd forgotten to mention the straight front arm as well!:o


Most difficult, but since I found it interesting to do, I will bear what you've said in mind and practice it. Thanks. :)

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I've done preparations from fourth both ways. If you're doing it with the back leg straight I think it's easier to open it up into a really wide fourth - almost a lunge. The deeper the plie the more you can really get up and around. If you're only in a shallow plie you there isn't much of an "up" to go to. Or maybe it's just because I like lunges. ;)

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Lunges I find are OK for the en dedans ones (favourite pirouette is this with arms up to fifth position, can do doubles that way and feel like a proper ballet dancer ;) !) For the en dehors, which I am really used to going into from fifth, it just feels back to front from a lunge, but I am going to practice!:)

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When I studied them, my teacher always made a point of telling us to raise the back leg (to test us: all our weight needed to be on the front leg)... this is not what I'm used to, as I prefer the fourth position (which is small, but where the weight is equally distributed between the 2 legs).


So, when you have your whole weight on the front leg, apparently you don't need to adjust (I did! ;) ). You just use a very slight plié, as Victoria explained, but you shouldn't even include it in your thinking. It will come naturally... I think the action of turn comes from the fact that you're forward on your foot (so already there, almost) and the arm in second is the one that does the job)

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