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Supporting leg in a jete battu dessus


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#1 JerryS

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 06:14 AM

Hello:

OK, am looking at the video of the jette battu at the ABT dictionary:

http://www.abt.org/e...nary/index.html

which is described to be in the label to the video to be an jette battu dessu.

I think he starts from a fifth, with his right foot at the back. Now, which is the supporting leg in this case?

I'm concerned about it, as the definition of dessus is:

-----
Dessus
Over. Indicates that the working foot passes in front of the supporting foot.
-----

It's difficult for me to tell, as in slow motion he seems to be sliding into a fourth first, for more support. During this particular step, it seems that the left foot advances, thus it is the working foot.

However, when then he's doing the jette per se, it seems that the roles reverse, and the left foot seems to have become the support foot, stays on the ground, and the working foot is the right foot.

Am I right?

Thanks.

#2 Paul Parish

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 08:05 AM

Jerry, you might want to invest in owning a copy of Agrippina vaganova's very readable book, Basic Principles of Classical Ballet, in which she classifies all the steps in a brilliantly logical way and makes all the terms clear, together with drawings that break the moves down into stages so you see the preparation, the take-off, the action in the air, and the landing -- she clarifies things a lot. It's almost impossible even with the most meticulous technicians, to show the movement in slow motion video as clearly as her drawings show it --

but all the dancers you admire use her system - -Nureyev, Soloviev, Sizova, Kobborg all trained in Vaganova's method

#3 Hans

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 08:11 AM

In jeté battu the working leg would be the one that does the initial dégagé. If you start in 5th position with the left leg in front, the right (working) leg does a dégagé to the side, then beats behind, and then in front of, the left (supporting) leg. Then when you land, the right leg becomes the supporting leg with the left leg in cou-de-pied derrière. It does get confusing when talking about a movement like jeté! Normally one speaks of working and supporting legs when one is more stationary. I agree with Paul that Vaganova's book is excellent, and you may also wish to look for Gail Grant's "Technical Manual and Dictionary of Ballet" which has just about every step there is! There is also Gretchen Ward Warren's "Classical Ballet Technique" which is more expensive but extensively illustrated.

#4 JerryS

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 02:08 PM

Paul and Hans, you may be right, you know those books, and I've heard about them, and I certainly know about Vaganova, but I've just invested $30 in

Grammaire de la danse classique
par Genevieve Guillot
Directrice de l'ecole de danse
du Theatre National de l'Opera
1969, 300p
(in French, of course)

:-)

which is very detailed in terms of text, but doesn't have enough pics. Also, we're in this age of multimedia, I prefer to use slow motion in QuickTime if I am getting my hands on the .mov files:-)

But thanks for the suggestion. I might be getting there.

#5 JerryS

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 02:49 PM

In jeté battu the working leg would be the one that does the initial dégagé. If you start in 5th position with the left leg in front, the right (working) leg does a dégagé to the side, then beats behind, and then in front of, the left (supporting) leg. Then when you land, the right leg becomes the supporting leg with the left leg in cou-de-pied derrière. It does get confusing when talking about a movement like jeté! Normally one speaks of working and supporting legs when one is more stationary.

Hans, the above, together with the QuickTime file I downloaded from the ABT dictionary and I viewed in slowmo, is all I needed to clear the waters:-) I was right in my assumptions and thank for the confirmation.

Now, there are some details on that dégagé. If you look at the ABT dictionary in slow motion at the jeté battu, the dancer seems to be advancing first the left leg in a small dégagé to probably gain a larger base in something similar to a fourth, and only then starts what you seem to be describing in the above.

Another detail:
Should the two legs touch each other in the air for a very short time? They seem to, in the ABT dictionary.

#6 carbro

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 03:42 PM

I admire your powers of observation, JerryS! Wish I could have seen so much before I ever took a class! BTW, taking classes, even at an introductory level, will teach you names of steps, basic rules of technique and an even keener eye.

Should the two legs touch each other in the air for a very short time? They seem to, in the ABT dictionary.

To be technically correct they must. Too often we see dancers fudge the step by not really beating their beats. :P

#7 Hans

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 04:37 PM

I have just looked at the video on the ABT site, and there is a flaw in the execution! The dancer takes a small step out of 5th before doing the jeté, which is incorrect. If he started in pointe tendue devant, he would be justified in going through 4th. Very good eye, JerryS!

#8 JerryS

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 04:47 PM

Very good eye, JerryS!

I think it's just that I know how to run in slowmo my QuickTime:)
But thanks.


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