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Step of the week 3

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No, it doesn't mean "let the cat in".

An entrechat is one of the steps of batterie, or beaten steps. In an entrechat the legs open and close in the air, changing front to back, and back to front each time. The simplest entrechat is the entrechat deux, but this step is more commonly called "changement" which is to be preferred. Whether you count by the movement of each leg, or by the numbers of open/closes, every system agrees that entrechat quatre and entrechat huit end up with the same foot front as started. Entrechat six and -dix end up with the foot that was in front in the back. Odd-numbered entrechats end on one foot.

Here's Andrei Dokukin bouncing nicely:


Any hyperperfectionists out there? These are really good, but there are little things that I'd call a dancer on in class.

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I've noticed this has had a few views but no one has dared to "boldly go where no man has gone before" in this thread, so Mel, I'll go out on a limb here with a few small corrections:

1. After watching this several times, it appears he doesn't quite put down the heel of the back foot when landing.

2. The landing could be in a tighter 5th, but I don't know what his particular level of turnout is.

3. It appears on the final frame of the landing when he is in plie that his rear end is slightly out instead of underneath him (on the changement).

4. Finally, there is one frame where his shoulders appear to be rising slightly on the way up.

Nitpicking is a terrible thing, no? :blink:

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Oh, my, I'll have to get my younger daughter to read this thread. Just last night, she and a ballet buddy were going on about "entrechacottes". I finally realized they meant "entrechat quatre". They were not to be dissuaded! Oh, the disdain of the young for their parents. "Mom, that's what our guest teacher from the Joffrey says it is, and he certainly knows better than you!"

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It's very tough to make out about the feet. Dark floor and dark shoes do not make for clarity. I like the epaulement on the changements, but when he starts the entrechat six, he flinches! The shoulders go up, and the hands twitch in a sort of rub-stomach, pat-head reaction to "Omigawd, it's a six!" :blink: This isn't really nitpicking. I'm just setting the bar one notch higher than what I see on the dancer, because all dancers, no matter how great, are susceptible to correction.

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Yes, his back appears to arch a bit too much in the six, like he's disengaging the abdominals--but they're gorgeous batterie nonetheless.

A lot of dancers will cross the legs immediately in changement --on the way up -- but his open in the air. The quatres are particularly wide. Personally, I like the way the open, close, open, close technique looks. I've been practicing changements with an immediate change on the way up, since that's what my teacher prefers, and I feel it will help me develop toward entrechat six. Yet I don't like the way it looks as much. I've noticed that the SAB-trained dancers cross on the way up as well.

What do you all prefer, and for what reason. I can think of pros and cons of each technique and am wondering what would be preferable for an audition. Would it really depend on the speed of the combination?

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I've found that different ballets require different sixes. There are big luxurious sixes that give you plenty of time to do them. Then there are the ones that are practically treated like petite batterie (anything over an entrechat cinq is grande batterie) where you have no time to take a big jump, just -six and off again!

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Thanks for your latest installment on "Step of the Week" - and it's very helpful for me to read the comments, sometimes I may get lost or my eyes might glaze over if it gets too far beyond me :wink: , but this is a great thread for those of us who need "Ballet Steps for Dummies". :rolleyes:

And, I'm sure it's a good challenge for some more seasoned readers, as well.


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Here's a little goodie that some people consider an entrechat, and some people don't. It's called a "royale", allegedly having been one of Louis XIV's specialty steps in his dancing days. If we're going to allow a changement as an "entrechat deux", why not this as they used to call it in the Old French school, "entrechat trois fermé"?

Sorry about the poor contrast between the black tights and the dark floor.


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OK, Hans the double royale is just a royale with an entrechat quatre after the initial beat front. It's not even as difficult as a six and if somebody isn't watching carefully, they might think it's a huit! However, some schools reserve that terminology for an echappé that closes or opens with a double beat.

Jane, if someone wanted to count the motions of the legs in a royale, it would go open-close, open-close, land. You could count it that way, and there would be four movements. In RAD, the term "changement battu" is used, but in the olde-tyme Cecchetti I took, they always called it royale or entrechat royale.

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some schools reserve that terminology for an echappé that closes or opens with a double beat.

I had never heard that before, thank you :thumbsup:. I was told that a double royale (the way you describe it first) was sort of a substitute for entrechat six, the way royale was supposedly at first substituted for entrechat quatre for Louis XIV (the problem with both of those being that the legs don't end up quite right).

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