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Barre: Articulations - Grand Battement

Form and/or Function

The grand battement is a high and fast movement, using the full range of motion available at speed. It is used as a gesture within a phrase, but also as part of  travelling material and big jumps.

Notes on our approach

The grand battement exercise was developed later in the research week. We had already explored a number of different articulations in detail and the dancers had already developed a shared understanding. We were able to set and instruct this material more quickly and combine the grand battements with other movements.

Exploration and Setting:

The grand battements built on our exploration and experience from the tendu exercise. [Also see general notes on setting]

Score Elements:

  • Grand battement increasing height
  • Highest grand battement and envelopé to the back, with a bend in the standing leg / support
  • Tendu through and rond de jambe, close behind
  • Repeat starting to the back
  • Same to the side until reaching the highest grand battement
  • Envelopé to soutenu relevé and
  • Turn to repeat on the other side.


  • Work on the transitions, particularly the transfer of force and momentum from the battement into the envelopé as well as the relevé and turn
  • Ensure every landing and arrival becomes the next point of departure.

Observation Tasks

Once the participants are familiar with the process, the teacher can address a number of technical aspects that apply to the different ways of performing the phrase.  Ask questions such as:

  • How do the trajectories of the arms and legs correspond?
  • How can momentum be transferred into the next movement?
  • Does the transfer of momentum work differently across the range of performers?