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:
- 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.
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?