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Centre: Fouetté Exploration

Form and/or Function

In the fouetté, an extended position is held while the core of the body turns away or towards the extended body part. The movement is swift to create the “whipping” quality the French name implies. It is used as a gesture as well as to generate turning momentum. The temps lié is a weight transfer.

Notes on our approach

This is part of process to develop the main waltz phrase. The fouetté was one of nine score elements explored and developed for this phrase. Each score element was explored separately and then set in an accumulation process to compose each dancer’s individualised phrase.

Initially, we explored the fouetté  in the centre. The dancers used various possibilities (legs, arms, torso, elbows etc.) and subsequently selected their most effective fouetté versions and integrated them into the waltz phrase.

In a separate development, we also set a more specific fouetté exercise at the barre.

Exploration and Setting:

We defined the fouetté and explored different possibilities by improvising with various body parts and then applied these possibilities to the waltz phrase and barre: articulations: fouettés .  Also see Glossary notes on setting.

Score Elements:

  • Perform swings with different body parts and explore possibilities to generate fouettés towards or away from the resulting reach
  • Observe how much momentum the different possibilities generate and how much turn this allows for each dancer
  • Stay with the set theme and enable the dancer to work through trial and error to allow for discoveries
  • Which movements are particularly clear and work well for the dancer?


  • Develop the exploration into set phrase material
  • Alternatively develop the improvisation aspect further by identifying complementary and contrasting states in a more elaborate improvisation score

Observation Tasks

The exploration is quite long and the dancers have to sustain their interest and awareness throughout this performed drafting process. They are in a constant process of editing, collecting and rejecting.

  • Observe how they stay with a movement and refine it
  • At other times they also reject and drop some of their discoveries
  • Which movement would you like them to continue working with?