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Does the word "entrechat" mean "between the cats"?


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Glad to see you use the term capriola intrecciata in your explanation of an entrechat. Intrecciata comes from the verb "intrecciare" of which one meaning is "to interweave" and this is the translation Mary Skeaping and I used in translating (published in 1988) the 18th century dance treatise "Theoretical and Practical Treatise on Dancing" by Gennaro Magri, a renowned Grotesco dancer. His explanation of what we now call entrechats is remarkably clear and explains how to count the "cuts" which is by each movement of the legs, i.e. in what is now called an entrechat quatre there are four leg movements (open, close, open close) very much as taught by the Cecchetti method. In Magri's time "capriola" or "capriole" referred to any jump requiring elevation rather than the specific cabriole of today. There are 23 subsections in his chapter on caprioles, each one listing several variations, and today's balletgoers might be amazed at how many of the jumps we consider virtuosic/acrobatic today were being performed in the 18th century! With regard to the series of entrechats quatre for Albrecht in "Giselle", these were introduced by Nureyev when he first danced the ballet in the west.

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