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Pas de bouree help please!


Sheila Beelam
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Hi :)

I'm hoping Anjuli or maybe some other ballet guru can help explain the bad de bouree combinations.

 

I'm rather confused about pas de bouree under and over.

 

I think dessous is under and dessus is over. So if I was in 5th with right foot behind, what would right foot to 2nd on plie, behind to 5th, step to 2nd and close right foot in front be? A pas de bouree over (dessus) because the right foot at the back, is coming over to the front?

 

Can't seem to find a definitive answer to the possible combinations! Pas de bourees decant & derrière are straight forward enough as there's no changing, it's the overs & unders that have me befuddled !

Thanks :)

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The pattern for pas de bourrée dessous (under) is: back, side, front. (It is called "under" because that first step is behind the standing foot)

 

The pattern for pas de bourrée dessus (over): is front, side, back. (It is called "over" because that first step is in front of the standing foot).

 

It doesn't matter where you start from -- you can have your right foot either in the front or the right foot in the back. It's where you place that first step (back or front) that makes the difference. If the first step is to the back - that is under. If the first step is to the front - that is over.

 

So, the basic patterns are:

 

back/side/front - dessous

front/side/back - dessus

back/side/back - derriere

front/side/front - devant

 

There are hundreds of pas de bourrées. They can all be done in three main ways: degagé, pique, or coupé.

 

They can either move or be done sur la place.

 

They can move en avant (forward), en arriére (backward) or (détourné/entournant) turning - both en dedans or en dehors - and de coté (sideways).

 

As well all the above on pointe.

 

Pas de bourrés can begin and/or end in fifth position, second position, fourth position or first position.

 

Don't think "left/right" - think "back/front" or "front/back" - that way you don't have to reverse all those left/rights when you do the other side.

 

Different schools (French, Russian, etc.) have different names for the various ways of doing pas de bourrés. For instance the French use the term "detourné" instead of "entournant."

 

There are so many possibilities - I've probably left some out! :)

 

I hope this helps.

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Thank you!! That's so much clearer Anjuli, we were concentrating on where the foot ended up - over or under, rather than where it started :)

 

So, with the basic under/over patterns:

back/side/front - dessous - if for example, your right foot is in front, and you are asked to do a pas de bouree dessous - how do you know whether your front foot goes back/side/front or your back foot goes back/side/front?

 

Would you be told "pas de bouree dessous with your front (back) foot"?

 

Thanks so much Anjuli, I'm so grateful for the clear, conise and very thorough advice!

Sx

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...sorry just pas de bourreeing at my desk - one more question - is it therefore possible to do a pas de bouree devant with the back foot...as well as the front foot?...

 

Back foot goes front side front = pas de bouree devant

Front foot goes front side front = pas de bouree devant

 

in which case I guess the instruction would have to be pas de bouree dessus with front (or back) foot....

 

No wonder I was confused!! :D

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Thank you!! That's so much clearer Anjuli, we were concentrating on where the foot ended up - over or under, rather than where it started :) So, with the basic under/over patterns: back/side/front - dessous - if for example, your right foot is in front, and you are asked to do a pas de bouree dessous - how do you know whether your front foot goes back/side/front or your back foot goes back/side/front? Would you be told "pas de bouree dessous with your front (back) foot"? Thanks so much Anjuli, I'm so grateful for the clear, conise and very thorough advice! Sx

 

In my experience I've never heard of a class outside of a syllabus class in which the terminology "dessous" or "dessus" was used. It's just too confusing and hard to hear the small difference in the sound of the words over the music or just a lot of people moving around. Usually the teacher/choreographer just says "pas de bourrée and the dancers watch to see which one it is.

 

As for your question - it depends if you are going to the left of right. If you are moving to the right you would start that pas de bourrée with your left foot. If you were moving to the left you would start that pas de bourrée.

 

As for your question about using the back foot to start a pas de bourrée moving front or the front foot moving front - the answer is yes. Either is possible.

 

Since the only class I ever took which used the terms "dessus" or "dessous" was a syllabus (Cecchetti) class - and that only for three years - the only thing I had to think about in the overwhelming majority of classes was which foot started the pas de bourrée and how did it ended up.

 

It was so much easier that way. I think this is one of those examples when people get all hung up on terminology instead of getting on with the dance.

 

By the way in my first post when I said this:

 

"There are hundreds of pas de bourrées. They can all be done in three main ways: degagé, pique, or coupé"

 

I should have included in the list "emboité/retiré"

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Are you doing the RAD? In my experience examiners rarely say Dessus or Dessous as they sound so similar (like Anjuli_Bai says). I knew one tutor who pronounced them 'dessooo' and 'desohh' but on the CD's when they used to announce the names of the exercises they sounded the same...

 

Anyway - under is back-side-front and over is front-side-back and both can be done with the front foot or the back foot and in an exam the examiner would say which foot to use.

 

I've not heard of doing a pas de bouree devant (front-side-front) starting with the back foot or a pas de bourree derriere (back-side-back) starting with the front foot but thats not to say it couldn't ever happen....

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<<<<I've not heard of doing a pas de bouree devant (front-side-front) starting with the back foot or a pas de bourree derriere (back-side-back) starting with the front foot but thats not to say it couldn't ever happen....>>>>>

 

 

I had a teacher who was constantly designing center work - especially allegro - to keep us from ever becoming complacent. So, as part of that the pas de bourrées were always done in different ways. It can also end up on one foot rather than two feet. The only constant is it consists of three steps.

 

If you look at "pas de bourrée" in Gail Grant's "Technical Manual and Dictionary of Classical Ballet" (which I highly recommend) you will see the descriptions for the many ways to do pas de bourrée goes on for four pages.

 

I used to love to do them ending up in second and go right into a pirouette, then failli into another pas de bourrée ending in 4th as prep for another pirouette. That was a real test of placement.

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Thanks for the really helpful comments :)

I'm doing RAD advanced 1 but also doing IDTA, and the question came up in relation to possible free combinations the examiner could set in the exam.

I under stand the reasoning behind not using dessous and dessus and I've only ever seen it written, but wanted to be prepared :)

Will look up Gail Grant's book and your pirouette combination sounds lovely :)

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Hi Sheila,

 

Everything that Anjuli has said above is fantastic as ever!

However, I have heard of a pas de bouree devant with the back foot and a derriere with the front foot, we use them in the IDTA syllabus (Part of a pas de bouree exercise in Grade 4), so they may come up as part of an unseen enchainement!

Definitely recommend Gail Grants descriptions too!

 

Best wishes,

 

Rhoda

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So how do you do a pas de bouree devant with the back foot? Back foot moves second, front, front? I'm doing IDTA as well as RAD do it may be relevant! Thanks Rhoda :)

 

 

I can't speak for RAD or IDTA - but yes, the foot can come from anywhere - and then go front/side/front or back/side/back. Its where you place the first step which determines what you call it - not where the foot comes from.

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Hi Sheila,

 

If standing in 5th R Ft front then

Pas de bouree derriere with front foot:

Take the R (front) foot out to 2nd (glisse style) with a slight fondu on supporting leg in preparation on "&", before bringing it behind - side - behind.

Pas de bouree devant with back foot:

Take the L (back) foot out to 2nd (glisse style) with a slight fondu on supporting leg in preparation on "&", before bringing it front - side - front.

This is as in the exercise mentioned, but as has been said the working/ initiating foot can come from any position/ prep.

The key with pas de bourees is to remember the mantra: Under = behind/side/behind, Over = front/side/front.

 

Remember also when it comes to unseen enchainements that sometimes examiners can be ambiguous in their requests (they may assume they are clear because they are visualising a movement in their head) but not necessarily giving complete direction - we are all human - even examiners. So if something is unclear then you can ask for clarification. Bravely with a big smile of course :D !

 

Hope this helps,

 

R

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