Grand Battement Builds Strength - A Full Body Workout Ballet Exercise
Posted Aug 24 2008 9:57pm
The grand battement supports posture, grand jete en tournant and in the splits, and grand allegro such as sissone. In sissone, both legs do a grand battement, the body travels, and the posture must be maintained. The daily routines of grand battement is a full body workout of the feet, legs, torso muscles, with exacting and strong arm movements.
Every grand battement begins with a strong brush into the floor. This challenges the hip placement, the posture, and the feeling of lifting the leg from underneath. The leg does not lift from underneath, that is just a mental trick of elongating the leg, keeping the working hip placed, and lifting the leg (from the top muscles) but without shortening and bunching the thigh muscles.
Every battement tendu and degage you have done determines the strength of your grand battement.
Your grand battement determines the strength and elegance of your grand allegro.
Even if you can sit in perfect splits, your grand jete will not achieve a split position if your legs cannot arrive at the peak of the movement at the same time, with your postural position as well. It's like everything freezes in position for a second, and with soft and elegant arms.
Grand jete en tournant requires the same strength - the first leg does a grand battement as you jump - you fouette in the air and battement the second leg at the top of the jump, not on the way down. The legs have to have a powerful and perfectly timed action.
Putting grand battement into center exercises is an effective challenge.
Having a classmate check your posture and placement will assure you that you are building strength correctly. Your weight should not get pulled off your supporting side. If it does, that is what will destabilize the take off into a jump. Parts of the body moving out of alignment above the pressure of the brushing foot and the heel into the floor in your demi plie, weaken the push off. I know I just said that twice, it is important.
Basic technique creates the right movement patterns for classical choreography. Grand battement builds strength for that. It is indeed a full body workout in your ballet exercises.