Grand Battement Definition
A grand battement definition in ballet is a controlled throwing up of the working leg to its full height, while keeping both legs straight, and then controlling the downward movement of the leg. The movement is usually done pretty quickly to music with a strong and brisk tempo. Grand battement can also be done en cloche, and this is when the working leg swings back and forth like the clapper of a bell.
What is the Purpose of a Grand Battement?
A lot of the grand allegro starts with a grand battement, so grand battement prepares the body for these big jumps and trains the supporting side to remain still, aligned and strong, even when challenged by the great force and momentum of the working leg.
- Keep the supporting leg straight and well pulled up
- Keep both sides of your torso equally pulled up
- Strive for height, but only when you are strong enough to control your hips and body
- Never relax the working foot
- Use the push or brush against the floor to get your leg up. As the leg brushes the floor, this will give the leg momentum to lift the leg
- Keep the hips level at all times
- Control the pelvis and abdominals
- In grand battement a la seconde (to the side) the working hip will displace slightly if you work above 90 degrees, but the dancer must try to resist this as much as possible.
- In grand battement a la seconde, make sure the side leg is slightly in front of your hips as you see in the picture above
- In grand battements derriere, be careful not to let the back leg bend as the leg is at its highest behind you
- Try and keep the chest and chin lifted when taking the leg to the back, even though the upper body does move slightly forwards
- Shoulders and hips stay square at all times.
In most cases, grand battement is done at the end of the barre, but a lot of the time your teacher may keep you at the barre to practise pirouettes, releves, or even jumps.
That is a grand battement definition for you.