In the video above you can see the dancer demonstrating Petit Battement Sur le Cou-de-Pied very slowly. This step in ballet is usually done very fast, but a good way to learn it is slowly as the girl in the video is doing.
Petit Battement Sur le Cou-de-Pied literally means ‘little beating on the cou-de-pied or neck of the foot.’
Petits battements are an entire family of small quick beating movements in which the working foot moves repeatedly sur le cou-de-pied.
In the Cecchetti method, it is done standing flat with the ball of the working foot staying on the floor while the working heel moves back and forth in front of and behind the ankle.
In other schools, it is done both standing flat and in a releve. The working foot maintains a pointed or wrapped shape as it moves front, back, front, back.
There is another step called petit battements serres where the working foot beats the ankle of the supporting foot in releve without alternating the foot to the front and back. Some schools beat the arch of the supporting foot. It creates a fluttering effect, and you can see these used by Odette in Swan Lake during the Pas de Deux.
What Is The Purpose Of Petit Battement Sur le Cou-de-Pied?
This exercise works on the speed that a dancer requires for petit allegro and beats.
How To Get The Most Out Of Your Petit Battement Sur le Cou-de-Pied
Here are some tips to help you with Petit Battement Sur le Cou-de-Pied:
- Keep lifting off of your supporting leg.
- Keep the movements of the working foot small and brisk.
- Turn out the working thigh as much as possible, so that it can stay still and controlled during the exercise.
- Avoid sickeling the foot.
- The upper leg stays still and the lower leg does all the work.
- Work for speed and precision.
- Keep the upper body still.