So this is the first entry of Bag of Steps. You see, we think that one doesn’t need to have been at ballet class to enjoy ballet. However, it is always nice to be able to recognise some steps and to compare how different dancers execute them on stage, sometimes giving a different meaning to a story. Given that we’ve been enjoying the Giselle run at the Royal Opera House, we thought it would be a good idea to start with a step featured in the first act (in Giselle’s first variation), the Ballotté.
Ballotté means tossed and it is a jump . One starts from fifth position and jumps so the front leg develops from coupé dessous (cutting under the heel of the supporting foot and springing into the air, landing with that foot) into a straight leg position to the front, while landing on the back leg (with knees bent) and repeating by jumping back into a coupé dessus (cutting over the supporting foot) and extending the leg backward. All the series is repeated simulating a swinging movement. The body is positioned effacé (45 degrees so the legs are open and not crossed) and it is inclined backwards or forwards with each change of weight. The jump can be performed travelling forward and backward or on the spot.