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Rond de jambe par terre

Rond de jambe par terre is one of main ballet exercises that increases the turn-out of the legs. Translated from French, it means circling the leg on the ground. You can do demi- (or half)-rond, or full rond de jambe. In the full rond de jambe, the toe traces a semi-circle on the floor around the body. The working leg moves steadily with the toe on the ground from the front to side, side to back and then past the stationary heel. Demi-rond de jambe means that the toe follows only half of this trajectory: From front to side, or from side to back, and then returns to the starting position.

Exercises for demi-rond de jamb:

Start in first position. First do two exercises en dehors:

a) On the first two beats of music, slide the foot of the extended working leg to the front;
on further two beats slide the foot to the side;
on the next two beats bring the foot to first position;
hold still in this position for two beats.

Repeat the exercise 4 times for each leg.

b) On two beats of music slide the foot to the side;
on two beats slide it to the back;
on two beats bring the foot in first position;
on two last beats hold still in this position.

Repeat the exercise 4 times for each leg.

Finally, repeat the exercises en dedans:
Perform the same movements as above to the reverse side:
Slide the foot first to the back, then to the side; thereafter, to the side, then to the front.



 

Exercises for full rond de jamb:

Start in first position. En dehors:

On the first and second beats of music, slide the working foot to the front, pointe tendu on the floor.
On the third and fourth beats, slide the foot to the side, pointe tendu on the floor.
On two beats of the following measure, slide the foot to the back, pointe tendu on the floor.
On the third and fourth beats, bring the foot back in first position.

Repeat the exercise 4 times en dehors and 4 times en dedans for each leg.

 

Terminology

Working leg: The leg you are moving, as opposed to your standing leg
First position: Heels together, toes turned out to the maximum
En dehors:
Forward direction
En dedans: Backward direction
Pointe tendue: The toes are fully pointed

Vera S. Kostrovitskaya, 100 Lessons in Classical Ballet. Limelight Editions, New York: Limelight Editions, 1993. Translated by Oleg Briansky.



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