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Ballet - Beginners
I don't get the difference: Frappe/degage en>fr fr>en
By danaelovesballetmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 84, member since Sat Apr 04, 2009
On Wed Oct 14, 2009 01:11 AM

To me they feel and almost look the same...how are frappes different from degages? Should they look/feel the same? Thank you!

9 Replies to I don't get the difference: Frappe/degage

re: I don't get the difference: Frappe/degage en>fr fr>en
By Serendipity42Premium member Comments: 1879, member since Sun Aug 16, 2009
On Wed Oct 14, 2009 01:35 AM
That's kinda scary that you don't feel a difference - they are totally different steps and leg movements.

Degage is like a tendu, pushing on the floor with as much of the foot as possible, then just slightly lifted off the floor at the end. It's a brush, not a strike.

Frappe the foot is either flexed or pointed at the cou-de-pied (sp?), then "pushed out" from the ankle.

There are a few variations of how it is "pushed out." The common one is to strike the floor with the ball of the foot and end with the leg outstretched in with pointed foot - similar to how the degage ends. I was almost always taught the strike one - you should have a thump on the floor where the ball of the foot hits.

The less common one is to simply push out from the leg to the same ending position as above (usually the pointed at cou-de-pied does this).
re: I don't get the difference: Frappe/degage en>fr fr>en
By Ballet_Baibemember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 2546, member since Tue Feb 21, 2006
On Wed Oct 14, 2009 04:09 AM
If you are feeling them the same then you are doing them wrong.

When you do a degage your foot does not leave the floor, you just slide it along to which ever direction you are doing and end with the toes pointed.

Frappe means to strike, your foot starts off the floor, you strike the floor then it can either be ended by placing the toes on the floor or you return to your starting position and repeat the move.
re: I don't get the difference: Frappe/degage en>fr fr>en
By PrimaPointe92 Comments: 90, member since Mon Apr 27, 2009
On Wed Oct 14, 2009 08:14 AM
Likely if you do not feel the difference you are doing them incorrectly.

A frappe (means "to strike") you are striking the floor with your toes or foot basically. It typically starts from cou de pied and you strike your foot out. The foot should only be 1 inch off the floor.

A degage is a "beating" motion. It means "to disengage". A degage starts like a tendu but brushes out off of the floor to about the height of an apple or four inches (just like if you were resting your toes on the top of an apple). When bringing it back in it should make the reverse motion. Toes hit the floor then "slide" it firmly back into whatever position your in (first, fifth...).

My teacher has us think of DEGAGE as the DOO-WOP step because as you bring the foot back in from the degage it should make a doo-wop sound if your doing it correctly. Your toes make the "doo" and the heel hitting back into position makes the "wop". She really exaggerates it for us though so we get the idea. It really helped me to think of it this way because then I have to be sure I get the right movement to make those sounds.
re: I don't get the difference: Frappe/degage en>fr fr>en
By Arakmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 18113, member since Sun Aug 13, 2000
On Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:52 AM
This is why I do not introduce frappe until my students are totally comfortable with what degage is supposed to look and feel like; I can see how they could be confused if learned together.

The major difference is that degage begins and ends with the working foot on the floor and frappe begins and ends with the foot at the ankle. The working foot does not touch the floor in frappe until the end of the exercise. Think of degage as an extension of tendu. Tendu stays on the floor, degage lifts off the floor. Except for that one difference, these two steps should be basically the same.

The word degage translates as "to disengage". The word frappe means "to strike". So the action in frappe has the opposite objective as degage. At its peak, degage should focus on coming away from the floor while frappe focuses on striking against the floor. The rebound from this striking action is what pushes the leg up again so that if you were to take a picture of it at that point, it would look like degage.
re: I don't get the difference: Frappe/degage en>fr fr>en
By hummingbird Comments: 8370, member since Mon Apr 18, 2005
On Wed Oct 14, 2009 11:16 AM
A frappe doesn't even start in the same place as a degage.

A degage starts in 5th, 1st or 3rd and pushes into the ground, this pressure into the ground is what causes the 'disengagement' from the floor to happen, thats why it only comes off the floor a tiny way.

A frappe starts in a coup de pied position, the foot is relaxed or flexed in most methods, this is because you're going to be practicing your sautes without a jump and it's the only step you can do this in. The flexed or relaxed foot is the plie position, as the foot strikes the floor you are practicing the foot going through the positions it must use when you leave the floor in a jump and of course the leg extended is the jump in the air.

But the biggest difference between the two steps is degage uses the whole leg and Frappe only uses the leg below the knee as the thigh has to remain still to engage and maintain the turnout muscles.
re: I don't get the difference: Frappe/degage en>fr fr>en
By dirtyprettythingmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 222, member since Thu Jan 12, 2006
On Wed Oct 14, 2009 11:46 AM
They definitely shouldn't feel the same!

Frappe means to strike. And is a fast movement where you extend your leg devant, second or derriere, and in the process you strike the ball of your foot along the ground.

Degage means to disengage and is essentially a Tendu that lifts slightly off the ground, not very far just a couple of inches.

If you're having trouble then you should ask your teacher to demonstrate how to do these steps correctly, so you definitely know what you're doing.

I hope that helps x
re: I don't get the difference: Frappe/degage en>fr fr>en
By step_at_a_timemember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 303, member since Fri Aug 31, 2007
On Wed Oct 14, 2009 12:54 PM
Edited by step_at_a_time (184871) on 2009-10-14 13:40:39
Indeed dégagé and frappé should feel/be very different.
But admit I am a little confused still about the definition of dégagé.

I did RAD and by 'dégagé' our teacher always meant a quick tendu to the side or front/back, usually the side. Often a quick in and out to change the front foot. Or else in a combination or enchainement, a tendu between other steps, which did not close back into fifth/first - tendu out and into a rond de jambe or something. Or the tendu in some preparations for pirouette would be referred to as a dégagé. The term was used interchangeable with 'tendu' for that movement when off-barre, in any other exercise other than set "battement tendu" basically.

I looked up dégagé in the "Technical Manual and Dictionary of Classical Ballet" (Gail Grant) and that defines a dégagé "the pointing of the foot in an open position with a fully arched instep.." and can be done devant, a la seconde or derriere.
See also: point tendu, piqué a terre.

I realise many of the other responses have said that the foot lifts a few inches off the floor.
Hence my slight confusion.
In RAD that movement is called a battement glissé.
But in Cecchetti that is known as a battement dégagé (like many others have explained)
It lists it as being called battement tendu jété in the russian school.
So three names for the same movement! Depending on which method you are using.

From what I have experienced and what I have read, I would say that -
- Battement dégagé is (a battement glissé) where you tendu and then push/lift the foot a further few inches off the floor before lowering and pulling back into fifth/first/third (but is a very quick movement with the emphasis on the inward movement/return.)

- Dégagé (plain old dégagé without the 'battement') is a simple tendu.

As others say, battement frappé has variations.
It starts at the ankle/cou-de-pied (either wrapped or flexed)
It can start flexed and strike the floor on the way out, finishing that held out a few inches off the floor before being pulled back into the ankle (the thigh is held in place throughout and movement is knee-down) [I know this version from RAD]
Or from the flexed position pointed onto the floor devant/seconde/derriere without the strike/brush, like a mini-developpé extension keeping the thigh still, to the position you reach in a tendu. [I've seen this in a few RAD grades and preparatory work.]
Or else it can be taken from wrapped position (cou de pied) extended more like a mini-developpé without striking the floor, without touching the floor and finishing several inches off the floor (about 30 degrees) [Russian Method]

Some of that is taken from "Classical Ballet Technique" by Gretchen Ward Warren, and some from the dictionary I mentioned.

Dunno if that helps or confuses!
My question would be do you mean 'degágé' or 'battement dégagé'?
re: I don't get the difference: Frappe/degage en>fr fr>en
By danaelovesballetmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 84, member since Sat Apr 04, 2009
On Wed Oct 14, 2009 01:45 PM
Wow thanks so much for the answers. And I meant battement degage sorry!
re: I don't get the difference: Frappe/degage en>fr fr>en
By WoodPigeon Comments: 511, member since Wed Dec 05, 2007
On Wed Oct 14, 2009 03:04 PM
Ballet_Baibe wrote:

When you do a degage your foot does not leave the floor.


Actually it leaves the floor. What you ment is battement tendu.

@danaelovesballet:
There a few videos on youtube, which should help you:
Battement degage:
www.youtube.com . . .

Battement frappé:
www.youtube.com . . .
(these are the "royal" ones). If you learn russian school, your working foot is pointed all the time and you don't touch the ground through the movement.

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