2 3 Technical Tuesday Cabriole | Ballet Webb

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Technical Tuesday Cabriole

Technical Tuesday Cabriole

A cabriole is a fun step. The word “cabriole” in French comes from cabrioler meaning “to caper”. ( A caper is “a playful, skipping movement”; or “an activity or escapade”.)

A cabriole is basically a beat with an extended leg, and it is often introduced as a beat in a sauté arabesque. A cabriole can be done in any direction, however. The trick with cabriole is this: following the beat of the legs in the air, the upper leg (the arabesque leg in the example of sauté), must rebound, or bounce slightly higher in the air immediately following the beat. It is like the rebounding of a basketball off the floor.  There are also double and even triple (see today’s link) cabrioles.

It may sound simple, but the difficulty usually arises when the dancer takes the initiating leg (the arabesque leg in the sauté example) too high, making it almost impossible for the “bottom” leg to “catch up”. (A similar problem exists in assemblé, when the “bottom” leg is unable reach the “top” leg.)

To prevent this, make sure the first leg doesn’t fly too high. This way, with practice, the beat will happen, and the lovely rebound will occur.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets:

Secret #15bb:  
In a cabriole, the “bottom” leg causes the “top” leg to rebound (bounce upward).”

                Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
“Success is how high you bounce after you hit bottom.”
-George S. Patton

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  1. Thank you so much Debra, it helps me a lot to think not to have the the initiating leg too high but to have a higher rebound.

    It was interesting to see Ivan's triple cabriole, it's not as that I am capable of doing anything impressive like that but I feel he was doing beats by two legs and I do not feel much of of a rebound of the second leg...I know there might be just a subtle difference and the rebound is perhaps has to be lessened when you do more than one cabriole...but it's just how I feel... :)


  2. Your observation is correct. He is using both legs, and this would be required for doubles and triples - something usually done by men.

  3. Another thought: technically speaking, all beats are done with both legs. I'll be blogging about beats on Friday this week. Thank you for your interest and comments!

  4. Look forward to the beats post this Friday! Thank you for all the helpful information. Alicia