Temps de Flèche

Temps de flèche is the ensemble of movements that come together to mimic its name.  (If you haven't read the entry on the different meanings of temps, click HERE to catch up.)  Flèche, meaning arrow, represents the bow and arrow illusion created by the movement of the dancer's legs.

Temps de flèche pronounced [tɑ̃ d flɛʃ].  Temps is pronounced like "ta," with an open-mouthed ah sound which comes out of both the nose and mouth.  De sounds as if you're practicing the sound of the letter D.  Flèche is pronounced similarly to the word "Flesh" in English.

The quick action as the dancer's legs pass each other in the air creates both the arc of the bow and the spring of the arrow.  The dancers first leg brushes out and up in an arc as he or she performs a grand battement devant.  The impetus of this action begins the dancer's ascent and the swoop of the leg creates the image of the archer's bow.  At the height of the battement the dancer draws the working leg back toward retirée as the supporting leg simultaneously springs up and past the descending foot, performing a développé devant.  The developpé of the second leg represents the archer's arrow as it flies from his bow. 

Imagine the archer's action as he fires a bow.  The archer raises the bow with the curve facing away from the body, pulls back with the firing arm, and lets the arrow fly.  The dancer "raises the bow" with the battement, pulls back the firing arm by pulling back the first leg, and fires the arrow by "shooting" the second leg up and through développé.