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  1. Large battement. An exercise in which the working leg is raised from the hip into the air and brought down again, the accent being on the downward movement, both knees straight. This must be done with apparent ease, the rest of the body remaining quiet. The function of grands battements is to loosen the hip joints and turn out the legs from the hips. Grands battements can be taken devant, derrière and à la seconde.
  2. ["big beat"]. A "kick" in which the working leg is raised as high as possible while keeping the rest of the body still. "Kick" is in quotes because the battement should be a controlled lift, not a throwing of the leg into the air, and the leg must be controlled while coming down. The kicks one associates with a chorus line are grands battements. There's a terrific grand battement in W. C. Fields's short, "The Fatal Glass of Beer"--not (unfortunately) executed by Fields himself. Source: Vance's Fantastic - BALLET DICTIONARY