Ballet Vocabulary

September Vocabulary 2013

Barre – (bar) -A group of exercises that are done in the beginning of ballet class, by holding a bar that is attached to the wall or free standing. These exercises are important for developing the muscles correctly, turning the legs out from the hips and gaining control and flexibility of the joints and muscles

Plie – (plee-ay) to bend

Demi – (de-mee) half

Grand – (grahn) big, large

Tendu – ( tahn-dew) stretched

Chasse – (sha-say) chased

Ronde jambe – (ron-duh-zham) round of the leg, that is a circular movement of the leg

A terre – (ah-tere) on the ground

Releve – (rel-a-vay) raised

Devant – (duh-vahn) front

A la seconde – (ah-la-seh-gawnd) to the second or side

Derriere – (deh-ree-yair) behind or back

En dehors – (ahn duh-oar) outward

En dedans – (ahn duh-dahn) inward

Croise – (krwah-zay) crossed. One of the 8 body positions.

Pas de chat – (pah-duh-sha) step of the cat

Changement – (shahnzh-maw) to change

Metatarsals – (met-uh-tahr-suhl) foot bones

Cou de pied -(koo-duh-pyay) Neck of the foot. The part of the foot between the ankle and the base of the calf.

Saute – (soh-tay) To jump. In all jumping movements the tips of the toes should be the first to reach the ground after the jump, followed by the sole of the foot then the heel

Pirouette – ( peer-wet) To whirl or spin A complete turn of the body on one foot either either en pointe or demi pointe the motive power being obtained from a combination of plie and arm movement,ts

Glissade – (glee-sahd) glide; A traveling step executed by gliding the working foot from the fifth position in the required direction, the other foot closing to it. It is used to link steps together. After a demi plie from a closed position, the working foot glides along the floor to a point a few inches from the floor. The other foot then pushes away from the floor so that both knees are straight and both feet strongly pointed for a moment; The weight is shifted to the working foot with a plie. The other foot which is pointed a few inches from the floor, slides a closed position in a demi plie

Petit – (peh-tee) Little, small

Pas de deux – (pah duh duh) Dance for two

En diagonale -(ahn dy yag ga nal) in the diagonal

Enchainment – (ahn-shay-maw) linking, a combination of two or more steps arranged to fit a phrase of music

Temps leve – (than luh-vay) time raised,that is raising movement. A hop from one foot which may be done in any position.

Efface – (eh-fa-say) Shaded. One of the directions of epaulement (one shoulder forward and the other shoulder back with the head turned over the forward shoulder) in which the dancer stands at an oblique angle to the audience so that a part of the body is taken back and almost hidden from view. The legs are open and not in a crossed position.

Attitude -(ah-tee-tewd) A particular pose in dance derived by Carlo Blasis from the statue of Mercury. It is a position on one leg with the other lifted in back and the knee bent at an angle of 90 degrees and well turned out so that the knee is higher than the foot. The supporting foot may be a terre, sur la pointe or sur al a demi pointe. The arm on the side of the raise leg is held over the head in a curved position while the other arm is extended to the side. There are a number of attitudes according to the position of the body in relation to the audience for example attitude croise, attitude efface, attitude de face.

Bourree – (boo ray) a series of quick little steps in fifth position releve, changing weight from one foot to the other, traveling in any direction.

Allegro -(ah-lay groh) brisk, lively; this term is applied to all bright and brisk movements, all steps of elevation are included. The most important qualities in an allegro combination is lighteness, smoothness and ballon

Echappe – (ay-sha-pay) Escaping or slipping movement. An echappe is a level opening of both feet from a closed to an open position. Echappes are done to the second or fourth position, both feet traveling an equal distance from the original center.

En croix – (ahn krwah) In the shape of a cross. Indicates that an exercise is to be executed to the forth position front, to the second position and to the fourth position back, or vice versa. As for example as in battements tendus en croix.

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