Ballet Vocabulary – January 2014

January Vocabulary

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

Sissone – (see-sawn) Sissone is named for the originator of the step. There are many different forms of sissone, for example; Sissone Simple (a sissone done in place in any direction, termed by French and Russian methods, Cecchetti method terms this Temps Leve) and Sissone Ouvert (open sissone, done from demi plie on both feet and finished on one with the other raised a la quatrieme devant, al quatrieme derrierre or a la seconde, en l’air) being taken off two feet and finishing on one foot and Sissone Doublee (a sissone and assemble combined) and Sissone Ferme being taken off two feet and finishing on two feet.

Fouette – (fweh-tay) Whipped. A term applied to a whipping movement.

Ferme – (fehr-may) Closed. Indicates that both feet are in a closed position or that the feet at the end of a step are brought to a closed position.

Etendre – (ay-than-druh) to stretch. One of the seven movements in dancing.

En dehors – (ahn duh-oar) outward

En dedans – (ahn duh-dahn) inward

Attitude -(ah-tee-tewd) A particular pose in dancing derived by Carlo Blasis from the statue of Mercury. It is a position on one leg with the other lifted in back, the knee bent at tan angle of 90 degrees and well turned out so that the knee is higher that 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 en face.

En arriere – (ah-na-ryehr) Backward. A direction for the excution of a step. The step is to travel backward.

En avant – (ahn a-vahn) forward

Devant – (duh-vahn) front

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

A droite – (ah dwat) to the right

A gauche – (ah gohsh) to the left

Jete – (zheh-tay) thrown. A leap from one leg to the other in which the working leg is brushed into the air and appears to be thrown

Ballerina – (bal-la-ree-nah) Female dancer. A principal female dancer in a ballet company. In the days of the Russian Imperial Theatres the title was given to the outstanding soloist who danced the chief classical roles.

Reverence – (ray-vay-rahnss) Reverence, curtsey. The elaborate curtsey performed by the female dancer to acknowledge the applause of the audience.

Coda – The last part of the grand pas de deux

Extension – (eks-than-syawn) Term used to describe the ability of a dancer to raise and hold her extended leg en l’air. A dancer is said to have a good extension if, when doing a developpe a la second, she is able to hela and sustain the reased leg above shoulder level.

Temps – (than) Time, step, movement. A part of a step or movement in which no transfer of weight takes place. A temp is a section of a pas, example – temps leve -a hop from one foot.

Bras bas – (bra bah) Arms low

Pas marche -(pah mar-shay) Marching step. This is the dignified classical walk of the ballerina and the premier danseur. The step is begun with a petit developpe R with a strongly arch instep, followed by a fondu on the supporting L leg. Step forward on the R foot in the fourth position croisee so that the toe reaches the ground first then lower R heel with the foot slightly turned out transferring the weight forward.

Faili– (fa-yee) Giving way. A fleeting movement done on one count. 4th position R foot front. Demi plie spring into the air with the feet held close together and while in the air turn efface so that the L shoulder comes forward, the head turning toward the L shoulder. During the spring the L leg opens in efface derriere and then the landing is made in demi plie on the R foot. The L foot immediately slides forward though the first position to the fourth position croise finishing in demi plie with the body inclined to the left.

Relever – ( ruhl-vay) to raise, to lift. One of the seven movement in dancing.

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