Ballet Vocabulary – November 2013

November Vocabulary

En croix -(ahn krwah) in the shape of a cross

A la quatrieme -(ah-la-ca-tree-em) to the fourth

Tour en l’air – (toor-ahn-lair) turn in the air

De cote – (duh-koh-tay) sideways

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

Soutenu – (soot-new) sustained

Frappe – (frah-pay) struck

Petit – (peh-tee) little, small

Bras bas – (bra bah) arms low

Retire – (reh-tee-ray) retired, withdrawn

Reverence – (rev-ah-rahns) curtsey or bow

Grand jete – (grahn zheh-tay) big throw. A big leap forward preceded by a preliminary movement such as a pas couru (running steps) or a glissade.

Rond – (ron) round

Ecarte – (ay-car-tay) separated, thrown wide apart. One of the 8 body positions

Battement -(bat-maw) Beating. A beating action of the bent or extended leg

Degage – (day-ga-zhay) Disengaged. A degage is the pointing of the foot in an open position with a fully arched instep. It is used to pass from one position of the feet to another.

Releve – (rel-a-vay) raised

Coupe – (coo-pay) cut, cutting

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

En dehors – (ahn duh-oar) outward

En dedans – (ahn duh-dahn) inward

Adagio – (ah-dahzh-e-o) at ease or leisure; in dance: a series of exercises consisting of slow and graceful movements, also the opening section of a classical pas de duex, in which the ballerina , assisted by her male partner performs the slow movements

Developpe – (dev-la-pay) to un fold

Elevation – (el-la-vay-shawn) raising, lifting, loftiness – the ability of a dancer to attain height in dancing. A term used to describe the attained in springing steps such as entrechats, grands jetes etc.

Ballon – (ba-lawn) bounce, the light elastic quality in jumping in which the dancer bounds up from the floor, pauses a moment in the air and descends lightly and softly only to rebound in the air again like the smooth bouncing of a ball

Fondu – (fawn-dew) Sinking down. A term used to describe a lowering of the body made by bending the knee of the support leg. (plie)

Pas de bourree -(pah-duh-boo-ray) Bourree step. Done dessous, dessus, devant, derriere, en avant, en arriere and en tournant en dedans and en dehors on the pointes or demi pointe. Pas de bourree changee sur les pointes is what we normally term Pas de bourree. Which is a series of little steps almost in place on the pointes or demi pointes. Fifth position right foot front, step on the left pointe crossed behind the right foot and take a tiny step toward second on the right pointe then step on the left pointe crossed in front of the right and plie in either sur le cou de pied or fifth position. The step is done alternating sides.
Balance – (ba-lahn-say) Rocking step. This step is very much like a waltz and it is an alteration of balance, shifting the weight from one foot to the other. Can be done by either crossing the foot in back or in front. Balance is done side to side, or front to back. One necessary ingredients to making balance correct, is to bring the lifted foot to a good sur le cou de pied placement.

Epaule -(ay-poh-lay) Shoulder. A term of the Cecchetti method to indicate a pose in which the dancer stands at an oblique angle to the audience in an arabesque position (the second arabesque, Cecchetti method) with the body facing one or other of the two front corners of the stage. The shoulders are held square to the front corners of the stage. The shoulders are held square to the line of direction, the arm nearer toe audience extended forward and the corresponding leg extended to the fourth position back a terre or en l’air. The head is inclined and turned toward the audience. Epaule is one of the eight body positions of the Cecchetti method.

En a l’air -(ahn lair) in the air

Pas de basque -(pah duh bask) Basque step. From the folk dances of the Basque region between France and Spain. An alternating step in three counts with a swinging move from side to side. The move may be done either saute or glisse.

Cabriole – (ka-bree-awl) Caper. A step of elevation in which the extended legs are beaten in the air. The working leg is thrust into the air; the underneath leg follows and beats against the first leg, sending it higher. The landing is then made on the underneath leg. Cabriole may be done in all directions of the body, and also with a double beat for greater brilliance.

Penche – (pahn-shay) Leaning, inclining. As, for example , in arabesque penche, a high arabesque in which the body leans forward, the head being low and the foot of the raised leg the highest point

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