Friday, October 17, 2014
Ella Rose Cook
Isa Echarte Drekter
Ruby BlaiseKerris Manosh
Monday, June 30, 2014
Students - Summer is a great time to refresh your ballet terminology. Here are a few common terms - thanks to Wiki :)
À la seconde
To the side or in the second position. À la seconde usually means a movement done by the feet to the side such as a 'tendu', 'glisse' or 'grand battement. A technically challenging type of turn is a pirouette à la seconde, where the dancer spins with the working leg in second position in à la hauteur. This turn is usually performed by male dancers because of the advanced skills required to perform it correctly. It is seen as the male counterpart of fouettés en tournant.
Adagio (Italian), adage (French), meaning "at ease". In song, Adagio means "slowly", and in ballet it means slow, enfolding movements, performed with the greatest amount of fluidity and grace as possible. In a classical ballet class, the Adagio portion of the lesson concentrates on slow movements to improve the dancer's ability to control the leg and increase extension (i.e., to bring the leg into high positions with control and ease). Adagio combinations typically occur in the centre following exercises at the barre, and consist of the principal steps, plié, développé, attitude, arabesque, and grande rond de jambe, to name a few.
(Italian pronunciation: [alˈleɡro]) Meaning brisk, lively. A term applied to all bright, fast, or brisk movements. All steps of elevation in ballet fall under the term 'allegro' such as sautes, soubresauts, changement, echappe, assmeble, jete, assemble, sissone, entrechat, and so on. The majority of dances, both solo and group, are built on allegro. The most important qualities to aim at in allégro are lightness, smoothness and ballon.
Means to "ellongate" Adjective describing a position as stretched out or made longer, often used with arabesque.
Arabesque is the position of the body supported on one leg, with the other leg extended behind the body with the knee straight. The standing leg may be either bent, in plie, or straight. Arabesque is used in both allegro and adagio choreography. The working leg is placed in 4th open, a terre (on the ground) or en l'air(raised). Armline defines whether this is 1st, 2nd or 3rd Arabesque.
French pronunciation: [asɑ̃ble] Sometimes also pas assemblé. Literally "assembled". A jump from two feet to two feet, where the working leg performs a battement glissé/degagé, "swishing" out. With the dancer launching into a jump, the second foot then swishes up under the first foot.
A position in which the dancer stands on one leg (known as the supporting leg) while the other leg (working leg) is lifted and well turned out with the knee bent at approximately 90-degree angle. The lifted or working leg can be behind (derrière), in front (devant), or on the side (à la seconde) of the body. In some styles of ballet, such as RAD, the foot should be below the knee, creating an obtuse angle at the knee. In others, such as the Balanchine and Russian styles, the foot must be in line with the knee or above it, creating an angle that is 90-degrees or less. The attitude position can be performed with the supporting leg and foot either en pointe, demi pointe or on a flat foot. See also: Arabesque.
"Forwards", to the front, as opposed to arrière. For example, a step travelling en avant moves forwards, towards the audience, e.g. sissonne en avant.
Usually executed in three counts, the dancer typically begins in fifth position plié. Before the first count, one foot extends in a degagé, typically to second position. However, balancé devant or derrière are also possible. Balancé is often confused with pas de valse, a waltz step. However, when doing a balancé the three steps make a "down, up, down" motion (fondu, relevé, fondu), whereas in pas de valse, a true waltz, the motion is "down, up, up" (fondu, relevé, relevé).
French: seesaw or teeter-totter. A movement usually with grand battements or attitudes, in which a dancer swings his/her leg front (devant) and back (derrière) through first position. See, also, en Cloche.
A horizontal bar, approximately waist height, typically made of wood or metal, that is used for ballet warm-up exercises. Ballet classes commonly begin at the barre, and consist of half their total class time at the barre. Dancers are often taught not to rely on the barre as so much to treat it like a partner, holding on gently and still maintaining their own weight. Fixed barres are typically mounted along mirror-covered walls. There are also portable barres that can be relocated as needed.
Meaning "beat". A beating movement of the working leg (i.e. the leg that is active). Battements are usually executed in front (en avant or à la quatrieme devant), to the side (à la seconde) or back (en arrière or à la quatrieme derrière).
To beat. Any step that adds an extra beat before finishing is considered battu.
[Literally "broken"] A jump. One leg is thrust from the fifth position to the front in the air; the second leg reaches the first in mid-air executing a beat. An alternate execution of brisé devant starts croisé in fifth position; brisé derrière is executed similarly with the front foot initiating the movement and brushing to effacé derriére. The back foot brushes through first to degagé effacé devant, the bottom leg thrusts up to meet the top leg and beats to the front and lands in the starting fifth position. It is a traveling movement; the dancer executes an assemblé, then, doing a beat, changes fifth positions in the air. The dancer may practice petits battements in preparation for this step.
The word originates from an old French dance resembling the gavotte. In ballet, this denotes quick, even movements often done on pointe, the movement gives the look of gliding
Meaning caper. An allegro step in which the extended legs are beaten in the air. Cabrioles are divided into two categories: petite, which are executed at 45 degrees, and grande, which are executed at 90 degrees. 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 devant, derrière and à la seconde in any given position of the body such as croisé, effacé, écarté, and so on.
This is a common abbreviation for tours chaînés déboulés, which is a series of quick 360 degree complete rotation turns on alternating feet with progression, or chain, along a straight line or circle. The majority of the revolution is completed on the leading foot with the remainder on the trailing foot when it closes in first position. The turns are done with the feet in a small, tight first position releve. "Spotting" of the head is used to stabilize the torso in this and all turning exercises in ballet. They are also known as "chaînés tournes". In classical ballet each rotation is done on pointes or demi-pointes (balls of the feet).
Literally "changing". A jump in which the feet change positions in the air. For example, beginning in fifth position with the right foot front, plié and jump, switching the right to the back, landing with the left foot front in fifth position. In the Vaganova vocabulary, petit changement de piedsindicates a changement where the feet barely leave the floor.
Chassé, literally "to chase". A slide forwards, backwards, or sideways with both legs bent, then springing into the air with legs meeting and straightened. It can be done either in a gallop (like children pretending to ride a horse) or by pushing the first foot along the floor in a plié to make the springing jump up. This step is generally found in a series, either with several of the same or a combination of movements. Like a glide.
Meaning "as a bell". Refers to grand battements executed continuously devant and derrière through the first position. See, also, Balançoire. Note: the Vaganova system currently refers to this movement as "Passe' la Jambe" and "Battement Passe' la Jambe".
Literally "tail". As in music, a Coda is a passage which brings a movement or a separate piece to a conclusion.
Meaning 'to cut'. Coupé is both a step and action: Coupé means to close, cut or tombe' (fall) exchanging the from one leg to another and its by the ballet shoe, exchanging weight from one leg to another through a closed position, usually fifth, (rarely first or third). It is commonly executed from a sur le cou de pied front to sur le cou de pied back or vice versa. (Cou de pied positions vary greatly from method to method, school to school.) But it also may be done from an extended leg position into fondu or directly through fifth position. It can only be performed through a closed leg position. (Note: If the dancer closes, cuts or tombe'e (fall) exchanging the from one leg to another through an open position such as second or fourth it is referenced as "tombe' or tombée. The Vaganova School rarely uses this term for this action, except as the preparation for specific allegros. Rather, "Tombé through fifth postion" is more common. In the United States, "Coupe" is confused with "Cou de pied" and Sur le cou de pied.
Meaning: crossed. One of the directions of épaulement. The dancer stands facing one of the corners of the stage; his/her body is placed at an oblique angle to the audience. The leg may be crossed to the front or to the back.
To disengage. In-between a tendu and a grande battement, the foot slightly leaves the floor.
Meaning "half." Applied to plié and pointe and other movements or positions to indicate a smaller or lesser version.
At or to the back side. For example, a battement tendu derrière is abattement tendu taken to the rear. point/face behind you.
Literally "under". Used where the front leg is brought behind to the back of the other leg, in techniques such as the assemblé, pas de bourrée, and glissade.
Literally "over". Used where the back leg is brought ahead to the front of the other leg in techniques such as the assemblé, pas de bourrée, andglissade.
Literally "front". For example, tendu devant would mean stretching the foot to the front, or attitude devant would mean executing an attitude to the front. point/face to front
A common abbreviation for battement développé. A movement in which the leg is first lifted to retiré position, then fully extended passing throughattitude position. It can be done in front (en avant), to the side (à la seconde), or to the back (derrière).
Literally "discard", but also flat, like a card. One of the basic positions of the body in which the dancer assumes a position with the body facing downstage on a diagonal and points the downstage leg in second position, along the other diagonal, either touching the floor or en l'air. The arms are held in an attitude position with the arm that is on the same side as the working leg raised in the air and the other arm trailing in second. The gaze is directed nearly to the raised arm along the same diagonal.
Literally "escaped". A movement done from a closed (first or fifth) position to an open (second or fourth) position. There are two kinds oféchappés: échappé sauté and échappé sur les pointes or demi-pointes. In an échappé sauté, the dancer takes a deep plié followed by a jump in which the legs "escape" into either second (usually when starting from first position) or fourth position (usually when starting from fifth position), landing in demi-plié. In échappé sur le pointes/demi-pointes the dancer, after taking a deep plié, springs onto pointes or demi-pointes, ending in either second position (when starting from first position) or fourth (when starting from fifth) with knees straight. In all cases, the dancer may or may not return to the initial position, depending on the choreography.
Literally "erased" or "obscured". One of the directions of épaulement 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. This direction is termed ouvert in the French ballet vocabulary. Effacé is also used to qualify a pose in which the legs are open (not crossed). This pose may be taken devant or derrière, either à terre or en l'air. If the front leg is the right, and the dancer is facing the front-right corner of the stage (or dance studio), he is in effacé; or, if the front leg is the left and she is facing her front-left corner, she is in effacé. This position is the opposite of croisé.
Literally "rise.” A relevé without the plié, so that the dancer simply rises directly to demi or pointe from flat feet and straight legs all the way to the balls of the feet.
Meaning "in the shape of a cross" or "the cross." This term is usually used when doing barre exercises such as battement tendu and battement frappé. The required movement is done to the front, then the side, then back and then again to the side (a cross shape) closing in either first or fifth position.
Movement within a circle so that the leg starts at the back or the side and moves towards the front. For the right leg, this is a counter-clockwise circle. For the left leg, this is a clockwise circle. For instance, in a ronds de jambe en dedans, starting from first position, the foot (either left or right) would first reach tendu back, then move to tendu to the side and then front, to end again in first position.
Literally "outwards". Movement within a circle so that the leg starts at the front or the side and moves towards the back. For the working leg, this is a clockwise circle. For instance, in a ronds de jambe en dehors, starting from first position, the foot (either left or right) would first reach tendufront, then move to tendu to the side and then back, to end again in first position.
It is also considered an outside movement: in a pirouette en dehors the dancer spins towards the side of the working leg (the leg raised inpassé). En dedans is the opposite. Many people have trouble and confuse en dedans and en dehors. En dehors can be remembered with the phrase "En dehors, out the door."
"A step of beating in which the dancer jumps into the air and rapidly crosses the legs before and behind." For example: in an entrechat-quatre starting from fifth position, right foot front, the dancer will jump crossing her/his legs and beating first the right thigh on the back of the left thigh, then at the front of the left thigh, landing in the same position she/he started.
Literally "shouldering.” Rotation of the shoulders and head relative to the hips in a pose or a step. This term refers only to the movement of the body from the waist up. Head generally looks over shoulder that is forward.
Literally "to melt". Abbreviation for a battement fondu, a lowering of the body that is made by bending the knee of the supporting leg. Saint-Leon wrote, "Fondu is on one leg what a plie is on two."
Literally "whipped". The term indicates either a turn with a quick change in the direction of the working leg as it passes in front of or behind the supporting leg, or a quick whipping around of the body from one direction to another. There are many kinds of fouetté: petit fouetté (à terre, en demi-pointe or sauté) and grand fouetté (sauté, relevé or en tournant). Similar to a frappe. An introductory form for beginner dancers, executed at the barre is as follows: facing the barre, the dancer executes a grand battement to the side, then turns the body so that the lifted leg ends up in arabesque.
Literally "whipped throw.” A leap which starts as a fouetté and then the second leg also kicks in front.
A full plié, or bending of the knees. The back should be straight and aligned with the heels, and the legs are turned out with knees over the feet. As a movement, it should be fluid. It may also be in preparation for another movement such as a leap. Often done in first, second, third, fourth, or fifth position.
A long horizontal jump, starting from one leg and landing on the other. Known as a split in the air. It is most often done forward and usually involves doing full leg splits in mid-air. It consists basically of a grand écart with a moving jump. The front leg brushes straight into the air, as opposed to performing dévelopéor "unfolding" motion. The back leg follows making the splits in the air. It can be performed en avant (forward), à la seconde (to the side), en arrière (backward), and en tournant (turning en dedans).The dancer must remember to hit the fullest split at the height of the jump, with weight pushed slightly forward, giving the dancer a gliding appearance. Very likely or commonly used in modern ballet, as well.
Jeté is a jump from one foot to the other similar to a leap, in which one leg appears to be "thrown" in the direction of the movement (en avant, en arrière or sideways). There are several kinds of jetés, such as petit jeté,grand jeté, en tournant, jeté entrelacé, etc.
Open, opened. This may refer to positions (the second and fourth positions of the feet are positions ouvertes), limbs, directions, or certain exercises or steps. In the French School the term is used to indicate a position or direction of the body similar to effacé.
Pas de basque
"step of the Basques". Halfway between a step and a leap, taken on the floor (glissé) or with a jump (sauté); it can be done moving toward the front or toward the back. This step can also be found in Scottish highland dance.
Pas de chat
"the step of the cat". The dancer jumps sideways, and while in mid-air, bends both legs up (two retirés) bringing the feet up as high as possible, with knees apart. The Dance of the Cygnetsfrom Swan Lake involves sixteen pas de chat, performed by four dancers holding hands with their arms interlaced.
Pas de cheval
"step of the horse". The dancer does a cou de pied then a small developpé and tendu back into starting position.
Pas de deux
Meaning "step of two". Pas de deux is a duet usually performed by a female and a male dancer. A famous pas de deux is the Black Swan pas de deux.
Pas de valse
"waltz step". A traveling step done to music in 3/4 time, either straight or while turning (en tournant).
Meaning 'to pass'.
As a position passé means when a foot is placed near, on, below, or above the other knee.
As a movement passé refers to the working foot passing close to the knee of the standing leg. When the foot arrives by the knee, it passes from the front to the back or back to front, and continues either to return to the floor by sliding down the supporting leg or into an arabesque or attitude etc.
Literally "pricked". A movement in which the strongly pointed toe of the lifted and extended leg sharply lowers to hit the floor then immediately rebounds upward. Same for some as the term pointé.
Also a movement in which the dancer transfers a stance from one leg in plié to the other leg by stepping out directly onto pointe or demi-pointe with a straight leg; for example, a piqué arabesque.
Means to "turn" or "spin".
A controlled turn on one leg, starting with one or both legs in plié and rising onto Relevé (usually for men) or pointe (usually for women). The non-supporting leg is be held in Passé. The pirouette may return to the starting position or finish in arabesque or attitude positions, or proceed otherwise.
Means "to bend" A smooth and continuous bending of the knees.
This can be grand-plié, a bend to the deepest position. For demi-plié the dancer bends knees until just below the classical hips while maintaining turn-out at the joints, allowing the thighs and knees to be directly above the line of the toes without releasing the heels from te floor. The intention here is keep the heels on the ground as long as possible. In either instance, the motion is fluid and does not stop in downward bend. As soon as the bottom of the bend is reached the bend is reversed and the straightening of the legs is begun, equally as smoothly.
Port de bras
Literally "carriage of the arms". Sometimes misspelled "porte-bras". An exercise for the movement of the arms to different positions, it is considered a simple movement but a dancer works hard to make it seem graceful, poised and seamless. The basic port de bras exercise moves from fifth en bas to first arm position, to second arm position, then back down to fifth en bas. A full port-de-bras moves from fifth en bas to fifth overhead and back down but a variation of sequence is common.
Pulling up is critical to the success of a dancer because without it, the simple act of rising up would be extremely difficult. It involves the use of the entire body. The feeling of being simultaneously grounded and 'pulled up' is necessary for many of the traditional steps in ballet. To pull up, a dancer must lift the ribcage and sternum but keeps the shoulders relaxed and centered over the hips which requires use of the abdominal muscles. In addition, the dancer must tuck their pelvis under and keep their back straight as to avoid arching and throwing themselves off balance. Use of the inner thigh muscles as well as the 'bottom' is very helpful in pulling up. Pulling up is also essential to dancer en pointe in order for them to balance on their toes.
Meaning four, it is often used to indicate the number of something in ballet, such as entrechat-quatre and pas de quatre.
Literally "lifted". Rising from any position to balance on one or both feet on at least demi-pointe which is heels off the floor or higher to full pointe (commonly for girls) where the dancer is actually balancing on the top of the toes, supported in pointe shoes. Smoothly done in some versions, a quick little leap up in other schools.
Rond de jambe
Means "round of the leg" Actually, half-circles made by the pointed foot, returning through first position to repeat; creating the letter 'D' on the floor. From front to back rond de jambe en dehors, or from back to front rond de jambe en dedans.
Literally "jump". As adjectives, sauté (masc.) or sautée (fem.) French pronunciation: [sote] are used to modify the quality of a step: for instance, "'sauté arabesque indicates an arabesque performed while jumping.
Second position, seconde
Second position of the leg - The dancer stands with feet turned out along a straight line as in first position, but with the heels about one foot apart. The term seconded generally means to or at the side, Second position of the arm - raises your arms to the side. Keep your arms slightly rounded. Lower your elbows slightly below your shoulders. Make sure your wrists are lower than your elbows. Keep your shoulders down, your neck long and your chin up.
A term that refers to the reverse of a winging of the foot. If a dancer sickles the foot on pointe or demi-pointe, the ankle could collapse to the outside resulting in a sprained ankle. If it is the working foot sickled, it will make the dancer look amateurish and untrained. Working foot to the side should be straight and mildly winged when foot is to the front or back.
A jump done from two feet to one foot. Named after the originator of the step. In a sissonne over the back foot closes in front and in a sissonne under the front foot closes behind. Exceptions to the traditional sissonne include sissonne fermee, sissonne tombe, and sissonne fondue, which all finish on two feet.
Literally under under. Also, perhaps more commonly, sous sus [under over]. Typically executed from fifth position, a dancer rises up onto the pointes or demi-pointes with the feet touching and ankles crossed in a particularly tight fifth position relevé, so that the two legs look like one, and resemble a sword or an exclamation point. It is a striking pose achieved without much difficulty, since both feet are directly beneath the spine, and is much used in choreography.
The action can be performed in place or traveling forward, backward or to the side. At the barre after the plié exercises, is part of the warm up for center pointe work. Sous sous is a term of the Cecchetti school.
Sur le cou-de-pied
French pronunciation: [syʀləkudɘpje] Literally, "on the neck of the foot". The working foot is placed on the part of the leg between the base of the calf and the beginning of the ankle. On the accent devant (front), the heel of the working is placed in front of the leg, while the toes point to the back, allowing the instep (cou-de-pied in French) of the working foot to "hug" the lower leg, thus giving the position its name. On the accent derrière (back), the heel of the working leg is placed behind the leg with the toes point to the back. The action of alternating between devant and derrière is seen in the petit battement.
Literally, "stretched"; a common abbreviation for battement tendu. Usually done as an exercise at the barre from first or fifth position, the working leg is extended to either the front, side or back, gradually along the floor until only the tip of the toe remains touching the floor (tendu a terre) or even further stretched so that the tip of the toe comes up off the floor a few inches (en l'air). A tendu can also be used in preparation for other more complex steps, such as pirouettes, or leaps.
A term for the transfer of weight from one leg to another.
The act of falling. Typically a beginning movement. In the Vaganova school, its complete name is sissone ouverte tombé. For a tombé en avant, the dancer begins with a coupé front and then, after extending the leg from the coupé in fourth position front (or second or fifth back, if the tombé is to be done on the side or backward), switches the weight distribution and leans on the extended leg, which is placed on the floor in a deep plié. This leaves the working leg straightened but lifted slightly off the floor. Often this movement is used before executing traveling steps such as a pas de bourrée.
It is also possible not to perform the coupé at the beginning of the movement, but rather reach the fourth position front directly from fifth position with a little 'sliding' hop.
A rotation of the leg from the hips, causing the knee and foot to also turn outward, away from the center of the body. This rotation allows for greater extension of the leg, especially when raising it to the side and rear. Properly done, the ankles remain erect and the foot arch remains curved and supporting. Signs of improper turn-out are the knee pointing forward while the foot point sideward (turning out from the knee), and rolling in of the ankle. Every single step in classical ballet is performed with hips, knees and feet as turned out as possible, except when otherwise specified by choreography.