Ballet Terms Explained A to Z – Online Ballet Dictionary

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Technical Manual and Dictionary of Classical Ballet

Abstract ballet. A ballet without a plot. A composition of pure dance movement expressed for its own sake.

Adage, Adagio:

[French: a-DAHZH]. Adage is a French word derived from the Italian ad agio, meaning at ease or leisure. English ballet teachers use “adage,” the French adaptation, while Americans prefer the original Italian. In dancing it has two meanings: (1) A series of exercises following the center practice, consisting of a succession of slow and graceful movements which may be simple or of the most complex character, performed with fluidity and apparent ease. These exercises develop a sustaining power, sense of line, balance and the beautiful poise which enables the dancer to perform with majesty and grace. The principal steps of adagio are pliés, développés, grand fouetté en tournant, dégagés, grand rond de jambe, rond de jambe en l’air, coupés, battements tendus, attitudes, arabesques, preparations for pirouettes and all types of pirouettes. (2) The opening section of the classical pas de deux, in which the ballerina, assisted by her male partner, performs the slow movements and enlèvements in which the danseur lifts, supports or carries the danseuse. The danseuse thus supported exhibits her grace, line and perfect balance while executing développés, pirouettes, arabesques and so on, and achieves combinations of steps and poses which would be impossible without the aid of her partner.

Ailes de pigeon:

[el duh pee-ZHAWN]. Pigeon’s wings. The dancer performs a cabriole devant, then the legs change and beat again, then change once more before the dancer lands on the leg he or she jumped from, leaving the other leg extended in the air. Also known as “pistolet.”

Air, en l’ [ahn lehr].

In the air. Indicates: (1) that a movement is to be made in the air; for example, rond de jambe en l’air; (2) that the working leg, after being opened to the second or fourth position à terre, is to be raised to a horizontal position with the toe on the level of the hip.

Allégro

[a-lay-GROH; Italian: al-LAY-groh]. Brisk, lively. A term applied to all bright and brisk movements. All steps of elevation such as the entrechat, cabriole, assemblé, jeté and so on, come under this classification. The majority of dances, both solo and group, are built on allégro. The most important qualities to aim at in allégro are lightness, smoothness and ballon.

Allongé, allongée

[a-lawn-ZHAY]. Extended, outstretched. As, for example, in arabesque allongée.

Angle of the leg in the air.

In the Russian School, the angle formed by the legs in relation to the vertical axis of the body is measured in general terms. For example, 45 degrees for half height (demi-hauteur), 90 degrees for a horizontal position with the toe at hip height (à la hauteur) and 135 degrees for any position considerably above hip height.

Aplomb:

[a-PLAWN] Assurance, poise. This term applied to the dancer means that he or she has full control of body and limbs with the weight correctly centered during a movement.

Arabesque:

[a-ra-BESK]. One of the basic poses in ballet, arabesque takes its name from a form of Moorish ornament. In ballet it is a position of the body, in profile, supported on one leg, which can be straight or demi-plié, with the other leg extended behind and at right angles to it, and the arms held in various harmonious positions creating the longest possible line from the fingertips to the toes. The shoulders must be held square to the line of direction. The forms of arabesque are varied to infinity. The Cecchetti method uses five principal arabesques; the Russian School (Vaganova), four; and the French School, two. Arabesques are generally used to conclude a phrase of steps, both in the slow movements of adagio and the brisk, gay movements of allégro.

Arabesque, en:

[ah na-ra-BESK]. In arabesque, that is, in an arabesque position. As, for example, in pirouette en arabesque.

Arabesque à deux bras:

[a-ra-BESK a duh brah]. Arabesque with two arms. This arabesque is taken in profile with the extended leg nearest the audience. Both arms are extended forward with the arm on the side of the supporting leg held slightly higher. The head may be held in profile or turned to the audience.

Arabesque à la demi-hauteur:

[a-ra-BESK a lah duh-MEE-oh-TUHR]. Arabesque at half-height. A term of the French School. In this arabesque the foot is raised to a position halfway between the position à terre and a horizontal position in the air.

Arabesque à la hauteur:

[a-ra-BESK a lah oh-TUHR]. Arabesque at the height. A term of the French School. An arabesque in which the working leg is raised at right angles to the hip. Also termed arabesque allongée.

Arabesque à la lyre:

[a-ra-BESK a lah leer]. Arabesque with the lyre. This position resembles the arabesque à deux bras (third arabesque Cecchetti) but both palms are held up and the elbows are slightly curved as if the dancer were holding a lyre.

Arabesque allongée:

[a-ra-BESK a-lawn-ZHAY]. Extended or outstretched
arabesque. The line required for this arabesque is a horizontal one.

Arabesque allongée à terre:

[a-ra-BESK a-lawn-ZHAY a tehr]. Arabesque extended on the ground. In this arabesque the body is supported on one leg which is completely bent in plié while the other leg is extended in the back with the foot well turned out and on the ground. The arms may be held en attitude, en couronne and so on. This lunge position may be taken en face, croisé or ouvert.

Arabesque à terre:

[a-ra-BESK a tehr]. Arabesque on the ground. The arms and body are in arabesque but the leg, usually raised, is extended in the fourth position back, pointe tendue.

Arabesque croisée:

[a-ra-BESK krwah-ZAY]. Arabesque crossed. This arabesque presents a three-quarter view of the body and faces a front corner of the stage. The supporting leg is the leg nearer the audience. The arms may be held in a variety of positions.

Arabesque de face:

[a-ra-BESK duh fahss]. Arabesque facing. An arabesque facing the audience. The arms may be held in a variety of positions. (De face = en face.)

Arabesque effacée:

[a-ra-BESK eh-fa-SAY]. Arabesque shaded. This is the first arabesque (all schools) taken in an effacé direction.

Arabesque en promenade:

[a-ra-BESK ahn prawm-NAD]. Arabesque, walking. An arabesque is said to be en promenade when a slow turn is made either en dedans or en dehors in an arabesque position. This is a temps d’adage.

Arabesque en tournant:

[a-ra-BESK ahn toor-NAHN]. Arabesque, turning. An arabesque is said to be en tournant when a pivot is made on the supporting foot.

Arabesque épaulée:

[a-ra-BESK ay-poh-LAY]. Arabesque shouldered. This is an arabesque in which the dancer stands at an oblique angle to the audience. The raised leg and forward arm are nearest the audience and the shoulders are turned so that the dancer’s back is visible.

Arabesque étirée:

[a-ra-BESK ay-tee-RAY]. Arabesque stretched or drawn out. A term of the French School. This is a neoclassical arabesque in which
the ballerina, on point and supported by her partner, shifts her axis backward so that her supporting leg is oblique and her free leg held very high (as in a split).

Arabesque fondue:

[a-ra-BES’K fawn-DEW]. Arabesque, sinking down. An arabesque in which the knee of the supporting leg is bent. Also called “arabesque pliée.”

Arabesque inclinée:

[a-ra-BESK en-klee-NAY]. Arabesque inclined. A term of the French School. A neoclassical arabesque in which the ballerina, on point and supported by her partner, shifts her axis forward so that her supporting leg is oblique. Because of the slant of the supporting leg the free leg will be held at an angle of less than 90 degrees. Also called “arabesque poussée.”

Arabesque ouverte:

[a-ra-BESK oo-VEHRT]. Open arabesque. A term of the French School. This arabesque is taken in profile to the audience. The leg nearer the audience is raised and the arm on the side of the supporting leg extended forward. The head is in profile. See section on “The French arabesques” under Arabesque.

Arabesque penchée:

[a-ra-BESK pahn-SHAY]. Arabesque, leaning. An arabesque in which the body leans well forward in an oblique line, the forward arm and the head being low and the foot of the raised leg the highest point.

Arabesque pliée:

[a-ra-BESK plee-AY]. Arabesque with a bent knee. Same as arabesque fondue.

Arabesque poussée [a-ra-BESK poo-SAY]. Arabesque pushed. A term of the French School. Same as arabesque inclinée.

Arabesque poussée:

[a-ra-BESK poo-SAY]. Arabesque pushed. A term of the French School. Same as arabesque inclinée.

Arabesque voyagée:

[a-ra-BESK vwah-yah-ZHAY]. Arabesque, traveling. This is a series of small hops in an arabesque position. The supporting knee is bent and the instep of the supporting foot does not stretch. The arabesque may be traveled forward or backward.

Arqué:

[ar-KAY]. Arched (bowlegged). Very few people have perfectly straight legs and nearly every dancer conforms to one of the two types arqué and jarreté (q.v.). When the arqué, or bowlegged, dancer stands in the first position there is a space between the knee joints. This type of dancer is usually strongly built but stiff. Their extensions are never high but they have
great power and ballon and sharp brilliant beats.

Arrière, en:

[ah na-RYEHR]. Backward. Used to indicate that a step is executed moving away from the audience. As, for example, in glissade en arrière.

Arrondi, arrondie:

[a-rawn-DEE]. Rounded, curved. As, for example, in battement arrondi.

Assemblé:

[a-sahn-BLAY]. Assembled or joined together. A step in which the working foot slides well along the ground before being swept into the air. As the foot goes into the air the dancer pushes off the floor with the supporting leg, extending the toes. Both legs come to the ground simultaneously in the fifth position. If an assemblé is porté it requires a preparatory step such as a glissade to precede it. If an assemblé is en tournant it must be preceded by a preparatory step. Assemblés are done petit or grand according to the height of the battement and are executed dessus, dessous, devant, derrière, en avant, en arrière and en tournant. They may be done en face, croisé, effacé or écarté. Assemblé may also be done with a beat for greater brilliance. In the Cecchetti assemblé both knees are bent and drawn up after the battement so that the flat of the toes of both feet meet while the body is in the air.

Assemblé, double:

[doob la-sahn-BLAY]. Double assemblé. A term of the Russian School. This step consists of two assemblés to the second position at 45 degrees; the first assemblé is done without changing the position of the legs and the second with a change.

Assemblé, grand:

[grahn ta-sahn-BLAY]. Big assemblé. The jump is higher and the working leg is swept into the air into a horizontal position or à la hauteur. The legs join in the fifth position in the air before coming to the ground.

Assemblé, petit:

[puh-TEE ta-sahn-BLAY]. Little assemblé. The working leg is swept into the air with a battement to a point midway between a position of the foot à terre and its equivalent en l’air. This position is called demiposition in the Cecchetti method or demi-hauteur in the French School.

Assemblé battu:

[a-sahn-BLAY ba-TEW]. Assemblé beaten. Assemblés dessus, dessous and en tournant may be done with beats. Assemblé dessus battu: Fifth position R foot back. Demi-plié, brush the R leg to the side and push off the floor with the L foot. On the return to fifth
position the R leg beats the L in the back, opens slightly and comes to the ground simultaneously with the L leg in the fifth position R foot front. The beat is made with the calves. Assemblé dessous battu: The working leg beats in the front and closes in the back. Assemblé battu en tournant: This assemblé is done dessus. The working leg beats in the back, and finishes in the fifth position front.

Assemblé coupé:

[a-sahn-BLAY koo-PAY]. Cut assemblé. This is a term of the Cecchetti method for an assemblé started from one foot. The working leg may be sur le cou-de-pied or pointe tendue or raised en l’air. The working leg closes into the fifth position without a brush.

Assemblé coupé derrière:

[a-sahn-BLAY koo-PAY deh-RYEHR]. Assemblé cut behind. A term of the Cecchetti method. Stand on the R foot with the L foot sur le cou-de-pied derrière or pointed in the fourth position derrière à terre or en l’air. Demi-plié and spring off the R foot. Come to the ground in demi-plié in the fifth position L foot back.

Assemblé coupé devant:

[a-sahn-BLAY koo-PAY duh-VAHN]. Assemblé cut in front. A term of the Cecchetti method. Stand on the R foot with the L foot sur le cou-de-pied devant or pointed in the fourth position devant à terre or en l’air. Demi-plié and spring off the R foot. Come to the ground in demi-plié in the fifth position L foot front.

Assemblé derrière:

[a-sahn-BLAY deh-RYEHR]. Assemblé in back. Fifth position R foot back. The R foot slides out to the second position en l’air and at the completion of the assemblé closes in the fifth position back.

Assemblé dessous:

[a-sahn-BLAY duh-SOO]. Assemblé under. Fifth position R foot front. The R foot slides out to the second position en l’air and at the completion of the assemblé is closed in the fifth position back. Also called “assemblé en remontant” or “assemblé en reculant.”

Assemblé dessus:

[a-sahn-BLAY duh-SEW]. Assemblé over. Fifth position R foot back. Demi-plié and slide the R foot to the second position en l’air. Push from the ground with the L foot, extending the toes. Both feet return to the ground simultaneously, landing in the fifth position R foot front, with a soft demi-plié. The tips of the toes reach the ground first, then the heels. Also
called “assemblé en descendant.”

Assemblé de suite:

[a-sahn-BLAY duh sweet]. Continuous assemblé. A term from the Cecchetti method used when assemblés are executed in a series without straightening the knees at the conclusion of each assemblé.

Assemblé devant:

[a-sahn-BLAY duh-VAHN]. Assemblé in front. Fifth position R foot front. The R foot slides out to the second position en l’air and at the completion of the assemblé is closed in the fifth position front.

Assemblé élancé:

[a-sahn-BLAY ay-lahn-SAY]. Assemblé, darting. An assemblé dessus traveled to the side.

Assemblé en arrière:

[a-sahn-BLAY ah na-RYEHR]. Assemblé backward. Fifth position R foot back. The R foot slides backward to the fourth position en l’air and at the completion of the assemblé closes in the fifth position back. This assemblé may be done in place or traveling backward.

Assemblé en avant:

[a-sahn-BLAY ah na-VAHN]. Assemblé forward. Fifth position R foot front. The R foot slides forward to the fourth position en l’air and at the completion of the assemblé closes in the fifth position front. This assemblé may be done in place or traveling forward.

Assemblé en descendant:

[a-sahn-BLAY ahn day-sahn-DAHN]. Assemblé coming down or moving downstage. A term of the French School. Same as assemblé dessus.

Assemblé en remontant or en reculant:

[a-sahn-BLAY ahn ruh-mawnTAHN (or) ahn ruh-kew-LAHN]. Assemblé going up or drawing back (moving upstage). A term of the French School. Same as assemblé dessous.

Assemblé en tournant, grand:

[grahn ta-sahn-BLAY ahn toor-NAHN]. Big assemblé, turning. This assemblé is done in the same manner as grand assemblé. It is taken only dessus or derrière. It is traveled directly to the side, on a diagonal traveling upstage, in a circle, etc. It is usually preceded by a pas couru or a chassé. The battement at 90 degrees to the second position is taken facing upstage, then the dancer completes the turn en dedans and finishes the assemblé facing the audience.

Assemblé porté:

[a-sahn-BLAY pawr-TAY]. Assemblé carried. This assemblé requires a preparatory step to precede it and during the actual assemblé the body is carried in the air from one spot to another in the desired direction.
Assemblés devant, derrière, dessus and dessous may be porté.

Assemblé porté et battu:

[a-sahn-BLAY pawr-TAY ay ba-TEW]. This assemblé is traveled and done with a beat.

Assemblé soutenu:

(Cecchetti method) [a-sahn-BLAY soot-NEW]. Assemblé sustained. In the Cecchetti method an assemblé is said to be soutenu when the knees are straightened and another demi-plié is made before executing the next assemblé.

Assemblé soutenu de face:

[a-sahn-BLAY soot-NEW duh fahss]. Assemblé sustained and facing the audience. This assemblé is not a jumping step. It is done on the pointes or demi-pointes and may be performed dessus, dessous, derrière, devant, en avant and en arrière. For assemblé soutenu dessus, stand in the fifth position R foot back. Demi-plié, sliding the R foot to the second position pointe tendue à terre; draw the R leg into the fifth position front, springing on the pointes or demi-pointes, then lower the heels in demi-plié in the fifth position. Also called “assemblé soutenu sur les pointes.”

Assemblé soutenu en tournant (demi-tours):

[a-sahn-BLAY soot-NEW ahn toor-NAHN (duh-mee-TOOR)]. Assemblé sustained in turning (half-turns). En dedans: Fifth position R foot back. Fondu on the L leg and at the same time slide the R foot to the second position à terre, pointe tendue (dégagé). Draw the R foot into the fifth position front, rising on the demi-pointes. Pivot a half-turn to the left (demi-détourné) to face the back of the room, finishing with the L foot front. Lower the heels in demi-plié. En dehors: Still facing the back of the room with the L foot front, fondu on the R leg and at the same time slide the L foot to the second position à terre, pointe tendue (dégagé). Draw the L foot into the fifth position back, rising on the demi-pointes. Pivot a half-turn to the left (demi-détourné) to face the front of the room, finishing with the L foot front. Lower the heels in demi-plié.

Assemblé soutenu en tournant en dedans:

[a-sahn-BLAY soot-NEW ahn toor-NAHN ahn duh-DAHN]. Assemblé sustained and turning inward. Fifth position R foot back. Fondu on the L leg and at the same time slide the R foot to the second position à terre, pointe tendue. Draw the R foot into the fifth position front, rising on the demi-pointes and turning en dedans (to the left) to face the back of the room with the feet in the fifth position, R foot front. Pivot a half-turn to the left (demi-détourné) to face front, finishing with the L
foot front. Lower the heels in demi-plié. This is the method of the Russian School. The French School begins the step with a demi-rond de jambe à terre en dedans instead of drawing the working foot straight in to the fifth position from the second position.

Assemblé soutenu en tournant en dehors:

[a-sahn-BLAY soot-NEW ahn toor-NAHN ahn duh-AWR]. Assemblé sustained and turning outward. Fifth position R foot front. Fondu on the L leg and at the same time slide the R foot to the second position à terre, pointe tendue. Draw the R foot into the fifth position back, rising on the demi-pointes and turning en dehors (to the right) to face the back of the room with the feet in the fifth position, R foot back. Pivot a half-turn to the right (demi-détourné) to face front, finishing with the R foot front. Lower the heels in demi-plié. This is the method of the Russian School. The French School begins the step with a demi-rond de jambe à terre en dehors instead of drawing the working foot straight in to the fifth position from the second position.

Assemblé soutenu sur les pointes:

[a-sahn-BLAY soot-NEW sewr lay pwent]. Assemblé sustained on the points. Same as assemblé soutenu de face.

Attitude:

[a-tee-TEWD]. A particular pose in dancing derived by Carlo Blasis from the statue of Mercury by Giovanni da Bologna. It is a position on one leg with the other lifted in back, 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 à terre, sur la pointe or sur la demi-pointe. The arm on the side of the raised 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 croisée, attitude effacée, attitude de face.

Attitude, demi:

[duh-MEE-a-tee-TEWD]. Half attitude. A term of the French School. An attitude with the raised leg à la demi-hauteur. The arms are held in the same position as in attitude.

Attitude, en:

[ah na-tee-TEWD]. In attitude, that is, in an attitude position. As, for example, in pirouette en attitude.

Attitude à deux bras:

[a-tee-TEWD a duh brah]. Attitude with two arms. The same position as the Blasis attitude but with both arms en couronne (raised above the head).

Attitude à terre:

[a-tee-TEWD a tehr]. Attitude on the ground. The arms are in attitude and the foot which is usually raised is extended with the toe pointed on the ground in the fourth position back.

Attitude croisée derrière:

[a-tee-TEWD krwah-ZAY deh-RYEHR]. Attitude crossed in back. The dancer stands facing a front corner of the stage (croisé direction) with the supporting leg nearest the audience. The raised leg is held at 90 degrees and crossed behind the body with the knee bent at a right angle and the foot held parallel or slightly below the raised knee. The body presents a three-quarter view to the audience.

Attitude croisée derrière (Cecchetti method):

[a-tee-TEWD krwah-ZAY deh-RYEHR]. In this method, the body is held upright with a straight back, shoulders aligned and well pressed down. The head is turned with the eyes looking up into the palm of the raised hand.

Attitude croisée derrière (French School):

[a-tee-TEWD krwah-ZAY dehRYEHR]. The body is bent toward the supporting leg with the shoulder of the raised arm lifted slightly higher than the other shoulder. The head is turned toward the front shoulder.

Attitude croisée derrière (Russian School):

[a-tee-TEWD krwah-ZAY dehRYEHR]. The body inclines forward with a well-arched back. The shoulders are aligned and pressed down with the head turned toward the front shoulder. The Russian School also uses a high croisé position in which the foot is raised higher than the knee.

Attitude croisée devant:

[a-tee-TEWD krwah-ZAY duh-VAHN]. Attitude crossed in front. This is the position croisé devant, but the raised leg is bent with the knee pressed outward and the foot raised as high as possible. The arms are held en attitude with the high arm on the same side as the supporting leg and the head slightly inclined toward the low arm.

Attitude de face:

[a-tee-TEWD duh fahss]. Attitude facing. A term of the French School for an attitude facing the audience.

Attitude effacée derrière:

[a-tee-TEWD eh-fa-SAY deh-RYEHR]. Attitude shaded in back. The dancer stands facing a front corner of the stage. The raised arm and leg are nearer the audience with the leg in a half-bent position so that the audience sees the arched line of the entire leg from hip to toe. The body presents a three
quarter, almost profile view to the audience. The French School terms this the “attitude ouverte” (q.v.).

Attitude effacée derrière:

(Cecchetti method) [a-tee-TEWD eh-fa-SAY dehRYEHR]. In this method, the body is held upright with a straight back and the dancer leans slightly back toward the raised leg. The head is turned toward the audience and inclined toward the raised arm.

Attitude effacée derrière (Russian School):

[a-tee-TEWD eh-fa-SAY dehRYEHR]. The torso is tilted forward toward the supporting leg with the back held upright and both shoulders level. The head is turned toward the audience. The Russian School also uses a high effacé position in which the thigh is raised so that the foot is held higher than the knee at approximately 135 degrees.

Attitude en promenade [a-tee-TEWD ahn prawm-NAD]. Attitude, walking. When a slow turn is made en dedans or en dehors in an attitude position, the attitude is said to be en promenade. This is a temps d’adage.

Attitude en tournant:

[a-tee-TEWD ahn toor-NAHN]. Attitude, turning. An attitude is said to be en tournant when a pivot is made on the supporting leg.

Attitude épaulée:

[a-tee-TEWD ay-poh-LAY]. Attitude “shouldered.” This attitude is executed in the same manner as the Cecchetti attitude croisée but is taken facing either one of the upper corners of the room and presents a three-quarter rear view to the audience. If the pose is taken on the L foot, the dancer faces corner 3

Attitude grecque:

[a-tee-TEWD grek]. Greek attitude. In this attitude the heel of the working foot touches the ankle or knee of the supporting leg. The toe is pointed and the thigh opened to the second position. One arm is curved opposite the waistline and the arm on the side of the supporting leg is curved over the head. The head is turned in profile and the body leans toward the raised leg. This attitude may be taken en face, croisée or effacée. Pirouettes may also be done in this position but in this case the head does not “spot.”

Attitude ouverte

[a-tee-TEWD oo-VEHRT]. Open attitude. This is the French School’s term for the attitude effacée derrière. The body leans slightly forward toward the supporting leg with the shoulder of the raised arm held slightly higher than the other shoulder and the head turned toward the audience.

Attitude penchée:

[a-tee-TEWD pahn-SHAY]. Attitude, leaning. In this attitude the body leans forward with a well-arched back and the raised foot held high.

Autour de la salle:

[oh-TOOR duh lah sal]. A term of the Cecchetti method.

Avant, en:

[ah na-VAHN]. Forward. A direction for the execution of a step. Used to indicate that a given step is executed moving forward, toward the audience. As, for example, in sissonne fermée en avant.

Balancé:

[ba-lahn-SAY]. Rocking step. This step is very much like a pas de valse and is an alternation of balance, shifting the weight from one foot to the other. Balancé may be done crossing the foot either front or back. Fifth position R foot front. Demi-plié, dégagé the R foot to the second position and jump on it lightly in demi-plié, crossing the L foot behind the R ankle and inclining the head and body to the right. Step on the L demi-pointe behind the R foot, slightly lifting the R foot off the ground; then fall on the R foot again in demi-plié with the L foot raised sur le cou-de-pied derrière. The next balancé will be to the left side. Balancé may also be done en avant or en arrière facing croisé or effacé and en tournant.

Balancé de côté:

[ba-lahn-SAY duh koh-TAY]. Rocking step to the side. Same as balancé.

Balancé en tournant:

[ba-lahn-SAY ahn toor-NAHN]. Balancé, turning. The turn may be done with quarter or half-turns.

Balançoire, en:

[ahn ba-lahn-SWAHR]. Like a seesaw. This term is applied to an exercise, a series of grands battements executed with a continuous swinging motion through the first position to the fourth position front and back. As the leg is thrown forcefully forward, the body leans backward, then as the leg is thrown backward, the body leans forward.

Ballabile:

[bahl-LAH-bee-lay (Italian)]. “Danceable.” From the Italian ballare, to dance. A dance for a group or corps de ballet without solos.

Ballerina:

[bahl-lay-REE-nah (Italian)]. A principal female dancer in a ballet company. In the days of the Russian Imperial Theatres the title was given to the outstanding soloists who danced the chief classical roles. At the Maryinski Theatre in St. Petersburg the ballet company consisted of ballerinas, premiers danseurs, first and second soloists, coryphées and corps de ballet.

Ballerina assoluta, prima:

[PREE-mah bahl-lay-REE-nah ahs-soh-LOO-tah (Italian)]. First ballerina absolute. This title was bestowed only twice in the two-hundred-year history of the Russian Imperial Theatres, to the two ballerinas Pierina Legnani and Mathilde Kschessinska.

Ballerina, prima:

[PREE-mah bahl-lay-REE-nah (Italian)]. A title for an outstanding soloist or first principal female dancer of a ballet company.

Ballet:

[ba-LAY]. A theatrical work or entertainment in which a choreographer has expressed his ideas in group and solo dancing to a musical accompaniment with appropriate costumes, scenery and lighting.

Ballet blanc:

[ba-LAY blahn]. White ballet. This is a term applied to any ballet in which the dancers wear the traditional long white costumes designed by Eugène Lami for Marie Taglioni in the ballet La Sylphide in 1830. Examples are the second act of Giselle and the ballet Les Sylphides.

Ballet d’action:

[ba-LAY dak-SYAWN]. A ballet with a plot or story. For example, The Sleeping Beauty.

Ballet d’école:

[ba-LAY day-KAWL]. Ballet of the school. The academic dance based on the turn-out and the five positions of the feet.

Ballet master, ballet mistress:

The person in a ballet company whose duty is to give the daily company class and to rehearse the ballets in the company repertoire.

Balletomane:

A ballet fan or enthusiast. The word was invented in Russia in the early nineteenth century.

Balletomania:

A mania for ballet. The word was introduced to the Englishspeaking public by Arnold Haskell with his book of that title published in 1934.

Ballon:

[ba-LAWN]. Bounce. Ballon is 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 like the smooth bouncing of a ball.

Ballonné, coupé:

[koo-PAY ba-law-NAY]. Ballonné cut. A term of the Russian School. It consists of a coupé dessous followed by a fouetté movement with a temps levé on the supporting leg.

Ballonné, pas:

[pah ba-law-NAY]. Ball-like or bouncing step. A step in which the dancer springs into the air extending one leg to the front, side or back and lands with the extended leg either sur le cou-de-pied or retiré. There are two kinds of ballonné: ballonné simple, which may be performed petit or grand; and ballonné composé, which is a compound step consisting of three movements (see these terms). Ballonné may be executed in all the directions of the body.

Ballonné arrondi:

[ba-law-NAY a-rawn-DEE]. Ballonné rounded or curved. This is a series of ballonnés simples devant executed on a diagonal. The first ballonné is performed in the direction effacé en avant with the front foot, immediately followed by the second ballonné with the same foot in the direction écarté en avant.

Ballonné à trois temps:

[ba-law-NAY a trwah tahn]. Ballonné in three movements. A term of the Cecchetti method consisting of ballonné, chassé, coupé. The step is executed the same way as the ballonné composé except that the dancer executes a coupé on the last movement instead of closing in the fifth position. It may be performed en avant, en arrière and de côté in all the directions of the body.

Ballonné battu:

[ba-law-NAY ba-TEW]. Ballonné beaten. Execute a ballonné simple with the R leg to the second position; before closing the leg sur le coude-pied derrière, beat the L leg behind the R at the height of the jump.

Ballonné composé:

[ba-law-NAY kawn-poh-ZAY]. Composite ballonné. A term of the French School. This is a compound step and consists of a ballonné simple, chassé and a close to the fifth position. It may be performed en avant, en arrière and de côté in all the directions of the body.

Ballonné devant sur la pointe:

[ba-law-NAY duh-VAHN sewr lah pwent]. Ballonné in front on point.

Ballonné simple:

[ba-law-NAY SEN-pluh]. Simple ballonné. This may be performed either petit or grand. In petit ballonné, the leg is extended to the second or fourth position at 45 degrees; then the knee is bent and the foot brought sur le cou-de-pied. In grand ballonné, the leg is extended at 90 degrees and finished with the foot at the knee.

Ballonné simple de côté:

[ba-law-NAY SEN-pluh duh koh-TAY]. Ballonné simple to the side. Fifth position R foot front. Demi-plié, sliding the R foot along the ground to the second position en l’air at 45 degrees; push off the
floor with the L foot, toes extended, traveling to the right; land in demi-plié on the L foot, bringing the R foot sur le cou-de-pied, either devant or derrière. This ballonné is performed traveling in the direction écarté en avant, écarté en arrière or de côté.

Ballonné simple derrière:

[ba-law-NAY SEN-pluh deh-RYEHR]. Ballonné simple in back. Ballonné simple derrière is performed in the same manner as ballonné simple devant (q.v.) The working foot glides along the floor to the fourth position derrière en l’air at 45 degrees. The step travels in the direction effacé en arrière or croisé en arrière.

Ballonné simple devant:

[ba-law-NAY SEN-pluh duh-VAHN]. Ballonné simple in front. Fifth position R foot front. Demi-plié, sliding the R foot along the floor to the fourth position devant en l’air at 45 degrees; push off the floor with the L foot, toes extended, traveling forward; land in demi-plié on the L foot, at the same time bringing the R foot sur le cou-de-pied devant. This ballonné is performed effacé en avant or croisé en avant with the body and arms placed according to the direction of the movement. The body and arms do not move during the step, but remain in the pose.

Ballonné sur la pointe:

[ba-law-NAY sewr lah pwent]. Ballonné on point. This is a relevé on point with the working leg opening at 45 degrees on the musical accent. It is executed in the directions croisé, effacé and écarté, traveling forward or backward. Ballonné devant sur la pointe: Fifth position croisé R foot front. Demiplié on the upbeat, raising the R foot sur le cou-de-pied devant and turning the body effacé. Relevé on the L pointe, opening the R leg effacé devant at 45 degrees. Lower the L heel in fondu, bringing the R foot sur le cou-de-pied devant. Continue on the same foot, traveling forward on each relevé.

Ballotté:

[ba-law-TAY]. Tossed. This step consists of coupé dessous and coupé dessus performed in a series with a rocking, swinging movement. The step may be performed with straight knees at 45 degrees or with développés at 90 degrees. The direction of the body is effacé with the body inclining backward or forward with each change of weight. In the Russian School, ballotté is performed traveling forward on ballotté en avant and backward on ballotté en arrière to the place from which the first jump began. In the French School and the Cecchetti method, ballotté is performed on one spot.

Ballotté en arrière (Cecchetti method):

[ba-law-TAY ah na-RYEHR]. Ballotté backward. At the finish of ballotté en avant (q.v.) the R leg is raised in effacé devant. The movement is then reversed by springing off the L foot, drawing the legs up with the feet in the fifth position and landing on the R foot with a fondu in the place vacated by the L foot while the L leg does a développé à la quatrième derrière in effacé, body leaning forward.

Ballotté en avant (Cecchetti method):

[ba-law-TAY ah na-VAHN]. Ballotté forward. Fourth position L foot back, pointe tendue. Raise the L foot slightly off the ground; demi-plié on the R foot; spring into the air, bending the knees and drawing the feet up into the fifth position with toes well pointed. Come to the ground on the L foot with a fondu in the place vacated by the R foot and développé the R leg à la quatrième devant, body effacé and leaning backward.

Barre:

[bar]. The horizontal wooden bar fastened to the walls of the ballet classroom or rehearsal hall which the dancer holds for support. Every ballet class begins with exercises at the bar.

Bas, en:

[ahn bah]. Low. Used to indicate a low position of the arms. As, for example, in fifth position en bas, Cecchetti method.

Battement:

[bat-MAHN]. Beating. A beating action of the extended or bent leg. There are two types of battements, grands battements and petits battements. The petis battements are: Battements tendus, dégagés, frappés and tendus relevés: stretched, disengaged, struck and stretched-and-lifted.

Battement, grand:

[grahn bat-MAHN]. 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. To execute a grand battement à la quatrième devant start in the fifth position R foot front. In one sweeping movement, slide the R foot to the fourth position front (fourth position croisé), pointe tendue, raise the foot to the fourth position front en l’air, lower the foot to the fourth position pointe tendue and slide the foot back to the fifth position front. Battements à la seconde and à la quatrième derrière are done in the same manner. In the execution of grands battements à la seconde the working leg closes alternately in the fifth position front and back.

Battement, petit:

[puh-TEE bat-MAHN]. Small battement. This is another term for a battement tendu. It is also a term for any small beating action of the foot or leg.

Battement arrondi:

[bat-MAHN a-rawn-DEE]. Battement rounded. A term of the French School. The toes of the working foot describe a semicircle in the air on an oblique plane at 45 degrees, either en dedans or en dehors. For en dehors, extend the working leg forward and carry it around to the back and finish in the fifth position. For en dedans, reverse the movement.

Battement arrondi, grand:

[grahn bat-MAHN a-rawn-DEE]. Large battement rounded. A term of the French School. This is a grand battement circled from the fifth position to the fifth position passing through all the open positions in the air at 90 degrees. The highest point of the battement is reached when the leg passes through the second position in the air. The battement is performed either en dedans or en dehors. Also known as “grand battement en rond.”

Battement arrondi en dedans, grand:

[grahn bat-MAHN a-rawn-DEE ahn duh-DAHN]. Large battement rounded inward. The working foot starts in the fifth position back and in one sweeping movement passes through the positions à la quatrième derrière en l’air, à la seconde en l’air, à la quatrième devant en l’air, and closes in the fifth position front.

Battement arrondi en dehors, grand:

[grahn bat-MAHN a-rawn-DEE ahn duh-AWR]. Large battement rounded outward. In this battement the working foot starts in the fifth position front and in one sweeping movement passes through the positions à la quatrième devant en l’air, à la seconde en l’air, à la quatrième derrière en l’air, and closes in the fifth position back.

Battement battu:

[bat-MAHN ba-TEW]. Battement beaten. The R foot is placed in the position sur le cou-de-pied devant or derrière and the R toe beats against the L ankle with a series of quick little taps, using the lower part of the leg from the knee down. Battements battus are performed as an exercise at the barre on the point or demi-pointe. They are also performed by the danseuse on point supported by her partner.

Battement dégagé:

[bat-MAHN day-ga-ZHAY]. Disengaged battement. A term of the Cecchetti method. The battement dégagé is similar to the battement tendu but is done at twice the speed and the working foot rises
about four inches from the floor with a well-pointed toe, then slides back into the the first or fifth position. Battements dégagés strengthen the toes, develop the instep and improve the flexibility of the ankle joint. Same as battement tendu jeté (Russian School), battement glissé (French School).

Battement développé:

[bat-MAHN dayv-law-PAY]. Battement developed. From the fifth position the working foot glides up to the retiré position and forcefully opens in the required direction. On reaching the extreme point the leg is lowered into the fifth position. This exercise is usually done en croix.

Battement développé tombé:

[bat-MAHN dayv-law-PAY tawn-BAY]. Battement developed and falling down. This battement is done as an exercise at the bar or in the center adagio. It is done en avant, en arrière and de côté in the directions croisé, effacé and écarté. Fifth position R foot front; développé the R leg to the fourth position front, rising on the L demi-pointe: fall forward into a deep lunge on the R leg with the L leg extended back on the floor pointe tendue; transfer the weight back to the L foot and repeat the exercise in the desired direction.

Battement divisé en quarts:

[bat-MAHN dee-vee-ZAY ahn kar]. Battements divided in quarters. A term of the Russian School for an exercise of the centre practice.

Battement en cloche, grand:

[grahn bat-MAHN ahn klawsh]. Large battement like a bell. A term of the French School and the Cecchetti method. Grands battements en cloche are continuous grands battements executed from the fourth position front or back en l’air to the fourth position back or front en l’air, passing through the first position. Same as grand battement jeté balancé, but the body remains upright as the leg swings.

Battement en cloche, petit:

[puh-TEE bat-MAHN ahn klawsh]. Small battement like a bell. Same as battement tendu jeté balancé.

Battement en croix, grand:

[grahn bat-MAHN ahn krwah]. Large battement in the form of a cross. First a grand battement is done en quatrième devant, followed by a grand battement à la seconde closing in the fifth position back. Then a grand battement à la quatrième derrière, followed by a grand battement à la seconde closing in the fifth position front.

Battement en rond, grand:

[grahn bat-MAHN ahn rawn]. Same as grand battement arrondi.

Battement fini piqué, grand:

[grahn bat-MAHN fee-NEE pee-KAY]. Large battement finished in piqué. A term of the French School. This battement begins with a grand battement but the foot does not return to the fifth position. The extended leg is lowered to the floor pointe tendue in either the second or fourth position. The foot is raised from this position and continues the movement, returning to the fifth position at the completion of the last battement. Also called “grand battement jeté pointé.”

Battement fondu:

[bat-MAHN fawn-DEW]. Battement, sinking down. This is an exercise in which the supporting leg is slowly bent in fondu with the working foot pointing on the ankle. As the supporting leg is straightened, the working leg unfolds and is extended to point on the floor or in the air. The movement is done devant, derrière and à la seconde. In fondu forward, the conditional position sur le cou-de-pied devant is used. In fondu back, the basic position sur le cou-de-pied derrière is used.

Battement fondu, double:

[DOO-bluh bat-MAHN fawn-DEW]. Double battement fondu. A term of the Russian School. The step consists of two fondus. The first fondu and relevé is taken with the working foot sur le coude-pied, then the working leg stretches in the given direction at 45 or 90 degrees while the supporting leg bends in demi-plié and straightens with a rise to the demi-pointe.

Battement fondu développé:

[bat-MAHN fawn-DEW dayv-law-PAY]. Battement fondu developed. This is performed in the same manner as battement fondu simple (q.v). As the supporting leg straightens, the working leg does a développé at either 45 or 90 degrees. If the développé is at 45 degrees, the working leg opens from sur le cou-de-pied. If the développé is at 90 degrees, the working leg is brought from sur le cou-de-pied to retiré, then opens in the desired direction as the supporting knee straightens. The leg moves evenly until reaching the angle of 45 or 90 degrees and is sustained momentarily in the extended position before slowly returning to sur le coude-pied as the supporting leg executes a demi-plié.

Battement fondu développé relevé:

[bat-MAHN fawn-DEW dayv-law-PAY ruhl-VAY]. Battement fondu developed and raised. This is performed in the same manner as battement fondu développé. As the supporting leg straightens, the dancer rises to the demi-pointe and performs a développé at 45 or 90 degrees.

Battement fondu simple:

[bat-MAHN fawn-DEW SEN-pluh]. Simple battement fondu. From the fifth position the R foot moves to sur le cou-depied devant while the L leg does a demi-plié, then the R leg opens forward with a small développé to the fourth position front, pointing the toe on the ground as the L leg straightens. The R foot returns to sur le cou-de-pied and the movement is repeated to the second position and to the fourth position back. In the latter case, the foot passes sur le cou-de-pied derrière. The knee is not raised and the leg is not lifted in battement fondu simple.

Battement fouetté:

[bat-MAHN fweh-TAY]. Whipped battement. From the second position en l’air, the working foot is swept across the floor so that the pointed toes strike the floor, finishing in a pointed position in front or back of the ankle of the supporting leg.

Battement frappé:

[bat-MAHN fra-PAY]. Struck battement. An exercise in which the dancer forcefully extends the working leg from a cou-de-pied position to the front, side or back. This exercise strengthens the toes and insteps and develops the power of elevation. It is the basis of the allégro step, the jeté.

Battement frappé (Cecchetti method):

[bat-MAHN fra-PAY]. The working foot is placed sur le cou-de-pied devant with the knee bent, all five toes resting on the floor sur la demi-pointe, and the face of the heel touching the supporting leg just above the ankle joint. With a strong movement from the knee, the foot is thrust out to the second position, striking the ball of the foot on the floor and rising several inches off the floor in a strong point. The foot is then returned to the original position sur le cou-de-pied, sliding behind the supporting leg without striking the ground. The movement is repeated alternately devant and derrière with the strong accent in the second position. Battement frappé may also be executed to the fourth position devant or derrière. It is also performed with the supporting leg sur la demi-pointe.

Battement frappé (French School):

[bat-MAHN fra-PAY]. From the second position pointe tendue, the working foot beats the supporting leg sur le coude-pied devant or derrière in the wrapped position.

Battement frappé (Russian School):

[bat-MAHN fra-PAY]. The movement starts with the working foot pointed in the second position. The working foot beats the supporting leg sur le cou-de-pied devant in either the wrapped or pointed position. Then, with a strong movement from the knee, the foot is
thrust out to the second position, with the toe pointed. The foot then returns sur le cou-de-pied derrière. The movement is repeated alternately with the strong accent in the second position. Battement frappé may also be executed en croix. It is also performed with the supporting leg sur la demi-pointe.

Battement frappé double:

[bat-MAHN fra-PAY DOO-bluh]. Double battement struck. This is similar to the battement frappé, except that the foot beats sur le cou-de-pied devant and then passes sur le cou-de-pied derrière before being extended in the first battement frappé. The next beating will be sur le cou-de-pied derrière and then sur le cou-de-pied devant before the extension in the second position. Battements frappés doubles are usually done immediately after a series of battements frappés.

Battement frappé pointé:

[bat-MAHN fra-PAY pwen-TAY]. Battement struck and pointed. The movement starts in the second position with the working foot pointe tendue. The working foot beats the supporting leg sur le cou-depied devant, then is extended to the second position pointe tendu à terre. The foot returns sur le cou-de-pied derrière and the movement is repeated alternately with the strong accent in the pointed position. Battements frappés pointés may also be executed en croix. They may also be done with a relevé on the supporting leg. In this case, the supporting heel is lowered into a demiplié as the working foot points in the open position and is raised as the working foot beats sur le cou-de-pied.

Battement frappé pointé double:

[bat-MAHN fra-PAY pwen-TAY DOObluh]. Double battement struck and pointed. The working foot beats sur le cou-de-pied devant and derrière, or vice versa, before being extended in the open position pointe tendue à terre.

Battement glissé:

[bat-MAHN glee-SAY]. Battement glided or slipped. A term of the French School. Same as battement dégagé, battement tendu jeté.

Battement jeté, grand:

[grahn bat-MAHN zhuh-TAY]. Large battement thrown. A term of the Russian School for a grand battement.

Battement jeté balancé, grand:

[grahn bat-MAHN zhuh-TAY ba-lahn-SAY]. Large battement thrown and rocked. A term of the Russian School. Grands battements jetés balancés are a series of grands battements executed with a continuous swinging movement through the first position to the fourth position front and back (or vice versa) to an angle of 90 degrees or more. As
the leg is thrown forcefully forward, the body leans backward; then, as the leg is thrown backward, the body leans forward.

Battement jeté balançoire, grand:

[grahn bat-MAHN zhuh-TAY ba-lahnSWAHR]. Large battement thrown and like a seesaw. A term of the Russian School. Same as battement jeté balancé, grand.

Battement jeté passé, grand:

[grahn bat-MAHN zhuh-TAY pa-SAY]. Large battement thrown and passed. A term of the Russian School. The working leg is thrown forward at 90 degrees or higher with the body inclining slightly backward. The leg then bends with the thigh well turned out to the side. The pointed toe, with heel well forward, passes the supporting knee and the body comes erect. The leg then extends backward at 90 degrees or higher with the body inclining forward; the leg is then lowered and the body straightens before the movement is repeated. The movement may also be reversed. This battement may be combined with other grands battements jetés or combined with ronds de jambe par terre.

Battement jeté piqué, grand:

[grahn bat-MAHN zhuh-TAY pee-KAY]. Large battement thrown and pricked. A term of the Russian School. Same as grand battement fini piqué.

Battement jeté pointé, grand:

[grahn bat-MAHN zhuh-TAY pwen-TAY]. Large battement thrown and pointed. A term of the Russian School. Same as grand battement fini piqué.

Battement piqué, petit:

[puh-TEE bat-MAHN pee-KAY]. Little pricked battement. Dégagé the working foot to the second or fourth position à terre, then lift the toe slightly. Lower the foot, striking the pointed toes on the floor, then immediately raise the foot and close to the fifth position.

Battement pointé à terre, grand:

[grahn bat-MAHN pwen-TAY a tehr]. Large battement pointed on the ground. A term of the French School. Same as grand battement fini piqué.

Battement raccourci:

[bat-MAHN ra-koor-SEE]. Battement shortened. A term of the French School. Same as battement retiré.

Battement raccourci or retiré, grand:

[grahn bat-MAHN ra-koor-SEE (or) ruh-tee-RAY]. Large battement shortened or withdrawn. The working leg executes a grand battement, then is immediately withdrawn to the knee with a
sharp movement and lowered to the first or fifth position. This battement may be executed devant, à la seconde or derrière.

Battement relevé lent:

[bat-MAHN ruhl-VAY lahn]. Battement raised slowly. A term of the Russian School. From the fifth position slide the foot to pointe tendue to either the fourth or second position and slowly raise the outstretched leg with strongly pointed toes to 45 or 90 degrees or higher. Slowly lower the leg to pointe tendue and close it to the fifth position. Battement relevé lent may be done in all directions.

Battement retiré:

[bat-MAHN ruh-tee-RAY]. Battement withdrawn or shortened. A term of the French School and the Cecchetti method. From the fifth position the working foot is lifted so that the toe is touching the hollow at the back of the knee of the supporting leg, and the thigh raised to the second position en l’air. With a staccato movement the foot is raised and lowered, alternating in the fifth position front and back, the accent being on the downward movement. This is a very useful exercise for warming up and is especially useful as a preparation for développés, helping to lift the thigh well up and to turn out.

Battement serré:

[bat-MAHN seh-RAY]. Battement tightened continuously. A term of the French School. Same as battement battu.

Battement soutenu:

[bat-MAHN soot-NEW]. Battement sustained. Fifth position R foot front. Fondu on the L leg, sliding the R foot (with straight knee) to the fourth position front, to the second position or to the fourth position back, pointe tendue. Straighten the L knee, closing the R foot in the fifth position. This exercise is usually executed en croix at the barre and may also be performed with a petit développé before the R foot points on the floor. The L leg then straightens and rises on the demi-pointe as the R leg is drawn to it and both legs join in the fifth position on the demi-pointes.

Battement soutenu, grand:

[grahn bat-MAHN soot-NEW]. Large battement sustained. From the fifth position the dancer does a grand battement forward, to the side or backward, simultaneously executing a demi-plié on the supporting leg. The supporting leg then straightens and the dancer rises on the demi-pointe as the working leg closes in the fifth position on demi-pointe. The movement is then repeated.

Battement sur le cou-de-pied, petit:

[puh-TEE bat-MAHN sewr luh koo-duh
PYAY]. Small battement on the ankle. This is an exercise at the bar in which the working foot is held sur le cou-de-pied and the lower part of the leg moves out and in, changing the foot from sur le cou-de-pied devant to sur le cou-de-pied derrière and vice versa. Petits battements are executed with the supporting foot à terre, sur la demi-pointe or sur la pointe.

Battement sur le cou-de-pied, petit (Cecchetti method):

[puh-TEE batMAHN sewr luh koo-duh-PYAY]. The foot is held so that the side of the heel is just above the ankle bone of the supporting leg with all five toes on the floor as in the position sur la demi-pointe. In this position the foot is passed from sur le cou-de-pied devant to sur le cou-de-pied derrière with an action of the lower leg working from the knee as a stationary pivot. When the supporting foot is raised sur la demi-pointe, the toes of the working foot are forced downward.

Battement sur le cou-de-pied, petit (Russian School):

[puh-TEE bat-MAHN sewr luh koo-duh-PYAY]. The working foot is wrapped around the ankle of the supporting leg with the heel well forward and the toes pressed down and back.

Battement sur le talon, petit:

[puh-TEE bat-MAHN sewr luh ta-LAWN]. Small battement on the heel. Same as battement battu.

Battement tendu:

[bat-MAHN tahn-DEW]. Battement stretched. A battement tendu is the commencing portion and ending portion of a grand battement and is an exercise to force the insteps well outward. The working foot slides from the first or fifth position to the second or fourth position without lifting the toe from the ground. Both knees must be kept straight. When the foot reaches the position pointe tendue, it then returns to the first or fifth position. Battements tendus may also be done with a demi-plié in the first or fifth position. They should be practiced en croix.

Battement tendu, double:

[DOO-bluh bat-MAHN tahn-DEW]. Double battement stretched. A term of the Russian School. Same as battement tendu relevé.

Battement tendu jeté:

[bat-MAHN tahn-DEW zhuh-TAY]. Battement stretched and thrown. A term of the Russian School. Same as battement dégagé.

Battement tendu jeté balancé:

[bat-MAHN tahn-DEW zhuh-TAY ba-lahn
SAY]. Battement stretched, thrown and rocked. A term of the Russian School. Battements tendus jetés balancés are a series of battements jetés in which the working leg sweeps forward and backward with a continuous movement through the first position at 25 degrees.

Battement tendu jeté balançoire:

[bat-MAHN tahn-DEW zhuh-TAY ba-lahnSWAHR]. Battement stretched and thrown like a seesaw. Same as battement tendu jeté balancé.

Battement tendu jeté en cloche:

[bat-MAHN tahn-DEW zhuh-TAY ahn klawsh]. Battement stretched and thrown like a bell. Same as battement tendu jeté balancé.

Battement tendu jeté pointé:

[bat-MAHN tahn-DEW zhuh-TAY pwen-TAY]. Battement stretched, thrown and pointed. A term of the Russian School. Dégagé the working foot to the second or fourth position à terre, then lift the toe slightly and lower to the floor one or more times. The foot is then closed to the fifth position.

Battement tendu pour batterie:

[bat-MAHN tahn-DEW poor bat-REE]. Battement stretched for beaten steps. This type of battement tendu is an exercise done at the bar in preparation for the study of beats. The dancer transfers the working leg in front and in back of the supporting leg to a height of 45 degrees to the second position. Fifth position R foot front. Open the R leg to the second position with strongly pointed toes and stretched instep; immediately lower the R leg to the fifth position front, striking the calves and allowing the foot to flex with the R heel well forward. The leg rebounds slightly to the side with flexed foot, then beats the left calf in the back before being thrown to the second position with pointed toes and stretched instep. The movement is then reversed. The accent of the movement is in the strong rebound of the leg to second position at 45 degrees. The number of transfers depends on the step for which this exercise serves as a preparation. For assemblé battu, one transfer is made; for entrechat, two or more are necessary.

Battement tendu relevé:

[bat-MAHN tahn-DEW ruhl-VAY]. Battement stretched and raised. A term of the Cecchetti method. An exercise to develop the insteps. It is usually taken in the second position but may also be done to the fourth position. Fifth position R foot front. Dégagé the R foot to the second position, lower the R heel to the ground, re-arch the R foot to the pointe tendue position, close the R foot to the fifth position back. After the next dégagé the working foot will close in the front. Same as battement tendu, double (Russian School).

Batterie:

[bat-REE]. The French technical term for beaten steps. A collective term meaning the entire vocabulary of beats. Any movement in which the legs beat together or one leg beats against the other, the actual beating being done with the calves. Both legs must be equally well extended during a beat. Never beat with one leg while the other is in a passive state. Batterie is divided into grande batterie and petite batterie, according as the elevation is large or small.

Batterie, grande:

[grahnd bat-REE]. Large beating steps. Comprises all the beaten steps requiring elevation, cabriole, grand jeté dessus en tournant battu, entrechat de volée, and so on.

Batterie, petite:

[puh-TEET bat-REE]. Small beating steps. Comprises all the small beaten steps which do not require much elevation but must be performed with rapidity and brilliance of execution. Much of the work is done by the insteps and the beats should be clean and well crossed. All brisés, jetés battus, entrechats trois, quatre and cinq, changements, and so on, are examples of petite batterie.

Battu:

[ba-TEW]. Beaten. Any step embellished with a beat is called a pas battu. As, for example, in assemblé battu.

Beats:

The dancer executes a beat during a jump by striking the calves sharply together. There are three classifications of beats: pas battus, entrechats and brisés.

Bras, à deux:

[a duh brah]. With two arms. This is an extended position of the arms with the palms down. Both arms are extended forward with the back arm held higher than the front arm.

Bras, demi:

[duh-mee-BRAH]. Half arms. A halfway position of the arms. The arms are extended forward at half the height and half the width of the second position, with the hands open and palms slightly forward as if asking
for something.

Bras, positions des:

[paw-zee-SYAWN day brah]. Positions of the arms. Although the positions of the feet are standard in all methods, the positions of the arms are not, each method having its own set of arm positions. The Cecchetti method has five standard positions with a derivative of the fourth position and two derivatives of the fifth position. The French School has a preparatory position and five standard positions. These positions are used in some Russian schools. The Russian School (Vaganova) has a preparatory position and three standard positions of the arms.

Bras au repos:

[brah zoh ruh-POH]. Arms at ease. A preparatory position of the arms used in the French School. The arms are slightly rounded and held at the sides with the fingertips just touching the thighs. Corresponds to the first position, Cecchetti method.

Bras bas:

[brah bah]. Arms low or down. This is the dancer’s “attention.” The arms form a circle with the palms facing each other and the back edge of the hands resting on the thighs. The arms should hang quite loosely but not allowing the elbows to touch the sides. This position corresponds to the fifth position en bas, Cecchetti method.

Bras croisé:

[brah krwah-ZAY]. This position of the arms corresponds to the fourth position en avant, Cecchetti method. One arm is brought up to the gateway, while the other is taken out to the side. The head is turned so that the dancer looks over the shoulder of the croisé arm.

Bras en attitude:

[brah zah na-tee-TEWD]. Arms held as in attitude.

Bras en couronne:

[brah zahn koo-RAWN]. Arms in the shape of a crown. A position in which the arms are rounded above the head. A term of the French School. Corresponds to the fifth position en haut, Cecchetti method.

Bras en lyre:

[brah zahn leer]. Arms in the shape of a lyre. A term of the French School. In this modification of the fifth arm position, one hand is held above the other so that the arms resemble the shape of a lyre

Brisé:

[bree-ZAY]. Broken, breaking. A small beating step in which the movement is broken. Brisés are commenced on one or two feet and end on one or two feet. They are done dessus, dessous, en avant and en arrière. Fundamentally a brisé is an assemblé beaten and traveled. The working leg brushes from the fifth position to the second position so that the point of the foot is a few inches off the ground, and beats in front of or behind the other leg, which has come to meet it; then both feet return to the ground simultaneously in demi-plié in the fifth position.

Brisé dessous:

[bree-ZAY duh-SOO]. Brisé under. Fifth position R foot front. Demi-plié and slide the R foot with a sweeping movement a little farther back than the second position so that the point is a few inches off the ground. Spring upward and sideways off the L foot, throwing it toward the R and beating the calves together with the R leg in back. The landing is made in demi-plié in the fifth position R foot in front. Brisé dessous can best be described as an assemblé devant traveled to the side and beaten.

Brisé dessus:

[bree-ZAY duh-SEW]. Brisé over. Fifth position R foot back. Demi-plié and slide the R foot with a sweeping movement a little farther forward than the second position so that the point is a few inches off the ground. Spring upward and sideways off the L foot, throwing it toward the R and beating the calves together with the R leg in the front. The landing is made in demi-plié in the fifth position R foot back. Brisé dessus can best be described as an assemblé derrière traveled to the side and beaten.

Brisé dessus-dessous:

[bree-ZAY duh-SEW-duh-SOO]. Brisé over-under. In the Russian and French Schools, brisé dessus is a brisé forward that finishes on one leg; brisé dessous is a brisé backward that finishes on one leg. Same as brisé volé en avant and brisé volé en arrière.

Brisé en arrière:

[bree-ZAY ah na-RYEHR]. Brisé backward. This brisé is commenced with the back foot, which beats in the back and closes in the front. Brisé en arrière can best be described as an assemblé dessus traveled backward and beaten.

Brisé en avant:

[bree-ZAY ah na-VAHN]. Brisé forward. This brisé is commenced with the front foot, which beats in the front and closes in the back. Brisé en avant can best be described as an assemblé dessous traveled forward and beaten.

Brisé en tournant:

[bree-ZAY ahn toor-NAHN]. Brisé, turning. This is a series of four brisés done with a quarter-turn on each brisé. If the turn is made turning to the side of the front foot, the turn is en dedans; if the turn is made turning to the side of the rear foot, the turn is en dehors.

Brisé télémaque:

[bree-ZAY tay-lay-MAK]. This is an enchaînement of petite batterie of the French School composed by a dancer named Télémaque. It was originally done in 3/4 (mazurka) time, but another variation exists in 4/4 time. Many versions of brisé télémaque exist today.

Brisé télémaque in 3/4 (mazurka) time:

[bree-ZAY tay-lay-MAK]. Traveling diagonally to the right, brisé dessus R, changement battu (royale), entrechat trois derrière R; traveling straight back, brisé en arrière R, changement battu (royale), entrechat trois derrière L. The enchaînement is then repeated to the other side.

Brisé télémaque in 4/4 time [bree-ZAY tay-lay-MAK]. Traveling diagonally forward toward corner 1, brisé dessus R, two changements battus (royale), entrechat cinq derrière R; traveling straight back, brisé en arrière R, two changements battus (royale), entrechat cinq derrière L. The enchaînement is then repeated to the other side.

Brisé télémaque in 4/4 time:

[bree-ZAY tay-lay-MAK]. Traveling diagonally forward toward corner 1, brisé dessus R, two changements battus (royale), entrechat cinq derrière R; traveling straight back, brisé en arrière R, two changements battus (royale), entrechat cinq derrière L. The enchaînement is then repeated to the other side.

Brisé volé:

[bree-ZAY vaw-LAY]. Flying brisé. In this brisé the dancer finishes on one foot after the beat, the other leg crossed either front or back. The foundation of this step is a fouetté movement with a jeté battu. In the Russian and French Schools the raised leg finishes sur le cou-de-pied devant or derrière and the brisé volé is done like a jeté battu. In the Cecchetti method, the working foot passes through the first position to the fourth position, the calves are beaten together and on alighting the free leg is extended forward or back with a straight knee.

Brisé volé en arrière:

[bree-ZAY vaw-LAY ah na-RYEHR]. Brisé flying backward. A term of the Cecchetti method. After executing brisé volé en avant, sweep the L foot backward through the first position to the fourth position back (effacé) so that the pointed toe is raised a few inches off the floor. Spring upward and slightly backward, beating the calves together, R leg front. Land on the L foot in demi-plié with the R leg extended to the fourth position (croisé) back, the R toe pointed about a foot off the floor.

Brisé volé en avant:

[bree-ZAY vaw-LAY ah na-VAHN]. Brisé flying forward. A term of the Cecchetti method. Fifth position croisé, R foot back. Demi-plié and slide the R foot to the fourth position (effacé) front so that the pointed toe is raised a few inches off the floor. Spring upward and slightly forward, beating the calves together, R leg front. Land on the R foot in demi-plié with the L leg extended to the fourth position (croisé) front, the pointed L toe about a foot off the floor.

Cabriole:

[ka-bree-AWL]. 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, etc.

Cabriole, double:

[DOO-bluh ka-bree-AWL]. Double cabriole. This is a cabriole in which one leg strikes the other in the air two or more times before landing.

Cabriole, grande:

[grahnd ka-bree-AWL]. Big cabriole. A step of elevation with the leg thrust high into the air at 90 degrees.

Cabriole, petite:

[puh-TEET ka-bree-AWL]. Little cabriole. A small cabriole executed at 45 degrees with little elevation.

Cabriole à la seconde:

[ka-bree-AWL ah la suh-GAWND]. Cabriole to the second position. Cabriole à la seconde follows the same principle as for devant and derrière. The leg which opens to the side may be either the backward or forward one according to the preceding step.

Cabriole derrière:

[ka-bree-AWL deh-RYEHR]. Cabriole behind. This cabriole is done in either croisé or effacé, and follows the same technique as cabriole devant, but the back leg opens to the desired position and is therefore on top and is beaten from below by the supporting leg. The position of the body is en arabesque.

Cabriole devant:

[ka-bree-AWL duh-VAHN]. Cabriole in front. This cabriole may be done facing either croisé or effacé. The most widely used cabriole is the cabriole devant in effacé. Fifth position R foot front. Demi-plié and open the R leg forward in effacé. Leap upward off the L foot. While the body is in the air the L leg is drawn to the R and beats it with the calf, sending the R leg higher. The legs must be fully extended with the knees taut and the toes well pointed. The landing is made on the L foot in demi-plié. If the cabriole is ouverte the R leg remains in the air in effacé, but if the cabriole is fermée the R leg closes in demi-plié in the fifth position front. The leg may be raised à la hauteur or à la demi-hauteur according as the cabriole is grande or petite.

Cabriole fermée:

[ka-bree-AWL fehr-MAY]. Closed cabriole. In the cabriole fermée the working leg is closed to the fifth position.

Cabriole fouettée, grande:

[grahnd ka-bree-AWL fweh-TAY]. Big cabriole whipped. This is a cabriole devant in effacé finishing en arabesque.

Cabriole italienne:

[ka-bree-AWL ee-ta-LYEN]. Italian cabriole. This is a variation of the cabriole fouettée in which the beat occurs after the body has turned into the arabesque position.

Cabriole ouverte:

[ka-bree-AWL oo-VEHRT]. Open cabriole. If the cabriole is ouverte, the working leg is held in the air in the desired pose, such as arabesque, effacé devant, croisé devant and so on.

Cadre:

[KA-druh]. Framework or division. A term of the French School. Refers to the divisions in the Paris Opéra Ballet.

Cambré:

[kahn-BRAY]. Arched. The body is bent from the waist, backward or sideways, the head following the movement of the body.

Cambré renversé:

[kahn-BRAY rahn-vehr-SAY]. Renversé arched or tilted. A term of the French School. Same as pas de bourrée renversé.

Cecchetti, Enrico:

[en-REE-koh cheh-KET-tee]. This Italian dancer and ballet master (1850–1928) was born in Rome, son of Cesare Cecchetti and Serafina Casagli. He studied with Giovanni Lepri, who was a pupil of the great Carlo Blasis and made his debut at La Scala, Milan, in 1870. He toured Europe as a premier danseur and made his debut at the Maryinski Theatre, St. Petersburg, in 1887. He accepted the position of second ballet master at the Maryinski Theatre in 1890 and two years later became an instructor at the Imperial School. His pupils included Pavlova, Nijinsky, Karsavina, Fokine, Preobrajenska, Kchessinska, and Egorova. In 1902 he left for Warsaw, where he became director of the Imperial School, and in 1905 returned to Italy. Returning to Russia, he opened a private school and later became the private tutor of Anna Pavlova, touring the world with her. From 1909 to 1918 he was the official instructor to the Diaghilev Ballet Company. From 1918 until 1923 he had a private school in London. He then returned to Italy and became ballet master at La Scala in 1925. He devoted the rest of his life to teaching and perfecting his teaching methods.

Cecchetti method:

Enrico Cecchetti, one of the world’s outstanding teachers of ballet, established a system of passing on the tradition of ballet to future generations of dancers. This system, the Cecchetti method, was codified and recorded by Cyril Beaumont, Stanislas Idzikowski, Margaret Craske and Derra de Moroda. The method has a definite program of strict routine and includes a table of principal set daily exercises for each day of the week. The Cecchetti Society was formed in London in 1922 to perpetuate his method of teaching. In 1924 the Society was incorporated into the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing. Entrance to the Society is by examination and students must pass through a carefully graded system which has done much to raise the standard of dancing and teaching throughout the British Empire.

Centre practice:

Centre practice, or exercices au milieu, is the name given to a group of exercises similar to those à la barre but performed in the centre of the room without the support of the bar. These exercises are usually performed with alternate feet and are invaluable for obtaining good balance and control.

Chaînés:

[sheh-NAY]. Chains, links. This is an abbreviation of the term “tours chaînés déboulés”: a series of rapid turns on the points or demi-pointes done in a straight line or in a circle.

Chaînés papillon:

[sheh-NAY pa-pee-YAWN]. Chaînés like a butterfly. This is a series of chaînés with the arms held out to the side in the second position. As the R foot steps forward, the R arm is lowered and the L raised; then, as the second half of the turn is done on the L foot, the L arm is lowered and the R raised.

Changé, changée:

[shahn-ZHAY]. Changed. If the term changé is added to the name of a step, the feet have changed places during the step and the foot originally in front will have finished in the back or vice versa.

Changement battu:

[shahnzh-MAHN ba-TEW]. Changement beaten. Same as royale.

Changement de pieds:

[shahnzh-MAHN duh pyay]. Change of feet. The term is usually abbreviated to changement. Changements are springing steps in the fifth position, the dancer changing feet in the air and alighting in the fifth position with the opposite foot in the front. They are done petit and grand.

Changement de pieds, grand:

[grahn shahnzh-MAHN duh pyay]. Large change of feet. This changement requires a deeper demi-plié and a much stronger push from the floor in order to rise higher. The dancer should aim at remaining the shortest length of time on the ground and as long as possible in the air. In the Cecchetti method and the French School the knees are bent in the air and the feet drawn up so that the flat of the toes of both feet meet.

Changement de pieds, petit:

[puh-TEE shahnzh-MAHN duh pyay]. Little change of feet. Fifth position R foot front. Demi-plié and push from the floor, extending the toes and arching the feet in the air. On coming down, change the feet so that the L foot will be in the front. Land in the fifth position, first toes, then heels, and finish in demi-plié in the fifth position. For more advanced students there is another variation of petit changement. It is similar to the above but the feet do not leave the floor; the toes are touching the floor all the time as if the dancer were only rising on the toes. The movement is done very rapidly in a series without any pause or plié. This is an excellent exercise for the ankles and insteps and gives brilliancy and rapidity to the petite batterie.

Changement de pieds en tournant:

[shahnzh-MAHN duh pyay ahn toorNAHN]. Change of feet, turning. This step is done petit and grand with a quarter-turn on each changement. The turn is done at the moment of the jump and is always begun in the direction of the front foot. If the R foot is in front, the turn is to the right; if the L foot is in front, the turn is to the left. Grand changement en tournant may also be done with half-turns and full turns.

Changement de pieds sur les pointes:

[shahnzh-MAHN duh pyay sewr lay pwent]. Change of feet on the points. Changements are done on the points with a moderate jump, contracting the insteps slightly and with the muscles of the foot held taut. The jump is small but must be high enough to allow the knees, insteps and toes to be quickly stretched in the air. The step may be done in a series, in place, traveling in a diagonal or turning in place.

Changer, sans:

[sahn shahn-ZHAY]. Without change. Indicates that a step or series of steps is to be done with the feet remaining in the same relative position. As, for example, in échappés à la seconde sans changer. If the feet are in the fifth position R foot front, the R foot will close in the front on each échappé.

Chassé (Cecchetti method):

[sha-SAY]. In the Cecchetti method a chassé is a glide into an open position and is finished in demi-plié. This movement can be executed in all the directions, making seven chassés: (1) Fourth effacé en avant. (2) Fourth croisé en avant. (3) Seconde. (4) Fourth effacé en arrière. (5) Fourth croisé en arrière. (6) Passé en avant. (7) Passé en arrière. Fifth position R foot front. Demi-plié on both feet and, keeping the weight equally distributed, slide the R foot, keeping the knee bent, to the second or fourth position. Straighten the knees with the L foot pointe tendue. The step may be finished by holding the open position or closing the extended foot to the fifth position. In the execution of a chassé passé, the heel of the working foot must be fully raised until the foot is arched. A chassé passé en avant is a forward movement starting with the back foot and finishing in the fourth position front, while a chassé passé en arrière starts with the front foot and travels back into the fourth position.

Chassé en avant (French and Russian Schools):

[sha-SAY ah na-VAHN]. Fifth position R foot front. Demi-plié, spring into the air and alight in fondu with the R foot sur le cou-de-pied devant. Slide the R foot to the fourth position with the weight on the R foot. Draw the L foot to the R, springing into the air with the feet in the fifth position, toes extended. The L foot then lands in fondu, the R foot immediately slides out again and the movement is continued. For chassé en arrière, reverse the movement. Chassé de côté is done in the same manner, cutting under (behind) each time. Called “temps levé chassé” in the Cecchetti method.

Chassé en tournant:

[sha-SAY ahn toor-NAHN]. Chassé, turning. Execute a tour en l’air, land on the back foot and chassé en avant.

Choreographer, choregrapher:

This is the term applied to one who composes or invents ballets or dances.

Choreography, choregraphy:

This is a term used to describe the actual steps, groupings and patterns of a ballet or dance composition.

Ciseaux:

[see-ZOH]. Scissors. This is a scissor-like movement made by opening the feet to a wide second position sur les pointes, or by jumping into the air and opening both legs to the second position en l’air.

Classical ballet:

(1) The traditional style of ballet, which stresses the academic technique developed through the centuries of the existence of ballet. (2) A ballet in which the style and structure adhere to the definite framework established in the nineteenth century. Examples of classical ballets are Coppélia, The Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker and SwanLake.7

Classical walk:

This is a slow, dignified walk done by the ballerina and danseur noble at their entrance and during the adage of a grand pas de deux. As the pointed toe stretches forward it reaches the ground first, then the heel is lowered so that the foot is slightly turned out in the fourth position. The moment the heel touches the ground, the weight is transferred forward, then the back knee bends and with a small développé the back foot steps forward to repeat the step.

Cloche, en:

[ahn klawsh]. Like a bell. Refers to grands battements executed continuously devant and derrière through the first position.

Coda:

(1) The finale of a classical ballet in which all the principal dancers appear separately or with their partners. (2) The final dance of the classic pas de deux, pas de trois or pas de quatre.

Collé:

[kaw-LAY]. Adhering, glued. Both legs are kept tightly together in midair in a jump.

Compound step:

A step made up of two or more steps or portions of steps
under one name. Examples are ballonné composé (made up of ballonné simple, chassé movement and fermé); sissonne doublée (made up of sissonne ouverte, coupé and assemblé).

Conditional position:

A term of the Russian School. It refers to a position sur le cou-de-pied in which the foot is pointed on the ankle.

Contretemps:

[kawn-truh-TAHN]. Beating against time. A term of the Cecchetti method and the French School. This is a compound step consisting of a coupé dessous, chassé effacé en avant, fermé, temps levé and chassé passé croisé en avant. It is executed quickly and prior to the beat of the music. It is a very useful step for traveling to the side. Fourth position L foot back and pointe tendue. Raise the L foot slightly off the ground, spring off the R foot and jump forward on the L foot—bending the knee—so that the L foot falls in a short fourth position front. Bring the R foot sur le cou-de-pied devant and immediately slide it—bending the knee—to the second or fourth position, transferring the weight to it. Close the L foot to the fifth position back, keeping the knees bent. Finish with a demi-contretemps.

Contretemps, demi:

[duh-MEE-kawn-truh-TAHN]. Half-beating against time. A term of the Cecchetti method and the French School. Demicontretemps is the second half of the full contretemps and is used mostly as a preparatory step. It is composed of a temps levé and a chassé passé croisé en avant. Fifth position R foot front. Spring upward off the R foot and bring the L foot sur le cou-de-pied derrière. Come to the ground on the R foot in demiplié and slide the L foot forward with a chassé passé croisé en avant. Demicontretemps may also be executed from the fourth position, L foot back, pointe tendue.

Corps de ballet:

[kawr duh ba-LAY]. The dancers in a ballet who do not appear as soloists.

Corps de face:

[kawr duh fahss]. Body facing front.

Corps penché de côté:

[kawr pahn-SHAY duh koh-TAY]. Body bending to the side.

Corps penché en arrière:

[kawr pahn-SHAY ah na-RYEHR]. Body bending backward.

Corps penché en avant:

[kawr pahn-SHAY ah na-VAHN]. Body bending forward.

Coryphée:

[kaw-ree-FAY]. Leader. A leading member of the corps de ballet. One of the grades in the cadre of the Paris Opéra.

Côté, de:

[duh koh-TAY]. Sideways. Used to indicate that a step is to be made to the side, either to the right or to the left.

Côté cour:

[koh-TAY koor]. “Court side,” a stage direction. In French theaters this is the dancer’s left-hand side of the stage or the public’s right.

Côté jardin:

[koh-TAY zhar-DEN]. “Garden side,” a stage direction. In French theaters this is the dancer’s right-hand side of the stage or the public’s left.

Cou-de-pied:

[koo-duh-PYAY]. “Neck” of the foot. The part of the foot between the ankle and the base of the calf is termed the cou-de-pied.

Cou-de-pied, sur le:

[sewr luh koo-duh-PYAY]. On the cou-de-pied. The working foot is placed on the part of the leg between the base of the calf and the beginning of the ankle.

Cou-de-pied, sur le (Cecchetti method):

[sewr luh koo-duh-PYAY]. In the Cecchetti method, sur le cou-de-pied devant is the position of the working foot placed with the outside face of the heel in front of the supporting foot just above the ankle bone with all five toes resting on the floor sur la demipointe. Sur le cou-de-pied derrière is the same position with the inside face of the heel placed behind the supporting foot just above the ankle joint.

Cou-de-pied, sur le (Russian School):

[sewr luh koo-duh-PYAY]. In the Russian School there are two positions sur le cou-de-pied devant: the wrapped or basic position and the pointed or conditional position. There is one basic position sur le cou-de-pied derrière. The foot is completely stretched in all positions.

  • 1. Sur le cou-de-pied devant in the wrapped or basic position is the position of one foot placed between the ankle and base of the supporting leg just under the calf muscle. The sole, with instep stretched and toes pointed, encircles the ankle so that the pointed toes are behind the heel of the supporting foot. This position is used for petits battements sur le cou-de-pied and battements frappés.
  • 2. In sur le cou-de-pied devant in the pointed or conditional position, the
    pointed foot is placed so that the side of the small toe touches the supporting leg above the ankle joint. This position is used for battements fondus, battements soutenus, sissonne simple, développés, etc. There is also a high conditional position in which the pointed toe is placed halfway up the shin bone (this is used for pirouettes) and a low conditional position with the small toe of the working foot touching the edge of the slipper of the supporting foot. The low conditional position is always done on point or demi-pointe and is used for battements battus.
  • 3. In the basic position sur le cou-de-pied derrière, the inside face of the heel is pressed against the supporting leg just below the base of the calf muscle with the foot completely stretched and the toes pointing downward.

Coupé:

[koo-PAY]. Cut, cutting. A small intermediary step done as a preparation or impetus for some other step. It takes its name from the fact that one foot cuts the other away and takes its place. Coupé may also be done in a series from one foot to the other. It may be performed sauté or as a terre à terre step, croisé or effacé.

Coupé brisé:

[koo-PAY bree-ZAY]. Also termed coupé jeté. A compound step consisting of coupé dessous and jeté battu dessus. After the coupé dessous the working leg is taken around to the back for the jeté battu dessus. The beat should be done with both legs behind, not under the body.

Coupé-chassé-coupé-jeté en tournant:

[koo-PAY-sha-SAY-koo-PAY-zhuhTAY ahn toor-NAHN]. A compound step consisting of a coupé dessous with about three-quarters of a turn en dehors, chassé en avant completing the turn, coupé dessous making a half-turn, and a grand jeté en avant completing the turn. This step is usually executed in a series en manège.

Coupé-chassé en tournant:

[koo-PAY-sha-SAY ahn toor-NAHN]. A compound step consisting of a coupé dessous with a half-turn and a chassé en avant with a half-turn. A favorite finishing step from the Cecchetti method. This step should be done at a fast speed and with the body leaning at an angle.

Coupé dessous:

[koo-PAY duh-SOO]. Coupé under. A coupé is said to be dessous or under when one foot cuts under the heel of the supporting foot.
Fourth position R foot back, pointe tendue. Demi-plié on the L foot, then with a spring draw the R foot toward the L foot and finish in fondu on the R foot in the place vacated by the L foot and with the L foot extended à la quatrième devant à terre or demi-hauteur, depending on the movement to follow. Coupé dessous may also be done beginning with the R foot sur le cou-de-pied derrière. Demi-plié on the L foot; spring into the air, extending the toes, and land on the R foot with the L foot sur le cou-de-pied devant. If the coupé is taken as a terre à terre step the dancer draws the R foot behind the L foot into the fifth position on the demi-pointes. Fondu on the R leg, raising the L foot sharply in front of the R ankle.

Coupé dessous en tournant:

[koo-PAY duh-SOO ahn toor-NAHN]. Coupé under, turning. Fourth position L foot back, pointe tendue à terre. Execute a demi-rond de jambe en dedans with the L foot, à la demi-hauteur. Spring onto the L foot, making a complete turn to the right. Land in demi-plié on the L foot with the R foot sur le cou-de-pied devant.

Coupé dessus:

[koo-PAY duh-SEW]. Coupé over. A coupé is said to be dessus or over when one foot cuts over the toe of the supporting foot. This is the reverse of the coupé dessous.

Coupé-fouetté raccourci:

[koo-PAY-fweh-TAY ra-koor-SEE]. This compound step consists of a coupé dessous, the foot that is cut away being whipped out to seconde en l’air, then whipped to the back of the supporting leg with a petit fouetté followed by a temps levé. The step can be done in two ways: low, with the toe brushing the ground and a small temps levé; or high, with the extension at hip level and a well-lifted temps levé.

Coupé jeté en tournant:

[koo-PAY zhuh-TAY ahn toor-NAHN]. A compound step consisting of a coupé dessous making a three-quarter turn and a grand jeté en avant to complete the turn. The step is usually done in a series either en manège or en diagonale.

Couronne, en:

[ahn koo-RAWN]. In the shape of a crown. A term of the French School for a position of the arms rounded above the head. As, for example, in the fifth position of the arms.

Couru:

[koo-REW]. Running. As, for example, in pas de bourrée couru.

Croisé, croisée:

[krwah-ZAY]. Crossed. One of the directions of épaulement.
The crossing of the legs with the body placed at an oblique angle to the audience. The disengaged leg may be crossed in the front or in the back.

Croisé derrière (Cecchetti method):

[krwah-ZAY deh-RYEHR]. Crossed in back. Croisé derrière is one of the eight directions of the body, Cecchetti method. In this position the dancer stands at an oblique angle to the audience, facing either one of the two front corners of the room. The leg farther from the audience is pointed in the fourth position back à terre or raised to the fourth position en l’air. The arms are placed en attitude, with the arm that is low being on the same side as the leg that is extended. The body and head incline toward the low arm, so that the dancer seems to be looking out toward the audience under the high arm.

Croisé derrière (Russian School):

[krwah-ZAY deh-RYEHR]. In the Russian School, croisé derrière is done with the same leg position as in the Cecchetti method. The torso is held erect and the arms are reversed so that the high arm is on the same side as the extended leg. The head is turned and inclined toward the low arm.

Croisé devant:

[krwah-ZAY duh-VAHN]. Crossed in front. Croisé devant is one of the eight directions of the body, Cecchetti method. In this position the dancer stands at an oblique angle to the audience, facing either one of the two front corners of the room. The leg nearer the audience is pointed in the fourth position front à terre or raised to the fourth position en l’air. The arms are placed en attitude, with the arm that is low being on the same side as the leg that is extended. The body and head are slightly inclined toward the low arm.

Croisé en arrière:

[krwah-ZAY ah na-RYEHR]. Crossed backward. A direction for the execution of a step. Used to indicate that a step beginning with the R foot is executed in a diagonal direction toward the left back corner of the stage or room. Similarly a step beginning with the L foot will be executed toward the right back corner of the room.

Croisé en avant:

[krwah-ZAY ah na-VAHN]. Crossed forward. A direction for the execution of a step. Used to indicate that a step beginning with the R foot is executed in a diagonal direction toward the left front corner of the stage or room. Similarly a step beginning with the L foot will be executed toward the right front corner of the room.

Croix, en:

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

Csárdás:

[CHAHR-dahsh]. The national dance of Hungary. It consists of two movements, lassú (slow) and friska (fast). It was first introduced in ballet as a character dance in the first act of Saint-Léon’s Coppélia in 1870.

Danse de caractère:

[dahnss duh ka-rak-TEHR]. Dance of character, character dance. Any national or folk dance, or a dance based on movements associated with a particular profession, trade, personality or mode of living.

Danse d’école:

[dahnss day-KAWL]. Dance of the school. The classical style.

Danseur, premier:

[pruh-MYAY dahn-SUHR]. First dancer. A leading male dancer of a company.

Danseur étoile, premier:

[pruh-MYAY dahn-SUHR ay-TWAHL]. First star dancer. The highest rank in the cadre of the Paris Opéra for a male dancer.

Danseur noble:

[dahn-SUHR NAW-bluh]. Noble dancer. A premier danseur excelling in the classical style.

Danseuse, première:

[pruh-MYEHR dahn-SUHZ]. First dancer. A leading female dancer in a company. The French term for a ballerina next in rank below première danseuse étoile.

Danseuse étoile, première:

[pruh-MYEHR dahn-SUHZ ay-TWAHL]. First star dancer. The highest rank in the cadre of the Paris Opéra for a female dancer.

Danseuse travestie:

[dahn-SUHZ tra-ves-TEE]. Disguised dancer. A female dancer dressed as a male and taking a male part. Except in Russia, this was a common practice from the 1840s until the beginning of the twentieth century. The custom in Western Europe was killed by the virile dancing of Nijinsky and other male dancers of the Diaghilev company.

Déboîté:

[day-bwah-TAY]. Disjointed. A term applied to an emboîté sur les pointes executed en arrière. Déboîtés travel backward, the front foot swishing out and closing at the back.

Déboulés:

[day-boo-LAY]. Rollings like a ball. A term of the French School for a series of demi-tours executed alternately on each foot, moving forward in a single direction. When turning to the right the first half-turn will be on the R foot; then the L foot steps forward and completes the turn. The feet are held very close together in the first position and the turns are done as quickly as possible. Déboulés are done on the points or demi-pointes.

Décor:

[day-KAWR]. Decoration. The scenery and properties used in a ballet.

Dedans, en:

[ahn duh-DAHN]. Inward. In steps and exercises the term en dedans indicates that the leg, in a position à terre or en l’air, moves in a circular direction, counterclockwise from back to front. As, for example, in rond de jambe à terre en dedans. In pirouettes the term indicates that a pirouette is made inward toward the supporting leg.

Défilé:

[day-fee-LAY]. This is a term used at the Paris Opéra for the appearance of the entire ballet company on the stage. On rare occasions the partition dividing the famous “Foyer de la Danse” from the back of the stage is removed for the défilé of dancers. The entire company, from the élèves to the étoiles, appears on the stage. The défilé of dancers is as follows: (1) Élèves (apprentice dancers; also known as “les petits rats”). (2) Premiers quadrilles, seconds quadrilles (corps de ballet). (3) Coryphées (leaders of the corps de ballet). (4) Grands sujets, petits sujets (soloists). (5) Premières danseuses (ballerinas). (6) Premières danseuses étoiles (prima ballerinas). Each “cadre” (framework or division) has its corresponding number of male dancers also.

Dégagé, or pas dégagé:

[day-ga-ZHAY (or) pah day-ga-ZHAY]. Disengaged or disengaging step. A dégagé is the pointing of the foot in an open position with a fully arched instep. It is not a transfer of weight. Dégagé is performed devant, à la seconde and derrière in all the directions of the body.

Dégagé à la quatrième devant en l’air (croisée) en tournant en dehors :

[day-ga-ZHAY a lah ka-tree-EM duh-VAHN ahn lehr (krwah-ZAY) ahn toorNAHN ahn duh-AWR]. Dégagé to the fourth position front in the air (crossed), turning outward. A term of the Cecchetti method. From the position croisé derrière en l’air, the dancer turns slowly en dehors on the flat of the foot, rotating the raised leg in the hip socket to the second position en l’air, then turns the body from the waist to finish in the position croisé devant
en l’air.

Dégagé à l’arabesque en tournant en dedans:

[day-ga-ZHAY a la-ra-BESK ahn toor-NAHN ahn duh-DAHN]. Dégagé with arabesque turning inward. A term of the Cecchetti method. The dancer stands in the position croisé devant en l’air and slowly turns en dedans on the flat of the foot, passing the raised leg to the second position en l’air, then turning the body from the waist and rotating the raised leg in the hip socket. The dancer finishes in the position croisé derrière en l’air.

Dégagé en l’air:

[day-ga-ZHAY ahn lehr]. Dégagé in the air. The raising of a leg à la demi-hauteur, devant, à la seconde or derrière.

Dégagé en tournant:

[day-ga-ZHAY ahn toor-NAHN]. Dégagé, turning. A term of the Cecchetti method for a rotation of the working leg on the axis of the hip joint, performed à terre or en l’air, en dedans or en dehors.

Dehors, en:

[ahn duh-AWR]. Outward. In steps and exercises the term en dehors indicates that the leg, in a position à terre or en l’air, moves in a circular direction, clockwise. As, for example, in rond de jambe à terre en dehors. In pirouettes the term indicates that a pirouette is made outward toward the working leg.

Demi-arabesque:

[duh-MEE-a-ra-BESK]. Half-arabesque. A term of the French School for an arabesque in which the free leg is raised at half-height.

Demi-caractère:

[duh-MEE-ka-rak-TEHR]. Semi-character. A demi-caractère dance is one having the form of character dancing but executed with steps based on the technique of classical ballet. A demi-caractère dancer is one suited to character or mime roles, not a strictly classical dancer.

Demi-hauteur:

[duh-MEE-oh-TUHR]. Half-height. A term of the French School for a position of the extended leg raised to a point midway between a position of the foot à terre and its equivalent en l’air. In other words, about knee height.

Demi-plié:

[duh-MEE-plee-AY]. Half-bend of the knees. All steps of elevation begin and end with a demi-plié.

Demi-pointes, sur les:

[sewr lay duh-mee-PWENT]. On the half-points. Indicates that the dancer is to stand high on the balls of the feet and under part of the toes. Also used in the singular, “sur la demi-pointe.”

Demi-position:

[duh-MEE-paw-zee-SYAWN]. Half-position. A term of the Cecchetti method for a position of the foot at a point midway between a position of the foot à terre and its equivalent en l’air.

Demi-seconde position:

[duh-MEE-suh-GAWND paw-zee-SYAWN]. Halfsecond position. A term of the Cecchetti method to indicate a position of the arms midway between the first and second positions. The hands are turned inward so that the thumbnails face the audience. This position is used in steps such as glissade devant, temps de cuisse and so on. In these steps the arms open from the fifth position en bas to the demi-seconde position and close again in the fifth position en bas. The demi-seconde position is also used in certain of the eight directions of the body, in which case the palm of the hand always faces front. As, for example, in croisé devant.

Derrière:

[deh-RYEHR]. Behind, back. This term may refer to a movement, step or placing of a limb in back of the body. In reference to a particular step (for example, glissade derrière), the addition of derrière implies that the working foot is closed at the back.

Descendant, en:

[ahn day-sahn-DAHN]. Coming down. A term of the French School to imply that the working leg passes from back to front so that the dancer moves downstage, or that a step travels in a forward direction.

Dessous:

[duh-SOO]. Under. Indicates that the working foot passes behind the supporting foot. As, for example, in assemblé dessous.

Dessus:

[duh-SEW]. Over. Indicates that the working foot passes in front of the supporting foot. As, for example, in assemblé dessus.

Détiré:

[day-tee-RAY]. Drawn out. A term of the French School for a drawing out or stretching of the leg at the bar. Fifth position R foot front. Raise the R leg in a high retiré devant and take the inward side of the heel of the R foot with the R hand. Demi-plié on the L leg and stretch the R leg and arm forward. Carry the stretched R leg to the second position as high as possible while straightening the L knee and still holding the heel. The exercise may also be done with the hand crossed under the raised leg so that the heel is held on the outward side.

Détourné:

[day-toor-NAY]. Turned aside. A détourné is a pivot turn on both points or demi-pointes. It is a complete turn toward the back foot and reverses the position of the feet.

Détourné, demi:

[duh-MEE-day-toor-NAY]. Half-détourné. This is a halfturn in which the dancer turns toward the back foot, bringing the back foot in the front, and lowering the heels on completing the half turn.

Détourné à terre:

[day-toor-NAY a tehr]. Turned aside on the ground. A term of the French School. From the fourth position croisé, L foot back and pointe tendue, the dancer turns to the left by little shifts of the R heel, making a demi-tour and finishing with the L leg pointe tendue, croisé devant.

Détourné en l’air:

[day-toor-NAY ahn lehr]. Turned aside in the air. A term of the French School. This is a movement of adagio. From a pose in arabesque croisée, the dancer turns en dehors by small shifts of the heel while rotating the raised leg in the hip socket and finishing in the pose croisé devant.

Devant:

[duh-VAHN]. In front. This term may refer to a step, movement or the placing of a limb in front of the body. In reference to a particular step (for example, jeté devant), the addition of the word “devant” implies that the working foot is closed in the front.

Développé, temps:

[tahn dayv-law-PAY]. Time developed, developing
movement. Through common usage the term has become abridged to développé. A développé is a movement in which the working leg is drawn up to the knee of the supporting leg and slowly extended to an open position en l’air and held there with perfect control. The hips are kept level and square to the direction in which the dancer is facing. Développés are performed à la quatrième devant, à la seconde and à la quatrième derrière and may be executed in all directions of the body. They are done with the supporting foot flat on the ground, on the demi-pointe, full point or en fondu. In the Cecchetti method, the working foot is brought up to the retiré position with the toe pointed at the side of the knee (retiré de côté) before extending the leg in the required direction. In the Russian and French Schools, the pointed toe is brought to retiré devant before extending the leg forward or to retiré derrière before extending the leg backward. When performing a développé to second position, the front foot is brought to retiré devant and then extended, or the back foot is brought to retiré derrière and then extended.

Développé à la quatrième derrière:

[dayv-law-PAY a lah ka-tree-EM dehRYEHR]. Développé to the fourth position back. Fifth position R foot back. Raise the R foot sur le cou-de-pied derrière and slowly draw the pointed foot up the back of the leg to retiré derrière. With the knee pressed well outward, slowly extend the pointed toe backward to the fourth position en l’air. The pointed foot is then lowered to the floor and closed in the fifth position. In développé à la quatrième derrière the body inclines slightly forward.

Développé à la quatrième devant:

[dayv-law-PAY a lah ka-tree-EM duhVAHN]. Développé to the fourth position front. Fifth position R foot front. Raise the R foot sur le cou-de-pied devant in either the pointed or wrapped position, then slowly draw the pointed foot up the front of the leg to retiré devant. With the knee pressed well outward, slowly extend the pointed toe forward to the fourth position en l’air. The pointed foot is slowly lowered to the floor and closed in the fifth position.

Développé à la seconde:

[dayv-law-PAY a lah suh-GAWND]. Développé to the second position en l’air. The foot is drawn up to the retiré position front or back before extending the leg to the second position en l’air.

Développé en fondu:

[dayv-law-PAY ahn fawn-DEW]. Développé, sinking. The working leg executes a développé while the supporting knee bends in fondu.

Développé passé:

[dayv-law-PAY pa-SAY]. Développé, passing. The working foot passes the supporting knee from front to back and extends in développé (développé passé en arrière), or the working foot passes the supporting knee from back to front and extends in développé (développé passé en avant). This développé may be executed with a relevé, a piqué or a temps levé.

Diagonale, en:

[ahn dya-gaw-NAL]. In a diagonal. Indicates that a step is to be done traveling in a diagonal direction.

Directions or body alignment:

The direction in which the dancer stands in relation to the audience is very important. If all the steps and poses were taken en face, the dance would be very monotonous. The diagrammatic floor plan shows the feet in the fifth position facing the various directions, using the R foot and starting a step forward, backward or to the side, the top of the page being the audience. For instance, a chassé when taken with the R foot toward the right front corner of the room  is a chassé effacé en avant but if the chassé is taken toward the left front corner of the room (corner 2) with the R foot it becomes a chassé croisé en avant.

Divertissement:

[dee-vehr-tees-MAHN]. Diversion, enjoyment. A suite of numbers called “entrées,” inserted into a classic ballet. These short dances are calculated to display the talents of individuals or groups of dancers.

Double:

[DOO-bluh]. Double. As, for example, in pirouette double (a double pirouette).

Doublé, doublée:

[doo-BLAY]. Doubled. As, for example, in sissonne doublée.

Double work:

All movements in which one dancer is partnered or supported by another.

Écarté:

[ay-kar-TAY]. Separated, thrown wide apart. Écarté is one of the eight directions of the body, Cecchetti method. In this position the dancer faces either one of the two front corners of the room. The leg nearer the audience is pointed in the second position à terre or raised to the second position en l’air. The torso is held perpendicular. The arms are held en attitude with the raised arm being on the same side as the extended leg. The head is raised slightly and turned toward the raised arm so that the eyes look into the palm of the hand.

Écarté derrière:

(Russian School) [ay-kar-TAY deh-RYEHR]. Écarté back. The dancer faces either one of the two front corners of the room with the leg that is farther from the audience pointed in the second position à terre or raised to the second position en l’air. When the position is taken with the L leg extended, the dancer stands at an oblique angle to the audience, facing corner 8 with the L in second position pointe tendue à terre or raised to the second position en l’air pointing toward corner 6. The arms are held with the L arm curved over the head in the line of vision and the R arm held in demi-seconde position. The body leans to the right with the head turned to the right and the eyes looking down at the extended R arm.

Écarté devant (Russian School):

[ay-kar-TAY duh-VAHN]. Écarté front. The dancer faces either one of the two front corners of the room with the leg that is closer to the audience pointed in the second position à terre or raised to the second position en l’air. When this position is taken with the R leg extended, the dancer stands at an oblique angle to the audience, facing corner 8 with the R leg in the second position pointe tendue à terre or raised to the second position en l’air pointing toward corner 2. The arms are held with the R arm curved over the head in the line of vision and the L arm held in demi-seconde position. The body leans to the left with the head turned to the right and the eyes looking up at the R hand.

Écarté en l’air:

[ay-kar-TAY ahn lehr]. Separated, thrown wide apart in the air. The dancer springs into the air, throwing both legs to a wide second position, then lands with the feet closed. The jump may also be done throwing one leg forward and one back.

Échappé:

[ay-sha-PAY]. Escaping or slipping movement. An échappé is a level opening of both feet from a closed to an open position. There are two kinds of échappés: échappé sauté, which is done with a spring from the fifth position and finishes in a demi-plié in the open position, and échappé sur les pointes, or demi-pointes, which is done with a relevé and has straight knees when in the open position. In each case échappés are done to the second or fourth position, both feet traveling an equal distance from the original center of gravity.

Échappé, double:

[doob lay-sha-PAY]. Double échappé. A term of the Russian School. This is an échappé on the points with a relevé in the open position before closing the feet in the fifth position. It is done to the second position or to the fourth position, either croisé or effacé.

Échappé battu:

[ay-sha-PAY ba-TEW]. Échappé beaten. Demi-plié in the fifth position R foot front; spring into the air and open the legs to the second position. Come to the floor in the second position in demi-plié. Again spring into the air and beat the R leg in front of the L leg. Finish in demi-plié, fifth position R foot back. The actual beat is performed on the calves and both legs beat. Échappé battu may also be finished on one leg, with the other leg sur le cou-de-pied either devant or derrière.

Échappé changé:

[ay-sha-PAY shahn-ZHAY]. Échappé changing. This is an échappé to the second position, either sauté or relevé, in which the position of the feet changes on the closing in the fifth position.

Échappé royale:

[ay-sha-PAY rwah-YAL]. Échappé with royale. Performed the same as échappé battu except that before the legs open into the second position they are beaten together.

Échappé sans changer:

[ay-sha-PAY sahn shahn-ZHAY]. Échappé without change. This is an échappé to the second position, either sauté or relevé, with no change of feet on the closing in the fifth position.

Échappé sauté:

[ay-sha-PAY soh-TAY]. Échappé, jumping or springing. This échappé is done to either the second or fourth position. The direction of the body can be en face or facing any of the directions. Échappé sauté is done either grand or petit.

Échappé sauté, grand:

[grahn tay-sha-PAY soh-TAY]. Big échappé, jumping. After a deep demi-plié in the fifth position the dancer springs into the air as high as possible, extending the legs in the fifth position. This closed position is maintained until the height of the jump is reached, then the legs are thrown apart into second position in the air and the dancer alights in demi-plié in the second position. On the return jump to fifth position, the dancer springs into the air with the legs extended in the second position until the top of the spring, then the feet are closed in the fifth position in the air and the dancer alights in demi-plié in the fifth position. This échappé may also be finished landing on one foot in a big pose such as attitude, arabesque, etc.

Échappé sauté, petit:

[puh-TEE tay-sha-PAY soh-TAY]. Little échappé, jumping. Fifth position R foot front. Demi-plié, push off the floor with extended toes and straightened knees and immediately open the legs to the second position in the air, then land in demi-plié in the second position. Again spring into the air in the same manner and return to the fifth position in demi-plié. The step may be repeated with the same foot in front or executed alternately front and back. In the Cecchetti method, the knees are bent and the feet drawn up on the return jump from the second position. Échappé sauté may also be done to the fourth position croisé or effacé. Échappé may also be done finishing on one foot on the return from the second or fourth position with the other foot held sur le cou-de-pied either devant or derrière.

Échappé sauté en tournant:

[ay-sha-PAY soh-TAY ahn toor-NAHN]. Échappé, jumping and turning. Petit échappé and grand échappé sauté are done with quarter or half-turns. The jump from the fifth position to the second position is done turning, then the jump returning to the fifth position is done in place.

Échappé sur les pointes:

[ay-sha-PAY sewr lay pwent]. Échappé on the points or toes. Fifth position R foot front. Demi-plié and, with a little spring, open the feet to the second or fourth position sur les pointes. The feet should glide rapidly to the open position and both feet must move evenly. On reaching the open position both knees must be held taut. With a little spring return to the fifth position in demi-plié. If the échappé is done in the second position the R foot may be closed either front or back. In échappé to the fourth position facing en face, croisé or effacé, the movement is done from the fifth position to the fourth position without change. Échappés may also be done en croix.

Échappé to second position finishing on on leg:

A term of the Russian School. Fifth position R foot front. Demi-plié and échappé sur les pointes to the second position; demi-plié in the second position, then spring on the L pointe, taking the R foot sur le cou-de-pied derrière; demi-plié in the fifth position, R foot back. The step may also be done finishing on one leg with the free foot sur le cou-de-pied devant.

Effacé, effacée:

[eh-fa-SAY]. Shaded. 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 method. 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.

Effacé derrière (Russian School):

[eh-fa-SAY deh-RYEHR]. Effacé in back. This position is the exact opposite of effacé devant. The dancer stands at an oblique angle to the audience, facing either one of the two front corners of the room. The leg closer to the audience is pointed in the fourth position back à terre or raised to the fourth position en l’air. The arms are placed en attitude, the arm that is high being on the same side as the leg that is extended. The body leans slightly forward over the supporting leg. The head is turned toward the high arm with the eyes looking into the palm of the hand. In the French School this pose is termed “quatrième ouverte derrière.”

Effacé devant:

[eh-fa-SAY duh-VAHN]. Effacé in front. Effacé devant is one of the eight directions of the body, Cecchetti method. In this position the dancer stands at an oblique angle to the audience, facing either one of the two front corners of the room. The leg farther from the audience is pointed in the fourth position front à terre or raised to the fourth position en l’air. The arms are placed en attitude, the arm that is low being on the same side as the leg that is extended. The body leans slightly back from the waist. The head is inclined toward the high arm with the eyes looking out to the audience. In the French School this pose is termed “quatrième ouverte devant.”

Effacé en arrière:

[eh-fa-SAY ah na-RYEHR]. Effacé moving backward. A direction in which a given step is executed. The French School term is “ouvert en arrière.”

Effacé en avant:

[eh-fa-SAY ah na-VAHN]. Effacé moving forward. A direction in which a given step is executed. The French School term is “ouvert en avant.”

Élan:

[ay-LAHN]. Attack. Pertains to the manner in which a dancer attacks a step, both emotionally and physically.

Élancé, élancée:

[ay-lahn-SAY]. Darting. When this term is used with a step it indicates that the step is to be done in a darting manner. Any jump performed élancé is done just above the surface of the floor with one or both legs strongly stretched and toes well pointed. For example, an assemblé dessus traveled to the side would be an assemblé élancé.

Élévation:

[ay-lay-va-SYAWN]. Élévation is the ability of a dancer to attain height in dancing. It is a term used to describe the height attained in springing steps such as entrechats, grands jetés and so on, combined with ballon, so that the dancer jumps with a graceful elasticity like the bouncing movement of a rubber ball which touches the ground a moment and then rebounds into the air. The elevation is reckoned by the distance between the pointed toes of the dancer in the air and the ground. In alighting after a pas d’élévation the tips of the toes should reach the ground first, quickly followed by the sole and then the heel. All steps of elevation begin and end with a demi-plié.

Élévation, pas d’:

[pah day-lay-va-SYAWN]. Step of elevation. Any movement which involves a jump or spring.

Élève:

[ay-LEV]. Pupil, student. The apprentice dancers at the Paris Opéra are known as “les élèves” or “les petits rats.”

Emboîté:

[ahn-bwah-TAY]. Fitted together, “boxed.” The name is derived from the close fitting of the feet like a lid upon a box. It is a type of jeté done without a brush of the working foot. Fifth position R foot back. Demi-plié, spring into the air, bringing the R foot forward with knee slightly bent; land in demi-plié on the L foot with the R foot in front of the L ankle. The step is then done to the other side by springing on the R foot and landing with the L foot in front of the R ankle. The step travels en avant and alternates from one leg to the other. The bent leg must move beyond the supporting leg during each change. The movement may also be executed en arrière by bringing the free leg from front to back on each change. The term emboîté as described above is used in the Russian School and the Cecchetti method. The French School terms this step “petit jeté.” The French emboîté is done only sur les pointes or demi-pointes.

Emboîté, grand:

[grahn tahn-bwah-TAY]. Large or big emboîté. Executed the same as emboîté except that the leg is thrown up higher and is less bent at the knee.

Emboîté en descendant:

[ahn-bwah-TAY ahn day-sahn-DAHN]. A term of the French School. Emboîtés en descendant are a series of emboîtés done moving downstage toward the audience.

Emboîté en reculant:

[ahn-bwah-TAY ahn ruh-kew-LAHN]. A term of the French School for a series of emboîtés done moving upstage away from the audience.

Emboîté en tournant:

[ahn-bwah-TAY ahn toor-NAHN]. Emboîté, turning. These are quick jumping turns done either in a straight line or in a circle. The jumps are not high but should have a light elastic quality. Emboîté en tournant is done the same as simple emboîté but a complete turn is done with each two emboîtés. Fifth position R foot front. Demi-plié and spring into the air toward the right, bringing the L leg forward in a bent position, crossing the foot close to the supporting ankle and turning so that the landing is made in demi-plié on the R foot with the back to the audience. Spring off the R foot, still traveling to the right and completing the turn so that the landing is made en face with a demi-plié on the L foot, R foot forward in a bent position crossing close to the L ankle.

Emboîté en tournant en dehors (Cecchetti method):

[ahn-bwah-TAY ahn toor-NAHN ahn duh-AWR]. Emboîté, turning outward. Fifth position R foot front. Demi-plié and spring upward into the air with the R foot sur le cou-depied devant or retiré devant, making a complete turn to the right (en dehors). The landing is made on the L foot in demi-plié, then the R foot is closed in demi-plié in the fifth position front.

Emboîté en tournant sur les pointes:

[ahn-bwah-TAY ahn toor-NAHN sewr lay pwent]. Emboîté, turning on the points. These turns are done traveling in a diagonal or in a circle. Fifth position croisé R foot front. Demi-plié and dégagé the R foot to the second position at 45 degrees; piqué on the R foot, turning one half-turn en dedans with the L foot sur le cou-de-pied devant; step on the L point in fifth position, turning one half-turn en dehors with the R foot sur le cou-de-pied devant. To continue the series of turns, step on the R point to the second position.

Emboîté sur les pointes:

[ahn-bwah-TAY sewr lay pwent]. Emboîté on the points. In the French School emboîté is done only on the points or demipointes. It is done with a movement forward on the points or demi-pointes moving from fifth to fifth. The back foot swishes out to the side in a small seconde en l’air with the toe pointed, then is brought in and closed in the fifth position front. Both knees are kept taut. The movement is then repeated with the other foot. The movement is also done moving backward, closing the front foot to the back on each step. It is then termed “déboîté.”

En:

[ahn]. In; while. For all expressions beginning with “en,” see the following word. For instance, for the definition of “En arrière” see “Arrière, en.”

Enchaînement:

[ahn-shen-MAHN]. Linking. A combination of two or more steps arranged to fit a phrase of music.

En-dehors:

[ahn duh-AWR]. A term of the French School for turn-out (q.v).

Enlèvement:

[ahn-lev-MAHN]. Carrying off. The male dancer lifts his partner in the air in a step or pose.

Entrechat:

[ahn-truh-SHAH]. Interweaving or braiding. A step of beating in which the dancer jumps into the air and rapidly crosses the legs before and behind each other. Entrechats are counted from two to ten according to the number of crossings required and counting each crossing as two movements, one by each leg; that is, in an entrechat quatre each leg makes two distinct movements. Entrechats are divided into two general classes: the even-numbered entrechats, or those which land on two feet—deux, quatre, six, huit and dix— and the odd-numbered entrechats, or those which land on one foot—trois, cinq, sept and neuf. In all entrechats both legs beat equally. Even-numbered entrechats are done en face or en tournant, while odd-numbered entrechats are done devant, derrière, en tournant, de côté or de volée. In the Cecchetti method, entrechats are done with the knees bent and the feet drawn up so that
one foot beats against the other from the base of the calf downward.

Entrechat cinq:

[ahn-truh-SHAH senk]. Five crossings. Entrechat cinq is similar to entrechat quatre (q.v), except that the landing is made on one foot, the other being placed sur le cou-de-pied either devant or derrière. Entrechat cinq devant: Fifth position R foot front. Demi-plié and with a small jump open the legs slightly, beat the calves together with the R leg in the back, open the legs and land on the L foot with the R foot sur le cou-depied devant. Entrechat cinq derrière: Fifth position R foot back. Demi-plié and with a small jump open the legs slightly, beat the calves together with the R leg in the front, open the legs and land on the L foot with the R foot sur le cou-depied derrière.

Entrechat cinq de volée:

[ahn-truh-SHAH senk duh vaw-LAY]. Fifth position R foot back. Glissade derrière, thrust the R leg out to the second position en l’air, pushing from the ground with the L foot. The L leg meets the R leg, beating it in the back, then the legs open, R leg beats in back of L, legs open, and the landing is made in demi-plié in the fifth position R foot front. The Russian School (Vaganova) terms this “entrechat six de volée.” The French School terms this “entrechat cinq de volée.” The Cecchetti method term is “entrechat six de côté.”

Entrechat cinq fermé:

[ahn-truh-SHAH senk fehr-MAY]. This is a term of the French School. It is composed of an entrechat quatre commenced from the second position and finished in the fifth position.

Entrechat cinq ouvert:

[ahn-truh-SHAH senk oo-VEHR]. This is a term of the French School. It is composed of an entrechat quatre completed in the air, with the landing then made in the second position.

Entrechat cinq ramassé:

[ahn-truh-SHAH senk ra-ma-SAY]. This step is also known as “sissonne fermée battue,” as it is really a sissonne fermée with the beat of an entrechat quatre. It is usually done in a series, en avant, en arrière or de côté.

Entrechat deux:

[ahn-truh-SHAH duh]. Two crossings. An entrechat deux is a changement de pieds.

Entrechat de volée:

[ahn-truh-SHAH duh vaw-LAY]. Flying entrechat. Entrechat de volée is done in flight in any direction and is usually preceded by a demi-contretemps or a glissade. The landing is made in the fifth position.

Entrechat huit:

[ahn-truh-SHAH weet]. Eight crossings. Same as entrechat six (q.v), except that another crossing is added. If the R foot starts in the fifth position front it will finish in the fifth position front.

Entrechat neuf:

[ahn-truh-SHAH nuhf]. Nine crossings. The same as an entrechat huit (q.v), except that the landing is made on one foot with the other foot sur le cou-de-pied either devant or derrière.

Entrechat quatre:

[ahn-truh-SHAH KA-truh]. Four crossings. Fifth position R foot front. Demi-plié and with a small jump slightly open the legs and beat the calves together R leg in back. Slightly open the legs and finish in demiplié in the fifth position R foot front.

Entrechat sept:

[ahn-truh-SHAH set]. Seven crossings. Entrechat sept is similar to entrechat six (q.v), except that the landing is made on one foot with the other foot sur le cou-de-pied either devant or derrière. Entrechat sept devant: Fifth position R foot back. Demi-plié and with a jump open the legs; R leg beats in front of L leg; open legs; R leg beats in back of L leg; open legs and finish in demi-plié on the L foot with the R foot sur le cou-de-pied devant. Entrechat sept derrière: Fifth position R foot front. Demi-plié and with a strong jump open the legs; R leg beats in back of L leg; open legs; R leg beats in front of L leg; open legs and finish in demi-plié on the L foot with the R foot sur le cou-de-pied derrière.

Entrechat six:

[ahn-truh-SHAH seess]. Six crossings. Demi-plié in the fifth position R foot front. With a strong jump open the legs, beat the R leg behind the L, open the legs, beat the R leg in front of the L, open the legs and finish in demi-plié in the fifth position, R foot back.

Entrechat six de côté:

[ahn-truh-SHAH seess duh koh-TAY]. A term of the Cecchetti method.

Entrechat trois:

[ahn-truh-SHAH trwah]. Three crossings. Entrechat trois is finished on one foot with the other sur le cou-de-pied either devant or derrière. Entrechat trois derrière: Fifth position R foot front. Demi-plié and with a small jump open the legs into a narrow second position in the air. Beat the R leg in front of the L, slightly open the legs and land on the L foot in demi-plié with the R foot sur le cou-de-pied derrière. Entrechat tròis devant: Fifth position R foot back. Demi-plié and with a small jump open the legs in a narrow second position in the air. Beat the R leg behind the L, slightly open the legs and land on the L foot in demi-plié with the R foot sur le cou-de-pied devant.

Entrée:

[ahn-TRAY]. Entrance. The term is given to the arrival of a dancer or group of dancers who perform a number in a divertissement. The term also applies to the beginning of a grand pas de deux in which the danseuse and danseur make their entrance.

Entrelacé, entrelacée:

[ahn-truh-la-SAY]. Interlaced. For example, jeté entrelacé.

Enveloppé:

[ahn-vuh-law-PAY]. Enveloped. A term of the French School. Enveloppé is a rotation of the body turning en dedans on the supporting leg (either relevé or sauté) while the other leg envelops or encircles it. Enveloppé is used to give momentum to inward turns. Fifth position R foot front. Raise the L leg in back à la demi-hauteur and execute a grand rond de jambe en dedans, closing the L foot on the R shinbone and turning one complete turn to the right. The L foot may finish retiré devant or may be brought back into attitude or arabesque.

Épaulé, épaulée:

[ay-poh-LAY]. Shouldered. 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 line of direction, the arm nearer the audience extended forward and the corresponding leg extended to the fourth position back à terre or en l’air. The head is inclined and turned toward the audience. Épaulé is one of the eight directions of the body, Cecchetti method.

Épaulé derrière (Russian School):

[ay-poh-LAY deh-RYEHR]. Épaulé back. This position is exactly the same as the Cecchetti épaulé, but is taken facing either one of the two upper corners of the room (corners 6 or 4; see diagram, p. 138) with the extended leg nearer the audience.

Épaulement:

[ay-pohl-MAHN]. Shouldering. The placing of the shoulders. A term used to indicate a movement of the torso from the waist upward, bringing one shoulder forward and the other back with the head turned or inclined over the forward shoulder. The two fundamental positions of épaulement are croisé and effacé. When épaulement is used the position of the head depends upon the position of the shoulders and the shoulder position depends upon the position of the legs. Épaulement gives the finishing artistic touch to every movement and is a characteristic feature of the modern classical style compared to the old French style, which has little épaulement.

Épaulement croisé:

[ay-pohl-MAHN krwah-ZAY]. Shouldering croisé. The dancer stands in the fifth position R foot front, facing the left front corner of the room with the head turned to the right shoulder. If the dancer faces the right front corner of the room, the L foot will be in front and the head will turn over the left shoulder.

Épaulement effacé:

[ay-pohl-MAHN eh-fa-SAY]. Shouldering effacé. The dancer stands in the fifth position L foot front, facing the left front corner of the room with the head turned to the right shoulder. If the dancer faces the right front corner of the room, the R foot will be in front and the head will turn over the left shoulder.

Équilibre:

[ay-kee-LEE-bruh]. Equilibrium; aplomb. (1) The ability of the dancer to balance and hold a pose. (2) The balancing of the body on demipointe or full point in any required position.

Étendre:

[ay-TAHN-druh]. To stretch. One of the seven movements in dancing.

Étendu:

[ay-tahn-DEW]. Outstretched, extended. The second half of a plié when the legs straighten.

Étoile:

[ay-TWAHL]. Star. A title given to certain premières danseuses and premiers danseurs of the Paris Opéra (première danseuse étoile or premier danseur étoile) to indicate that they are the leading dancers.

Exercices à la barre:

[eg-zehr-SEESS a lah bar]. Exercises at the bar (or barre). A group of exercises performed by the dancer while clasping a bar with one hand. This bar, generally a cylindrical piece of wood, is fastened horizontally to the walls of the practice room at a height of about three feet six inches from the floor. Bar exercises, or side practice, are the foundation of classical ballet and are to the dancer what scales are to the pianist. Every ballet lesson begins with these exercises. It is at the bar that the dancer acquires the fundamental training for the attributes he must possess. These exercises are essential for developing the muscles correctly, turning the legs out from the hips and gaining control and flexibility of the joints and muscles. The exercises at the bar can be simple or varied but in general they include the following movements:

(1) Pliés in the first, second, fourth and fifth positions.

(2) Battements tendus.

(3) Battements tendus jetés.

(4) Battements fondus.

(5) Ronds de jambe à terre.

(6) Battements frappés.

(7) Adagio.

(8) Petits battements sur le cou-de-pied.

(9) Ronds de jambe en l’air.

(10) Grands battements.

Exercices au milieu:

[eg-zehr-SEESS oh mee-LYUH]. Exercises in the centre, that is, centre practice. A group of exercises similar to those at the bar but performed without the support of the bar in the centre of the practice room. Exercices au milieu help the dancer to acquire uprightness and balance. A more popular term for these exercises is centre practice.

Extended positions of the arms:

When the arms and hands are held straight in any position, the position is said to be extended or ouverte. For example, the fifth position en haut, taken with the hands turned out so that the arms form a V, is called cinquième position ouverte.

Extension:

[eks-tahn-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 développé à la seconde, she is able to hold and sustain the raised leg above shoulder level.

Face, de:

[duh fahss]. In front, full face. A position or step executed facing the audience.

Failli:

[fah-YEE]. Giving way. A fleeting movement done on one count. Fifth position croisé, R foot front. Demi-plié, spring into the air with the feet held close together and, while in the air, turn the body effacé so that the L shoulder comes forward and the head turns toward the L shoulder. Land on the R foot in demi-plié with the L leg opened in effacé derrière at 45 degrees; immediately slide the L foot through the first position to the fourth position croisé in demi-plié with the weight on the L foot, L knee bent and body inclined to the left.

Faux entrechat cinq ramassé:

[foh zahn-truh-SHAH senk ra-ma-SAY]. False entrechat cinq picked up. Same as sissonne fermée.

Fermé, fermée:

[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. As, for example, in position fermée, sissonne fermée.

Finger turns:

These are turns in which the girl partner is supported by the boy. The boy stands in back of the girl, his R hand raised above the girl’s head with the index finger pointed downward. The girl grasps his finger with her R hand. The boy’s L hand is held forward to the left side of the girl with her L hand resting on it. The girl does a sous-sus to the fifth position on point, takes her R foot to retiré and executes a développé croisé devant. From this position she pushes from the boy’s L hand, executes a fouetté rond de jambe en tournant and continues turning with a series of pirouettes, still holding the boy’s index finger. At the completion of the pirouettes she stops herself by quickly grasping the boy’s L hand

Fish dive:

This is a term used in double (supported) work for various lifts in which the danseuse is supported by the danseur in a poisson position. He may hold her above his head in a horizontal fish dive or she may fall from a sitting position on his shoulder and be caught in a fish dive, and so on.

Fixed points of the practice room or stage (Cecchetti method):

In the Cecchetti method the corners and centre of each side of the practice room are numbered to help the dancer develop a sense of direction. The dancer stands in the centre of the room, facing side 5, which is the front of the room or audience. The numbers are used to indicate the direction to be taken by the dancer in a given step or pose.

Fixed points of the practice room or stage (Russian School [Vaga-nova]):

To determine the direction for a movement or a pose or to indicate the degree of the turn of the body, the corners and the sides of the practice room are numbered in the Russian School as well. The dancer stands in the centre of the room facing side 1, which is the front of the room or audience.

Fléchir:

[flay-SHEER]. To bend. As, for example, in fléchir les genoux (bend the knees).

Flic-flac:

[fleek-FLAK]. A crack, as of a whip. A term of the Russian School. A flicking or lashing movement done in exercises at the bar and in the centre of the room. It is composed of whipping movements from second position at 45 degrees through the fifth position front and back (or back and front) close to the supporting leg; then the leg is opened again to the second position at 45 degrees. Flic-flac is performed en dedans, en dehors and en tournant. It may also be performed with a rise to the demi-pointe on the final extension to second position. En dedans: From the second position en l’air at 45 degrees, whip the foot downward, bending the knee and brushing the ball of the foot along the floor passing through fifth position front and finishing with the pointed toe crossed in front, beyond sur le cou-de-pied; throw the pointed foot outward toward second position without brushing the floor; fling the foot downward through fifth position, brushing the floor and finishing with the pointed toe crossed behind, beyond sur le cou-de-pied. The foot is then opened to the second position en l’air at 45 degrees. En dehors: Reverse the movement, crossing behind, then in front of, the supporting ankle.

Flic-flac en tournant:

[fleek-FLAK ahn toor-NAHN]. Flic-flac, turning. The turn may be en dedans or en dehors. The “flic” is done on the whole foot and the “flac” on demi-pointe. En dehors: From the second position en l’air at 45 degrees, the leg is whipped downward, bending the knee and brushing the ball of the foot through the fifth position so that the pointed foot is crossed in back, beyond sur le cou-de-pied. The dancer then rises on the demi-pointe of the supporting leg and makes a full turn en dehors while the working foot opens slightly and brushes along the floor to cross in front of the supporting leg. The working leg is then immediately thrown out to the second position at 45 degrees. En dedans: This is done in the same manner, crossing the working foot in front of, then in back of, the supporting leg and turning en dedans on demi-pointe. During the turn, either en dehors or en dedans, the arms provide the force. They are lowered from the second position to the preparatory position, then raised to the first position and opened to the second position.

Fondu, fondue:

[fawn-DEW]. Sinking down. A term used to describe a lowering of the body made by bending the knee of the supporting leg. SaintLéon wrote, “Fondu is on one leg what a plié is on two.” In some instances the term fondu is also used to describe the ending of a step when the working leg is placed on the ground with a soft and gradual movement. An example of this is jeté fondu.

Fouetté:

[fweh-TAY]. Whipped. A term applied to a whipping movement. The movement may be a short whipped movement of the raised foot as it passes rapidly in front of or behind the supporting foot or the sharp whipping around of the body from one direction to another. There is a great variety of fouettés: petit fouetté, which may be devant, à la seconde or derrière and executed à terre, sur la demi-pointe or sauté; and grand fouetté, which may be sauté, relevé and en tournant.

Fouetté, demi:

[duh-MEE-fweh-TAY]. Half-fouetté. This is a fouetté en l’air in which the dancer makes a quarter-turn. The dancer, facing the audience, raises either leg to the second position en l’air, then with a sharp movement turns into an arabeque in profile to the audience while rotating the raised leg in the hip socket. The step may be done sauté or with a relevé on the supporting leg.

Fouetté, petit:

[puh-TEE fweh-TAY]. Little fouetté. Stand with the R foot opened to the second position so that the pointed toe is a few inches off the ground. With a sharp movement sweep the pointed toe of the R foot along the ground so that the foot crosses the ankle a little beyond sur le cou-de-pied, either devant or derrière.

Fouetté à terre:

[fweh-TAY a tehr]. Fouetté on the ground. A term of the Cecchetti method for a petit fouetté.

Fouetté à terre en dedans (Ceccehetti method):

[fweh-TAY a tehr ahn duhDAHN]. Fouetté on the ground inward. From the second position in the air, the foot is swept across the floor and brought to sur le cou-de-pied devant, then quickly passed to sur le cou-de-pied derrière. The movement is similar to a petit battement sur le cou-de-pied.

Fouetté à terre en dehors (Ceccehetti method):

[fweh-TAY a tehr ahn duhAWR]. Fouetté on the ground outward. From the second position in the air, the foot is swept across the floor and brought to sur le cou-de-pied derrière then quickly passed to sur le cou-de-pied devant.

Fouetté à terre en tournant (Cecchetti method):

[fweh-TAY a tehr ahn toorNAHN]. Fouetté on the ground, turning. En dedans: Execute a fouetté à terre en dedans with the R foot and at the same time execute a pirouette en dedans on the L foot. At the end of the pirouette, lower the L heel.

Fouetté battu:

[fweh-TAY ba-TEW]. Fouetté beaten. This is a petit fouetté executed with a beat. Stand on the R foot with the L foot sur le cou-de-pied devant. Spring off the R foot, opening the L foot to the second position so that the toe is a few inches off the ground. Beat the R behind the L and land on the R foot in demi-plié with the L foot sur le cou-de-pied derrière.

Fouetté effacé, grand (Russian School):

[grahn fweh-TAY eh-fa-SAY]. Large fouetté shaded. In this fouetté the dancer makes a half-turn from the pose effacé devant en l’air to the pose effacé derrière en l’air (or vice versa). It may be performed with a relevé or a jump on the supporting leg.

Fouetté en face, grand (Cecchetti method):

[grahn fweh-TAY ahn fahss]. Large fouetté facing the audience. This fouetté is executed on pointe, on demi-pointe or with a jump.

Fouetté en tournant, grand (Russian School):

[grahn fweh-TAY ahn toorNAHN]. Large fouetté, turning. This fouetté may be done on demi-pointe, on point or with a jump. It is usually done en dedans and may be finished in attitude croisée, attitude effacée or any of the arabesques.

Fouetté en tournant à la seconde, grand (Russian School):

[grahn fwehTAY a lah suh-GAWND]. Large fouetté, turning in the second position. This fouetté is done on point or demi-pointe. It is a variety of the popular fouetté rond de jambe en tournant.

Fouetté en tournant en dedans, grand (Cecchetti method):

[grahn fwehTAY ahn toor-NAHN ahn duh-DAHN]. Large fouetté, turning inward. Stand on the L foot in the first arabesque facing side 6. Demi-plié and sweep the R leg to the fourth position front en l’air toward side 6, lowering the arms to the fifth position en bas, and raise them to the fifth position en avant; rise on the L demi-pointe and turn to the left until the body faces side 8. Leave the R arm and the R leg pointing to side 8 and sharply turn the body to the left to face side 6, raising the L arm to the fourth position en haut. When the body faces side 6, extend the L arm forward and lower the L heel in demi-plié in the first arabesque. This fouetté may also be done with a jump.

Fouetté raccourci:

[fweh-TAY ra-koor-SEE]. Fouetté shortened. This movement is similar to a petit fouetté. From the second position en l’air, the working foot is cut sharply behind the supporting leg by bending the knee of the working leg without lowering the thigh.

Fouetté rond de jambe en tournant:

[fweh-TAY rawn duh zhahnb ahn toorNAHN]. Whipped circle of the leg turning. This is the popular turn in which the dancer executes a series of turns on the supporting leg while being propelled by a whipping movement of the working leg. The whipping leg should be at hip level, with the foot closing in to the knee of the supporting leg. Fouettés are usually done in a series. They may be executed en dehors or en dedans.

Fouetté rond de jambe en tournant en dehors (supported):

[fweh-TAY rawn duh zhahnb ahn toor-NAHN ahn duh-AWR]. Whipped circle of the leg turning outward (supported). This is a fouetté in which the girl, supported by the boy, holds one hand above her head, grasping the boy’s index finger. After a sous-sus the girl does a développé croisé devant and executes one, two or more fouettés ronds de jambe en tournant, stopping herself by quickly grasping the boy’s free hand with her free hand.

Fouetté sauté, grand:

[grahn fweh-TAY soh-TAY]. Large fouetté, jumping. This fouetté is performed with a temps levé on the supporting foot instead of a relevé. There are numerous kinds of grands fouettés sautés. The step is preceded by a glissade, sissonne simple, failli, etc.

Fouetté sauté en face, grand (Russian School):

[grahn fweh-TAY soh-TAY ahn fahss]. Large fouetté, jumping, facing front. Fourth position croisé L foot pointed forward with the arms in a low first position. Step on the L foot in demi-plié and push off the floor, throwing the R leg to the second position at 90 degrees; simultaneously raise the arms to the third position. With a sharp movement turn into the first arabesque in profile and land on the L leg in demi-plié. To repeat the movement with the other leg, do a small temps levé on the L foot and step croisé en avant on the R leg, lowering the arms; then immediately push off from the floor in the second grand fouetté.

French School:

The French School of ballet began in the court ceremonies of the French monarchs. Louis XIV studied with the famous ballet master Pierre Beauchamp and established the first academy of dancing, known as the Académie Royale de Musique et de Danse, in Paris in 1661. The École de Danse de l’Opéra was founded in 1713 and is now known as the École de Danse du Théâtre National de l’Opéra. Among its most famous ballet masters were Beauchamp, Pécour, Lany, Noverre, G. and A. Vestris, M. and P. Gardel, F. Taglioni, Mazilier, Saint-Léon, Mérante, Staats, Aveline and Lifar. The French School was known for its elegance and soft, graceful movements rather than technical virtuosity. Its influence spread throughout Europe and is the basis of all ballet training.

Galop:

[ga-LOH]. A gay early nineteenth-century dance in 2/4 time. A galop is often used as a finale to a series of ballet divertissements.

Gargouillade:

[gar-goo-YAD]. Gurgling or rumbling. In the Cecchetti method and the French School the step resembles a pas de chat with a double rond de jambe, actually a rond de jambe and a half with the commencing leg. A brilliant executant will also do a double rond de jambe with the closing leg. The step may be done either en dehors or en dedans.

Gargouillade en dedans (Cecchetti method):

[gar-goo-YAD ahn duhDAHN]. Gargouillade inward. Fifth position R foot back. Execute a double rond de jambe en l’air en dedans à la demi-hauteur with the R leg and finish with the R foot at the side of the L knee. Spring upward and to the right off the L foot, landing in demi-plié on the R foot and bringing the L foot to the side of the R knee. (A double rond de jambe en l’air en dehors without the final extension à la seconde may be executed with the L foot before bringing it to the side of the knee.) Close the L foot in demi-plié in the fifth position front.

Gargouillade en dehors (Cecchetti method):

[gar-goo-YAD ahn duh-AWR]. Gargouillade outward. Fifth position R foot front. Execute a double rond de jambe en l’air en dehors à la demi-hauteur with the R leg and finish with the R foot at the L knee. Spring upward and to the right off the L foot, landing in a demi-plié on the R foot and bringing the pointed L foot to the side of the R knee. (A double rond de jambe en l’air en dedans without the final extension à la seconde may be executed with the L foot before bringing it to the R knee.) Close the L foot to the fifth position front in demi-plié. This step is often preceded by a coupé dessous.

Gargouillade volé (Cecchetti method):

[gar-goo-YAD vaw-LAY]. Gargouillade flown. Fifth position R foot back. Execute a double rond de jambe en l’air en dedans à la demi-hauteur with the R leg and finish with the R foot in retiré at the side of the L knee. Spring off the L foot onto the R and land in demi-plié sur place, turning the body effacé. As the R foot comes to the ground, draw the L point upward to the side of the R knee and open it to the fourth position en l’air, pointing to the left front corner of the room. Immediately lower the L foot to the fourth position, pointe tendue, body remaining effacé.

Gateway, the:

This is a position of the arms in which the arms are held rounded in front of the body with the fingertips on a level with the bottom of the breastbone. The backs of the hands face outward with the arms rounded so that the elbows are a little below the shoulders and the wrists a little below the elbows with the point of the elbows imperceptible. This position corresponds to the fifth position en avant of the Cecchetti method and the first position of the Russian and French Schools. When the arms are raised from a low position to a high one, the arms generally pass through the gateway.

Gavotte:

[ga-VAWT]. This was originally a peasant dance but became a fashionable court dance during the reigns of Louis XIV and XV. It was later revived by Gardel at the Paris Opéra, where it became the basis for brilliant solos.

Glissade changée:

[glee-SAD shahn-ZHAY]. Glissade, changing. In this glissade the feet alternate each time in the fifth position; that is, if the R foot is in back in the fifth position and the glissade is done to the right, the R foot will finish in the fifth position front, and vice versa.

Glissade derrière:

[glee-SAD deh-RYEHR]. Glissade in back. This glissade travels to the side and is commenced with the back foot, which remains in the back at the finish. Fifth position R foot back; demi-plié and slide the pointed toe of the R foot to the second position. With a slight spring from the L foot, shift the weight to the R foot, bending the knee, and slide the pointed L foot to the fifth position front, lowering the heel and bending the knee.

Glissade dessous:

[glee-SAD duh-SOO]. Glissade under. This glissade travels to the side and is commenced with the front foot, which finishes at the back. Fifth position R foot front; demi-plié and slide the pointed toe of the R foot to the second position. With a slight spring from the L foot, shift the weight to the R foot, bending the knee, and slide the pointed L foot to the fifth position front, lowering the heel and bending the knee.

Glissade dessus:

[glee-SAD duh-SEW]. Glissade over. This glissade travels to the side and is commenced with the back foot, which finishes in the front. Fifth position R foot back; demi-plié and slide the pointed toe of the R foot to the second position. With a slight spring from the L foot, shift the weight to the R foot, bending the knee, and slide the pointed L foot to the fifth position back, lowering the heel and bending the knee.

Glissade devant:

[glee-SAD duh-VAHN]. Glissade in front. This glissade travels to the side and is commenced with the front foot, which remains in front at the finish. Fifth position R foot front; demi-plié and slide the pointed toe of the R foot to the second position. With a slight spring from the L foot, shift the weight to the R foot, bending the knee, and slide the pointed L foot to the fifth position back, lowering the heel and bending the knee.

Glissade en arrière:

[glee-SAD ah na-RYEHR]. Glissade backward. This glissade commences with the back foot and finishes with it in the back, traveling en arrière, croisé en arrière or effacé en arrière. Fifth position R foot back; demi-plié and slide the pointed toe of the R foot to the fourth position back. With a slight spring from the L foot, shift the weight to the R foot, bending the knee, and slide the pointed L foot to the fifth position front, lowering the heel and bending the knee. Note: In all glissades the heel of the commencing foot must be lowered to the floor before the heel of the closing foot.

Glissade en avant:

[glee-SAD ah na-VAHN]. Glissade forward. This glissade commences with the front foot and finishes with it in the front, traveling en avant, croisé en avant or effacé en avant. Fifth position R foot front; demiplié and slide the pointed toe of the R foot to the fourth position front. With a slight spring from the L foot, shift the weight to the R foot, bending the knee, and slide the pointed L foot to the fifth position back, lowering the heel and bending the knee.

Glissade piquée:

[glee-SAD pee-KAY]. Glissade pricked. Same as glissade précipitée.

Glissade précipitée:

[glee-SAD pray-see-pee-TAY]. Glissade hurried. This is a quick glissade, about half the size of an ordinary glissade. It is always followed by a posé and the two steps together take the same amount of time as an ordinary glissade. Glissade précipitée is usually done devant or dessus but it may also be taken derrière, dessous, en avant and en arrière.

Glissade sur les pointes:

[glee-SAD sewr lay pwent]. Glissade on the toes. Fifth position R foot back. Demi-plié and slide the pointed R foot to the second position; step directly onto the point with straight knee and quickly close the L foot on point to the fifth position front. Demi-plié, lowering the heels to the floor. The glissade may be done dessous, dessus, devant, derrière, en avant and en arrière, in all directions of the body.

Glissé:

[glee-SAY]. Glided, gliding. As, for example, in battement glissé.

Glisser:

[glee-SAY]. To glide. One of the seven movements in dancing.

Grand, grande:

[grahn, grahnd]. Big, large. As, for example, in grand battement. (To find terms starting with “grand,” look up the second word of the term.)

Haut, en:

[ahn oh]. High. Used to indicate a high position of the arms. As, for example, in cinquième position en haut.

Hauteur, à la:

[a lah oh-TUHR]. To the height. A term of the French School. A position in which the working leg is raised at right angles to the hip. As, for example, in quatrième devant à la hauteur, which is the same as à la quatrième devant en l’air or grande quatrième devant.

Head movements (Cecchetti method):

(1) When traveling forward on alternate feet the dancer inclines his head slightly toward the shoulder corresponding to the foot that is advanced. When traveling backward on alternate feet the dancer inclines his head slightly toward the shoulder opposite to the foot that makes the step backward. In some steps traveled forward, when épaulement is used, the head is not inclined, but instead is slightly turned toward the forward shoulder.

(2) When the dancer faces front and executes a rond de jambe à terre en dehors, the head is inclined to the side opposite to the foot that makes the movement. When the dancer faces front and executes a rond de jambe à terre en dedans, the head is inclined to the same side as the foot that makes the movement.

(3) When the dancer faces front and turns his body away from the audience to the right or left, the head inclines toward the side to which he turns, as in a series of échappés to the second position.

(4) In turning movements such as pirouettes, the head is the last part to leave the front of the room as the body turns and the first to arrive as the body completes the turn.

Head movements (Russian School):

In the Russian School there is an unwritten rule, with a few exceptions, never to dance with the body en face. Épaulement is used and the head is always turned in the direction of the forward shoulder.

Hortensia:

[awr-tahn-SYAH]. A male dancer’s step in which the dancer jumps into the air with the legs drawn up, one in front of the other, then reverses their position in the air several times before landing with the feet apart again. The legs do not beat.

Italian School:

The Imperial Dancing Academy connected with La Scala in Milan was opened in 1812. Its greatest period began when Carlo Blasis, Italian dancer and teacher, became its director in 1837. Blasis published two textbooks, Treatise on the Art of Dancing and Code of Terpsichore, in which he codified his teaching methods and all that was known of ballet technique. These books form the basis of our modern classical training. Blasis trained most of the famous Italian dancers of the era, and his pupil Giovanni Lepri was the teacher of Enrico Cecchetti, one of the greatest teachers in the history of ballet. It was Cecchetti who brought the Italian School to its peak. The Italian School was known for its strong, brilliant technique and the virtuosity of its dancers, who astonished the audience with their difficult steps and brilliant turns.

Jambe:

[zhahnb]. Leg.

Jarret:

[zha-REH]. Ham (bend of the knee).

Jarreté:

[zhar-TAY]. Close-legged, knock-kneed. The opposite of arqué, or bowlegged (q.v). When the jarreté dancer stands in the first position the knee joints touch or nearly touch, the calves touch but the heels are separated. This type of dancer is usually slightly built, extremely loose-limbed and supple and has high, beautiful insteps which are often weak.

Jeté, grand:

[grahn zhuh-TAY]. Large jeté. In this step the legs are thrown to 90 degrees with a corresponding high jump. It is done forward to attitude croisée or effacée, and to all the arabesques. It may also be done backward with the leg raised either croisé or effacé devant. Grand jeté is always preceded by a preliminary movement such as a glissade, pas couru or coupé.

Jeté, pas:

[pah zhuh-TAY]. Throwing step. A jump from one foot to the other in which the working leg is brushed into the air and appears to have been thrown. There is a wide variety of pas jetés (usually called merely jetés) and they may be performed in all directions.

Jeté, petit:

[puh-TEE zhuh-TAY]. Small jeté. From a demi-plié in the fifth position the working foot glides along the floor until it reaches a position à la demi-hauteur. The supporting foot springs from the floor and the landing is made in fondu on the working leg with the other foot extended in the air or sur le cou-de-pied. Petit jeté is done dessus, dessous, en avant, en arrière and en tournant.

Jeté bateau:

[zhugh-TAY ba-TOH]. Boat-like jeté. This is a term of the French School. The step consists of a ballotté executed en avant and en arrière.

Jeté-battement:

[zhuh-TAY-bat-MAHN]. This is a petit battement executed during a jeté. It is an exercise of the centre practice and is excellent for foot and instep work and the gaining of brilliancy in batterie. The movement is terre à terre and is done dessus or dessous.

Jeté-battement dessous:

[zhuh-TAY-bat-MAHN duh-SOO]. Jeté-battement under. This is the reverse of jeté-battement dessus (see below), consisting of a jeté dessous and a double battement frappé, passing the foot sur le cou-depied devant, then derrière, and following with a dégagé to the second position.

Jeté-battement dessus:

[zhuh-TAY-bat-MAHN duh-SEW]. Jeté-battement over. Fifth position R foot back. Demi-plié and slide the R foot to a short second position, pointe tendue; spring on the R foot, terre à terre, coming to the ground sur la demi-pointe on the same spot the R foot held at the beginning of the step. Immediately lower the R heel to the ground with a fondu and execute a double battement frappé with the L foot bringing the L foot sur le cou-de-pied derrière, then sur le cou-de-pied devant, and follow immediately with a battement frappé to the second position. To repeat to the other side, spring on the L foot in the same manner and execute a double battement frappé with the R foot. Épaulement should be used with this exercise. Either the same shoulder can be brought forward or the shoulder opposite to the foot executing the battement sur le cou-de-pied. This exercise is usually performed 16 times traveling straight forward (en avant) and is then followed by a series of 16 jetés-battements dessous.

Jeté battu:

[zhuh-TAY ba-TEW]. Jeté beaten. Both jeté dessus and jeté dessous may be beaten.

Jeté battu dessous:

[zhuh-TAY ba-TEW duh-SOO]. Jeté beaten (and closed) under. Fifth position R foot front. Demi-plié and brush the R foot to the second position at 45 degrees; spring off the L foot, pointing the toes well, and with both knees straight beat the calves together, R leg front. Open legs slightly and land in demi-plié on the R foot with the L foot sur le cou-de-pied devant.

Jeté battu dessus:

[zhuh-TAY ba-TEW duh-SEW]. Jeté beaten (and closed) over. Fifth position R foot back. Demi-plié and brush the R foot to the second position at 45 degrees; spring off the L foot, pointing the toes well, and with both knees straight beat the calves of the legs together, R leg in back. Open legs slightly and land in demi-plié on the R foot with the L foot sur le cou-depied derrière.

Jeté derrière:

[zhuh-TAY deh-RYEHR]. Jeté in back. This is a term of the Cecchetti method. The adverb “derrière” implies that the working foot is closed in the back.

Jeté dessous:

[zhuh-TAY duh-SOO]. Jeté under. Fifth position R foot front. Demi-plié and brush the R foot to the second position (battement frappé); spring off the L foot, pointing the toes well, and land on the R foot in demiplié with the L foot sur le cou-de-pied devant. After the spring the R foot should return to the ground a little in back of the position vacated by the L foot. The step does not travel from side to side. When done in a series the demi-plié on the supporting leg will be omitted after the first jeté, since the leg will already be bent.

Jeté dessus:

[zhuh-TAY duh-SEW]. Jeté over. Fifth position R foot back. Demi-plié and brush the R foot to the second position at 45 degrees; spring off the L foot, pointing the toes well, and land on the R foot in demi-plié with the L foot sur le cou-de-pied derrière. After the spring the R foot should return to the ground a little in front of the position vacated by the L foot. The step does not travel from side to side. When done in a series the demi-plié on the supporting leg will be omitted after the first jeté since the leg will already be bent.

Jeté dessus en tournant, grand:

[grahn zhuh-TAY duh-SEW ahn toorNAHN]. Large jeté over and turning. A term of the French School. Same as jeté entrelacè.

Jeté dessus en tournant battu, grand:

[grahn zhuh-TAY duh-SEW ahn toorNAHN ba-TEW]. Large jeté over, turning and beaten. This is a grand jeté dessus en tournant performed with a beat. The leg which is thrust forward in grand battement beats behind or on top of the other leg after the body has turned one half-turn in the air; the legs then pass each other in the air and the dancer lands again on the leg that made the grand battement.

Jeté devant:

[zhuh-TAY duh-VAHN]. Jeté in front. This is a term of the Cecchetti method. The adverb “devant” implies that the working foot is closed in the front.

Jeté en arrière, grand:

[grahn zhuh-TAY ah na-RYEHR]. Large jeté moving backward. This jeté is seldom used, as no impetus can be gained from the preparatory pas couru. After the pas couru, step back on the L foot in the direction effacé en arrière with a good plié and push off from this foot, at the same time thrusting the R leg back in a grand battement at 90 degrees. The landing is made on the R leg in demiplié with the L leg extended in croisé devant en l’air.

Jeté en arrière, petit:

[puh-TEE zhuh-TAY ah na-RYEHR]. Little jeté traveling backward. Fifth position, R foot back. Demi-plié and glide the R foot along the floor and into the air at 45 degrees; spring off the supporting foot and land in fondu on the R foot with the L foot sur le cou-de-pied devant or extended to the fourth position devant at 45 degrees. This jeté may also be taken croisé en arrière or effacé en arrière.

Jeté en avant:

[zhuh-TAY ah na-VAHN]. Jeté forward. This jeté is done either petit or grand.

Jeté en avant, grand:

[grahn zhuh-TAY ah na-VAHN]. Large jeté forward. A big leap forward preceded by a preliminary movement such as a pas couru or a glissade, which gives the necessary push-off. The jump is done on the foot which is thrown forward as in grand battement at 90 degrees, the height of the jump depending on the strength of the thrust and the length of the jump depending on the strong push-off of the other leg which is thrust up and back. The dancer tries to remain in the air in a definitely expressed attitude or arabesque and descends to the ground in the same pose. It is important to start the jump with a springy plié and finish it with a soft and controlled plié.

Jeté en avant, petit:

[puh-TEE zhuh-TAY ah na-VAHN]. Little jeté traveling forward. Fifth position R foot front. Demi-plié and glide the R foot along the floor and into the air at 45 degrees; spring off the supporting foot and land in fondu on the R foot with the L foot sur le cou-de-pied derrière or extended to the fourth position derrière at 45 degrees. This jeté may also be taken croisé en avant or effacé en avant.

Jeté en descendant, petit:

[puh-TEE zhuh-TAY ahn day-sahn-DAHN]. Little jeté coming down (moving downstage). A term of the French School. Same as jeté dessus.

Jeté en remontant, petit:

[puh-TEE zhuh-TAY ahn ruh-mawn-TAHN]. Little jeté going up (moving upstage). A term of the French School. Same as jeté dessous.

Jeté en tournant, grand:

[grahn zhuh-TAY ahn toor-NAHN]. Large jeté, turning. A term of the French and Russian Schools. Fifth position R foot front. Execute a sissonne tombée to the fourth position croisé into a demi-plié on the R foot, bending the body forward; coupé dessous L, throwing the R leg forward to 90 degrees, making a quarter-turn en dehors; immediately spring into the air, continuing the turn to the right, and land on the R foot in demi-plié in attitude croisée derrière. The whole movement is executed without a pause.

Jeté en tournant en arrière, grand (Cecchetti method):

[grahn zhuh-TAY ahn toor-NAHN ah na-RYEHR]. Large jeté, turning and moving backward. Same as jeté entrelacé (Russian School); jeté dessus en tournant, grand (French School).

Jeté en tournant en avant, grand (Cecchetti method):

[grahn zhuh-TAY ahn toor-NAHN ah na-VAHN]. Large jeté, turning and moving forward. Fourth position R foot front, pointe tendue. Step to the right on the R foot. Spring into the air, executing a grand rond de jambe en dedans with the L leg and turning in the air to the right. During the turn, bring the L foot to retiré devant, then quickly pass the R foot to retiré devant (both knees are bent as the feet pass each other in the air). Come to the ground in demi-plié on the L foot with the R foot in retiré devant.

Jeté en tournant par demi-tours:

[zhuh-TAY ahn toor-NAHN par duh-meeTOOR]. Jeté, turning by half-turns. These jetés are like the jetés dessus or dessous done traveling to the side and making a half-turn with each jeté. The first half-turn will be en dedans and the next en dehors.

Jeté en tournant par terre:

[zhuh-TAY ahn toor-NAHN par tehr]. Jeté, turning close to the floor. Fifth position R foot front. Demi-plié, throw the R foot with a gliding movement on the floor, in the direction effacé en avant, into a jeté en avant, keeping the jeté close to the floor; land on the R foot in demi-plié in arabesque with the L leg à la demi-hauteur; jump into the air, joining the L leg behind the R in the fifth position, making a complete turn to the right. Land on the L foot in demi-plié with the R foot sur le cou-de-pied devant. This jeté is performed consecutively, en diagonale or en manège.

Jeté entrelacé, double:

[DOO-bluh zhuh-TAY ahn-truh-la-SAY]. Double jeté entrelacé. A term of the Russian School. This step is performed only by male dancers with a strong technique. After the working leg has been thrown forward at 90 degrees, the other leg comes to meet it and the body leans back so that it forms a horizontal position in the air and does a double turn in the air before landing in arabesque.

Jeté entrelacé battu:

[zhuh-TAY ahn-truh-la-SAY ba-TEW]. Jeté entrelacé with a beat. After the R leg is thrown forward at 90 degrees, the L leg beats beneath the R, then the legs change so that the L leg beats in front and again in back; the body turns in the air and the L leg is thrown backward to land on the R leg in arabesque.

Jeté enveloppé:

[zhuh-TAY ahn-vuh-law-PAY]. Jeté enveloped. This is a term of the French School. The jeté enveloppé is a jeté dessus done en tournant en dedans, making a complete turn or a half-turn. Fifth position R foot front. Brush the L leg to the second position à la demi-hauteur and execute a demigrand rond de jambe en dedans, making a complete turn to the right in the air. Land on the L foot in demi-plié, facing the audience, with the R leg raised en raccourci derrière or en attitude.

Jeté fondu de côté:

[zhuh-TAY fawn-DEW duh koh-TAY]. Jeté melting or sinking, to the side. Jeté fondu is technically the same as jeté fermé, the only difference being in the ending. The closing leg is put down softly and gradually into the fifth position.

Jeté fouetté, grand:

[grahn zhuh-TAY fweh-TAY]. Large jeté whipped. This is a grand jeté en avant ending with a rotation of the back leg in the hip socket so that the dancer lands facing the opposite direction from which he began the step, with his back leg extended in quatrième devant en l’air.

Jeté passé:

[zhuh-TAY pa-SAY]. Jeté passed. There are three kinds of jeté passé, forward, backward and to the side. All forms are preceded by a step into a demi-plié or a pas couru of three or five steps with an emphasis on the demi-plié at the end of the pas couru.

Jeté passé en arrière:

[zhuh-TAY pa-SAY ah na-RYEHR]. Jeté passed backward. The legs are thrown backward at 45 or 90 degrees (petit jeté passé or grand jeté passé). Stand in the pose croisé derrière with the R foot back and pointe tendue. Step on the R foot in demi-plié in the direction effacé en avant, raising the L leg in back. Spring upward from the R foot, throwing the R leg backward into the air and bending the torso back. There should be a moment in the air when both legs pass each other, then the landing is made on the L foot in attitude croisée derrière. Also called “pas de papillon.”

Jeté passé de côté in second position:

[zhuh-TAY pa-SAY duh koh-TAY]. Jeté passed to the side in second position. This jeté passé is done at 90 degrees and the landing is made in third (Russian) arabesque, attitude croisée derrière or to the pose effacé devant. The leg may do the passé through first position with a stretched knee or by means of a développé.

Jeté piqué sur la pointe:

[zhuh-TAY pee-KAY sewr lah pwent]. Jeté pricked on the point. A term of the Cecchetti method. This is a small step on the points transferring the weight from one point to the other with the free foot raised sur le cou-de-pied devant or derrière.

Jeté renversé, grand:

[grahn zhuh-TAY rahn-vehr-SAY]. Large jeté, upset. Fifth position R foot back. Demi-plié and throw the R leg to grande seconde. Spring off the L foot and land on the R foot in attitude croisée. Execute a pas de bourrée en tournant en dehors with the L foot, bending the body to the right and then backward.

Jeté-rotation:

[zhuh-TAY-raw-ta-SYAWN]. Jeté rotation. Fifth position R foot front. Jeté dessus on the L foot, making a half-turn en dehors. Relevé on the L foot, completing the turn, and développé the R leg to quatrième devant croisé. Tombé croisé en avant on the R foot. This step is usually done in a series.

Jeté sur la pointe (Cecchetti method):

[zhuh-TAY sewr lah pwent]. Jeté on the point. In the Cecchetti method a jeté sur la pointe is similar to a posé, but whereas a posé is a quick movement used in allégro, a jeté sur la pointe is a slow movement used in adage.

Jeté sur les pointes (French School):

[zhuh-TAY sewr lay pwent]. Jeté on the points. These jetés are petits jetés dessus or dessous taken on the full point. There is no extension to the side.

Jeté volé de côté:

[zhuh-TAY vaw-LAY duh koh-TAY]. Jeté, flying to the side. This is a grand jeté to the second position finishing in attitude croisée or arabesque croisée derrière.

Leçon:

[luh-SAWN]. Lesson. The daily class taken by dancers throughout their career to continue learning and to maintain technical proficiency. It consists of exercices à la barre (side practice) followed by exercices au milieu (centre practice), port de bras, pirouette practice and petit and grand allégro. See these terms.

Leotard:

A tightly fitting practice or stage costume for dancers, covering the body from neck to thighs or to the ankles. There are many varieties, such as short-sleeve and sleeveless versions. The version worn by its inventor, the French acrobat Jules Léotard, in the middle of the nineteenth century had long sleeves and covered the body from neck to ankles.

Lié, temps:

[tahn lyay]. Time linked or linking movement.

Lift:

The lifting of the danseuse by her male partner.

Ligne:

[LEEN-yuh]. Line. The outline presented by a dancer while executing steps and poses. A dancer is said to have a good or bad sense of line according to the arrangement of head, body, legs and arms in a pose or movement. A good line is absolutely indispensable to the classical dancer.

Limbering:

Before leaving the bar, dancers often do stretching exercises, of which there is a great variety, to further loosen and extend their muscles.

Lyrical dancing:

A poetic style of dancing with a lovely, flowing quality.

Maillot:

[mah-YOH]. The French term for tights. A tightly fitting garment covering the dancer’s body up to the waist or armpits.

Maître or maîtresse de ballet:

[MEH-truh (or) meh-TRESS duh ba-LAY]. Ballet master or mistress. The person responsible for the training of the dancers in a company. The maître or maîtresse de ballet also conducts company rehearsals.

Manège, en:

[ahn ma-NEZH]. As at a riding school or in a circus ring. A term of the French School. Indicates that the dancer is to travel around the room in a circle while performing a combination of steps or turns.

Manèges:

[ma-NEZH]. Circular. A term applied to steps or enchaînements executed in a circle.

Marquer:

[mar-KAY]. To stamp, to mark the accents in a step. Also to mark or “walk through” the steps of an enchaînement or variation.

Mazurka or mazurek:

A Polish folk dance in 3/4 time which has been introduced into a number of ballets as a character dance.

Methods (French: Méthodes [may-TAWD]):

Academic ballet as we know it today came into being in the year 1661, when King Louis XIV of France founded the Académie Royale de Musique et de Danse. Although individual Milanese dancing-masters had been renowned since the fifteenth century, the permanent Imperial Dancing Academy connected with La Scala Theatre was not opened until 1812. The Academy at Milan influenced Paris and especially Russia through the rules of education drawn up by Carlo Blasis, who became director of the Academy in 1837 and rapidly made it the centre of ballet activity.

Milieu, au:

[oh mee-LYUH]. In the middle or centre.

Mime:

The art of using the face and body to express emotion and dramatic action.

Mimer:

[mee-MAY]. To mime or mimic. To express dramatic action or emotion or to convey a story by means of gesture and facial expression.

Modifications:

All the steps, poses and movements are subject to certain terms which indicate to the dancer in what direction or in what manner any given step or position is to be executed. These terms are known as modifications. Examples are: devant, en l’air, battu, en croix, fermé, and so on.

Movements in dancing:

There are seven movements in dancing: élancer, to dart; étendre, to stretch; glisser, to glide or slide; plier, to bend; relever, to raise; sauter, to jump; tourner, to turn round.

Notation:

There is no universally accepted system of recording the choreography of ballets although many systems of dance notation have been devised by dancers and choreographers. At present, there are two systems of notation in general use, Labanotation (q.v) and Benesh notation.

Opposition:

The term refers to the “law” by which the arm position is in opposition to the leg that is in front, whether that leg is the supporting or the working leg. For example, if the dancer’s R leg is in the front, the arms are placed in opposition by raising the L arm in the front, either curved or extended, and extending the R arm to the side or back.

Ouvert, ouverte:

[oo-VEHR, oo-VEHRT]. 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, that is, à la quatrième devant ouvert or effacé devant en l’air.

Ouvert en arrière:

[oo-VEHR ah na-RYEHR]. Open backward. A term of the French School. Used to indicate that a step beginning with the R foot is executed in a diagonal direction backward toward the right back corner of the room. Similarly, a step beginning with the L foot will be executed toward the left back corner of the room. Example, chassé ouvert en arrière.

Ouvert en avant:

[oo-VEHR ah na-VAHN]. Open forward. A term of the French School. Used to indicate that a step beginning with the R foot is executed in a diagonal direction forward toward the right front corner of the room. Similarly, a step beginning with the L foot will be executed toward the left front corner of the room. Example: Chassé ouvert en avant.

Ouverture de jambe:

[oo-vehr-TEWR duh zhahnb]. Opening of the leg. The ouverture de jambe is a term of the French School; the step resembles the grand rond de jambe en l’air, but whereas the latter is taken slowly and preceded by a développé, the ouverture de jambe is taken from grande quatrième devant or derrière and is done in one quick movement or stroke, either en dedans or en dehors.

Pas:

[pah]. Step. A simple step or a compound movement which involves a transfer of weight. Example: pas de bourrée. “Pas” also refers to a dance executed by a soloist (pas seul), a duet (pas de deux), and so on.

Pas allé:

[pah a-LAY]. Walking step. This is a simple walking step in which the whole foot is placed on the floor, not the toe first as in pas marché.

Pas assemblé:

[pah a-sahn-BLAY]. Assembled step. A basic step of allégro.

Pas ballotté:

[pah ba-law-TAY]. Tossed step.

Pas battus:

[pah ba-TEW]. Beaten steps. Any step done with a beat is called a pas battu. The pas battus include such steps as assemblé, jeté, ballonné, sissonne, échappé, saut de basque, jeté entrelacé, etc.

Pas brisé:

[pah bree-ZAY]. Breaking step.

Pas composé:

[pah kawn-poh-ZAY]. Compound step. A term of the French School for any of various combinations of steps.

Pas couru:

[pah koo-REW]. Running step. Pas couru is a run in any direction and is composed of three or five running steps on the demi-pointes to gain momentum for such steps as grand jeté en avant, grand jeté pas de chat, etc. The demi-plié at the end of the pas couru is emphasized, followed by the step for which it serves as a springboard. The term is also used for a run on point in an unturned-out first position.

Pas d’action:

[pah dak-SYAWN]. Dance action. A scene in a ballet that expresses emotion or tells a story by means of mime and dance. Examples of pas d’action are to be found in Giselle, Act I, in Coppélia and in The Sleeping Beauty.

Pas de basque:

[pah duh bask]. Basque step. A characteristic step of the national dances of the Basques that has been adapted to ballet use. There are two types of pas de basque; pas de basque glissé, which is done close to the floor, and pas de basque sauté, which is jumped. The step is performed en avant, en arrière and en tournant.

Pas de basque battu (Cecchetti method):

[pah duh bask ba-TEW]. Pas de basque, beaten. Fifth position R foot front. Demi-plié and spring off the L foot, raising the R foot a few inches off the floor, toward corner 1. While the body is in the air, beat the feet (from the base of the calves down) together, R foot front, and simultaneously interchange them. Land on the R foot in demiplié and immediately close the L foot in demi-plié in the fifth position front.

Pas de basque en arrière, grand:

[grahn pah duh bask ah na-RYEHR]. Large pas de basque, traveling backward. To perform this, reverse the movements of grand pas de basque en avant (q.v.). It may also be performed eliminating the demi-grand rond de jambe en dedans, in which case the step begins with a jeté de côté at 90 degrees.

Pas de basque en descendant:

[pah duh bask ahn day-sahn-DAHN]. Pas de basque, coming down (stage). A term of the French School. Same as pas de basque en avant.

Pas de basque en détournant, grand:

[grahn pah duh bask ahn day-toorNAHN]. A term of the French School. Same as grand pas de basque en tournant.

Pas de basque en remontant:

[pah duh bask ahn ruh-mawn-TAHN]. Pas de basque, going up (stage). A term of the French School. Same as pas de basque en arrière.

Pas de basque en tournant:

[pah duh bask ahn toor-NAHN]. Pas de basque, turning. This is a compound step consisting of a pas de basque en avant turning a half-turn en dedans, followed by a pas de basque en arrière turning a half-turn en dehors, to make one complete turn.

Pas de basque en tournant, grand:

[grahn pah duh bask ahn toor-NAHN]. Large pas de basque, turning. This is done like the grand pas de basque (en avant) but the first two movements are done with straight legs. Demi-plié in the fifth position. Execute a demi-grand rond de jambe en dehors at 90 degrees with the R leg, spring upward and execute a demi-grand rond de jambe en dedans at 90 degrees with the L leg. Alight in fondu on the R leg and close the L leg to the fifth position front, turning quickly en dedans on the balls of the feet. Finish in demi-plié in the fifth position R foot front.

Pas de basque glissé en arrière:

[pah duh bask glee-SAY ah na-RYEHR]. Pas de basque, gliding backward. To perform this, reverse the movements of pas de basque glissé en avant (q.v.). It may also be performed eliminating the demi-rond de jambe en dedans, in which case the step begins with a battement soutenu to the second position.

Pas de bourrée:

[pah duh boo-RAY]. Bourrée step. Pas de bourrée is done dessous, dessus, devant, derrière, en avant, en arrière and en tournant en dedans and en dehors, on the point or demi-pointe.

Pas de bourrée bateau:

[pah duh boo-RAY ba-TOH]. Boat-like pas de bourrée. A term of the French School. This is a pas de bourrée en avant taken in an effacé direction and ending with the free foot extended à la demihauteur. This is immediately followed by a pas de bourrée en arrière taken in an effacé direction and ending with the free foot extended à la demi-hauteur.

Pas de bourrée couru:

[pah duh boo-RAY koo-REW]. Pas de bourrée, running. A term of the French School. This is a progression on the points or demi-pointes by a series of small, even steps with the feet close together. It may be done in all directions or in a circle. Same as pas de bourrée suivi.

Pas de bourrée couru en première:

[pah duh boo-RAY koo-REW ahn pruhMYEHR]. Pas de bourrée, running, in the first position. This step travels en avant, en arrière and so on. The feet are in the first position on the points or demi-pointes, without a turn-out, and the step is done traveling with a series of tiny steps closing in the first position.

Penché, penchée:

[pahn-SHAY]. Leaning, inclining. As, for example, in arabesque penchée (q.v.).

Petit, petite:

[puh-TEE, puh-TEET]. Little, small. As, for example, in petit battement. (To find terms starting with “petit,” look up the second word of the term.)

Pied à demi:

[pyay a duh-MEE]. Foot at the half. Another name for sur la demi-pointe.

Piétiner:

[pyay-tee-NAY]. To stamp the feet. A term of the French School applied to accented movements sur les pointes.

Piqué:

[pee-KAY]. Pricked, pricking. Executed by stepping directly on the point or demi-pointe of the working foot in any desired direction or position with the other foot raised in the air. As, for example, in piqué en arabesque, piqué développé and so on.

Pirouette:

[peer-WET]. Whirl or spin. A complete turn of the body on one foot, on point or demi-pointe. Pirouettes are performed en dedans, turning inward toward the supporting leg, or en dehors, turning outward in the direction of the raised leg. Correct body placement is essential in all kinds of pirouettes. The body must be well centered over the supporting leg with the back held strongly and the hips and shoulders aligned. The force of momentum is furnished by the arms, which remain immobile during the turn. The head is the last to move as the body turns away from the spectator and the first to arrive as the body comes around to the spectator, with the eyes focused at a definite point which must be at eye level. This use of the eyes while turning is called “spotting.” Pirouettes may be performed in any given position, such as sur le cou-de-pied, en attitude, en arabesque, à la seconde, etc.

Pirouette à la seconde, grande:

[grahnd peer-WET a lah suh-GAWND]. Large pirouette in the second position. This pirouette is usually performed by male dancers. It is a series of turns on one foot with the free leg raised to the second position en l’air at 90 degrees. Demi-plié in the second position (R arm curved in front of the body, L arm in second); spring onto the L demipointe, throwing the R leg to the second position and turning en dehors. At the completion of the first turn, the supporting heel is lowered in demi-plié, then immediately pushes from the floor to demi-pointe, and the turn is repeated. After a series of 8 or 16 turns, grande pirouette is usually concluded with multiple pirouettes sur le cou-de-pied. The force for the first turn is taken by the R arm, which opens to the second position. The arms remain in the second position during the series of turns, then close in the first position for the concluding pirouettes. The head turns and the eyes “spot,” providing additional force for the turns.

Pointes, sur les:

[sewr lay pwent]. On the points. The raising of the body on the tips of the toes. Also used in the singular, “sur la pointe.” First introduced in the late 1820s or early 1830s at the time of Taglioni. There are three ways of reaching the points, by piqué, relevé or sauté.

Pointe shoes:

The satin ballet shoes used by dancers when dancing sur les pointes. The ballet shoes of Marie Taglioni, the first major ballerina to dance on her points, were not blocked but were padded with cotton wool. Later (about 1862) the toes of the ballet slippers were stiffened (blocked) with glue and darned to give the dancer additional support. Today the toes of pointe shoes are reinforced with a box constructed of several layers of strong glue in between layers of material. Professional dancers usually darn the tip of the pointe shoe to obtain a better grip of the shoe on the floor and thus prevent slipping.

Poisson:

[pwa-SAWN]. Fish. A position of the body in which the legs are crossed in the fifth position and held tightly together with the back arched. This pose is taken while jumping into the air or in double work when the danseuse is supported in a poisson position by her partner.

Polonaise:

A processional dance in 3/4 time with which the court ballets of the seventeenth century were opened. It may be seen today in such ballets as The Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake. The polonaise is a march in which two steps are taken forward on the demi-pointes and then the third step is taken flat with the supporting knee bent in fondu and the other leg raised in front.

Port de bras:

[pawr duh brah]. Carriage of the arms. The term port de bras has two meanings: (1) A movement or series of movements made by passing the arm or arms through various positions. The passage of the arms from one position to another constitutes a port de bras. (2) A term for a group of exercises designed to make the arms move gracefully and harmoniously. In the Cecchetti method there are eight set exercises on port de bras.

Porté, portée:

[pawr-TAY]. Carried. Refers either to a step which is traveled in the air from one spot to another (such as assemblé dessus porté) or to the carrying of a danseuse by a danseur.

Première, en:

[ahn pruh-MYEHR]. In or through the first position.

Quadrille:

[ka-DREE-yuh]. (1) A French square dance of the early nineteenth century performed by two or four couples. (2) A division in the ranks of dancers in the Paris Opéra ballet (two of the lowest ranks being the premiers quadrilles and the seconds quadrilles).

Quarré (carré), en:

[ahn ka-RAY]. In the shape of a square. Steps or exercises executed in a square formation, delineating three or four sides of a square.

Quart:

[kar]. Quarter, fourth part. As, for example, in un quart de tour.

Raccourci:

[ra-koor-SEE]. Shortened. A term of the French School. (1) A position in which the thigh is raised to the second position en l’air, with the knee bent so that the pointed toe rests against the knee of the supporting leg.

Ramassé, ramassée:

[ra-ma-SAY]. Picked up. As, for example, in entrechat cinq ramassé.

Rat:

[ra]. This is a slang term for a child dance student at the Paris Opéra. The term, coined early in the nineteenth century, was derived from the children’s appearance: always in movement, with lean faces, and incessantly nibbling at food. The “petits rats” are the lowest rank of dancers in the cadre of the Paris Opéra ballet.

Rebours, à:

[a ruh-BOOR]. In reverse. Indicates that the direction of a step is to be reversed.

Relevé:

[ruhl-VAY]. Raised. A raising of the body on the points or demipointes, point or demi-pointe. There are two ways to relevé. In the French School, relevé is done with a smooth, continuous rise while the Cecchetti method and the Russian School use a little spring. Relevé may be done in the first, second, fourth or fifth position, en attitude, en arabesque, devant, derrière, en tournant, passé en avant, passé en arrière and so on. Occasionally the term may refer to a lowering of the working foot from a position pointe tendue to the ground and re-raising it to the position pointe tendue, as in battement tendu relevé. In the Russian School the term relevé is also used to mean the slow raising of the stretched leg to 90° in any direction.

Remontant, en:

[ahn ruh-mawn-TAHN]. Going up. A term of the French School, generally applied to a traveling step. The working foot passes from front to back so that the dancer moves upstage. The opposite of en remontant is en descendant (q.v).

Renversé, renversée:

[rahn-vehr-SAY]. Upset, reversed. Of Spanish origin, this is the bending of the body during a turn in which the normal balance is upset but not the equilibrium. It applies to only three steps: a pirouette, a pas de bourrée en tournant and a détourné. The body bends from the waist, sideways and backward, the head following the movement of the body. Renversé may be performed en dehors and en dedans with either a relevé or a temps levé on the supporting foot. There are several varieties of renversé when performed en dehors. For renversé en dedans,

Répéter:

[ray-pay-TAY]. To rehearse or practice.

Retiré:

[ruh-tee-RAY]. Withdrawn. A position in which the thigh is raised to the second position en l’air with the knee bent so that the pointed toe rests in front of, behind or to the side of the supporting knee.

Retombé, retombée:

[ruh-tawn-BAY]. Falling back. A term of the French School and the Cecchetti method. To fall back again to the original position.

Révérence, grande:

[grahnd ray-vay-RAHNSS]. Big reverence or curtsey. The elaborate curtsey performed by the female dancer to acknowledge the applause of the audience. It is also done at the end of a ballet class to show the respectful admiration of the pupils for their teacher.

Rise:

This is a smooth relevé from a position à terre through all the levels of the foot (quarter-point, half-point and three-quarter point). The toes do not move from the spot at which the rise began.

Rivoltade:

[ree-vawl-TAD]. A French term derived from the Italian “rivoltare,” to turn over. A male dancer’s step in which the dancer places one leg in the air and then gives the impression that he jumps over it with the other leg. Raise the R leg up in front, spring into the air and bring the L leg over the top of the R leg (either straight or bent in retiré) while turning to the right. Land facing the opposite direction on the L leg with the R leg raised in back. Rivoltade may be executed from various preparations and ended in various poses such as first or third (Russian) arabesque.

Rolling:

Dancers who do not have a good turn-out should not force their legs to turn out too much at first, as this usually results in rolling ankles. If the weight is on the inside of the feet, dancers call this rolling in; if the weight is on the outside of the feet, it is called rolling out. The toes and heels should be flat on the floor and the turn-out must come from the hip joints.

Romantic ballet:

A style of ballet produced during the early nineteenth century in which the accent was on the conveyance of a mood to tell a story. Example of romantic ballets are La Sylphide and Giselle.

Royale:

[rwah-YAL]. Royal. A changement in which the calves are beaten together before the feet change position. Also termed “changement battu.” Fifth position R foot front. Demi-plié in preparation for a small spring into the air, opening both legs slightly. Quickly close the legs and beat the calves of the legs together, open slightly to the side, and come to the ground in demi-plié in the fifth position R foot back.

Salle, autour de la:

[oh-TOOR duh lah sal]. Round the room. A term of the Cecchetti method. This term indicates that a series of turns or steps is to be performed in a circle around the stage.

Saut:

[soh]. Jump. A jump off both feet, landing with the feet in the same position.

Scène:

[sen]. Stage; scenery, scene.

Sickling:

This term is used for a fault in which the dancer turns his or her foot in from the ankle, thereby breaking the straight line of the leg.

Sissonne:

[see-SAWN]. Sissonne is named for the originator of the step. It is a jump from both feet onto one foot with the exception of sissonne fermée, sissonne tombée and sissonne fondue, which finish on two feet. Sissonne may be performed petite or grande. The petites sissonnes are sissonne simple, sissonne fermée, sissonne ouverte at 45 degrees and sissonne tombée at 45 degrees. The grandes sissonnes are sissonne ouverte at 90 degrees, sissonne renversée and sissonne soubresaut.

Six :

[seess]. Six.

Soubresaut:

[soo-bruh-SOH]. Sudden spring or bound. A term of the French and Russian Schools. A springing jump from both feet usually performed traveling forward in either a croisé or effacé direction and landing on both feet. From demi-plié in the fifth position, spring into the air with well-crossed legs, extended knees and feet pointed. Land simultaneously on both feet in demi-plié in the fifth position with the same foot in the front that started the jump. In the Russian School, the body inclines forward before the jump and then forcefully bends back at the height of the jump so that the legs are behind.

Sous-sus:

[soo-SEW]. Under-over. A term of the Cecchetti method. Sous-sus is a relevé in the fifth position performed sur place or traveled forward, backward or to the side. The dancer springs onto the points or demi-pointes, drawing the feet and legs tightly together.

Soutenu, soutenue:

[soot-NEW]. Sustained. As, for example, in assemblé soutenu.

Spotting:

This is a term given to the movement of the head and focusing of the eyes in pirouettes, déboulés, fouetté ronds de jambe en tournant and so on. In these turns the dancer chooses a spot in front and as the turn is made away from the spot, the head is the last to leave and the first to arrive as the body completes the turn. This rapid movement or snap of the head gives the impression that the face is always turned forward and prevents the dancer from becoming dizzy.

Step:

A step is used in classical ballet as a connecting movement to transfer the weight from one leg to the other. It is usually preceded by a fondu on the supporting leg and the foot taking the step is pointed before being placed on the floor. The step can begin with a stretched leg or with a développé.

Stretching:

Dancers do many varied stretching exercises before leaving the bar to further loosen the muscles.

Suite, de:

[duh sweet]. Continuously. Indicates that a step or movement is to be repeated several times. As, for example, in assemblés de suite.

Sujet:

[sew-ZHEH]. A term used in French ballet for a soloist. There are both petits and grands sujets.

Supporting leg:

A term used by dancers and teachers for the leg which supports the body so that the working leg is free to execute a given movement.

Sur:

[sewr]. On, upon. As, for example, in sur les pointes.

Tableau:

[ta-BLOH]. Picture. A striking or artistic grouping that forms a large picture on the stage.

Talon :

[ta-LAWN]. Heel.

Taqueté:

[tak-TAY]. Pegged. A term used to indicate a dance sur les pointes consisting of quick, little steps in which the points strike the floor sharply in a staccato manner. Steps of taqueterie include piqué, emboîté sur les pointes, pas de bourrée and so on.

Tarantella:

[tah-rahn-TEL-lah]. A fast Italian dance in 6/8 time.

Temps:

[tahn]. Time, step, movement. A part of a step or movement in which no transfer of weight takes place. A temps is a section of a pas.

Terre, à:

[a tehr]. On the ground. This term indicates: (1) that the entire base of the supporting foot or feet touches the ground; (2) that the foot usually raised in a pose is to remain on the ground with the toes extended. Example: arabesque à terre.

Tête :

[tet]. Head.

Tire-bouchon, en:

[ahn teer-boo-SHAWN]. Like a corkscrew. A term of the Russian School. This is a position in which the leg is raised so that the thigh is in the second position and the tip of the pointed toe touches the knee of the supporting leg. A pirouette in this position, when done with a renversé movement, gives the impression of a corkscrew.

Tombé, tombée:

[tawn-BAY]. Falling. This is a movement in which the dancer, with the working leg raised in the air, falls forward, backward or sideways into a fondu on the working leg.

Tonnelet:

[tawn-LEH]. Literally, a cask. A short cask-shaped skirt stretched over a hoop-shaped frame worn by male dancers during the eighteenth century.

Tour :

[toor]. Turn. A turn of the body

Un, une :

[uhn, ewn]. One; a.

Vaganova, Agrippina:

[ah-gree-PEE-nah vah-GAH-naw-vah]. The greatest Russian teacher of her day (1879–1951). She was a graduate of the St. Petersburg Imperial Ballet School, where she studied under Ivanov, Vazem, Gerdt, Legat and others. She was accepted into the corps de ballet of the Maryinski Theatre in 1897 and became a ballerina in 1915. She left the stage in 1917 to devote herself to teaching. In 1921 she became a teacher at the Leningrad State Ballet School (formerly the Imperial Ballet School, St. Petersburg) and began developing the instructional system that later became known to the world as the Vaganova system. In 1934 she became head of the Leningrad Choreographic Technicum and published her textbook Fundamentals of the Classic Dance. Vaganova’s method has become the basic method of the entire Soviet choreographic school. This method is still being developed by Vaganova’s followers.

Valse :

[vals]. Waltz.

Variation:

[va-rya-SYAWN]. Variation. A solo dance in a classic ballet.

Volé, volée :

[vaw-LAY]. Flown, flying. As, for example, in brisé volé.

Voyagé :

[vwah-yah-ZHAY]. Traveled, traveling. Indicates that the dancer while holding a specific pose, generally en arabesque, progresses on the supporting foot by a series of small jumps, landing on the ball of the foot (in demi-plié) with the heel slightly raised. The heel is placed down with a slight fondu.

Waltz:

A ballroom dance in 3/4 time. It was first introduced in a ballet by Pierre Gardel in his La Dansomanie of 1800.

Warm-up:

This is the term used by dancers for the exercises they perform in the wings before going on stage for a performance. These are usually bar exercises plus stretching and limbering. Dancers always warm up as a precaution against injury to the muscles and tendons and to make sure that the body is pliable and ready for the strain to be placed upon it.

Working leg:

A term used by dancers and teachers to denote the leg that is executing a given movement while the weight of the body is on the supporting leg.

Wrapped position:

This term of the Russian School refers to a position sur le cou-de-pied in which the foot is wrapped around the ankle.


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