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Ballet Terms I
french translations to ballet technique
89
Fine Art
01/25/2008

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Term
Adage, Adagio [French: a-DAHZH]
Definition

A series of exercises following the centre 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.

 

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.

Term
Air, en l' [ahn lehr]
Definition

 In the air

Term
Allégro [a-lay-GROH]
Definition
Brisk, lively
Term
Arabesque [a-ra-BESK]
Definition
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.
Term
Arrière, en [ah na-RYEHR]
Definition
Backward
Term
Assemblé [a-sahn-BLAY]
Definition
Assembled or joined together
Term
Assemblé en tournant, grand [grahn ta-sahn-BLAY ahn toor-NAHN]
Definition
Big assemblé, turning
Term
Attitude [a-tee-TEWD]
Definition
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.
Term
Avant, en [ah na-VAHN]
Definition
Forward
Term
Balancé [ba-lahn-SAY]
Definition
 Rocking step
Term
Ballon [ba-LAWN]
Definition
Bounce
Term
Barre [bar]
Definition
The horizontal wooden bar fastened to the walls of the ballet classroom or rehearsal hall which the dancer holds for support.
Term
Battement [bat-MAHN]
Definition
Beating
Term
Battement dégagé [bat-MAHN day-ga-ZHAY]
Definition
Disengaged battement
Term
Battement fondu développé [bat-MAHN fawn-DEW dayv-law-PAY]
Definition

Battement, sinking down, developed

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.

Term
Battement frappé [bat-MAHN fra-PAY]
Definition

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.

Term
Battement sur le cou-de-pied, petit [puh-TEE bat-MAHN sewr luh koo-duh-PYAY]
Definition

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

Term
Battement tendu [bat-MAHN tahn-DEW]
Definition

 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.

Term
Battement, grand [grahn bat-MAHN]
Definition

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.

Term
Battu [ba-TEW]
Definition
Beaten
Term
Bras [brah]
Definition
Arms.
Term
Bras bas [brah bah]
Definition
 Arms low or down
Term
Brisé [bree-ZAY]
Definition
Broken, breaking
Term
Brisé volé [bree-ZAY vaw-LAY]
Definition

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.

Term
Cabriole [ka-bree-AWL]
Definition

Caper.

An allegro step in which the extended legs are beaten in the air

Term
Chaînés [sheh-NAY]
Definition

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.

Term
Changement de pieds [shahnzh-MAHN duh pyay]
Definition
Change of feet
Term
Chassé [sha-SAY]
Definition
Chased
Term
Cinq [senk]
Definition
Five
Term
Côté, de [duh koh-TAY]
Definition
Sideways.
Term
Cou-de-pied, sur le [sewr luh koo-duh-PYAY]
Definition

On the "Neck" of the foot.

The working foot is placed on the part of the leg between the base of the calf and the beginning of the ankle.

Term
Coupé jeté en tournant [koo-PAY zhuh-TAY ahn toor-NAHN]
Definition
A compound step consisting of a coupé dessous making a three-quarter turn and a grand jeté en avant to complete the turn.
Term
Couru [koo-REW]
Definition
Running
Term
Croisé, croisée [kmJah-ZAY]
Definition
Crossed
Term
Dedans, en [ahn duh-DAHN]
Definition
Inward.
Term
Dehors, en [ahn duh-AWR]
Definition
Outward
Term
Demi-plié [duh-MEE-plee-AY]
Definition
Half-bend of the knees
Term
Demi-pointes, sur les [sewr lay duh-mee-PWENT]
Definition

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

Term
Derrière [deh-RYEHR]
Definition
Behind, back
Term
Dessous [duh-SOO]
Definition
Under
Term
Dessus [duh-SEW]
Definition
Over
Term
Deux [duh]
Definition
 Two
Term
Deuxième [duh-ZYEM]
Definition
Second.
Term
Devant [duh-VAHN]
Definition
In front
Term
Développé, temps [tahn dayv-law-PAY]
Definition
Time developed, developing movement
Term
Diagonale, en [ahn dya-gaw-NAL]
Definition
In a diagonal
Term
Double [DOO-bluh]
Definition
Double
Term
Écarté [ay-har-TAY]
Definition

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.

Term
Échappé [ay-sha-PAY]
Definition

Escaping or slipping movement

 An échappé is a level opening of both feet from a closed to an open position.

Term
Entrechat six [ahn-truh-SHAH seess]
Definition

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.

Term
Face, en [ahn fahss]
Definition
Opposite (the audience); facing the audience
Term
Fondu, fondue [fawn-DEW]
Definition

Sinking down.

A term used to describe a lowering of the body made by bending the knee of the supporting leg.

Term
Fouetté [fweh-TAY]
Definition
Whipped
Term
Fouetté rond de jambe en tournant [fweh-TAY rawn duh zhahnb ahn toor-NAHN]
Definition
Whipped circle of the leg turning
Term
Glissade [glee-SAD]
Definition
Glide
Term
Grand, grande [grahn, grahnd]
Definition
Big, large
Term
Jambe [zhahnb]
Definition
Leg.
Term
Jeté, pas [pah zhuh-TAY]
Definition
Throwing step
Term
Jeté battu [zhuh-TAY ba-TEW]
Definition
Jeté beaten
Term
Jeté, grand [grahn zhuh-TAV]
Definition
Large jeté.
Term
Jeté en avant, grand [grahn zhuh-TAY ah na-VAHN]
Definition
Large jeté forward
Term
Manèges [ma-NEZH]
Definition
Circular
Term
Pas [pah]
Definition
Step.
Term
Pas de bourrée [pah duh boo-RAY]
Definition

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.

Term
Pas de bourrée couru [pah duh boo-RAY koo-REW]
Definition

Pas de bourrée, running.

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.

Term
Pas de chat [pah duh shah]
Definition
Cat's-step.
Term
Petit, petite [puh-TEE, puh-TEET]
Definition
Little, small
Term
Pieds, cinq positions des [sen paw-zee-SYAWN day pyay]
Definition
Five positions of the feet
Term
Piqué [pee-KAY]
Definition
Pricked, pricking
Term
Pirouette [peer-WET]
Definition
Whirl or spin.
Term
Pirouette à la seconde, grande [grahrul peer-WET a lah suh-GAWND]
Definition
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.
Term
Pirouette piquée [peer-WET pee-KAY]
Definition
Pricked pirouette
Term
Plié [plee-AY]
Definition
Bent, bending
Term
Port de bras [pawr duh brah]
Definition
Carriage of the arms
Term
Porté, portée [pawr-TAY]
Definition
 Carried
Term
Premier, première [pruh-MYAY, pruh-MYEHR]
Definition
First.
Term

Quatrième [ka-tree-EM]

Definition
 Fourth
Term
Relevé [ruhl-VAY]
Definition
Raised.
Term
Retiré [ruh-tee-RAY]
Definition

 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.

Term
Ront de jambe [rawn duh zhahnb]
Definition
Round of the leg, that is, a circular movement of the leg. Ronds de jambe are used as an exercise at the bar, in the centre and in the adage, and are done à terre or en l'air
Term
Rond de jambe à terre [rawn duh zhahnb a tehr]
Definition

Rond de jambe on the ground.

An exercise at the bar or in the centre in which one leg is made to describe a series of circular movements on the ground. Both legs must be kept perfectly straight and all movement must come from the hip, along with the arching and relaxing of the instep. The toe of the working foot does not rise off the ground and does not pass beyond the fourth position front (fourth position ouvert) or the fourth position back.

Term
Rond de jambe en l'air [rawn duh zhahnb ahn lehr]
Definition

Rond de jambe in the air.

Ronds de jambe en l'air are done at the bar and in centre practice and may be single, or double, en dehors or en dedans. The toe of the working foot describes an oval, the extreme ends of which are the second position en l'air and the supporting leg. The thigh must be kept motionless and the hips well turned out, the whole movement being made by the leg below the knee. The thigh should also be held horizontal so that the pointed toe of the working foot passes at (approximately) the height of the supporting knee. Ronds de jambe en l'air may also be done with the leg extended to the second position en l'air (demi-position) and closed to the calf of the supporting leg.

Term
Sauté, sautée [soh-TAY]
Definition
Jumped, jumping
Term
Seconde, à la [ah la suh-GAWND]
Definition
To the second
Term
Sissonne [see-SAWN]
Definition
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
Term
Terre, à [a tehr]
Definition
On the ground
Term
Tour en l'air [toor ahn lehr]
Definition
Turn in the air.
Term
Tournant, en [ahn toor-NAHN]
Definition
Turning
Term
Troisième [trwah-ZYEM]
Definition
Third.