The Next Step Performing Arts Center

(225) 654-4500 * Zachary, Louisiana

Things to Consider when Choosing a Performing Arts facility

Here is some advice to take into consideration when choosing a performing arts facility.  


Whether you’re a beginner or partially trained, a parent of a talented child or a young adult looking for a performing arts career, choosing the appropriate classes and instructors to nurture your talents is crucial.
Before seeking out a dance class for yourself or your child, consider the following:

1. Why do I want to take dancing?
For many parents, dance lessons are a logical choice for active children who enjoy moving to music. Young children may even express the desire to become ballerinas; taking classes will introduce them to the world of dance. For others, dance classes may provide physical activity, an outlet for creativity, and a social environment (especially for those not yet in school). Dance classes for children should, first and foremost, be fun. If a child displays a level of excellence above the expectations for their age, teachers may suggest competitions or other more “serious” means of study.
For older students, dance classes may be necessary to successfully audition for post high-school, performing arts programs. Anyone looking at a career in the musical theatre industry (or many other entertainment aspects) should seriously consider taking some dance classes.
The benefits include:
*** Physical: flexibility/toning/cardiovascular
*** Rhythmic: ability to move the body to music
*** Creative: a way to express oneself
*** Teamwork: learning to work as part of a group
*** Confidence: posture/comfort in being in front of others/performing
*** Social: friendships with others who enjoy the same activity/friendships outside of school


2. What type of dance interests me?
For little ones, there are programs specifically for young children that incorporate creative movement to music. Young children also enjoy tap and jazz classes geared to their age levels. Ballet is wonderful for posture, technique and building a sound foundation, but it must be done correctly for these benefits to take place.
Older students who are choosing a dance class for fun should pick something that is of interest to them. Hip hop/street dance is very popular with teens as well as jazz.
Students considering a career in musical theatre should take as many different dance disciplines as possible.
DANCE DISCIPLINES TO CHOOSE FROM: These are the main ones:
Tap, Jazz, Ballet/Pointe, Lyrical, Modern, Hip hop/street, Musical theatre, National (Celtic/Italian/Ukrainian/Scottish etc)


3. What do I hope to achieve by taking the class?
When signing up young children, consider that dance should be fun for them. If they are not enjoying taking the classes, they shouldn’t be forced to continue (even if they are very talented).
For more serious students, consider the following reasons for taking classes:
*** Learn the particular dance discipline(s)
*** Develop skills for a future career
*** Performance opportunities
*** Physical benefits


4. What are my financial obligations?
Be aware of studio policies before committing to any classes. Tuitions can be charged in many different ways including:
a) All due at registration
b) A down-payment due at registration and the balance due shortly after
c) A down-payment due at registration and a payment plan for future installments
What are the cancellation conditions? For many programs, refunds are not available after programs start. Find out what is expected of you, the student, in terms of commitment.


5. Besides the cost of the class itself, what else will I need to purchase?
It is important to realize that the cost of the dance class is NOT the only cost involved. Specific clothing (usually a bodysuit and tights or other such appropriate dancewear) and specific shoes (i.e. tap shoes, ballet slippers, and hip hop sneakers) will be required and are a cost beyond the tuition fee. Also, a costume will be required for a recital. Make sure you’re aware of all these “other” costs before you commit to the class.


6. Do the tuition fees commensurate with teaching credentials/experience?

This is an important point! CHEAPER ISN’T necessarily BETTER!

ADVICE: When looking for the “right” dance classes, call around, ask for information and know what to ask. A reputable studio WILL give you information regarding qualifications and fees.

If you have any questions or concerns about a studio, ask to speak with the director. The bottom line is this: not every studio will be right for you (or your child), so an informed decision is your best bet to picking the right class.

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Ballet Dictionary & Dance Dictionary

 

 

Ballet Terms A to Z

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 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. 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.

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 allegro. The most important qualities to aim at in allégro are lightness, smoothness and ballon.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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 glissade 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.

 

 

 

Ballerina [bahl-lay-REE-rlah (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, coryphees and corps de ballet.

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.

Cavalier The male partner of the ballerina

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

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

Virtuoso A performer with great technical ability.

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.

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. See Exercices à la barre.

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 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 fondu développé [bat-MAHN fawn-DEW dayv-law-PAY] 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. 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 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 allegro step, the jeté.

 

 

 

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 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, 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.

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

Bras [brah] Arms.

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.

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 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.

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.

 

 

 

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.

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.

Chassé [sha-SAY] Chased. A step in which one foot literally chases the other foot out of its position; done in a series.

Cinq [senk] Five. As, for example, in entrechat cinq.

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.

Corps [kawr] Body.

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.

Cou-de-pied, sur le [sewr luh koo-duh-PYAY] 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.

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.

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

Croisé, croisée [kmJah-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.

Danse [dahnss] Dance.

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. See Mazurka and Polonaise.

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.

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

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, the addition of derrière implies that the working foot is closed at the back.

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

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

Deux [duh] Two.

Deuxième [duh-ZYEM] Second.

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 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.

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

Divertissement [dee-vehr-tees-MAHNLAY] 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).

Écarté [ay-har-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.

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.

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.

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.

 

 

 

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.

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.

Épaulement [ay-pohl-MAHN]] Shouldering. The placing of the shoulders. Aterm 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.

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, en [ahn fahss] Opposite (the audience); facing the audience.

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.

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. Saint-Léon 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.

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 en tournant, grand (Russian School) [grahn fweh-TAY ahn toor-NAHN] 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 rond de jambe en tournant [fweh-TAY rawn duh zhahnb ahn toor-NAHN] 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. En dehors (Russian School): Fourth position R foot back. Execute a pirouette en dehors on the L leg. Fondu on the L leg, at the same time opening the R leg to the second position en l'air. Relevé on the L point or demi-pointe, executing a tour en dehors and whipping the R foot in back of, then quickly in front of, the L knee. Fondu on the L leg, opening the R leg to the second position en l'air. En dehors (Cecchetti method): Fourth position R foot back. Execute a pirouette en dehors on the L leg. Fondu on the L leg, at the same time extending the R leg to quatrième position devant en l'air (croisé devant). Relevé on the L point or demi-pointe, sweeping the R leg to the second position en l'air, and execute a tour en dehors, bringing the R foot to side and front of L knee. Fondu on the L foot, extending the R leg forward again. Three-quarters of the turn should be made with the R foot in position on the supporting knee. This fouetté may also be executed from a preparation starting with a pas de bourrée en dedans and finishing with a coupé dessous, opening the working leg to quatrième devant croisé. En dedans (Russian School): Fouetté en dedans is done in the same manner as en dehors. After a pirouette en dedans the extension is made to the second position en l'air; next the foot is brought in front of, then in back of, the supporting knee. En dedans (Cecchetti method): After a pirouette en dedans the working leg is extended to the fourth position derrière en l'air; then with a demi-rond de jambe en l'air en dedans the foot is brought to the front of the supporting knee.

 

 

 

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.

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. See Port de bras.

Glissade [glee-SAD] Glide. A traveling step executed by gliding the working foot from the fifth position in the required direction, the other foot closing to it. Glissade is a terre à terre step and is used to link other steps. After a demi-plié in the fifth position the working foot glides along the floor to a strong point a few inches from the floor. The other foot then pushes away from the floor so that both knees are straight and both feet strongly pointed for a moment; then the weight is shifted to the working foot with a fondu. The other foot, which is pointed a few inches from the floor, slides into the fifth position in demi-plié. When a glissade is used as an auxiliary step for small or big jumps, it is done with a quick movement on the upbeat. Glissades are done with or without change of feet, and all begin and end with a demi-plié. There are six glissades: devant, derrière, dessous, dessus, en avant, en arrière, the difference between them depending on the starting and finishing positions as well as the direction. Glissade may also be done sur les pointes.

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.)

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 Terpischore, 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 ot 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.

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

 

 

 

Jeté entrelacé [zhuh-TAY ahn-truh-la-SAY] Jeté interlaced. A term of the Russian School. This jeté is done in all directions and in a circle. It is usually preceded by a chassé or a pas couru to give impetus to the jump. In the French School this is called "grand jeté dessus en tournant"; in the Cecchetti method, "grand jeté en tournant en arrière."

Jeté, grand [grahn zhuh-TAV] 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 coupe.

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, 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.

Labanotation This is a system of dance notation invented by the Hungarian-born teacher Rudolf von Laban. This system has been developed and perfected by the Dance Notation Bureau, which was founded in New York in 1940 and introduced the term in 1953. Many ballets have been notated by the Bureau, which has compiled a library of works in Labanotation, including the previous edition of the present book (notated by Allan Miles).

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.

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 classlcal dancer.

 

 

 

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

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. By the middle of the nineteenth century the ballet centres of the world had shifted from Paris and Milan to St. Petersburg and Moscow. The Russian School first derived its technique from France but by the middle of the nineteenth century it had acquired an international aspect through the influence of international artists. From the beginning of the second half of the nineteenth century Russian ballet was dominated by Marius Petipa, a Frenchman, and Christian Johannsen, a Swede. Then in 1874 Enrico Cecchetti, the last great exponent of the Italian School, arrived in Russia. These three men working on generations of Russian dancers developed Russian ballet, making it as much a system as Italian or French ballet. Actually the French method is in the greatest proportion in the Russian School.

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

Neuf [nuhf] Nine.

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 and Benesh notation.

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.

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 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 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.

Pas de chat [pah duh shah] Cat's-step. The step owes its name to the likeness of the movement to a cat's leap.

Pas de deux, grand [grahn pah duh duh] Grand dance for two. It differs from the simple pas de deux in that it has a definite structure. As a general rule the grand pas de deux falls into five parts: entrée, adage, variation for the danseuse, variation for the danseur, and the coda, in which both dancers dance together.

Pas de quatre [pah duh KA-truh] A dance for four. The most famous pas de quatre in ballet history took place in London on July 12, 1845, at a command performance for Queen Victoria, when the four greatest ballerinas of the nineteenth century, Marie Taglioni, Carlotta Grisi, Fanny Cerrito and Lucile Grahn, appeared together.

Pas de trois [pah duh trwah] A dance for three. Similarly, a pas de cinq is a dance for five people; a pas de six is a dance for six people; etc.

Pas de valse [pah duh valss] Waltz step. Done with a graceful swaying of the body with various arm movements. May be done facing or en tournant. The step is like a balancé, but the feet do not cross.

Pas marché [pah mar-SHAY] Marching step. This is the dignified, classical walk of the ballerina and the premier danseur.

Penché, penchée [pahn-SHAY] Leaning, inclining. As, for example, in arabesque penchée.

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.)

Pieds, cinq positions des [sen paw-zee-SYAWN day pyay] Five positions of the feet. There are five basic positions of the feet in classical ballet, and every step or movement is begun and ended in one or another of these positions, which were established by Pierre Beauchamp, maître de ballet of the Académie Royale de Musique et de Danse from 1671 to 1687. First position (Première position): In this position the feet form one line, heels touching one another. Second position (Seconde position): The feet are on the same line but with a distance of about one foot between the heels. Third position (Troisième position): In the third position one foot is in front of the other, heels touching the middle of the other foot. Fourth position (Quatrième position): In the fourth position the placement of the feet is similar to that in the third position, the feet being parallel and separated by the length of one foot. This is the classical fourth position but it may also be done with the feet in the first position, only separated by the space of one foot. The former is known as quatrième position croisée (crossed fourth position), while the latter is called quatrième ouverte (open fourth position). Today quatrième position croisée is done with the feet placed as in the fifth position, parallel and separated by the length of one foot, instead of the third position. Fifth position (Cinquième position): In the fifth position, Cecchetti method, the feet are crossed so that the first joint of the big toe shows beyond either heel. In the French and Russian Schools the feet are completely crossed so that the heel of the front foot touches the toe of the back foot and vice versa.

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 [peeWhirl 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 [grahrul 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.

Pirouette piquée [peer-WET pee-KAY] Pricked pirouette. A term of the French School. Same as piqué tour en dedans. This is a pirouette in which the dancer steps directly onto the point or demi-pointe with the raised leg sur le cou-de-pied devant or derrière, in attitude, arabesque or any given position. This turn is executed either en dedans or en dehors.

 

 

 

Plié [plee-AY] Bent, bending. A bending of the knee or knees. This is an exercise to render the joints and muscles soft and pliable and the tendons flexible and elastic, and to develop a sense of balance. There are two principal pliés: grand plié or full bending of the knees (the knees should be bent until the thighs are horizontal) and demi-plié or half-bending of the knees. Pliés are done at the bar and in the centre in all five positions of the feet. The third position is usually omitted. When a grand plié is executed in either the first, third or fourth position croisé (feet in the fifth position but separated by the space of one foot) or the fifth position, the heels always rise off the ground and are lowered again as the knees straighten. The bending movement should be gradual and free from jerks, and the knees should be at least half-bent before the heels are allowed to rise. The body should rise at the same speed at which it descended, pressing the heels into the floor. In the grand plié in the second position or the fourth position ouverte (feet in the first position but separated by the space of one foot) the heels do not rise off the ground. All demi-pliés are done without lifting the heels from the ground. In all pliés the legs must be well turned out from the hips, the knees open and well over the toes, and the weight of the body evenly distributed on both feet, with the whole foot grasping the floor.

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 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.

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. See Fish dive.

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. In the execution of port de bras the arms should move from the shoulder and not from the elbow and the movement should be smooth and flowing. The arms should be softly rounded so that the points of the elbows are imperceptible and the hands must be simple, graceful and never flowery. The body and head should come into play and a suggestion of épaulement should be used. In raising the arms from one position to another the arms must pass through a position known in dancing as the gateway. This position corresponds to the fifth position en avant, Cecchetti method, or the first position, French and Russian Schools. In passing from a high position to a low one, the arms are generally lowered in a line with the sides. Exercises on port de bras can be varied to infinity by combining their basic elements according to the taste of the professor and the needs of the pupil.

 

 

 

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.

Premier, première [pruh-MYAY, pruh-MYEHR] First.

Promenade, tour de [toor duh prawm-NAD] Turn in a walk. A term of the French School used to indicate that the dancer turns slowly in place on one foot by a series of slight movements of the heel to the required side while maintaining a definite pose such as an arabesque or attitude. The turn may be performed either en dedans or en dehors. In a pas de deux, the ballerina on point holds her pose and is slowly turned by her partner who walks around her holding her hand.

Quatre [KA-truh] Four.

Quatrième [ka-tree-EM] Fourth.

Relevé [ruhl-VAY] Raised. A raising of the body on the points or demi-pointes, 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.

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.

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.

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 a story. Example of romantic ballets are La Sylphide and Giselle.

Ront de jambe [rawn duh zhahnb] 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. When used as a step, ronds de jambe are done en l'air and may be sauté or relevé. All are done clockwise (en dehors) and counterclockwise (en dedans).

 

 

 

Rond de jambe à terre [rawn duh zhahnb a tehr] 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. This is an exercise to turn the legs out from the hips, to loosen the hips and to keep the toe well back and heel forward. There are two kinds of ronds de jambe à terre: those done en dedans (inward) and those done en dehors (outward).

Rond de jambe en l'air [rawn duh zhahnb ahn lehr] 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. The accent of the movement comes when the foot is in the second position en l'air. The movement is done en dehors and en dedans.

Royale [ruah-YAL] Royal. A changement in which the calves are beaten together before the feet change position. Also termed "changement battu."

Russian School The Russian School was founded in St. Petersburg in 1738 by the French dancerJean-Baptiste Landé. The French influence continued under such great teachers as Charles Le Picq, Charles Didelot, Christian Johanssen, Jules Perrot, Arthur Saint-Léon and Marius Petipa. In 1885 Virginia Zucchi, a famous Italian ballerina, appeared in St. Petersburg and created a sensation with her forceful and brilliant Italian technique which differed from the soft, graceful elegance of the French technique prevalent in Russia until then. Other Italian dancers such as Enrico Cecchetti arrived in Russia and continued to astound the Russians with their amazing dexterity, brilliant pirouettes, tours and fouettés. The Russian dancers rapidly absorbed everything the Italians had to teach and incorporated it into the Russian system. Thus, the Russian School of Ballet is a development of the French and Italian Schools. During the 1 920s the Russian ballerina and teacher Agrippina Vaganova developed a planned instructional system which later became known to the whole world as the Vaganova system. This svstem has become the basic method of the entire Soviet choreographic school.

Saut de basque [soh duh bask] (French and Russian Schools). Basque jump. A traveling step in which the dancer turns in the air with one foot drawn up to the knee of the other leg. Fifth position R foot front. Demi-plié with R foot retiré devant; step on the R foot in demi-plié to the second position, turning en dedans one half-turn and thrusting the L leg to the second position en l'air; push off the floor with the R foot and complete the turn, traveling to the side of the extended leg and landing on the L foot in fondu with the R leg bent in retiré devant. Both legs should be fully turned out during the jump. Saut de basque may also be performed with a double turn in the air.

Sauté, sautée [soh-TAY] Jumped, jumping. When this term is added to the name of a step, the movement is performed while jumping. As, for example, échappé sauté. Note: In all jumping movements the tips of the toes should be the first to reach the ground after the jump, then the sole of the foot followed by the heel. In rising from the ground the foot moves in the reverse order.

Seconde, à la [ah la suh-GAWND] To the second. A term to imply that the foot is to be placed in the second position, or that a movement is to be made to the second position en l'air. As, for example, in grand battement à la seconde.

 

 

 

Sept [set] Seven.

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.

Sissonne fermée [see-SAWN fehr-MAY] Closed sissonne. A step of low elevation performed to a quick tempo. This sissonne finishes on two feet with the working foot gliding along the floor into the demi-plié in the fitth position. It may be performed en avant, en arrière and de côté in all directions, such as croisé, effacé, écarté, etc.

Sissonne ouverte, grande [grahnd see-SAWN oo-VEHRT] Big open sissonne. This sissonne is usually performed with high elevation and is done from a demi-plié on both feet and finished on one foot with the other leg raised in the desired pose, such as attitude, arabesque, à la seconde, etc. It is performed en avant, en arrière, de côté, en tournant and is done with a développé or a grand battement at 90 degrees.

Six [seess] Six.

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.

Temps lié sur les pointes [tahn Iyay sewr lay pwent] Connected movement on the points.

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.

Tour de force [toor duh fawrss] An arresting, vital step; a feat of technical skill such as a series of brilliant pirouettes or a combination of outstanding jumps and beats.

Tour en l'air [toor ahn lehr] Turn in the air. This is essentially a male dancer's step although contemporary choreographers use this tour for girls. lt is a turn in the air in which the dancer rises straight into the air from a demi-plié, makes a complete turn and lands in the fifth position with the feet reversed. The turn may be single, double or triple according to the ability of the dancer. The arms assist and the head must spot as in pirouettes. Tour en l'air may also be finished in various poses such as attitude, arabesque, grande seconde or on one knee. It may also be done in a series.

 

 

 

Tour Jete *see Jete entrelace

Tournant, en [ahn toor-NAHN] Turning. Indicates that the body is to turn while executing a given step. As, for example, in assemblé en tournant.

Trois [trwah] Three. As, for example, in entrechat trois.

Troisième [trwah-ZYEM] Third. As, for example, in troisième arabesque.

Turn-out This is the ability of the dancer to turn his or her feet and legs out from the hip joints to a 90-degree position. This turn-out, or en-dehors, is one of the essential principles of the classical dance, giving the dancer freedom of movement in every direction.

Tutu [tew-TEW] This is the short classical ballet skirt made of many layers of tarlatan or net. The romantic tutu is the long skirt reaching below the calf.

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.

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

Virtuoso A performer with great technical ability.

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.

 

DICTIONARY #2

 

Ballet Vocabulary

Key to phonetic pronunciation (all sounds in English):

 

zh

=

s as in measure, leisure.

oo

=

oo as in shoot, zoo.

ew

=

u as in cupid.

ahn

=

on as in concert.

eh

=

ai as in pair.

ohn

=

on as in long.

oh

=

o as in role.

ohm

=

om as in come.

 

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

BALLET DICTIONARY #2 

 

Adagio, slow movements mainly working the classical line, flexibility, strenght, stamina, balance and poise.
Allegro, brisk movements mainly working lightness, speed and elevation.
Arabesque (ah-rah-BESK), the longest line in ballet.
en Arriere (ah nah-RYEHR), backwards.
Assemble (ah-sahm-BLAY), to assemble.
en Avant (ah na-VAHN), forwards.

Balance (bah-lahn-SAY), rocking step.
Balancoire (bah-lahn-SWARR), swinging movement (normally done at 90 degrees or higher with body movement).
Ballonne (bah-luh-NAY), ball like, bouncing movement.
Ballotte (bah-luh-TAY), tossed.
petit Battement (puh-TEE baht-MAHN), small beats around the ankle.
Battement tendu soutenu (baht-MAHN tahn-DEW soot-NEW), a tendu with the supporting leg simultaneously executing a plie.
Battement soutenu (baht-MAHN soot-NEW), a small coupe developpe with the supporting leg simultaneously executing a plie.
Brise (bree-ZAY), broken.
Brise vole (bree-ZAY voh-LAY), flying brise.

Cabriole (kah-bree-ohl), caper.
Cambre, arched.
Chaines (shay-NAY), chained, linked movement.
Changement de pieds (shahnzh-MAHN duh pyay), changes of the feet.
Chasse (shah-SAY), to chase.
Cinq (sank), five.
Ciseaux, scissors
Cloche (klohsh), bell like movement (normally done at 45 degrees with a stop at each end).
Cou-de-pied (koo-duh-pyay), neck of the foot.
Coupe (koo-PAY), to cut.
Couru (koo-REW), to run.
Croise (krwah-ZAY), crossed direction of the body (devant, derriere).
temps de Cuisse (tahn duh KWEES), step of the thigh.

en Dedans (ahn duh-DAHN), inwards.
Degage (DAY-gah-ZHAY), to disengage.
en Dehors (ahn duh-OR), outwards.
Demi Plie (duh-MEE plee-AY), half bend. Purpose: for elasticity & connectedness of movement.
Derriere (deh-RYEHR), behind, back.
Dessous (duh-SOO), under.
Dessus (duh-SEW), over.
Detourne (DAY-toor-NAY), to turn aside.
Developpe (DAYV-luh-PAY), to unfold.

Ecarte (AY-kar-TAY), split apart (direction of the body done @ 1/8 devant and derriere).
Echappe (AY-shah-PAY), to escape.
Efface (ay-fah-SAY), shaded (direction of the body done @ 1/8 devant and derriere).
Elan, attack.
Elance (AY-lahn-SAY), to dart.
Emboite (ahn-bwah-TAY), boxed, fitted together.

Entrachat quatre (ahn-truh-SHAH KA-truh), four crossings (2nd jump in ballet that does not change feet).
Entrachat cinq (ahn-truh-SHAH sank), five crossings (similar to entrachat quatre with a coupe ending).
En royale (ahn rwah-YAL), royal, four crossings (2nd jump in ballet that changes feet).
Entrachat trois (ahn-truh-SHAH trwah), three crossings, (similar to en royale with a coupe landing).
Entrachat six (ahn-truh-SHAH seess), six crossings (3rd jump in ballet to change feet).
Entrachat sept (ahn-truh-SHAH set), seven crossings (similar to entrachat six with a coupe ending).

En croix, in the shape of a cross.
En L’air (ahn lehr), in the air.
Entrelace, laced.
Epaulement (AY-pohl-MAHN), shouldered.

Failli (fah-YEE), giving way.
Ferme (fehr-MAY), closed.
Flic Flac (fleek-FLAK), crack of the whip.
Fondu (fohn-DEW), to melt. Purpose: for coordination of the head, arms and legs.
Fouette (fweh-TAY), whipped.
Frappe (frah-PAY), to hit or strike. Purpose: for speed and flexibility in the knee and ankle.

Glissade (glee-SAHD), to glide.
Grand Passe (grahn pah-SAY), large pass (changes feet).

Jete (zhuh-TAY), to throw.

en Manege (ahn ma-NEZH), steps done in a circle.

Ouvert(e) (oo-VEHR, oo-VEHRT), open.

Pas de Deux (pah duh ah-duh), step of two.
Pas de basque (pah duh bahsk), step from the "Basque" country.
Pas de bourree (pah duh boo-RAY), bourree step.
Pas de chat (pah duh shah), step of the cat.
Pas de cheval (pah duh shuh-VAL), step of the horse.
Pas de ciseaux (pah duh see-ZOH), scissors step.
Pas de poisson (pah duh pwah-SOHN), fish step.
Penche (pahn-SHAY), to lean.
Petit rond de jambe par terre (puh-TEE rohn duh ZHAHNB pahr tehr), small circle of the leg on the ground. Purpose: to work the turnout.
Pique (pee-KAY), to stab.
Pirouette (peer-WET), whirl or spin.
Port de bras (por duh brah), carriage of the arms.
Promenade (pruhm-NAD), to walk.

Releve (ruhl-VAY), raised in (working leg closing to supporting)
Releve lent (ruhl-VAY lahn), to rise slowly.
Renverse (rahn-vehr-SAY), upset, tipped.
Retire (ruh-tee-RAY), withdrawn (a passe that rests).

Saute (soh-TAY), to jump.
Sautille (soh-tee-YAY), hopping.
Sissonne (see-SUN), scissor like movement.
Soubresaut (soo-bruh-SOH), sudden spring (1st jump in ballet that does not change feet).
Sous-sus (soo-SEW), under-over (sprung rise bringing in both feet equally).
Soutenu (soot-NEW), to sustain.

Temps leve (tahn luh-VAY), raising movement (a jump from 1 to 1).
Temps lie (tahn LEEYAY), connected movement.
Tombe (tohm-BAY), to fall.
Tour en l’air (toor ahn LEHR), to turn in the air.

 

 

 

Dance Dictionary #3

AB - A term used in modern dance forms to describe a simple choreographic form with two sections having two contrasting theme.

ABA - A term used in modern dance forms to describe a simple choreographic form with three sections having the contrasting theme, A and B , followed by a repeat of the first theme in the third section. In the ABA, the third section may be a shortened version of the original A section.

a la hauteur[a lah of-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.

abstract - A type of dance style that communicates no message. May also refer to the process of presenting the core or essence of the real thing in the work of art.

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

abstraction - The process of removing, separating from, or condensing. Distilling something to its essence.

acceleration - Rate of increase in velocity.

accent - Emphasis or stress on a movement or part of a movement.

accord - In dance terms this means the perfect agreement of steps following the rhythm and musical measure with the expression of the movements of the feet.

acetabulum - The cup-shaped cavity of the hip bone in which the head of the femur bone fits.

achilles tendon - Literally, the dancer's achilles heel. The calf muscle tendon that connects to the heel.

actin - A muscle protein which, along the myosin, is responsible muscle contraction and relaxation.

adjusting - Making allowances for not finishing a step exactly in the proper position by moving the body or feet slightly.

aerobic - Occurring in the presence of oxygen. Aerobic processes occur with oxygen present.

afterimage- A visual sensation occurring after the external stimulus is gone.

aesthetics - Study or philosophy of art and beauty.

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 ( a la hauteur) and 135 degrees for any position considerably above hip height.

antagonist - A muscle working in opposition to the action of another muscle.

alignment - The way in which various parts of the dancers body are in line with one another while the dancer is moving.

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.

apron - The section of the stage between the proscenium curtain and the orchestra pit; the area in front of the curtain where dancers take their final bows.

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-plie, with the other leg extended behind and at right angels to it, and the arms held in various 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. arabesque ouverte arabesque croise, arabesque a terre, arabesque promenade and ect.

a rebours [a ruh-BOOR] - In reverse. The direction of the steps is to be reversed.

area - A particular portion or of the stage.

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

articulation - A joint.

artist director - The overall head of the dance company; sometimes, also the choreographer.

asymmetrical - Unbalanced, as applies to a body shape or grouping of dancers.

attitude [a-tee-TWED] - A particular pose in dancing derived by Carlos Blasis form the statue of Mercury by Giovanni da Gologna. 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 a the knee is higher than the foot. The supporting foot may be a terre, sur la pointe, or sur la demi-pointe. The arm on the side of the raised leg is over the head in a curved position while the other arm is extended to the side. There are to the audience. For example: attitude croise, attitude efface, attitude de face and ect.

auditory - Related to the sense of hearing; descriptive of a type of stimulus for movement.

avulsion - A tearing away of a part from the whole. Example; meniscus cartilage tear.

axial - A movement in which the dancer remains in one spot. Bending, stretching and reaching are axial movements

axis - A fixed point around which a moving object revolves.



B

bal [ball} - In dance it means a group of people assembled for dancing. Today you see a bal in theatrical productions, ballets, and operas.

balancement - Is a dance term to indicate a movement in which only the upper part of the body moves, from the waist up, while the legs remain still.

ballon - To spring very high (bounce). and rebound lightly and elastically.

ballerina - 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, coryphees and corps de ballet.

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

ballet master - The person responsible for overseeing rehearsals, teaching company class, and training the dancers.

balletomania - A mania for ballet. The word was introduced to the English-speaking public by Arnold Haskell with his book of the title published in 1934.

barre - The horizontal wooden bar fastened to the walls of the classroom or rehearsal hall which the dancer holds for support. Every ballet class begins with a barre' work.

beats - The dancer executes a beat during a jump by striking the calves sharply together, using the strength of the inside thigh muscles. There are three classifications of beats: pas battus, entrechats and brises.

blocking - The process of positioning dancers on stage in proper stage placement for finished choreography.

bras - Arms.

bras, positions des [paw-zee-SYAWN day brah] - The position of the arms. Although the positions of the feet are universal in all methods, the positions of the arms are not, with each method having its own set of arm positions.

bursa - A closed, fluid filled sac usually found or formed in areas subject to friction. Knees, elbows shoulders, spine and so on.

bursitis - Inflammation of a bursa.



C

cadence - Is the exact and precise observance of the measure of musical air on which the steps are performed; this denotes the accord of the dance steps with the length and the temps of the musical measure.

called - Refers to how cues are given by the stage manager the crew and dancers during a performance.

canon form - Movement phrases repeated in intervals by more than one person. For example: in 4/4 rhythm, first person begins on the (1), second person begins on (5) with both dancers doing the same movement phrase from the first step.2) A choreographic form usually providing the movement phrase performed by different dancers beginning the phrase a number of counts apart. The phrases are danced with and against one another.

capillary - The smallest of the blood vessels.

cartilage - A specialized fibrous connective tissue. A hyaline variety is a bluish-white surface covering over certain bony articulations that absorbs shock, prevents direct wear on bones, and alters the fit of the joint.

cavalier - The male partner of the ballerina. Applies to ballet only.

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

center of gravity - The point of intersection of the three primary planes of the body. The exact center of the body. The point around which the body would rotate freely in all directions if it were free to rotate.

chance - A method of choreographic development based on random selection of movement or random organization of actions.

character dancing - Danse de characters.[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.

cheating - Adjusting a movement so that it looks better during performance but is not technically correct.

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

choreography - From Greek, 'dance writing'; the steps of a dance that are put together for performance. The art of composing dances. This is a term used to describe the actual steps, groupings and patterns of a dance created to be performed.

class - The daily lessons taken by dancers though out their career.

classroom notation - A type of notation system for classroom excercises and combinations, using the Cecchetti method floor diagram for the outline of dancers body facing and directions. Abbreviations are also used.

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 Coppellia, The Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcraker and Swan Lake......

classical walk - This is a slow, dignified walk done by the ballerina and danseur noble - 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 developpe to the back foot steps forward to repeat the step.

Pas marche' [pah mar-SHAY] - Marching step.

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.

collage - A choreographic form made up of unrelated movements.

combination - A grouping of connected movements usually prepared for presentation during the latter portion of a dance technique class. Students are expected to learn and perform combinations as part of the class.

composition - a dance or choreography that exists as a whole with a beginning, middle, and end. Term is usually applied to modern dance choreography.

compound Step - A step made up of two or more steps or portions of steps under one name. Example: Arabeque, Attitude, Sissone, and Pas de bourree'.

contact Improvisation - Spontaneous movement drawn from actions done while relating to the environment or while in contact with another moving body.

continuity - a principle of choreographic form that provides a natural and organized progression of movement phrases so that one phrase flows naturally into or connects to the next.

contrast - The use of different attributes of the elements of movement. For example, high movement contrasts with low level; fast movements contrasts with slow actions.

contraction - A strong pull back and stretch of the spine, with relaxed shoulders. Used in warm-up for muscular development, in choreography as a dramatic gesture, or accent of a movement.

coordination - The act of various muscles working together in a smooth connected way. Correct and precise timing of muscle contractions.

corps - Body

corps de ballet - Literally, the body of the ballet,' or the chorus, also, those dancers who are not designated as soloist or principles.

cramp - A painful muscular contraction or spasm.

count - A specific beat among a number of underlying pulse beats that make up a sequence of movements or a measure of music.

cue - The point in a dance at which appropriate changes in lighting or accompaniment need to occur, also can refer to internal or external stimuli that motivates movements.

curtain call - Acknowledgment of applause with bows or curtsies when the ballet or dance performance is completed.



D

dance - Many sequences of movement that add together to produce a whole. A dance has organization, progression, and development, including a beginning, middle and end.

dance drama - A presentation using movement to express a message or tell a story, usually by showing relationships among the dancer-characters.

dancers heel - A common term for pain above the heel bone in the achilles area, presumedly caused by joint inflammation secondary to trauma.

danse - Dance

danse d'cole [dahnss day-KAWL] Dance of the school. The classical style.

danseur [dahn-SUHR] - Male dancer.

danseur, premier - First, or leading male dancer of a company.

danseuse [dagb-SUHZ] - Female dancer.

dance in the round - An arrangement of movement sequences that produces a whole and that is designed to be viewed from all sides rather than from only the front.

decor - Decoration. The scenery and properties used in a ballet.

deceleration - Rate of decrease in velocity.

defile' [day-fee-LAY] - This is a term used at the Paris Opera for the appearance of the entire ballet company on the stage. For the premier dancers to the corps de ballet.

dehydration - Reduction of water content from the body.

demi - Half

design - The overall organization of a dance, including use of space, time, energy , and shape; a pattern traced in space or on the floor; also can mean to organize and structure a piece of choreography.

designed - Refers to the creation of sets, costumes, and lights; artistic creation not construction.

detire [day-tee-RAY] - Drawn out. A term of the French School for a drawing out or stretching of the leg at the barre.

deux - Two

diatharodial Joint - A bony articulation in which the opposing surfaces are covered with hyaline cartilage, there is a joint cavity containing synovial fluid and reinforced by a fibrous capsule, and free movement is more or less possible.

diathermy - Deep heating of the tissues achieved by various forms of penetrating physical energy.

direct image - The process of mentally visualizing movements before performing them.

Direction of movements - see de cote, de descendant, en diagonale, en manege, en reculant, en salle, de la autour, and so on. 2) One aspect of the movement element space. In dance, the eight basic directions in which a dancer can move or face the body are: forward, backward, the right or left side, and the four diagonals.

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 direction of a step, or a step placed in a different direction. 2) The placement of the body's segments one above the other so that the ear, shoulder, hip, knee and ankle are as close as possible to a straight line that extends at a right angle to the floor.

disc - (intervertebral) - A pad of cartilage interposed between the bodies of adjacent vertebrae.

divertissement [dee-vehr-tees-MAHN] - Diversion, enjoyment. A suite of numbers called 'entrees,' inserted into a classical ballet of dance choreography. These short dances are calculated to display the talents of individuals or groups of dancers.

dos a dos [doh za doh] - Back to back.

dorsiflexion - Bending of the foot upwards.

downstage - The area of stage closest to the audience.

dramatic dance - A choreographic form that tells a story or expresses a message similar to a narrative dance.

drops - Two dimensional scenery that is hung from the batons of a theater.

dynamics - The interaction of force and time. 2) The loud or soft aspects of music.

dynamic posture - The posture or position of the body while in motion.



E

endurance - Ability to resist fatigue and recovery quickly after fatigue.

en Face [ahn fahss] - Opposite (the audience); facing the audience.

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

elancer [ay-layn- SAY] - To dart. One of the seven movements of dance.

Elements of Modern Dance - Space, time, energy, force and shape.

elevation - Elevation is the ability of a dancer to attain height in dancing.

en arriere - Backward. One of the seven movements of dance.

energy - One of the three basic components of movement - Space, time, and energy or force. {Using energy breeds more energy.

ensemble - 1) A unit or group of complementary parts that contribute to a single effect. 2) A group of dancers, actors, musicians and singers who perform together.

essence - The fundamental nature of a person or thing.

entree [ahn-TRAY] - Entrance. The term is given to the arrrival 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 as the dancers make their entrance.

enveloppe' [ahn-vuh-law-PAY] - A term of the French School. Enveloppe' is a rotation of the body turning en dedans on the supporting leg, while the other leg envelops or encircles it. Creates momentum for inward turns.

epaulement [ay-pohl-MAHN] - Shouldering. 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.

etendre [ay-TAHN- druh] - To stretch. One of the seven movement directions.

eversion - Lifting the outer border of the foot, or 'rolling'.

exercises a' la barre - Excercises at the barre.

exercises au milieu - Excercises in the centre, that is, centre practice.

exploration - A process producing spontaneous movement based on suggestions made by a leader. Exploration is not as in-depth a process as improvisation.

expressionism - A modern movement in the arts characterized by desire to depict the subjective emotions and responses of the artist, rather than the appearance of objective reality.

extension - Term used to describe the ability of a dancer to raise and hold her extended leg en l' air. A dancer is said to have a good extension if, when doing a developpe' a la seconde, she is able to hold and sustain the raised leg above shoulder level.



F

fascia - A sheet of fibrous tissue that encloses and separates muscle.

femur - The long bone of the thigh.

finale - The final section of a classic ballet or dance performance.

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 left 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 retire and executes a developpe croise devant. From this position she pushes from the boy's L hand, executes a fouette 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.

first cast - The dancers originally taught the choreography and those who generally perform it; second cast are often stand-ins for the first cast or scheduled to dance less frequently.

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.

flexion - Movement that decreases the angle at a joint; the act of bending the joint.

flexibility - That property of muscles and connective tissue which allows full range of motion.

flic-flac [fleek-FLAK] - A crack, as of a whip. A term of the Russian School. It is composed of whipping movements from second position at 45 degrees through the fifth position front and back 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 entournant.

floor pattern - A pathway traced on the floor using locomotor movements.

follow spots - Large, bright lights that ' follow ' a leading dancer around the stage making him / her stand out from the other dancers.

force - The strength or energy exerted to bring about motion or a change in motion.

form - An overall plan for arrangement of movement or dance.

framework - A description or suggestion that limits movement materials discovered during exploration or improvisation.

French School - The French School of ballet began in the court ceremonies of the French monarchs. Louis XVI studied with the famous ballet master Pierre Beauchamp and established the first academy of dancing, known as the Academie Royale de Musique et de Danse, in Paris in 1661. The Ecole de Danse de l'Opera was founded in 1713. Amoung its most famous ballet masters were Beauchamp, Pecour, Lany, Noverre, G. and A. Vestris 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.



G

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

glisser [glee-Say] - To glide or slide. One of the seven movements in dancing.

global image - A suggestion or motivation for movement that is general and directed at the whole body.

ground bass - A choreographic form, usually providing the movement materials for only part of a dance. In a ground bass a phrase or phrases are repeated throughout while a core complex series of movements is performed by another dancer or dancers. The more complex actions play against the simple movements.

guesting - Dancing with a company other than one's home company.



H

hamstring muscle group - Three muscles of the posterior thigh: biceps femoris, semimembranosus, and semitendinosus.

hoofing - A type of tap dance developed in America in the 1930's. This type of tap dance is about combining rhythm patterns.

hyperextention - extention of a body segment past the anatomical position.

hypertrophy - An increase in the overall size of a tissue.

hyperventilation - The state caused by heavy breathing in which too much air pressure results in dizziness and/or unconsciousness.


I


incline', inclinee [en-klee-NAY] - Inclined.

imagery - The representation of a mental picture.

improvisation - Immediate and spontaneous response to given direction.

intent - The motivation that simulates movement.

interpretation - The expression of a person's conception of a work of art.

inversion - The act of turning the foot inward.

isolations - Independent movement of any single muscle group or joint.

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 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. The Italian school is known for its strong, brilliant technique and the virtuosity of its dancers, who astonished the audience with their difficult steps and brilliant turns.


J


jambe [zhahnb] - Leg.

Jazz Dance - A dance form that developed in America along with jazz music. Its forms and styles have developed through the early pioneers and remains to be ever changing.

K


kinesiology - The study of the science of human motion. We study kinesiology to learn how to analyze personal performance and how to apply underlying principles to improve our performance.



kinesthetic - Pertaining to sensations from the body that relate information about body position, movement, or tension.

kinesthetic image - A motivation that describes the body feeling stimulated by the resulting movements.

kinesthetic awareness - (1) A sense of awareness, without the use of the other senses, of muscle and joint positions and actions. (2) Feeling the dance movement of others in one's own muscles. Giving the ability to move precisely together in time.

 

 

L


labanotation - This is a system of dance notation invented by the Hungarian-born teacher Rudolf von Laban. This system has been developed and perfected by the Dance Notation Bureau, which was founded in New York in 1940 and introduced the term in 1953. Many ballets have been notated by the Bureau, which has compiled a library of works in Lababnotation.

lift - The lifting of the danseuse by her male partner. (danseur)

limbering - Before leaving the barre, dancers often do stretching excercises, to futher loosen and extend their muscles.

line / ligne - The arrangement of head, shoulders, arms, torso and legs while the dancer is moving.

ligament - Tough connective tissue which binds bones together, forming joints.

light trees - The lighting structures used in the wings to give the effect of all around lights.

line - A spatial aspect of dance movement; lines are created in space as dancers move, or through the placement of parts of the body. Line can be curved, straight, angeled or a combination of the three.

literal choreography - Choreography that communicates a story or message to the audience.

locomotion - Movement of the body from one point to another by its own power.

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

M


mains [men] - Hands.

manege, en [ahn ma-NEZH]. - Moving around the room while performing turns.

maneges [m-NEZH] - Circular.

manipulation - Varying of movement, particularly in terms of space, time, energy or shape.

marking - Walking through, or indication of the steps with the hands, instead of dancing, used in rehearsal.

master class - Technique classes taught by well known dancers, often to dancers unfamiliar with the teachers technique.

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

metabolism - The sum total of all the chemical processes of the body.

meter - The grouping of musical beats by measure. 2) The divisions of music into small groups of pulse beats. Usually each grouping has the same number of underlying pulse beats.

methodes [may-TAWD] - Methods - Academic ballet as we know it today came into being in the year 1661, when King Louis XIV of France founded the Academie 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 Theater was not opened until 1812. The Academy at Milian influenced Paris and especially Russia through the rules of education drawn up by the Carlo Blasis, who became director of the Academy in 1837 and rapidly made it the centre of ballet activity. By the middle of the nineteenth century the ballet centres of the world had shifted from Paris and Milan to St. Petersburg and Moscow. The Russian School first derived its technique from France but by the middle of the of the nineteenth century it had acquired an international aspect through the influence of international artists. From the beginning of the second half of the nineteenth century Russian Ballet was dominated by Marcus Petipa, a Frenchman, and Christian Johannsen, a Swede. Then in 1874 Enrico Cecchetti, the last great exponent of the Italian School, arrived in Russia. These three men working on generations of Russian dancers developed Russian ballet, making it as much a system as Italian or French ballet. Actually the French method is in the greats proportion in the Russian School.

mime - The art of using the face and body to express emotion and dramatic action. Mime makes narrative dance possible. Mime is now an established art form of its own. Two famous mime artist we know today are Marcel Marso and Red Skelton.

minimalism - A movement form based on the repeated use of the same movements or movement phrase with only slight changes.

minuet - A dignified dance in 3/4 time introduced during the reign of Louis XVI.

mixed meter - A metric division of beats in which the separate groupings differ in terms of the number of underlying pulse beats per measure.

Modern Ballet - A choreography that maintains elements of traditional ballet but that was created during the 20th century. Many modern ballets are abstract and non literal.

Modern Dance - A performance movement form that evolved at the beginning of the 20th century. Modern dance can be contrasted with the dance forms ballet, tap or jazz.

modification - All the steps, poses and movements are subject ot 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, ferme, overt, en croix and so on.

moelleux - (Soft) - Is an expression used during a dance lesson to ask the pupil to be lighter in his/her movement throughout the whole body.

momentum - The property of a moving body that determines the force required to bring the body to rest. Momentum = mass x velocity.

movement pattern - An uninterrupted succession of related movements grouped to form an entire design.

movement time - The amount of time that it takes to accomplish the movement after the impulse to respond has been received.

movement theme - The development of one or more movement phrases to project specific ideas, emotions, or characterizations.

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

multi-joint muscle - A muscle that extends over two ro more joints.



muscle boundness - A pathological condition brought on by improper training in which the joints lose some of their range of motion due to hypertrophied muscles.

muscle memory - The way in which most choreography is memorized by the dancers.

myosin - A muscle protein which, along with actin, is responsible for muscle contraction and relaxation.

 

 

 


N

narrative - A choreographic form that tells a story similar to a dance drama.

negative space - Spaces surrounded by parts of the dancer's body or between two or more dancers. Negative spaces are part of the overall visual design of choreography including the spaces between props, sets and the stage environment.

nerve - (nerve tract ) - A cable like bundle composed of many nerve fibers.

neuromuscular coordination - Coordination which results from nerve impulses reaching the proper muscles, with sufficient intensity, at the neuron.

neuron - A complete nerve cell, including the cell body and all its appendages.

neutralizer muscle - A muscle that acts to equalize the action of another muscle.

neoclassicism - A tem coined to denote that form and technique of dancing which came after classicism; often used in reference to George Balanchine, although he never used this expression to describe his work non literal choreography - Choreography that emphasizes movement manipulation and design without the intent of telling a story. Non literal works communicate directly through movement and need no translation.

nontraditional - Choreography created with experimental rather than established methods and forms.

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 established systems of notation in general use. Labanotation and Vaganova notation systems.

O


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. 2) The act of moving or facing the body in a different direction from the movement direction or facing used by another dancer or dancers.

origin (of a muscle ) - The muscle attachment closer to the midline of the body; the less moveable attachment.

overall development - The form or development of an entire sequence of movement as it progresses from beginning to end. (Also known as overall shape.)


overload - The process of demanding more performance from a system than is ordinarily required.

P


parallel - A position in which the thighs, knees and toes of both legs are facing forward. Just as you have 1st and 2nd positions in ballet, you have related positions in parallel.(turn-ed in)

pantomime - A nonverbal but realistic use of action and gesture as a means of expression.

pas - Step.

pas de deux - {pah duh duh} Dance for two.

pas de deux, grand - Grand dance for two. It differs from the simple pas de deux in that it has a definite structure. As a general rule the grand pas de deux falls into to five parts: entree, adage, variation for the danseuse, variation for the danseur, and the coda, in which both dancers dance together.

pas de quatre {pas duh KA-truh} - A dance for four.

pas de trois {pah duh trwah} - A dance for three.

patella - Kneecap.

pattern - The organization of movements into recognizable relationships. Also refers to the organization of sounds into identifiable groupings.

perceiving - Achieving an awareness or understanding based on sensory information.

percussive - Use of energy that is powerful and explosive.

performance notation - A type of system designed to preserve and record choreography. Stage directions are used for the floor diagram of dancers body facing and stage positions. Abbreviations and sketched diagrams are also used.

pit - The area where the orchestra performs for a dance performances.

pitch - The high and low aspects of music as determined by the frequency of sound waves.

place', etre bien - (to be well placed) - This is said of a dancer who has the physical presence suitable for dancing and executes the movements correctly and easily.

placement, placing - a dancer is said to be well-placed when he or she has learned to hold body, head, arms and legs in their proper alignment to each other, has acquired the turn- out of the legs, a well-poised head, level hips and a straight spine in all steps and poses.

plier [plee-AY] - To bend. One of the seven movements in dancing.

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.

polka - A dance in 2/4 time derived from the polka and from the mazurka.

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-points and then the third step is taken flat with supporting knee bent in fondu and the other leg raised in front.

pose [poh-zay]- pose, posture. Any position or step held for any length of time. 2) Poised. A term of the Cecchitti method. This is a movement in which the dancer steps from one foot to the other with a petite developpe onto the demi- pointe or point in any desired position. It is preceded by a fondu on the supporting leg and may be performed en avant, en arriere and de cote, in arabesque, in attitude, ect.

post-modern dance - A term coined in the 1960's by those who wished to create movement outside the influences of any of the then traditional modern dance pioneers, such as Cunningham, Graham, Humphrey, Limon and Taylor.

postural muscles - Also called anti-gravity muscles. THe muscles used to maintain posture.

power - The product of force x velocity. The ability to apply force at a rapid rate.

preparation - The movement with which the dancer prepares for the execution of a step.

presenter - The person or organization responsible for bringing the dance company to the stage in performance ( in other words who pays for the performance).

prime mover - The chief muscle or chief member of a muscle group responsible for a particular movement.

production - The technical skills for staging a concert.

project - To throw one's energy out toward the audience; to make movement onstage more visible or alive; or to be exact in terms of movement expression.

proscenium - The section of the stage that sets it apart from the audience, or House. 2) The arch that frames the stage area and through which the audience views a performance.

pulse - The underlying and steady beat in dance or music. THe pulse is divided into groupings or measures with a specific number of beats per measure; a rhythmic pattern is created over and in relation to the pulse.

quadriceps muscles - Four muscles of the anterior thigh: rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, vastus medialis, and vastus intermedius.

quality - The manner in which energy is applied, continued and arrested. 2) movement characteristics determined by the specific use of energy. Sustained, percussive, and vibratory are movement qualities'.

range of motion - The amount of movement that can occur in a joint, expressed in degrees.

reaches - An excercise done in a jazz dance warm-up use to pull apart the spine and to ensure and full body stretch.

reaction time - The time between the reception of a signal to respond and the beginning of the response.

realism - A movement in the arts characteristics determined by a faithful representation of nature or life without distortion or idealization.

repetition - a principle of choreographic form based on using movements or phrases again in a work. Repetition adds closure because the audience feels familiar and more involved with repeated movements.

rebound - The idea of using the give of one movement, to help another movement. Shifting of the weight.

reflex - An immediate response to a situation in which the thought process is bypassed.

reflex time - Time of nerve impulse travel in a reflex action.

relever [ruhl-VAY] - To raise, to lift. One of the seven movements in dancing.

repertory, repertoire - All the choreography currently performed by a dance company.

re-staged - Refers to a new staging of an original production or work, either with new choreography, new sets and costumes, or both.

retombe' [ruh-tawn-BAY] - Falling back. A term of the French School and the Cecchetti method.

rivival - The presentation of a ballet once again which has not been in active repertory.

rhythmic pattern - A grouping of rhythmic movements developed in consecutive order.

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. The toes and heels should be flat on the floor and the turn-out must come from the hip.

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. Examples: La Sylphide and Gisselle.

rond - Round.

rondo - A choreographic form with many different sections. There is a return to the original theme in alternation with contrasting sections.

rotation - Movement of a body segment around its own longitudinal axis.

run - The period of time a certain performance is being performed.

Russian School - The Russian School was founded in St. Petersburg in 1738 by the French dancer Jean-Baptiste Lande'. The French influence continued under such great teaches as Charles Le Picq, Charles Didelot, Christian Johanssen, Jules Perrot, Arthur Saint Leon and Marcus Petipa. In 1885 Virginia Zucchi, a famous ballerina, appeared in St. Petersburg and created a sensation with her forceful and brilliant Italian technique which differed from the soft, graceful elegance of the French technique prevalent in Russia until then. Other Italian dancers such as Enrico Cecchetti arrived in Russia and continued to astound the Russians with their amazing dexterity, brilliant pirouettes, and tours and fouettes. The Russian dancers rapidly absorbed everything the Italians had to teach and incorporated it into the Russian system. Thus, the Russian School of Ballet is a development of the French and Italian Schools. During the 1920's the Russian ballerina an teacher Agrippina Vaganova developed a planned instructional system which later became known to the whole world as the Vaganova system. This system has become the basic method of the entire Soviet choreographic school.

sauter [soh-TAY] - To jump. One of the seven movements of dancing.

scene - A subdivision of a act of a play or dance performance. 2) a prospect; view.3) A unit of continuous related action in a film. 4) The scenery for a production or play. 5) A display of temper.

screwing of the knee - A technical flaw in which turn-out is obtained by rotation of the tibia on the femur instead of from the hip.

scrim - A curtain that is translucent when a light is in front of it, so it can be used for scenery, and transparent when light is behind it, so that dancers can see through it. The scrim is also used to project colors.

season - The time during which a company is actively performing.

sections - Part of a dance smaller than the whole that contains many phrases.

semblance - An object or work of art that has the appearance of or that resembles something else. An abstraction is the semblance of the real thing.

Serrer Les Reins - (stand up straight) - To strengthen the lumbar region of the body.

sequence - The orderly, progressive placement of movements. 2) A series of movements longer than a phrase but much shorter than a section of a dance; similar to a combination.

shin splints - Pain and discomfort in the middle of the leg usually associated with excessive use of the foot flexors.

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.

size - One of the aspects of the movement. The dancer moves in and through space. Dance movement takes up space, and a dance is performed in a space. Direction, level, size, focus, and pathway are the aspects of space. An altered use of the aspects allows the choreographer to use space in different ways.

shape - An interesting and interrelated arrangement of body parts of one dancer; the visible makeup of molding of the body parts of a single dancer; the overall development or form of a dance. When used as a verb, shape means to give form and development to choreography.

shin busters - The low lights that are put in the wings of the stage to light the floor. And they are called shinbusters for a reason.

simple - Simple, ordinary, single. For example: Sissonne simple.

skeletal muscle - Also called striated, motor, and voluntary muscle. A muscle which attaches to and causes movement of the skeleton.

skill - Neuromuscular coordination.

soutenir (to sustain) - Hold a position or a leg raised or hold any pose as long as possible.

smooth muscle - Also classed visceral and involuntary muscle. A muscle located in the internal organs, with the exception of the heart.

spasm - Sudden, involuntary contraction of a muscle or muscle group.

spondylolysis - A break in body continuity of a vertebra.

spotting - This is term given to the movement of the head and focusing of the eyes in 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 forward and prevents the dancer from becoming dizzy.

sprain - Tearing of ligament fibers.

sprur - A projecting piece of bone.

stability - Firmness in position. Ability to withstand external force.

stabilizer muscle - Any muscle that acts to stabilize or fix a body segment in order for another segment to move on it.

staged By - Refers to having a ballet or dance choreography set on a particular company by an individual.

strain - Tearing of muscle fibers anywhere along a muscle or tendon. ( muscle pull )

strength - The ability to apply force with a segment of the body.

stretching - Dancers do many varied stretching excercises before, during and after classes to insure maximum performance and to prevent injury.

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.

Sustained - A use of energy that is slow, smooth, and controlled.

synovia fluid - The viscous fluid resembling egg white which acts as a lubricant in joint activity, bursae and tendon sheaths.

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

tacte',une danse - One says tacte' of a dance which accents well the cadenza of a very rhythmical musical theme.

talus - Ankle bone.

technique - The study of the skills needed to perform a certain form of dance.

technique class - A dance class that focuses on the development of movement skills such as alignment, balance, and coordination. There are many styles and forms of dance technique.

tech rehearsal - A run through of a performance for checking lights, scenery,costumes and calls. Primarily for the crew to rehearse their cues.

tempo - The rate of speed, or pace of the dances.

temps de danse - A part of the dance, or what is today known as a combination.

tendon - A fibrous cord attaching muscle to bone.

tendinitis - Inflammation of a tendon.

theme and variation - A choreographic form developed from altering and varying a movement theme. (Humprey)

timing - The rate of speed at which movement is performed, particularly with reference to the underlying pulse or beat.

tour - Turn. Turn of the body.

tourner [toor-NAY] - To turn around. One of the seven movements of dancing.

transition - Separation of one movement from another, or from one dance phrase to another, and at the same time acts as a connecting link between the two respective parts.

turn-out - This is the ability of the dancer to turn his or her feet and legs out from the hip joints to a 90 degree position. This turn-out, is one of the essential principles of the classical dance, giving the dancer freedom of movement in every direction.

tutu - This is the short classical ballet skirt make of many layers of tarlatan or net. The romantic tutu is the long skirt reaching below the calf.

unison - Movement exactly the same as other movements in a group.

variation - A solo dance in a classic ballet.

velocity - The rate at which an object travels in a given direction.

vibratory - Use of energy that involves shaking or trembling actions.

virtuoso - A performer with great technical ability.

visual design - A perceived pattern or form.

vole' - Flown, flying. Example: brise' vole'.

voluntary nervous system - That part of the nervous system which is consciously controlled.

waltz - A ballroom dance in 3/4 time. It was first introduced in a ballet by Pierre Gardelw in his La Dansomanie of the 1800's.

warm-up - This is the term used by dancers for the exercises they utilized before class and performance to insure proper muscular development and maintenance and injury prevention.

white ballets - Refers to those ballets in which the women wear long white tutus, such as Giselle, Les Sylphides and Swan Lake..

wings - Sections at either side of the stage through which the dancers enter and exit.

work - A condition occurring when muscles contractions cause movement, the work is dynamic; if no movement occurs, the work is satic. Also, work = force x distance.

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. This is usually the leg creating the line or action of the movement.



Music Terms For The Dancer



tempo - The rate of speed; the pace of the music.

meter - How many beats there are in a measure.

flow - The flow of the music in time involves both the meter and tempo, and often times carries emotional implications.

syncopation - This term denotes a deliberate upsetting of the normal accent.

pitch - The location of a tone in the musical scale in relation to high or low.

duration - Depends on the length of time over which vibration is maintained. We hear tones not only high or low but also short or long.

dynamics - The degree of loudness or softness at which the music is played.

tempo markings - Indicate the character of the music, as well as, the pace. The tempo terms are in Italian, because of the time when the opera of that nation dominated the European scene.





Tempo Markings:



solemn ( very, very slow ): grave

broad ( very slow ): largo

quite slow: adagio

slow: lento

a walking pace: andante

somewhat faster the andante: andantino

moderate: moderato

moderately fast: allegretto

fast: allegro

lively: vivace

very fast: presto

very, very fast: prestissimo



Basic Dynamics:



growing louder: crescendo

growing softer: decrescendo

sudden stress ( accent on a note or chord ): sforzando

 

   

 

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