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Glossary of ballet

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demi plie
half bend



grand plie
large bend
port de bras
carriage of the arms
port de corps
carriage of the body
cambre
arch
tendu
stretch
degage
disengage
rond de jamb
circle of the leg
fondu
to melt
coup de pied
neck of the foot
retire
foot at knee in front/back
passe
to pass (foot at side of knee
attitude
from a statue of Mercury
arabesque
from a Moorish ornament
frappe
to strike
developpe
to develope
enveloppe
to envelop
en cloche
like a bell
pas de cheval
step of the horse
battement
to beat
releve
to raise
detourne
turned aside
sous-sus
under-over
pose
step
promenade
walk
couru
run
chasse
chase(polka)
balance
balanced (waltz)

pas de Basque
step of the Basques
pas de bourre
step of padding, stuffing
pas de chat
step of the cat
glissade
glide
coupe
cut
tombe
fall
croise
crossed
en face
facing
efface
shaded(open)
ecarte
thrown wide apart
en dedans
inside
en dehors
outside
en croix
in shape of cross
bras bas
arms low, down
en avant
forward
de cote
sideways
en arriere
backwards
a terre
on the ground
en l'air
in the air
devant
front
a la seconde
to the second (side)
derriere
back
ferme
closed
ouvert
open
en haut
arms high
adagio
at ease, leisure
allegro
brisk, lively
failli
give way
soutenu
sistained
saute
jump
jete
thrown
pirouette
whirl,spin
fouette
whipped
tour
turn
pique
prick
chaine
chained, linked
changement
change
attitude Greque
arm position: 4th crossed 1st and 4th crossed bras bas
assemblé
assembled; put together at the same time

arrondi
rounded (arms)
petit allegro
enchaînments with small quick steps
grand allegro
enchâinments with big jumps
ballon
bounce
ballonné
bounced, like a ball
la barre
the ballet hand rail
en bas
low arms (bras bas) (5th en bas)
bourrée
dance with little stuffed stps
changé
changing
changement Italien
both feet come up like a pas de chat
chassé passé
a chassé that passes from 4th to 4th
coda
the last ensemble dance in a ballet
composé
the last ensemble dance in a ballet
composé (the right one)
compound
contretemps
against time
demi contretemps
a temps leve and a chasse passe
sur le cou de pied
on the ankle
en couronne
arms held in a curve above the head (5th en bas)
demi-bras
arm position between bras bas and 2nd (above tutu)
demi-pointe
half-pointe, working towards 3/4 pointe
dessous
under
dessus
over
detire
drawn out
detourné
sous-sus with full turn
demi detourné
sous-sus with half turn
dévelopé
unfolding of the leg
dos à dos
back to back
a droite
to the right
échappé
feet move away from each other in 4th and 2nd
elevation
ability to jump high
èlevé
to rise with straight legs
emboité
in a box
enchainment
linking; combination (of steps)
epaulé, epaulment
shouldered (one shoulder turns toward hip of front leg)
extension
ability to hold leg in the air
à gauche
to the left
le genou
the knee
battement glissé
to slide, allowing the foot to leave the floor
jambe
leg
grand jete
thrown (90 degrees)
levé
lifted
en manége
roundabout; traveling around the stage, in a circle
Mazurka step
similar to balancé (and 1, 2, 3)
au milieu
in the center
pas de deux
dance for two persons
pas
step
pas marché
marching step
pas seul
solo
porte
a movement carried through the air, usually to the side
sur les pointes
on pointe (toe)
relevé
to snatch with a weight change
retiré
withdrawn, one leg to passé
reverence
bow, courtesy
serre
tight; close; toe beated at the ankles
sissone
named for the steps inventor
sissone doublé
sisson assemblé
soubresaut
sudden spring or bound
temps leve
a small jump where weight is not transferred, foot is fully stretched
temps lieé
connected movement
battement tendu
the leg stretches from a closed position and then closes
terminé
ended
terre a terre
ground to ground
tourner
to turn around to the other side
adage, adagio
slow and sustained

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