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This is an Animated Ballet Dictionary of RAD Terms

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Animated Ballet Dictionary  English  (RAD)

Our Animated Ballet Dictionary covers many often used RAD Ballet Terms.  The dictionary includes a brief definition and an animation of each term.  This dictionary can be posted into your I Teach Dance Online Service Class Units, https.iteachdanceonline.com as an adjunct to your dance education program. 

Arabesque

 (French: [aʁabɛsk]; literally, "in Arabic fashion") is a body position in which a dancer stands on one leg (the supporting leg) with the other leg (the working leg) extended, straight, behind the body. The arm positions can vary and are generally allongé. The foot of the supporting leg may be flat on the floor, on the ball of the foot (demi-pointe/relevé), or on the tips of the toes (en pointe).

Assemblé

(French pronunciation: [asɑ̃ble]; literally 'assembled') Sometimes also pas assemblé. A jump that lands on two feet. When initiated from two feet, the working leg performs a battement glissé/dégagé, brushing out. The dancer launches into a jump, with the second foot then meeting the first foot before landing. A petit assemblé is when a dancer is standing on one foot with the other extended. The dancer then does a small jump to meet the first foot.


Balancé  bal-lon-SAY 

"balanced") A rocking sequence of three steps—fondu, relevé, fondu (down, up, down)—executed in three counts. Before the first count, one foot extends in a dégagé to second position (balancé de côté) or to the front (balancé en avant) or rear (balancé en arrière). The second foot in the sequence (in any direction) assembles behind the first to relevé in fifth or fourth position.

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

Ballotté Sauté [bal-o-TAY so-TAY]

A ballotté is a jumping step in classical ballet that consists of coupé dessous and small developpés performed with a rocking and swinging movement. The step can be performed with the leg extensions at 45 or 90 degrees.

Battement Brisé
[bat-MAHN] [bree-ZAY]

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.



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.

Battement Fondu


A lowering of the body made by bending the knee of the supporting leg, the working leg extending out à terre or in the air. Saint-Léon wrote, "Fondu is on one leg what a plié is on two." Fondu at the barre often refers to battement fondu développé, where the supporting leg begins fondu with the foot of the working leg at cou-de-pied; the working leg extends out through a petit développé as the supporting leg straightens.

Battement Frappé

                                                                            Action of extending the working foot out from cou-de-pied. In Cecchetti, RAD, and American ballet, on flat, this action involves brushing a flexed (or non-pointed relaxed) foot from cou-de-pied through the floor, the ball of the foot (lightly) striking as extending out pointed through dégagé. In the Russian school, a pointed foot at cou-de-pied extends directly out to dégagé height without brushing through the floor. On demi-pointe, Cecchetti employs the Russian style of non-brushed pointed foot directly out. Other schools may use a flexed foot without the strike or a non-brushed pointed foot on demi-pointe.

Frappés are commonly done in singles, doubles, or triples. Double and triple frappés involve tapping the foot (flexed or pointed) at both cou-de-pied devant (or wrapped) and derrière before extending out. (E.g. Double frappé front would be cou-de-pied back, cou-de-pied front, dégagé front. Double frappé back would be front, back, [dégagé] back. Triple frappé front would be front, back, front, [dégagé] front.)

Battement Glisse:  

 [bat-MAHN glee-ZAY]
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 
 

A rapid battement normally taken to 2-3 centimeters off the floor. From 5th, Brush the leg outward through the pointe tendue position.Release the toes from the floor.


Battement tendu
[bat-MAHN tahn-DEW]
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. 
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.
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.

Classical Walk

A slow, dignified walk.  As the pointed foot stretches forward, it reaches the ground first, then the heel is lowered keeping the foot 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 developpé the back foot steps forward to repeat the step.  

  • Chassé temps levé

  •  [Cha-SAY tawn-le-vay]


  • A movement like a small hop in which there is no transfer of weight from one foot to the other.


French, literally ‘raised time’.



Coupé Brisé

coupé (koo-pay') This means 'cut' - to move the foot quickly off the floor and to put it either in front of the ankle or at the back of the ankle.

brisé(bree-zay') This means to move apart and is a beating jump. Travelling forwards or backwards.

Developé Passé


[dayv-law-PAY]  
(pah-say)
 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.

This means to pass.The working legs' foot is pointed to the side of the supporting legs' knee.

Echappé Relevé 

[ay-sha-PAY]  [ruhl-VAY]
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.

Echappé Sauté Battu


[ay-sha-PAY]
[soh-TAY]  [ba-TEW]
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.

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

Grande Battement 

[grahn bat-MAHN]

Large battement. An exercise in which the working leg israised 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 grande battements is to loosen the hip joints and turn out the legs from the hips. Grande battements can be taken devant, derrière and à la seconde

Grand Jeté EnTournant

[grahn zhuh-TAY ahn toor-NAHN]


a high turning leap starting with battement and finishing in arabesque —   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." It is also shortened to Tour jeté.  


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

Port de Bras [pawr duh brah]

Carriage of the arms.
 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.