Ballet For All
Balance de cote [ ba-lahn-SAY duh koh-TAY ]. Rocking step to the side. Same as balance.
Balan^oire, en [ ahn ba-lahn-SWAHR ] . Like a seesaw. This term is applied to an exercise, a series of grands battements executed with a continuous swinging motion through the first position to the fourth position front and back. As the leg is thrown forcefully forward, the body leans backward, then as the leg is thrown backward, the body leans forward. See Battement jete balance, grand; Battement jete balangoire, grand.
Ballabile [ bahl-LAH-bee-lay (Italian)]. “Danceable.” From the Italian ballare, to dance. A dance for a group or corps de ballet without solos.
Ballerina [ bahl-lay-REE-nah (Italian)]. A principal female dancer in a ballet company. In the days of the Russian Imperial Theatres the title was given to the outstanding soloists who danced the chief classical roles. At the Maryinski Theatre in St. Petersburg the ballet company consisted of ballerinas, premiers danseurs, first and second soloists, coryphees and corps de ballet.
Ballerina assoluta, prima [ PREE-mah bahl-lay-REE-nah ahs-soh- LOO-tah (Italian)]. First ballerina absolute. This title was bestowed only twice in the two-hundred-year history of the Russian Imperial Theatres, to the two ballerinas Pierina Legnani and Mathilde Kschessinska.
Ballerina, prima [ PREE-mah bahl-lay-REE-nah (Italian)]. A title for an outstanding soloist or first principal female dancer of a ballet company.
Ballet [ ba-LAY ]. A theatrical work or entertainment in which a choreographer has expressed his ideas in group and solo dancing to a musical accompaniment with appropriate costumes, scenery and lighting.
Ballet blanc [ ba-LAY blahn ]. White ballet. This is a term applied to any ballet in which the dancers wear the traditional long white costumes designed by Eugene Lami for Marie Taglioni in the ballet La Sylphide in 1830. Examples are the second act of Giselle and the balletLes Sylphides.
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. See Maitre or maitresse de ballet.
Balletomania. A mania for ballet. The word was introduced to the English-speaking public by Arnold Haskell with his book of that title published in 1934.
Ballon [ ba-LAWN ]. Bounce. Ballon is the light, elastic quality in jumping in which the dancer bounds up from the floor, pauses a moment in the air and descends lightly and softly, only to rebound in the air like the smooth bouncing of a ball.
Ballotte en arriere (Cecchetti method) [ ba-law-TAY ah na- RYEHR]. Ballotte backward. At the finish of ballotte en avant (q.v.) the R leg is raised in efface devant. The movement is then reversed by springing off the L foot, drawing the legs up with the feet in the fifth position and landing on the R foot with a fondu in the place vacated by the L foot while the L leg does a developpe a la quatrieme derriere in efface, body leaning forward.
Ballotte en avant (Cecchetti method) [ ba-law-TAY ah na-VAHN]. Ballotte forward. Fourth position L foot back, pointe tendue. Raise the L foot slightly off the ground; demi-plie on the R foot; spring into the air, bending the knees and drawing the feet up into the fifth position with toes well pointed. Come to the ground on the L foot with a fondu in the place vacated by the R foot and developpe the R leg a la quatrieme devant, body efface and leaning backward.
Barre [bar]. The horizontal wooden bar fastened to the walls of the ballet classroom or rehearsal hall which the dancer holds for support. Every ballet class begins with exercises at the bar. SeeExercices a la barre; Side practice.
Bas, en [ahn bah]. Low. Used to indicate a low position of the arms. As, for example, in fifth position en bas, Cecchetti method.
Batterie [ bat-REE ]. The French technical term for beaten steps. A collective term meaning the entire vocabulary of beats. Any movement in which the legs beat together or one leg beats against the other, the actual beating being done with the calves. Both legs must be equally well extended during a beat. Never beat with one leg while the other is in a passive state. Batterie is divided into grande batterie and petite batterie, according as the elevation is large or small.
Batterie, grande [ grahnd bat-REE ]. Large beating steps. Comprises all the beaten steps requiring elevation, cabriole, grand jete dessus en tournant battu, entrechat de volée, etc..
Batterie, petite [ puh-TEET bat-REE] . Small beating steps. Comprises all the small beaten steps which do not require much elevation but must be performed with rapidity and brilliance of execution. Much of the work is done by the insteps and the beats should be clean and well crossed.
Battu [ ba-TEW ]. Beaten. Any step embellished with a beat is called a pas battu. As, for example, in assemble battu. See Pas battu.
Beats. The dancer executes a beat during a jump by striking the calves sharply together. There are three classifications of beats: pas battus, entrechats and b rises.
Body alignment. See Directions or body alignment.