Theoretical questions will be marked in the section entitled 'Responses and Knowledge of Syllabus'. Most of the terms used in ballet are French (a few are Italian). Candidates are expected to learn these terms and to be able to answer what each means. It is important for the candidates to understand that these explanations are not necessarily literal translations of the French terms but relate to what they mean when used in a Ballet class.
Students will be asked theory from their grade and below.
Dégagé Disengage or to release the foot from a closed position to an open position.
En Crois Shape of a Cross
Retiré Draw up
Adage Slow Movement
Coupé Cut / to cut the weight of the body from one foot to the other
Fondu Melt /a bend on the supporting leg
Posé Step / place
Temps Levé Hop
En Avant Travelling forwards
Port de Bras Carriage of the arms
Assemblé Assemble / join together
Soutenu Sustain / hold
En Dehors Outwards
En Dedans Inwards
En Arriére Travelling Backwards
Relevé Rise / a snatching of the feet
Ports De Bras Carriage of the arms
En Face Facing (the audience)
Enchainement Chain of steps / linking together of two or more steps
Changement Change / A jump from third to third changing the feet.
Soubresaut Simple jump without change of feet
Rond De Jambe Circle of the leg, the other in 4th opposite 1st à terre or en l'air
à Terre On the ground
Arabesque Represents the shape of a bow / a position on one leg, the other in 4th opposite 1st à terre or en l'air
De Côté Facing the side
Demi-Detourné Half a turn towards the back foot
Pas De Chat Step of a cat
Pas De Bourrée Small running steps / consisting of three movements (5th; 2nd; 5th)
Pas De Basque A step from the Basque country representing the swirl of a skirt
Sissonne A scissor movement from two feet onto one foot
Frappé Strike / hit
Pirouette Spin on one leg
En L'air In the air
Attitude A position on one leg, the other in 4th opposite 5th à terre or en l'air
Sur-le cou-pied On the neck of the foot
Épaulment Use of the shoulders with one shoulder forward the other back; the head over the front over the front shoulder; the turn coming from the upper back
Simple A simple balloné with the accent on the inward movement
Composé A compound step with the accent on the outward movement followed by a step and close
Demi Contretemps Temps levé in arabesque followed by a chasse passé en avant
En cloche Bell-like preparation for Grand Allegro
Ex. for Fouetté Preparation for Fouetté of Adage in the centre and Grand Allegro fouetté movements
Battements sur le cou-de-pied Preparation for beaten work
Contretemps Against time/coupé under, chassé en avant, temps levé in arabesque, chassé passé en avant
KNOWLEDGE OF THE PURPOSE OF THE EXERCISES
1. What is the purpose of performing pliés at the beginning of a Ballet class?
Plies help to:
warm up all the muscles in the legs
strengthen the legs
sustain the upright position of the body.
2. What is the purpose of Grands Battements en cloche?
The main purpose of grands battements is to loosen and strengthen the legs. Battement en cloche develops the fullest range of movement.
3. What is the purpose of the Preparatory Exercise for Fouetté Rond de Jambe en Tournant?
This exercise helps to establish coordination and balance ready for turning.
4. What is the purpose of Battements sur le cou-de-pied?
This exercise develops speed and control in the use of the lower leg, preparatory to beaten steps. It also helps the understanding of how some parts of the leg can move independently to the others.
5. What is the purpose of Exercise for Fouetté of Adage?
All adage movements help to develop the slow, smooth control of the legs and the strengthening of the back. The fouetté requires the ability to use the hinge-like movement of the torso and the hip joint as the working leg circles from side to back, and to centre the weight over the supporting leg.
6. What is the purpose of the Demi Pointe enchainments on the barre?
These strengthen feet and legs and prepare for pirouettes and pointe-work.