JENNIFER D. YACKEL
I am kind of in love with what Gail Grant's Technical Manual and Dictionary of Classical Ballet has to say about this one. "Upset, reversed. Of Spanish origin, this is the bending of the body during a turn in which the normal balance is upset but not the equilibrium." While teaching a few weeks ago I forgot the name of one of my favorite steps to do. Horrifying I know, to be giving a combination and realize midway through you don't remember the name of the step you are about to give. Horrible! Which is why I need to get back on the bandwagon with my self given homework. Renversé en dehors it is! "This step consists of a grand ronde de jambe en dehors ending in attitude criosée, then a pas de bourrée dessous en tournant with a renversé movement of the body." Renversé with the body? What exactly does this refer to? I had one brilliant teacher who had us almost do a space hold with our head during the pas de bourrée. She was quite knowledgeable on all the different schools of ballet, so I am not certain which one this extreme method of executing the step came from. My guess is Cecchetti, but that is purely a guess. I was taught to do the step by starting the grand ronde de jambe with the leg lower in criosée devant. The highest point of the whole movement is when you are passing through écarté derriére.(You naturally do a quarter turn in facing to get to that place.) Once you reach the attitute criosée derriére there is a lean or bend in the direction of the standing leg also allowing the hip of the lifted leg to open a bit.(I feel the balance point starts to resemble that of one of those Horton laterals T's in a way.) As the lifted leg reaches back to step pas de bourrée the body lingers a bit as it comes around hence the renversé. That's how I see it folks!
Term of the week
For people who are complete beginners to ballet, it can all be a little overwhelming. You are asking your body to do things that are completely foreign and you're asking your brain to work in a completely different way. On top of that your instructor is spitting out terms you have never heard before. Even for people who have been dancing a long time and hear the terminology every day from your teacher, you may never learn what all the different terms mean. Most ballet terms are derived from the French language. I am going to post a ballet term each week with it's meaning and a little bit about it. I am no ballet god so I am hoping that if any of my ballet nerd friends have anything to add, or disagree with anything I say, that they chime in and leave a comment. To be honest, with teaching ballet twice a week and only taking it about once a week I feel the vocab slowly slipping away from me. Not only is the purpose of this to educate others, it is meant to help me to keep up with what I feel is important to know. I am using Gail Grant's Technical Manual and Dictionary of Classical Ballet as a source for the direct translations and or definitions.