Some readers alerted me to the fact that they wanted to know about all of the ballet terms that I use in The Muse. So here’s your ballet basics tutorial.
One of the most common steps that I refer to in The Muse is the plié. In French, plié means “to bend.” That’s exactly what the knees do in this step. Dancers can plié on one foot or both feet.
The “opposite” of a plié is a relevé. A relevé is where the dancer will rise to the balls of her feet, or, if she is wearing pointe shoes, to the tips of her toes.
Here’s an example of a plié-relevé exercise at the barre:
Tendú means “to reach.” When a dancer does a tendú, she extends her leg in front, to the side, or behind her, with the toes touching the floor, like so:
The first step that William Darcy choreographs on Elizabeth in his piece is a piqué arabesque. In a piqué arabesque, a dancer steps onto the tip of her toes, with her leg extended in the air behind her. It looks like this:
I’ll be covering some other ballet basics topics on my blog, but let me know in the comments if there’s something in particular you’d like me to cover.