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Friday, May 8, 2015

Fun Friday Confusion

Fun Friday Confusion

There are many terms in ballet that sound similar, and since dance is taught largely without the words ever being written on a whiteboard or a blackboard, confusion is not surprising. I will talk about many of these confusing words in future blogs, and today I’m going to address the common terms “croisé” and “en croix”.

The word “croisé” means crossed, and means any position where the legs appear to cross (from the point of view of the audience or the dancer in the mirror) when the dancer is at a slight angle (as opposed to facing straight ahead, or en fas). The leg that crosses can be either the working leg (like croisé devant), or the supporting leg (like croisé derrière). This alone is confusing, especially for beginning dancers.

“En croix” means in the shape of a cross. It indicates that the movements go to devant, à la seconde, derrière and back to à la seconde.  Confused yet?

The easiest way to remember the difference is this:  Croisé is a position (how it looks), en croix is a pattern of movement (indicates the directions in which the movements are done).

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets:
Secret #5h:  
“Croisé is a position (crossed), en croix is a pattern (directions the steps are executed).”

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