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Monday, October 5, 2015

Mad Monday Confusion

Mad Monday Confusion

There are so many French words in ballet that aren’t as intuitive as we’d like them to be, and one of these terms is “sous-sus”.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary states that sous-su is a shortening of the term dessous-dessus which literally translates to “undercover”. But dancers are usually told that the word means “under –over”, or if spelled sus-sous, it logically means over-under. It is difficult, if not impossible, to differentiate these terms by hearing them pronounced. Confusing.

Dancers know that a sous-sus is a tight fifth position on relevé,which, when viewed front the front gives the appearance of a small heart shape, with two heels and one toe (I have blogged about this before). 

But I have to admit, I rather like the idea of going “undercover”.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets:

Secret #18l:  
“The word “sous-sus” is short for dessous-dessus, which means “undercover”.”

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