2 3 Technical Tuesday Soutenu | Ballet Webb

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Technical Tuesday Soutenu

Technical Tuesday Soutenu

A common step in ballet is soutenu. The word itself means “elevated, sustained or steady”. It is very frequently combined with a turn, becoming a soutenu en tournant. This step is most often performed as a half turn when changing sides at the barre.

In a basic soutenu, the feet move to the dancer’s best fifth position on relevé, displaying the lovely heart shape of the feet (see previous blogs). 

The secret for doing soutenu en tournant at the barre is to lift the back foot very very slightly (about the height of a piece of paper), then turn and reestablish the fifth position (the back foot becomes the front foot). Use of the rotational muscles helps with the turning action and the all-important stopping action. This is how a soutenu en tournant is correctly performed in a single movement – if not, the step becomes a bourrée en tournant – a different step altogether.

Isn’t ballet fun?!

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets:

Secret #18m:  
“Soutenu means elevated, sustained or steady.”

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