2 3 Technical Tuesday Passé or Retiré? | Ballet Webb

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Technical Tuesday Passé or Retiré?

Technical Tuesday Passé or Retiré?

Ahhh, the details. What is the difference, if any, between passé and retiré? If you search the web, you will find different answers, some more complex than others, like this one:

“Passé is the movement of the working leg, either bent or straight, PAST the supporting leg from one position to another.
Retiré is the action of drawing the working leg with knee bent up ALONGSIDE the supporting leg and returning down to the position from which it began, or is used as the descriptive word for the POSITION of standing with the working leg bent, foot touching the supporting leg.
In example- If you pick your foot up from 5th in front and place it in 5th behind, that's passé. If you pick it up from 5th in front, and place it back down in 5th front, that's retiré, but the teacher may also use the word retire to describe the position of the working foot when it's next to your supporting leg as retire in both examples.”

Let’s simplify things a bit. The word “passé” in French means “to pass”, and “retire” means “to withdraw”. So I usually tell my students that if the foot is moving it is “passé”, and if it is not, it is “retiré”.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets:

Ballet Secret #18m:  
“A passé moves, a retiré doesn’t.”

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Criss Jami

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