2 3 Technical Tuesday and Tier-Bouchon | Ballet Webb

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Technical Tuesday and Tier-Bouchon

Technical Tuesday and Tier-Bouchon

Most terms in classical ballet are the same, or at least similar, regardless of the school of training. However, tier-bouchon (teer-boo-shon) is one that appears to have multiple meanings. Here are a few. 

“A turn - the working leg is drawn up slowly to the side of the supporting leg as a turn is performed http://www.step-by-step-dance.com/ballettermspronunciationdefinitions.html.

“Tire-bouchon- Like a corkscrew. a term of the Russian school. This is a position in which the leg is raised so that the thigh is in the second position and the tip of the pointed toe touches the knee of the supporting leg. a pirouette in this position, when done with a renverse movement, gives the impression of a corkscrew.” http://www.dance.net/topic/10071008/1/Ballet-General/Cambr-en-rond-tire-bouchon.html&replies=0

“Balanchine, Vaganova and Legat (with Grant paraphrasing Vaganova almost word for word) all subscribe to the same notion that tire bouchon refers to the working leg held momentarily in retire'. This can be in the context of, as mentioned, turns (pirouette and renverse' cited) and grand battement de'veloppe' as depicted in the illustrations” http://www.dance.net/topic/10200407/1/Ballet-Beginners/Tire-Bouchon-illustrations.html&replies=10

I always heard it used as in the last example: “grand battement de'veloppe'”.

Ahhhh, the evolution of language.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets:
Ballet Secret #12f:  
Tier-bouchon is a term that means different things to different teachers.

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Don't be afraid to be confused. Try to remain permanently confused. Anything is possible. Stay open, forever, so open it hurts, and then open up some more, until the day you die, world without end, amen.”
George Saunders

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  1. While I hold the same knowledge of the term, from many sources, most of them russian, a Vaganova graduate, now teacher in my local city, says "tirebouchon" is the position "attitude devant". It seems logical, and she IS a graduate of Vaganova Academy, but I have most russian literature saying it is a "retiré" position.

  2. Could you correct the spelling of 'tire' on your page?
    The English pronunciation of "tier" sounds correct but the spelling might confuse people.